Parenthood: 90 Days

boston family portrait photographer

90 Days of Parenthood

play group new moms north end

Nardito and I have just returned from a few days traveling solo, without the engineer. Wow.  What a difference it makes to have a second parent around! We were staying with friends, none of whom have children.  I realized how different my life rhythms are 90 days later.  We survived our 48 hours away and happily cozied up at home together as a family again.

Gratitude

In a section in the end of happiest baby on the block, the author notes that we live in a time people are raising children in nuclear families.  And I am so grateful that James and I are not in fact doing this. We have a several spheres of loving support. 

three month old pajamas bed

 Our families have been tremendously helpful. Our neighbors at Midway (including the other new parents) have been amazing. And the moms group that I've joined have also been wonderful. (I'm the kind of person that's reluctant to do something like join a new mothers group. But I'm so glad that I did.)

Special shout out to one of my best friends since high school, Margot, who forged this Motherhood and business woman path ahead of me. She has been not only giving us material items, but also sharing wisdom and making sure that we take the time to reflect on and enjoy parenting.  

Firsts

documentary family photography newborns in car

Our baby book has lots of blank space for writing.  I haven’t filled out much of it yet.  I would have excessed that chore, though the legacy of both my and the engineer’s lengthy baby books keeps the guilt on that front going.  But I have been taking an absurd amount of pictures.  An astute reader will have noticed the distinct shift in my instagram feed.  So far he’s been to Maine and Rhode Island and the Berkshires.  He’s taken adventures into the North End and Brookline.  He’s been to Chinatown.  Erupted in his first fit of giggles. Endured bath time without tears.  And received a blessing from the priest at the new Shrine of Our Lady of Good Voyage.

Challenges & Solutions

changing table family photojournalism

Balance has not been attained, but the idea of it seems like less than a mirage week by week.

These things are what we have worked on together: 

Learning to nurse in bed and Nardito’s growing head control were game changers for me.  Learning his cues, particularly for sleep, was key.  

Figuring out what to wear for easy breastfeeding access that wasn’t looking like pajamas. After spending much of the winter in layers of leggings and dark colors I was ready to slip back into my spring clothes.  They fit, mostly.  Though many of them weren’t quite suitable to feeding the baby and absorbing spit up.   

Finding time to exercise.  Once my baseline strength came back, I wanted to be moving and getting back to the yoga studio.  Having trouble finding the time.  The downtime I get is filled up with my own basic needs (shower anyone?) and my work.  I’ve been fitting little bits in here and there.  And when I can find an uninterrupted stretch of time I pull out the yoga mat and put on Yoga with Adriene.

More in Love Every Day

2017-06-02 16.28.16.jpg

This selfie pretty much sums it up! 

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY QUESTIONS TO ASK

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY QUESTIONS TO ASK

Wedding planning guides, and wedding planning websites, suggest some standard questions.  They usually come up naturally in conversation and they do get asked during initial meetings.  

Comparing Wedding Photographers

The primary three things when you are looking for a wedding photographer:

Portfolio (Do you love the way this photographer sees?)

Price (Is the price point something you are comfortable with?)

Personality (Will you and do you get along with this person?)

Every has their own way to doing business that is right for them. Hourly coverage, packages or collections, unlimited hours. Our pricing is based on what works for our individual businesses.  So it can make it a challenge to compare.

The Big Questions

mit chapel wedding pohotographer
faneuil hall wedding photos boston

What follows are a list of the big questions that we, as wedding photographers, regularly get.  You may desperately want to know there answers. You may not have thought about some of them at all.  When you talk with wedding photographers their answers to these questions should help you feel like you are working with a professional wedding photographer.  

Do you have backup wedding photographers who will shoot the wedding if you're sick?

Will there be a second shooter or any assistants? Is there an additional fee for these?

Have you ever shot at my wedding venue(s) before? I understand it’s comforting to have a photographer know your venue and it’s quirks and magical spots.  Even if it’s the same physical location every wedding is different, and the days unfold in their own ways.

Will the wedding photos be exposure corrected and color balanced?

What gets retouched?

What is the deposit and total fee if we want to book you as our wedding photographer?

When do we get to see the wedding pictures?! 

How many weddings have you photographed, and how many do you do in a year?

Is wedding photography your main business? What percentage of your work is composed of weddings?

How many images do we get of our wedding?

When do we get to see the wedding pictures?! 

Do you shoot both digital and film?

How do you process the images?

What are the restrictions for sharing photos online or for publication?

Do you own the copyright to the wedding photos?

When do we get to see the wedding pictures?!

And The Big (usually unasked) Question

Why is it so expensive? 

wedding photographer danvers glen magna

Cameras, lenses, lighting, back up gear, insurance (business and health), studio rent, self employment tax, software licensing, advertising, equipment repair - it all adds up to a lot for a full time photographer.  

Photography is a luxury.  You don't need a wedding photographer any more than you need a wedding dress or a bouquet or a diamond to get married. 

Questions Your Wedding Photographer Wants To Ask You

Are you already thinking wedding day logistics and lighting? Might you be planning the wedding ceremony for sunset?  

Will you want family portraits done before or after the wedding ceremony? Inside or outside?

Are you open to talking through the timeline of the wedding day so your photographer can capture what you want?

How will you and your partner be if your wedding doesn’t unfold exactly the way you imagine it should? Spoiler: it likely won’t.

Will you trust us to capture the magic and moments are we see them? 

If you send us a wedding photography pinterest board, will you want us to replicate other people’s images or are you using pinterest as a tool for research and learn what style of photography you like? 

How do you want to display your wedding pictures?  Will they languish forever on a USB drive or in a facebook album?  Will you post some to Instagram?  Will you want to share prints with your family for the holidays?  Are you interested in getting an album?

What are you most excited about on the wedding day? The dance party? The ceremony? Seeing family? Eating? Pictures? What are the most important parts for you?  


I’m Boston wedding photographer Allana Taranto of Ars Magna Studio. I love photographing wedding in downtown Boston, and throughout New England. My wedding photography is beautiful and honest that celebrates your love story. 

Great Lives deserve Great Art. 

boston wedding photographer allana

Planning a wedding in downtown Boston?

Get in touch to learn more about our custom photography packages

Parenthood: Two Months in

Parenting: 2 Months In

The delirium has worn off.  Mostly. The adoration has grown. Absolutely.  The routine is starting to reveal itself.  We are just getting to know this beautiful boy.

At some point in the last two months, our neighbor Roberto told us that the first few weeks were the hardest.  But that we wouldn’t remember it. It was true.  We barely remember the first six weeks.  We definitely don’t remember the first two.  

first bath in the kitchen sink

first bath in the kitchen sink

photo of me and baby where we both are lucid and happy by our neighbor Roberto Mighty

photo of me and baby where we both are lucid and happy by our neighbor Roberto Mighty

family self portrait at passover

family self portrait at passover

I’m in love. With the gummy smile and the goofy baby talk.  With his pensive stares and furrowed brow.  With the growing strength of his long fingers that wrap around my thumb.  With the way that he sits perched on his dad’s shoulders and intently takes in his surroundings.  

On the heels of my first Mother’s Day, so far this trip has been both exhausting and wonderful. I wasn’t sure what parenthood would be like.  Helping my parents with extended care of my disabled sister prepared me somewhat with bathing and diaper changing rituals, with the power of music and setting routines.  Seeing so many of my friends take this step before we did also gave me some idea of the major changes in our future.  But experiencing it first hand is a different thing.  

As new parents, we’ve talked about how we are both finding the process of integrating the identity of parent to be a slow one.  We are three.  And that changes things small and large.  Learning to navigate both the dog and the stroller on walks.  Embracing the microwave for speeding up meal time.  Tackling nursing in a carrier, so I can eat my own dinner.  Saying yes and thank you when people offer help.  Accepting that our days are consistently damp with milk and spit up and diaper leaks.  

boston family photography father and son photojournalism

Last week, as Mother’s Day posts on facebook prevailed, I read an interesting NYT article about matrescence (the act of becoming a mother).  In this common but nevertheless complicated life shift, we must integrate parenting into our identity, navigate a new family dynamic (in our immediate family as well as extended families) and reflect on our own relationships with our mothers.  It’s worth a read:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/08/well/family/the-birth-of-a-mother.html

if you follow me on instagram, you may have noticed that the feed has been taken over by this charming little man.  

boston documentaryfamily photography  

One of my favorite portraits of father and son above.  As I am the one with the camera, there are many images of these two and not enough yet of me and the boy.  

Fort Point Art Walk

fort point art walk spring 2017

FORT POINT SPRING ART WALK

Where is Fort Point?  It's just across the channel from south Station, adjacent to the Seaport and technically a part of Southie. Fort Point is one of New England’s largest artist communities, home to over 300 artists who produce work in a wide array of media.

The Fort Point Spring Art Walk is happening on Mother's Day Weekend! Enjoy a stroll through our lovely and rapidly changing neighborhood. What a great way to spend time with your mom. 

While we won't be opening the doors at #601 (coming off maternity leave), I will have some recent pieces up in the building.  

Friday, May 12: Preview all galleries and select studios 4-7 pm
Saturday, May 13 & Sunday, May 14: 12-6 pm

It will be more than studios doors being opened.  There will be performances and public art as well. For a full schedule of activities check fortpointarts.org.

Fort Point Galleries

FPAC Gallery (300 Summer Street) FPAC members show

Our very own Midway Gallery at Midway Artists Studios, 15 Channel Center group show

249 A Street Gallery group show

Atlantic Wharf Gallery at 290 Congress Street Planes in the Sky

Fort Point Public Art Installations

Starry Night by Lisa Greenfield and Daniel J. van Ackere

Location: A Street beneath Summer Street

PYR2014 by Don Eyles

Location: Fort Point Channel, south side of Summer Street Bridge

Channel Center Garage, installation by Joanne Kaliontzis + Spalding Tougias Architects

Location: off A Street + Iron Street, near Channel Center development park

I do hope you make the trip out to explore and see our neighborhood.  I promise you it won't look the same as the last time you were here. And it won't look the same as the next time you come.  

Elopement Photography Boston

Elopement Photography Boston

Presided over by City Clerk Maureen Feeney, this Boston City Hall civil ceremony was held in her office, which just about fit the group gathered.  Boston City Hall is a unique, and architecturally fascinating, place to have a civil ceremony in Boston.  After the ceremony,  the North End, Faneuil Hall, the Rose Kennedy Greenway, the Boston Public Garden, and Beacon Hill are all just a short walk away.  

Anniversary Post: Cambridge City Hall Wedding

Happy First Anniversary to Eric & Audrey.  We had two wonderful wedding celebrations with them in 2016.  The first was their civil wedding ceremony at Cambridge City Hall.  The second was photographed by the amazing Danielle of Salty Raven.  You can checkout the New York State wedding here


Revisiting some of my favorite moments from their first wedding last April. 

wedding portrait with cat 
city hall cambridge wedding photography
city hall wedding ceremony cambridge ma

Parenthood: Considering the Future

Parenthood: Considering the Future

Sharing a few family portraits from our first weeks together as a newly minted family.  My phone seems to be the easiest camera that I can operate while simultaneously feeding or holding baby.  And the pictures from the phone so far are pretty great.  Captured, with my DSLR,  some images but loving particularly the image below of The Engineer playing music for us in the afternoon sunshine. 

Anniversary Post: Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center Wedding Photography

As I'm on maternity leave, I'm reposting some of my favorite weddings as anniversary posts. 


I've been able to get to photograph and know this amazing family over the past several years. Turns out that we have overlapping friends and intersected lives.  I'm so glad that we found each other.  

Here's a recent portrait from a family session last fall.  Their family has grown with a new daughter and a new son.  

Last time we saw this family, their Cambridge wedding was a year away. Teachers are a special breed.  I know, I was once one of them.  They value tradition, but aren't ruled by it.  There is consistency and earnestness inherent.  Able to be serious. Ready to have fun. Both bride and groom, as well as a good amount of the wedding guests were teachers.  Just a few of the reasons I enjoyed working with M. and I at their Cambridge wedding.

From the custom converse on the groomsmen (and for the dancing bride) to the vows read from an iphone (so 2011, right?) they owned this wedding day.  Though, the couple's daughter, Frannie, nearly stole the show in her green dress and purple shoes. We made a few portraits in the courtyard at Le Meridien, then onward to the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, where the flowering trees flanked the sunset ceremony in the courtyard.  Strolling reception gave way to dancing, and toasts and cake.

Life is surprises.  M.'s vows began with an acknowledgement of that.  Life is unexpected.  Life is love.

And a special thanks to Douglas Levy for working with me on this one!