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Telling Outtakes From Family Portrait Sessions

child meltdown family photography session Boston

Last month we had a bunch of family mini sessions in Boston. These are some of my favorite moments from those mini sessions. 

The journalist in me feels the need to keep these gems. Are these the decisive moment?  They just may be. These are the moments that complete the story.  Micro-moments that collectively give a full accounting of who we all are. 

While I understand the desire to have a portrait of your family, and of yourself, to display that shows a calm and peaceful reflection of you all at your best.  I also love these raw emotional moments too. 

Shooting Through the Fuss

toddler squirm Boston family portrait photography

Sometimes clients will grudgingly admit they love the chaos.  Deciding to embrace the chaos seems to be the only way to deal with it.  These clients, like me, enjoy seeing the flip side of family photography.  Life as we experience it.  My family portrait philosophy? Let them cry and wiggle and laugh.  Allow them to experience whatever emotion is coming up - it will pass. And likely quickly.  This is who they are at this point in time.  I can’t change that.  I can be ready for the passing moments of serenity - but truthfully it’s the heightened emotion that I also love.

Let Your Kids Be Themselves In Family Portraits

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It may take a while, and I willing to wait.  When family portraits sessions begin, everyone has usually just gotten out of the car and are ready to get it over with already.  This means your camera gets that exaggerated and forced smile that kids put on whenever a camera, or at this point in technology a phone, is pointed at them.  

forced smile boston family portrait photography

After 15 or so minutes, everyone relaxes and that’s when the natural relaxed real smiles come out.  See this before and after.  Beautiful family - siblings that seemed to genuinely get along.  At the beginning  they look cute.  They are cooperating and smiling and looking at the camera. 15 Minutes, and a little playing in the park later, here they are - I love these later portraits. 

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Telling Your Family Story in Photographs

toddler carefully walking up stairs boston family portrait documentary photography

child meltdown during Boston ma family portrait session

And it isn’t all perfect.  I leave these hilarious outtakes in your gallery - because I hope that you enjoy them too.  I hope that you see these as a record of this specific day, of this time in your life.  The best moments capture you as you are.

motherhood nursing child with family dog on couch boston

Some of my favorite images from newborn sessions are the quiet moments when they are feeding.  Of course there’s the quiet, as nursing is usually preceded by a loud announcement of hunger.  But it’s also an unguarded moment of mother and child.

crying baby family portrait documentary photographer Boston



Boston Family Photographer | Growing Dorchester Family


Our first Boston family mini session took place this past weekend at Turner's Pond in Milton. Seeing the OShea's is always fun! Here are a few of my favorite images from our 2016 shoot of this beautiful and fun-loving family.  I've been proud to photograph them regularly over the past few years as their family has grown.  From our memorable Liberty Hotel maternity shoot to this past weekend's family of four - Looking back at their images is a joyful pleasure. 

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Both of these girls are adorable and love the camera.  As you can see the oldest is a performer.  I was really happy that the rain held off, and we were able to use the beautiful soft afternoon light. I've included a gallery at the end of this post from two years ago so you can see for yourself how much they've changed. 

As you can see from the photos below, we had a great time. I couldn't have asked for a better family to kick off our Boston family mini session for fall 2016.  And it makes me excited for our next mini-sessions, too!

We still have some mini session spots left!

 Milton (10/22)

Brookline (10/29)

Email me to schedule your family's Boston mini session 2016!

Their oldest is such a ham in front of the camera.  She showed off her sparkle nails courtesy of her father's manicurist skills, and twirled in her pink dress.  

boston family photographer

boston family photography

In addition to portraits of each daughter individually, I also wanted to show the relationship between the girls and their parents.  Which is so loving!

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family photography dorchester

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A peek back at their family a few years ago, before their second daughter was born.  

Mini Sessions vs Full Sessions | Boston Family Photography

Fall Portraits in Boston

This morning I had to dig out a sweatshirt to walk the dog.  A sweatshirt! it was a chilly 61 degrees on the waterfront.  It’ll go up to 80 later, as it’s September in Boston and we can't be expected to wear the same thing all day long.  But we all know the change in season is coming.  You can feel and smell the crisp air returning. 

Especially with this beautiful summer weather we’ve enjoyed has lingered into September.  It’s true. School has begun.  Apples are on sale at the grocery.  Pumpkin flavors are appearing at our local cafe. 

Winter is coming.  But not quite yet.  We still have a several weeks of gorgeous New England fall weather. Let’s make the most of it. Let’s make family photos!

Boston Family Portrait Cambridge toddler

Mini Sessions vs Full Sessions

Once or twice I a year I offer mini session promotion.  What’s the difference between a mini session and a regular full session?  And which one is best for you?

boston family portrait photography in home session

Mini sessions are a quick way to capture some of your family dynamic. Do you want a few images to specifically document an event (new family member? Need a holiday card?) or are you on a limited budget this year?  A mini session might be a good option.  Mini sessions are scheduled by the studio at a predetermined location and time.  They are usually around 25 minutes and are booked on a first come, first served basis.  I present you with at least 15 beautiful images from your session in a gallery where you can order your favorite images.  Mini sessions allow Ars Magna clients to book multiple times in the year so you have the beautiful photographic evidence for how fast children grow.  Mini sessions are also a wonderful way for new clients to experience working with me and Ars Magna.

Boston Family photographer newborn siblings

Full sessions are longer and we’ll make a wider variety of images.  You choose the time and the location that works for your family.  We shoot for a longer time, 60-90 minutes, and our full product menu is available for purchase (for things like albums! And canvases!).  A full session is fully customized for you and your family, and we’re able to give you all the attention to detail you need.  

Have a big family, with multiple generations or extended families? Or do you have a big imagination?  Want to create a custom and intricate birth announcement?  This is what full sessions are for.  

Boston Family Portrait Photography sisters

In the Wild vs In The Studio

In or out?

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A client recently told me she and her husband, parents of twin girls, have just embraced the new chaos of their lives. And they love it.  While she liked the studio look, it wasn’t fully reflective of how she wanted to remember this stage of their family.  She opted to have a full session shot at their home.  Do you prefer to be photographed in your own habitat?  Or in the great outdoors?  Or in a place that has special meaning to you? Then you want to be photographed in the ‘wild.’

boston studio family photograpehr

Other clients like the look of a clean studio background, and want a more contained experience.  Environment, the background, gives context to the images.  Studio session can be great to focus on just the subject (something I do a lot with my Modern Glamour work). We have control of the background and the lighting.  There are less distractions and more privacy.  And we aren’t dependent on New England weather.

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Boston environmental family photography

Mini Sessions Fall 2016

In New England, the fall is the top time of year to take outdoor family portraits. Everyone loves the wash of colors, and my cameras are no exception. It is a favorite time of year to gather outside and enjoy time together in our beautiful city.

Ready to get your family together?

Our  Fall 2016 Mini Sessions include

a pdf explaining how to prepare/what to wear/what to bring/what to expect

a 25 minute photo session for your family member (human or animal)

an online gallery with at least 15 beautiful images from your session where you can order your favorite images

Questions?  Just ask!

If you are interested in a family portrait session? Email me here. We can speak by phone to discuss your needs and determine if the full or mini session is the right experience for you.