I feel your panic.
The holidays are barely two weeks away and you’re scrambling for meaningful gifts for your loved ones. And I’m not talking gifts for the kids. They’re probably letting you know exactly what they’re hoping for, right?
I’m talking about the grandparents, godparents, special aunts and uncles — maybe even your spouse? The people you adore dearly but who are tough to buy for and, all too often, you ultimately give them a random bottle of wine or new slippers, right?
I’m here to help.
Photo gifts may seem trite. If you agree, chances are the photo gifts you’ve given or received haven’t been printed with quality printing, framed professionally or presented as part of a gorgeous album.
Lifelong images – the kind you give to family and hope they’ll display and treasure for a lifetime – are more than just photos snapped, printed at CVS, and tossed in a cheap frame. In fact, the worst thing you can do is invest your time and hundreds of dollars in a professional photographer and then print your photos at the local drugstore. Stop right there, if that’s your plan. Read on for better ideas.
Maybe giving photo gifts is already one of your go-to ideas. Fantastic! If so, or if you’re reading this with heightened anticipation that I am thisclose to solving all your holiday woes and worries, here are some tips on the ways I turn digital images into a gift that sparkles with joy.
- Blurb.com: If you’re looking for a do-it-yourself photo book or album, please look at Blurb. I use them for my own family snapshot album every year. They have a fantastic array of options and the quality is superb. You won’t be disappointed.
- mpix: The highest quality image prints are at mpix.com. Take a few seconds and check them out if you’re looking to print images for framing or on a canvas.
- Me! I’ll do the work for you. If you’re tight on time and want to make sure your images are printed with love and quality, I share your goal. Here are the details:
… Orders for Canvas and Framed Prints need to be placed by 12/10 for regular shipping and 12/12 with expedited shipping ($25).
… Orders for Prints need to be placed by 12/12 for regular shipping and 12/14 with expedited shipping ($25).
… Orders for Coffee Table Albums, my most popular product after digitals, order by Dec 15th. Gifting someone a photo album is so special, because it can be personalized. I do all the design, including a custom layout. Clients can include text and quotes, as well as a letter to the recipient. Sizes available are: 8×8, 10×10, and 12×12. Each starts at 10 spreads/20 pages and includes about 30-40 images. I offer a variety of covers to choose from.
Send me an email or give me a call ASAP to inquire about ordering any products in time for the holidays!!
Cara Soulia is a Boston Family Photographer who specializes in capturing real and beautiful moments in a unique and artistic way. Get in touch to inquire about ordering your holiday gift!!
Because I, too, have three children (the youngest still just four years old), I find that I have a lot in common with many of my clients. While we have different careers or live in different areas of Boston, we’re also somewhere within a 15 year age range of just starting to build a family and sending one (or more) off to college.
One thing we all agree on: Time flies. Fast.
One characteristic that differs between many, however, is the location of extended family. Many of my clients do not have grandparents and cousins down the street or within a quick drive. And many families make a commitment every year to get together for a holiday, celebration or vacation, which creates connections between individuals of all ages.
For these moments, I encourage you to consider an extended family photo session.
Boston Extended Family Photographer
Just over a year ago I had the pleasure of photographing an extended family at the Arnold Arboretum. The mother and her husband had both recently lost their fathers and they realized how important it was to get some photos with their children and their grandmothers.
The images of that session are lovely, of course, but they’re more than just pretty pictures. Images of your extended family provide your children with context of their family beyond themselves. In this age of fast-and-furious iPhone snaps that rarely get printed, images from a family session become precious visible and tangible items that help tell a story of many generations.
Consider these two images below. No, they are not cliche posed images of a grandchild with grandparents (or, dad and grandad). They are moments between family members who love each other. An extended family session can be more than simple posed photos. Let it be a chance to capture your relationships. Someday your children will look at these images and literally feel the love in them.
Images from an extended family session are a gift, really.
Whether your children’s grandparents and extended family live close by or not, everyone’s lives can be busy. Taking an hour to photograph your children with their family is a gift they didn’t even realize they wanted.
And that’s my point. While a traditional family photo session consists of parents with a child or siblings, the resulting images are a treasure for the parents, true?
Consider extended family photos a gift for your children. The reality is that the family in those photos may not be as consistently present as parents. The cousins might not be at every birthday or holiday. In thirty years when your child starts to reflect on life, finding images of early childhood – complete with faces of many family members – will be a treasure.
I love extended family sessions because it’s fantastic and fun to see the energy that other family members bring to each other. Capturing joy and relationships between family members of all ages is an opportunity not to miss, but it does require advance planning.
Preparation is Key
I always schedule a phone consultation so I can be sure to understand the ultimate goal of the session and any family dynamics. A family member can be aging and unsteady, or ill, or a child is “a runner”. Keeping a large group organized – but relaxed and happy – during an extended session is my priority.
I also ask families for a list of “must have” images ahead of time so I can plan accordingly. It’s good to know it’s important for a family to have a picture of Dad and Grandchild #3, because he is his namesake.
I scout the location ahead of time so I understand the light at the time of day. It’s also important that I make sure there is somewhere to sit so we can create images that bring each person close vs. all standing in one line. (I have been known to bring my own chairs to ensure everyone is comfortable!).
On the day of the session, we have some fun and we do some work. Yes, I will make sure to take many full family photos, but I’m also aiming to capture a lot of in-between moments of joy.
And of course, I won’t forget the cousins…
Or some images of just your parents. You’ll be glad I did.
Cara Soulia is a Boston Extended Family Photographer who loves capturing the creative, sweet and fun side of every family. Get in touch to find out about scheduling a Boston Extended Family Session in 2020.
The birth of a new baby is so spectacular and life-changing at once. Being asked to share in the early joy of a new or growing family is truly one of the top reasons I adore being a newborn photographer.
Many clients aren’t sure that they’re ready for a newborn session within the early post-birth weeks. Only you can decide what works for your family, but I can assure you that preparing for a newborn session with me is simple. I’ve had three children myself, so I know first-hand what you’re experiencing. My goal is to capture your new life as it’s unfolding, every part of it. And I promise – whether you prepare or not – the images will be lovely and become lifelong treasures.
A newborn session usually lasts about 1.5 hours. Read on for more ways that you can prepare for your newborn session.
Boston Newborn Photographers
A newborn session is usually held sometime between Week 1 and Week 8. The session happens right in your home and usually takes place mid-morning. I know your baby is likely not on a schedule yet. I’m very flexible with how we use the time. If your baby does wake shortly before I come, please feel free to take the time for a feeding. A full belly will likely ensure a happy baby and fewer breaks.
But, trust me, breaks are fine. In fact, we can work a feeding into your images.
Keep the temperature in your house warm, especially in the summer if you have central air conditioning. If you’d like, we’ll take some photos of your baby in his/her diaper, or even naked, and the room should be warm in the room so baby is comfortable.
Don’t worry about cleaning the house for me. I will take a quick tour of your home when I arrive and choose a few places with beautiful light. I will do some simple decluttering to prepare for gorgeous images.
Feel free to think ahead about personal items you might like to include, such as a knitted blanket, hat or a special doll. I love to incorporate items from the family or the home as they make the images much more personal.
Relax and be yourselves. I’m here to photograph your real life. Newborn sessions are all about capturing how your life looks at this moment in time. I’m not coming to take perfectly staged photos or family portraits. Interaction is encouraged! (Yes! That means it’s perfectly fine if siblings are still in pajamas and bouncing around with excitement!).
Oh, and I love pets, too.
Cara Soulia is a Boston Newborn Photographer who loves capturing the creative, sweet and fun side of every family. Get in touch to find out more about newborn and family sessions this winter.
The place you’ve chosen to spend the most important hours and minutes of your days, with people who matter the most.
While I love photographing families outside in the gorgeous seasons we experience in Boston, in-home sessions really are a favorite. Home is where your family becomes, well, a family. Photographing life together – in that home – is perhaps the perfect way to freeze time.
Read on for Five Reasons Why You *Need* an At-Home Photo Session. Keep an eye out at the end for a special offer for families who Book Now for 2020.
Family Photographers Boston
Reason #1: You kids will sit still. On the steps. Maybe.
Or, maybe not. But sitting still is never the goal in any of my family sessions. And with in-home sessions, I aim to photograph your life as it exists day-to-day. Your environment, complete with the basics (like the front steps), and the emotions that percolate day in and day out. I am here to capture it all.
Reason #2: Peace. Pure peace. OK, some peace.
Any parent knows that life at home can be chaos. So, I can understand why you might think: No Way. We need to get out of the house for our photo session. And you hunt for family photographers in Boston who will host a session at the perfect location.
I encourage you to think differently. Home is where you’re in your element… where your true personas emerge… where you can relax and be yourselves. No need to dress and futz, then drive to the photo location, maneuver for a parking spot and make your way to our meeting place. This can take a lot out of a family! Instead, let your children stay in the place they’re most comfortable. Let’s capture images of their happiness in that sacred space.
Reason #3: I let kids be kids.
Chances are you have a long list of in-home activities that your child is always doing: reading books, drawing, singing with a pretend microphone, “learning to play guitar” (yowza!), cooking and more. Jumping on the bed? Sure!
During an in-home session, I want to see your children living their lives. You’ll want to look back on those images one day, too.
Reason #4: You can include *every* family pet.
I’ve met a lot of friendly dogs in family photo sessions, but despite their popularity, I hear a lot of children ask: Why couldn’t fill-in-the-blank pet also come? Seems cats, turtles, birds and guinea pigs aren’t as portable as the family dog. But why leave them out? If they’re part of the family at this moment in time, the image is worth the memory.
Reason #5: The weather doesn’t matter (except when it works in your favor).
It happens. I sometimes have to reschedule a photo session because of poor weather. But, with an in-home session, we’re guaranteed success. If the weather is good, you can trust I’ll get your family outside on those steps, for a game, or more.
(I’ll probably even do it in the snow or rain, because who doesn’t love a fun snowball fight or dance in the rain, right?)
BONUS REASON: You’re going to feel like This Guy.
Why? Because an in-home photo session is easy breezy.
All you need to do is caffeinate. If that’s your thing.
Please don’t clean your house for me. I will tidy up where necessary. And, sometimes a bit of clutter is nice, because it is part of your real life. Isn’t that the point?
SPECIAL OFFER: Book now for Winter 2020 and mention this blog post for $50 off the booking fee. Share this post on Instagram or Facebook for an additional $25 off.
Cara Soulia is a Boston Family Photographer who loves capturing the creative, sweet and fun side of every family. Get in touch to find out more about in-home family sessions this winter.
One of the perks of my amazing job as a family photographer is that I am never too far from the welcoming of a newborn.
Is there anything better than the glow that is ever-present on a new parent’s face the days, weeks and early months following the birth of a child? Is there anything better than walking into someone’s home and being embraced into the pure joy they’re experiencing?
I am so fortunate to witness so many magical moments between spouses, partners, siblings and, yes, even pets.
Joining this Jamaica Plain family just six days after Oliver, their second son, was born, was just that: Magical.
Jamaica Plain Newborn Photos
Clients often ask me: When is the best time to schedule a newborn session?
There is no exact “right time” to photograph your new child and family. Timing decisions should begin with the physical comfort of the family. Childbirth – and the days that immediately follow – is different for everyone.
From my experience, the earlier the newborn photo session, the sleepier the baby. If you’re looking for images that truly capture the earliest characteristics of your newborn and family after his/her arrival, you can expect images taken very soon thereafter to be of a sleepy (and beautifully peaceful) baby. However, as anyone will tell you, babies are unpredictable, and yours could certainly show some alertness during the session, but it’s not as likely.
Oliver’s parents found me because I photographed their son Eli during the school photo session at his preschool, The Mosaic School in Roslindale. I loved arriving for our session knowing that I already had a rapport with Eli. He remembered me as the silly lady who came to school “with all her Paw Patrol assistants with her to help her take photos”. Eli was 3.5 at the time of the session and super excited about the arrival of his baby brother.
I share images like Oliver’s Jamaica Plain Newborn Photos on my blog to showcase my approach for anyone considering a newborn session. I hope you notice the intent behind every single one of these images: to capture your family in its element. I’m aiming to document your lives in the very moment: your emotions, connections, environment and more. I’m not coming to snap a pretty picture of a posing family.
In fact, I’ve yet to meet a brand new parent with the energy to pose! Just be yourself. I promise the images will capture this part of your journey perfectly.
Cara Soulia is a Boston Family Photographer who loves capturing the creative, sweet and fun side of every family. Get in touch to find out more about newborn and family sessions this winter.