This is it. This is when I – the photographer who (albeit unwittingly) created the philanthropic project that flooded your in-box and social feeds with the phrase #TheFrontStepsProject – tells you that your #FrontSteps portrait deserves a second take.
Don’t get me wrong! It’s lovely, I’m sure! Funny, maybe? Definitely absolutely and completely memorable, which was the point, right? To capture that moment in isolated time? But does it show the sheer beauty, love and emotions of your family when you’re not in lockdown?
As a Boston family photographer, on behalf of professional photographers everywhere, I’m telling you that now is the time to circle back with your local photographer and schedule a personalized session for this fall or even this winter!
I guarantee the difference between a quick “2 minute click” and a planned session will amaze you. Wait until you see what a truly talented photographer can do.
Boston Family Photographer
#TheFrontStepsProject gave all of us (communities and photographers) a chance to connect in stressful times and do what matters most: Support each other and Give Back to those who need extra help. Together we raised over $3.33 million dollars for local organizations and businesses.
The kind and selfless photographers that I met through the project are, like me, back at work. We’re photographing families, newborns, weddings, gorgeous interiors, and more.
And WOW! The images I see posting in my new network of friends are AMAZING! Trust me, you want to make the time to see what your photographer can really do.
Professional photographers spend years honing their skills. Capturing images that truly shine and tell a story of your family takes a lot more than a few quick minutes.
Oh, and you get more time to prepare. We won’t schedule when your toddler should be napping or in the middle of the workday. You’ll have time to shower and choose outfits. And maybe those deep roots from weeks of quarantine have been fixed or grown out?
With a professional session, you can guarantee your photographer has scouted your chosen location beforehand. Maybe we’ve taken images there before. We know exactly what photographs well and we know when the light is going to be just perfect.
Yes — we know how to snag that perfect holiday photo. In fact, we know how to snag 20 of them so yours doesn’t look like everyone else’s. They’ll make perfect gifts this year.
One of the things I get to see when meeting photographers from across the globe is that I am not alone in aiming to create authentic, stunning images that showcase your family, but also can serve as a form of art.
Sure, we all love the smiling close-ups. Most photographers can make those happen pretty quickly. But, now that we’re spending a LOT more time in our homes, maybe you’re looking to refresh some tired walls? Go for more than just a smile. Many photographers help clients matte, frame and print your images to they look AMAZING in your home (and yes, on that holiday card…).
From photographers everywhere, thank you for supporting your community and small businesses.
Cara Soulia is a Boston area newborn and family photographer who specializes in capturing beautiful, natural and colorful moments in a relaxed and candid way. See more of Cara’s work on her blog or get in touch to find out more about scheduling your session!
Meet Marissa Goldstein. She is the Co-Founder of Rafi Nova, a fair trade textiles company based in Needham, MA that produces face masks, pouches and bags out of ethically sourced materials from Hmong artisans in Southeast Asia.
All Photography by Cara Soulia, Boston Family Photographer
I first met Marissa when her family participated in The Front Steps Project, (a global social mission I co-founded to photograph families on their front steps in exchange for a donation to a local charity). In exchange for her family photo, Marissa made a donation to our GoFundMe to support the community council in our town Needham, MA. But because of Marissa’s dedication to supporting her community, Rafi Nova also made a $1000 donation to our causel! We are so thankful for her generosity. Amazing!!
Not only is a Marissa a powerhouse business woman running a fast growing company in a constantly changing marketplace, she is a wife and amazing mama to TWO sets of twins!! To say she is juggling a lot is an understatement! If you haven’t heard of Rafi Nova before, I encourage you to check out their website and watch the video that so beautifully describes their mission of running a fair trade company and their passion for creating products for adventurous families.
The products Rafi Nova makes are beautiful and practical and their materials are ethically sourced. Their masks are fashionable, super comfortable and are the ONLY ones my family wears! I’m so thrilled to feature Marissa in my “A Mother’s Work” portrait series and to share her inspirational story about how her company began and how it has completely transformed during the pandemic.
Don’t miss the PROMO CODE at the end of this blog post for 15% off Rafi Nova products!
A Mother’s Work: Marissa Goldstein | Founder of Rafi Nova
Rafi Nova Website | Rafi Nova Instagram
Tell me the story of how Rafi Nova was born ( what the name means, your mission, etc) Rafi Nova is a social enterprise on a mission to create products that meet the ever-changing needs of families while connecting global communities. Founded as a fair-trade fashion brand to equip adventurous families with sustainably made travel bags, the company shifted focus to face masks to solve the urgent needs of families and communities. Veterans of sustainable product manufacturing, Co-Founders Marissa and Adam Goldstein named the company after their two sets of twins and travel partners: Raya, Efi, Noa, and Eyva.
You have completely shifted your focus during the pandemic from backpacks to face masks! How did you decide to make this shift and what has it been like to have such a significant change in your business model?
Our business model has always been centered around the idea of helping communities, so when Covid-19 hit, it became very clear to us that there were communities here in the US that we wanted to help. When our 4 year old daughter Eyva came up with the idea to start making masks, we immediately decided to put our resources towards this effort. Of course it has been challenging having to shift our business so drastically, but we are incredibly grateful for the success the masks have had. We have added team members, moved into an office space, sold hundreds of thousands of masks, and donated an equally large number. None of this would have been possible had we not changed our focus, so even though the growth has been staggering, it is also exciting.
Tell me more about how Rafi Nova is donating masks to front line workers during the pandemic. When we first started making masks, frontline workers urgently needed personal protective equipment, so we set up a program where we donated a mask for every purchase made. This was our first step, but we are proud to say we have worked with and donated masks to many other organizations. Since March we have donated over 40,000 masks, and made monetary donations to the NAACP, TransParent, and the ACLU.
What is the most challenging thing about running your own business and raising a family ( TWO sets of twins!!) at the same time and how do you manage it?
The biggest challenge is without a doubt time – there never seem to be enough hours in the day! It can be near impossible to feel like you are doing a good job being both a business owner and a mother, but I have learned that the best solution is to set my expectations low and not be so hard on myself. I manage everything by planning ahead as best as possible, particularly when it comes to my children. I am grateful to have an amazing nanny who stays with the children when both my husband and I are at work, and a spouse who shares the load with me as much as possible. I always try to remind myself that I can’t do everything alone, and that it is okay to need help.
I love that your business is a joint effort between you and your husband (and that you are high school sweethearts!!) What is it like to work with your spouse – the good the bad the ugly 🙂
Yes, it’s true that we are high school sweethearts – we met when we were both just sixteen and have been together for almost 20 years! Being in business with a spouse has many challenges, but it has an equally large number of rewards. Although we work together, we made sure to have defined, separate roles so that we do different things within the company. This works for us, because even though we have very different skill sets and views, we also have complete trust in one another. Something that is a challenge for us is the fact that work can easily become 100% of our time. We do our best to establish boundaries and not talk business at home, but it is definitely hard.
What is one of the best pieces of business advice that someone has given you?
I received the best piece of business advice when I was getting my MBA, and the concept is entrepreneurial thought in action. Essentially this means that you should embrace and confront uncertainty rather than avoid it. It emphasizes smart action over planning, and that you need to move quickly and be able to pivot. This made me realize that while you could spend years planning a perfect business model, you can’t always plan for reality. It taught me to take risks that I could stomach, to be reactive, and to shift my direction if necessary.
I know you in the past you have lived half of each year in Vietnam. What is the best (or hardest? or funniest) thing about traveling abroad with young children?
The best thing about traveling abroad with young children is being able to show them the world. We can show them people who look different from them, foods that they have never tried before, and new ways of transportation. It gave us the opportunity to come out of our comfort zone as parents, and the entire experience taught them so much more than they could have ever learned in a classroom or from a book. The worst thing is literally just having to be on an airplane with them for 24 hours, followed closely by the 24 hours of jet lag once we arrived. But as difficult as those two days are, we always remind ourselves that it is only two days, and that they will be over soon.
I have to ask, what was the first thing you or your husband said when you found out you were having a second set of twins?
When we originally decided to have a third child, we thought that having a single would be easy and allow us to continue on with our lifestyle of travel and adventure. I found out that I was pregnant right before we left Vietnam, and immediately had a strange internal feeling about it being twins despite all the doctors telling me how uncommon it was. When we saw the ultrasound, we knew exactly what it meant and were initially upset. Going from 2 kids to 4 is a huge jump, and we knew that having twins again would be a major challenge. But we quickly felt guilty for being upset, and began to focus on what was really important to us; having two healthy children!
Is there a promo code I can share with my audience for Rafi Nova products?
YES! It’s CARA15
Read more features from the A Mother’s Work series here!
Cara Soulia is a Boston Photographer who specializes in creating beautiful, natural images in a unique and artistic way. See more of Cara’s work here or get in touch to find out more about scheduling a photo session.
Love. Joy. The exhilarating – maybe partly from exhaustion! – feeling that your new child has arrived. There’s nothing like it.
Cementing that feeling through authentic images is what I do. It’s what drives me to my camera every day.
And it’s why I won’t let today’s challenges prevent me from capturing those moments for you. I know how to successfully – and safely – photograph your new family from afar. And I know you’ll adore the results.
Boston Outdoor Newborn Photography
Yes, usually newborn sessions are held indoors. Usually I’m up close to you and your newborn, maybe even a sibling or pet! I used to touch some items, like the beautiful blankets that often arrive as gifts or the adorable stuffed toys that add fun to a photo.
But trust me, none of that close-up positioning or staging is necessary to create images that illustrate the amazing early days after a birth.
Reminiscing about what it was like being pregnant with a baby or about the day a child was born is a conversation that happens time and time again in so many families. Maybe you’ve had it with your grandmother or your parents? I know I have. I was born on December 20th, which was actually a week past my expected due date. My mother loves to tell me how there was “NO WAY she was spending Christmas in the hospital” and so she willed me to finally come into the world just in time to make it home for the holidays. (Thanks Mom for helping me not having a Christmas Day birthday!)
Like so many other major milestones, we remember some details, some emotions, hopefully all the basic facts. But do we remember everything? No. It’s simply not possible. Do we remember what’s important? Hopefully. Often, people remember specifics because they’ve seen them many times. Why?
Because they were photographed.
Boston Baby First Year Photographer
Ask any family that takes the time to host a family photo session and they’ll tell you that it’s worth every dollar. I love hearing from my clients who truly value the chance to reflect on images that capture their family relationships at a once very special moment in time.
But what if you could chronicle time? The trend is increasing. Perhaps you’ve seen some viral social media posts that show a person or child in the same pose many years in a row. Eventually, looking back on the growth and changes is amazing, right? It’s a time capsule of life.
My Belly to Birth and Birth to Birthday packages aim to accomplish these two fantastic photography goals. I want to capture your story in images, and truthfully, a family’s story is told over many days, not just one. And the best part? I do all the work.
I love seeing my clients regularly. Being privy to the way people inherently evolve after the birth of a child is such an honor. I’m grateful that they have confidence in me to document their experience of creating a family. Like every single one of my photo sessions, I’m present behind the scenes. I’m quietly snapping images. I don’t care if you showered, dressed fancy, or cleaned the dishes.
I’m here for you.
One year later…..
Interested in more details?
Belly to Birth Photo Package
Belly to Birth includes a maternity photo session at the location of your choice plus a newborn session at your home after the baby arrives.
Birth to Birthday Photo Package
Birth to Birthday can be done with either two (newborn and 12 months) or three (newborn, ~6 months and 12 months) sessions.
With any package, you have the choice to purchase:
- all the digital files
- a gorgeous, high-quality photo album
Contact me so we can talk more!
Cara Soulia is a Boston family photographer who specializes in creating beautiful, emotional images of your family’s story. Click here to see recent newborn sessions or get in touch to find out more about scheduling a session for your family.