I can hardly believe I’m already sitting down on the last day of the year (and the decade!) to write my most beloved blog post of the year — the “Best Of” 2019! This post takes me an exceptionally long time to compile because I spend hours looking back at each and every session, reviewing all of the best moments from the past year, remembering each family and each story. It is always incredibly hard to choose my top images of the year.
This year, it feels more important than ever to choose the images that truly set me apart as a Boston family photographer. To be quite frank, any photography hobbyist with a good camera, or really any regular person with the latest iPhone, can take a decent photo these days. And as more and more photographers pop up in the Boston area, it feels crucial to express why I am not just good at taking standard family photos.
When you decide to have a photo session with me, you are investing in my years of experience with babies and children, my knowledge of light, my innate sense of composition and my unique point of view. You are investing in ME.
Best Family Photography Boston
The following set of images is not a typical group of well composed, well lit photos of happy people looking into the camera.
Some of these images are split second moments that illuminate the essence of an environment, a season, or a personality, or an emotion.
Some of these images capture subjects in a unique and artistic way.
Some of these images tell beautiful and emotional stories.
All of these images are the ones that set my heart on fire.
These are my top 19 of 2019.
Cara Soulia is a Boston area newborn and family photographer who specializes in capturing her subjects in a unique and beautiful way. See more of Cara’s work on the blog or on Instagram or get in touch to schedule your session in 2020.
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 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.
It’s here! One of the most fantastic, creative, and (if you ask my kids) exciting days of the year. Tomorrow is Halloween.
Like many Boston family photographers, in my house, Halloween is a month-long adventure that culminates with every counter and floor surface needing a good scrubbing. Glue, glitter, guts (pumpkin, of course)… it’s everywhere by the time November 1 rolls around.
Most of it comes from my attempts to help my kids fulfill their creative visions for costumes. You’ve probably heard it too: “This year I want to be… (fill in the blank with something that is going to require a lot more than a quick run to Target).
But, admittedly, when it comes to making Halloween costumes, my family loves getting its hands dirty. Some of the costumes feel like artistic accomplishments, which is quite an achievement considering our busy life.
Scroll down to see some of the Soulia Family Halloween Adventures.
Boston Family Photographers
Five years ago: Super Girl and Spider. I love the nostalgia of this photo, as it represents the time before there were three children in our family. I was pregnant with Charlie when we worked on these costumes. It really feels like it was just yesterday.
Two years later, my little (but growing fast!) Frog, an Old Granny, and Mr. Werewolf entertained everyone. Old Granny received more compliments than I’ve ever witnessed for a costume. We still have the walker! (Here’s hoping neither my husband or I need it too soon).
Last year, an all-time family favorite: Frightening Fiend, Friendly Fireman and Fiesty Bowl of Fruit Loops. These costumes took a whole new level of planning and skill, but it was worth it. The local paper even gave us the Thumbs Up!
And voila! A sneak peek of the 2019 Soulia Crew: my bigger-than-ever Precocious Pirate, Lady Bumblebee, and Mad Scientist. My oldest is in 7th grade and I am well aware that this may be his last year joining on the costume and trick-or-treat fun. Thank goodness I have these images – plus all the others from when I freeze time.
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 scheduling your family’s annual session!
And, no, I’m not saying that to toot my own horn! I’m reacting to the facets of this image that are hopefully speaking to you, too. The joy on the children’s faces, their genuine smiles, their loving bond (evidenced in their holding hands), and the gorgeous scenery that we’re lucky to experience every October in the Boston area.
But it’s actually more than that, and anyone who has been disappointed in a family photo probably (now) knows the most crucial element in capturing the perfect moment: color. And more importantly, colors that coordinate – with each other and the photo setting itself.
See below for more examples of what I mean, then read on for some of my personal tips on How to Dress for Your October Boston Photo Session.
How to Dress for Your October Boston Photo Session
While the essence of an amazing photo is rooted in the expressions and connections of each family member and their interactions, it’s also nice to look great. Here are some tips on how to make that happen:
The most important thing is to be comfortable in what you are wearing. You don’t have to dress fancy to look fantastic. Nothing ruins well, anything, more than an uncomfortable pair of shoes or an itchy sweater. Go casual if you’d like, but feel free to put your boys in jackets to spruce up the look. Don’t worry, they’ll likely still act like boys (see these guys flossing during their session!).
OK, Here are some real tips:
Think about your photo in terms of colors and contrasts. The location is going to offer both. For an October Boston Photo Session, you’re going to see green, orange, reds and yellows in the landscape. In my experience, the clothing colors that work well in Fall foliage include navy, maroon, cream, brown, pink/fuschia, and red. Choose 2-3 complimentary colors maximum and have everyone wear something in that color scheme.
Patterns can be wonderful, but consider them for one member of the family vs. everyone. It’s nice to have one person stand out. One of my clients always put her young daughter in floral dresses for our photo sessions, as it was a great way to add beauty to the image while also getting her child out of her typical play clothes. Alas, this year I photographed the family and her daughter is now 14 (!). She finally put her foot down: No more floral dresses. Moms, get them while you can!
If you celebrate Christmas and send out a Christmas card, red plaids work really well in October and look festive when them season changes to winter.
An October Boston Photo Session can be chilly, so think ahead about ways to incorporate layers and textures into your outfits. Bring accessories, like hats and scarves, if you’d like. If the items blend and fit nicely, they can bring a lot of personality to your images.
Definitely consider how quickly the leaves evolve during the Fall season. Late October/early November is usually the best time to schedule a Boston October Photo Session if you really want bright Fall colors.
But never fear, if you miss the Fall foliage, evergreen photos are also really beautiful. Check out this adorable guy and the family below.
Cara Soulia is a family photographer who offers an October Boston Photo Session for families of all ages.
See more of Cara’s work on the blog or get in touch to find out more about scheduling a session this Fall. Limited dates still available.