Three Reasons to Book an Extended Family Session

Three Reasons to Book an Extended Family Session

I recently had the opportunity to work with this beautiful family and I couldn’t be happier with their images. Within 90 minutes we had sunshine and rain (and both at the same time), but they were great sports and the show went on! At this session, someone mentioned to me that they had been intending to do an extended family session for a long time, but then never got around to it. They kept saying, “we’ll do it when…” and then that ‘when’ came and went—and the photos didn’t happen. Until this year, when each of the kids pitched in to book a session for their mom for Mother’s Day. Their story is a very common one! But, it got me thinking and I came up with three reasons why it’s a great idea to book an extended family session. Keep reading below to find out what they are!

Photo from an extended family session where the grandparents, their kids, and their grandkids are holding hands and walking toward the camera while smiling.

1. The whole family will have an excuse to get together!

Coordinating schedules can be tough, especially if you have a large family. You may even be able to count on one hand the number of times your parents, siblings and their partners, and your siblings’ kids have all been together. If the last photo you have together is YEARS old, it may be time for an update. After your session is over, you can follow up with other fun plans, like dinner or ice cream!

2. There’s a new addition to the family.

Welcoming a new baby into the family is a great reason to schedule an extended family session. But, this probably shouldn’t happen right away. 😉 Once the parents of the new baby are settled into a routine and feeling up to it, plan a session together and update your family photos to include the newest member! Grandparents LOVE having photos of their grandbabies—but they’re not the only ones! Aunts, uncles, and cousins enjoy looking at photos of the whole family too!

3. If not now, when?

Let’s be honest, there are times in life where “it’s just not a good time”. Many, if not all, of us have uttered that phrase at one point or another. And if it’s really not a good time, fine! Give yourself grace. Sometimes we go through seasons where we just don’t have the capacity to handle more than the bare minimum. But, if you’re not in that place, what’s holding you back? Your kids will only be this age once. You’ll only celebrate your parents’ 40th anniversary once. And so on! It can take lots of planning and coordination to get the whole family together. But it’ll be worth your efforts!

If you’re ready to book your next extended family session (or another type of session), don’t hesitate to reach out! I would be happy to help. 🙂 If you want to get the latest updates and exclusive offers delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for my email list at the bottom of my home page! If you would like to follow along on social media, click on the icons below. Thanks for stopping by!

Tips for Your Pregnancy Announcement Photos

Tips for Your Pregnancy Announcement Photos

Our Story

This is such a fun blog post for me to write because Andrew and I just announced our first pregnancy last month! Keep reading to hear our story and I’ll share some tips for your pregnancy announcement photos. 🙂

We always knew we wanted to have kids, but it was a nebulous idea with no timeline. After realizing that there will never be a perfect time to start a family, we figured we were as ready as we were ever going to be. We decided in February that we would start trying for a baby. But, I knew it was possible we wouldn’t conceive right away.

Infertility is a painful struggle for many. My parents struggled to conceive me and my brother; they tried for a baby for seven years! After undergoing fertility treatments that were unsuccessful, my parents eventually gave up and started considering adoption. Part way through the adoption process, both my mom and dad felt like adoption wasn’t the path for them. So, they put things on hold and decided to wait. After seven long and emotional years, and one miracle later, my mom became pregnant with my brother. After my brother and I were born, my mom was ecstatic to have a third positive pregnancy test. Unfortunately, it was a chemical pregnancy. With that being said, I learned early on that anyone can face the heartbreak of infertility and loss.

In March, I took two pregnancy tests a few days before my period was supposed to start. We had tickets to see Hamilton with my in-laws and they wanted to go out for drinks after. I felt completely normal and expected that the tests would be negative, but just wanted to be sure before going out. So, on a Thursday morning, I took the tests and left them in the bathroom for the required three minutes. I came back to find two pink lines on each one! Even though I knew it was a possibility, I couldn’t believe that we had conceived so quickly! I went on to take several more tests within the next week before I fully accepted it. But, you’ll be glad to know I just had water with dinner after the show. 😉

Two positive pregnancy tests- pregnancy announcement photo.

Fast forward to our pregnancy announcement photos and the tips I have for your session!

There are lots of fun ways to announce that you’re expecting a baby. Being a photographer, I knew that I wanted to announce with photos of us and was excited to include photos of our first ultrasound. At our appointment, I expected to walk away with a few printed photos of our growing baby only to find out that my OB offers digital images and video, but no prints. And if you’re newly pregnant and just had your first ultrasound, you may have just had the same realization (depending on your OB’s policies). But fear not! You can still use your ultrasound images in your pregnancy announcement photos.

There are pros and cons to that model. It’s great that you can save the images on your phone and have them with you wherever you go. And the videos just melted my heart. I watched the baby’s heartbeat and movement over and over again, and that has been such a gift! And let’s not forget the trees that are saved! But, if you’re like me, you may also have been a little disappointed that you didn’t get the classic prints. I had a vision for our baby announcement photos in my head and they included the prints. But, such is life! 🙂 So, to make it easier on myself in the first trimester, I decided to keep it simple and use my phone in the photos instead of worrying about printing the ultrasound images. Now, let’s get down to the tips!

Pregnancy announcement photo with the couple blurred in the background while caught in a kiss and the focus is on the phone they are holding, which shows an ultrasound photo.

1. Think of the props you want to include in your session ahead of time and make sure they are ready to go in a place where you won’t forget them.

The list of props you can use to announce your pregnancy is extensive, but here are several popular ideas: ultrasound photos, pregnancy tests, letter boards, onesies, and baby shoes. You can pick just one of these props, you can pick all of them, or you can pick a few of your own—there are plenty of shots we can get with just a couple of props. The most important part is making sure that the props you pick show up to the session with you!

2. If you use a phone to display your ultrasound photo(s), make sure the screen is not cracked and turn the brightness up to 100%.

While editing can be great for removing small imperfections, like a few specks of dust, it is less likely that I will be able to make your ultrasound photo look like what you saw on the screen at the OB’s office if your phone screen is shattered. During our session, you will also want to make sure that your screen is as bright as it can be, that way we can see a nice, clear picture of baby!

Pregnancy announcement photo with the couple blurred in the background smiling at the camera while the focus is on the phone they are holding which shows an ultrasound photo.

3. If you plan on using a felt letterboard in your pregnancy announcement, run a lint roller over it before your session and be sure to double check your spelling!

Those little pieces of lint and dust likely won’t catch your eye during your photoshoot, but they will show up in the photos. The fewer pieces of dust I need to edit off of the letterboard, the sooner you’ll receive your gallery! 🙂 Also, do a quick check of your spelling before the session and then check again. Some spelling errors are discreet and tough to catch at first!

4. Take a break from the props and get some shots of you and your partner.

And if this isn’t your first baby, include your other child(ren) as well! Soon you will have a new family member to gush over. But in the meantime, document what your life is like now. Even though exciting things are ahead, you don’t want to forget the present moment either.

Whether your pregnancy announcement will be coming up soon, or if it’s still a dream for the future, I hope these tips are helpful! If you are currently searching for a Colorado-based photographer for your pregnancy announcement photos and feel like I may be a good fit, don’t hesitate to reach out! You can send me a message here! If you would like to follow along on social media, click on the icons below to connect with me!

Family Photos at the Lake

Family Photos at the Lake

The water was calm and smooth as glass while the sun cast its golden glow over the lake. In other words, it was the perfect evening for a family photo session in Colorado! I met Jordan in 2021 when I did her first set of family photos. She and her family were such a joy to work with the first time, so I was pleased to hear from her again earlier this year to schedule her second photoshoot. For her first session, we met in Golden where we had beautiful views of the mesas and historic buildings. This time, we picked a location on the water’s edge that was both breathtaking and serene.

Jordan and her son, Degan, have a beautiful bond and their sweet pup, Dilly, completes the trio. Each of them was a dream in front of the camera and they were also an adventurous bunch! This mother and son pair were such great sports getting their feet wet in the ice-cold, late-March water for a couple of shots.

Jordan loves to cook and is also making a difference in others’ lives through human resources, and Degan is a talented musician. Their sweet pup Dilly loves being close to his family and enjoys finding twigs and sticks to chew on! Together they’re taking on the world and it was an honor to capture this moment in their lives on camera.

Looking for your next set of family photos in Colorado? Don’t hesitate to reach out, I would be happy to help! You can follow me on social media by clicking the icons below and you can join my mailing list at the bottom of my home page.

Mini Sessions vs. Full Sessions: Which Is Right for You?

Mini Sessions vs. Full Sessions: Which Is Right for You?

Your favorite, local photographer is offering mini sessions and you can’t decide if you’re going to book a full session or if you’ll book a mini session while they’re available. Below you’ll find advantages of both types of sessions to help you decide which is right for you! (Keep in mind that the offerings mentioned in this blog are what I typically offer at this time, not what other photographers are offering. Offerings vary by photographer.)

Advantages of mini sessions:

Mini sessions typically last 20-30 minutes and you’ll get 7-10 images. You will also only pay a fraction of the full session price! If you’re not looking for an extensive gallery and are on a budget, mini sessions are a great option.

Do you have young kids? If so, mini sessions might be your bread and butter for family photos until they’re a little older. Kids aren’t always thrilled about taking family photos. If you can shorten the experience for them, it could be a win-win situation. You get the photos you want, and they can get back to playing faster. 😉

If we’ve never worked together, mini sessions also give you a chance to see me in action without committing to a full session. You’ll get a glimpse of what a session with me would be like and the photos you get will be your own personal sample of what I deliver.

Advantages of full sessions:

Mini sessions are only offered a couple of times each year (if that). I do not offer mini sessions in my regular packages. So, what does that mean for you? It means that you won’t be able to book the session whenever you want. The dates, times, and location will be announced, and if it doesn’t fit into your schedule, you’ll miss that round of minis. Full sessions can be booked throughout the year in any season, and you’ll have a say in your session location!

What kinds of personalities do your children have? Are they bubbly and outgoing? Or are they quiet and reserved? If your child takes awhile to warm up to other people, you might get better results from a full session. Giving them more time to get to know me will allow us to coax them out of their shell slowly, and hopefully, we’ll get smiles before the sessions is over! 🙂

If you’re looking for a larger gallery with more variety, a full session would be a better option for you. Full sessions range from 60-90 minutes and offer more flexibility. We can walk around the session location to find different backgrounds and have more time for different angles.

Do you want to include your pets in your family photos? Then I would recommend a full session. It can be tough to get animals to look directly at the camera (especially when everyone else is also looking at the camera). The more time we have when it comes to working with animals, the better!

I hope that information helps you decide which type of session is best for you! To book your session, head on over to my ‘Book Me’ page!

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How to Have a Stress-Free Family Mini Session

How to Have a Stress-Free Family Mini Session

From a client point of view, mini sessions can be stressful. You’ve booked a session with a photographer you may not know, and you have a short window of time to get everyone in your family to cooperate. Mini sessions are a whirlwind! It’s your turn to begin your session, then next thing you know, your time is up and the next family is getting set to start. So, the big question is: how do you maximize those minutes in front of the camera and keep your cool? Keep reading to find out how to have a stress-free mini session!

Photo from a mini session where three young girls are sitting on a couch. Behind them, their parents are kissing. The two older girls are covering their eyes while the youngest is looking directly at the camera.

1. Give yourself more time to get ready than you think you need and arrive to your mini session early.

This might seem obvious, but it’s easier said than done. When you’re trying to look your best and help other family members do the same, time can get away from you! Because mini sessions are generally booked back-to-back, and you will likely only have fifteen or twenty minutes for pictures, it’s important that you’re at the session location and ready to go before your time slot begins. If you give yourself and your family plenty of time to get ready, you can give yourself a buffer for travel time to make sure you’re not late for your session if you run into traffic. It’s better to be at the session location waiting to start than to cut into your session time or miss it completely.

2. Don’t stress.

This advice can be impractical and unrealistic sometimes. Your baby might be crying throughout the whole session and there’s nothing you can do to make them stop. This is a classic case of expectations vs. reality. Your session might not go as you had planned, but if you’re stressed, you’ll see it in the photos. The baby usually takes a break from crying and offers a small smile when you’re least expecting it–keep smiling so you’re ready if that moment comes. 😉 They always say, “the days are long, but the years are short”. Or something like that. You won’t have a crying baby forever—hold onto that moment while it lasts, even if it’s not ideal. Just do the best you can to help your child smile and don’t lose your sanity in the process.

3. If your kids are old enough to understand, offer a reward after the session and lay out the timeline.

Some kids enjoy photo sessions, and others hate them. Either way, if they know a treat is coming after the session, they’ll be more likely to cooperate to get their reward. In addition to their reward, let them know how long the session will last. It’s easier for kids to be still and follow instructions when they know it will only be for twenty minutes. If the session seems indefinite to them, they will be less likely to cooperate.

I hope these tips help you rock your next mini session with your family! Follow me on social media for more session tips and keep your eyes on the blog for future content!

Colorado Anniversary Session- Our Story

Welcome to the blog! I thought it would be fun to share a personal story for my first post. Andrew and I just celebrated our third anniversary this month. Keep reading to learn more about us!

Andrew and I met on May 21, 2016 in Colorado. At the time, I was working at a local bridal and tuxedo retailer. Andrew was a groomsmen in a friend’s wedding and they were renting their tuxedos from the store I was working at.

I measured Andrew and another groomsmen for their tuxes, and when it was time for them to sign their contracts and make their payments, Andrew asked if I would be interested in getting a drink with him. As he was a complete stranger, I did not agree right away and I also did not give him my number. Instead, I told him I would consider it if he left his phone number.

I gave him a store business card to write his number on (which I still have) and he asked, “Will it be an issue if I write over this? Do you need any of this information?” To which I responded, with a smile, “No, I work here.”

On May 23, 2016, I texted Andrew on my lunch break and told him I was interested in getting a drink and asked him what his schedule looked like for that week. He texted back, “How about tonight?”

We met at The Schoolhouse Kitchen in Old Town Arvada after we were off work, and that was my last first date. We talked over drinks and hit it off!

We saw each other often after that first date and went on plenty more. Andrew was easy to talk to, funny, and a lot of fun to be around. We officially became “boyfriend and girlfriend” sometime in July, but I don’t remember the exact date because we always say we started dating in May.

We had dated about eight months when we started designing my ring. Andrew’s grandma left a diamond to him, so we just needed to set it in something.

Before we started on the ring, I told Andrew that I wanted to date for at least a year before he proposed. I’m not normally a fast mover in relationships, but I made an exception because Andrew is incredible and I wanted to snatch him up! At one point, I just told him he could propose whenever he wanted. I knew I was going to say yes, so why bother putting those parameters on it?

On March 9, 2017, we had plans to meet Andrew’s parents for dinner. When we were almost to the restaurant, his mom texted saying they had a leak under their sink and were going to be very late. So, Andrew suggested that we go on a drive while we wait for them instead of just waiting in the parking lot.

We ended up driving to Green Mountain where we had a marvelous view of the city lights. We parked and Andrew told me he had binoculars in the trunk if I wanted a better view of the city, which I thought was weird because the point of looking at the lights is seeing the whole landscape, so I figured something was up.

I got out and walked to the trunk, which was filled with LED candles, roses, chocolate kisses, and a sign that read, “Will you marry me?”. Andrew got down on one knee on the asphalt and said a lot of sweet things I can’t recall. I said yes and immediately found out that we weren’t meeting his parents for dinner, but were actually having a picnic.

It was too cold and windy to sit outside, so we ended up having dinner in the car. After dinner, we saw each of our families and ended the night with grocery shopping, because a girl still needs to eat. 😉

We got married on June 2, 2018, three weeks after I graduated college! It was the PERFECT day. The weather was beautiful, we were surrounded by people we love, and we had the time of our lives!

I am so grateful that I met Andrew and had the opportunity to marry him. Being his wife is an honor and one of my life’s greatest joys!

The pictures you see in the blog are from our most recent anniversary. Each year, we do an anniversary session on or near June 2nd to look back on our growth over the years and to hold onto the memories.

Thanks for taking the time to read our story, I hope you enjoyed it! Stay tuned for more!