Posts in session experience
Featured: Sweet Family Session on the Downtown Mall

Whenever a family reaches out for suggestions about where to have their session, I start by asking them “where do you like to spend time?”

This sweet crew is getting ready to move at the end of the month, so when they started reflecting on what they wanted their photos to really say beyond just looking pretty, they realized that they wanted to capture a piece of the city where they started their family.

  • The brick streets they roamed pushing a stroller with one hand and a gelato in the other.

  • The concert venues they sat cozied up together for date nights.

  • The feeling of love they felt they grew here and the memories they made.

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It's not for everyone, but is it for you?

Time after time, I hear people say - 

"I don't want pictures of myself around the house."

"Photoshoots are just so awkward"

"I’d be self-conscious, I’m not a model, I'm not good enough at posing..."

"I just want one good shot for the Christmas card" 

They look at my photos and they don't understand why everyone's not looking at the camera, or why there's hair in front of the kids face, or someone's head is cropped out of the frame. 

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Your Maternity Session Is Not About Your Bump

Maternity photos used to be unheard of. Now they're trendy. And because of that, there's this huge misconception surrounding maternity sessions - what they're supposed to look like, how you're supposed to dress, ya da ya da ya.

We've been conditioned, slowly but surely, to believe that a maternity session is a right of passage when you get pregnant. We follow this cookie cutter model and curl our hair and buy a new dress and imagine the dreamy, backlit glow.

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Product Spotlight: Storyteller Frame

It's the perfect way to display multiple favorite images in a small footprint. I also love that it provides a place to enjoy those little baby feet or a silly giggle face on the wall as part of a larger story, without committing to a huge full gallery wall. 

These frames are so versatile, which makes them a great choice for transitional young families. 

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What's the difference between Lifestyle and Documentary Photography?

These terms are often used interchangeably, because on a surface level, both are used to describe images that look relaxed and natural. But there's really a lot more to it than that. Let's actually pull these terms apart and break down the difference between a "lifestyle" session and a "documentary" session so you can begin to see and think about what style really suits you best. 

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Favorite Session Locations in Charlottesville

Locations are always one of the first and biggest decisions to make when planning your session, and many clients are surprised to learn that there's a lot more that needs to go into choosing this spot than simply some pretty scenery! In fact, sometimes some of the most "scenic" views make for the worst spots for a full session. And you'd be surprised at the locations hiding right under your feet that may not seem ideal, but given the right conditions and clients, are the perfect fit. 

These locations all provide areas of open shade that make shooting at relatively any time of day a possibility. This is a big one for me because while I would love to shoot in the "golden hour," every time (the 1-2 hour window of magical glowy light before sunset), this is rarely a possibility for families with young kids. I like to think that families appreciate my flexibility and understanding from a parents' perspective. The golden hour often doubles as the witching hour for kids under 4 who typically are eating dinner, getting tired, and going to bed around that time. Confidence that I can make it work whether shooting at 10 in the morning or 3 in the afternoon is must! 


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5 Ways to Sabotage your Family Photoshoot

If you're nervous about your photoshoot, that's understandable -- I won't sugar coat it. You've invested your money into a luxury service and you don't really know what to expect. Moods, weather, the hair color your stylist decides to try out on you... it's all unpredictable. I get it. 

My job, however, is to negate that as much as possible by providing suggestions for how to handle the things you can control and leave the rest up to me with confidence. In 2015, I wrote about 5 ways to Sabotage Your Family Session, but I felt like it could use an update. Some of the advice is the same (cough, #2) but I've also gathered a few new suggestions that rose to the top of the list. With that, here's my current list of the worst things you can do during your family photoshoot.

Seriously, avoid them at all costs. I call them the "session-killers." Proceed with caution. 

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The Tale of Book Ends: Embracing Spontaneity in Life and in Photos

When we moved to Hawaii, we settled in a quiet, beach town called Kailua on Oahu in which I could walk from our tiny apartment a mile in any direction and have the sand and ocean on my feet or a cup of coffee and a bagel in my hand. Upon moving, we quickly became regulars at an adorable coffee shop call Morning Brew and during the week, I would often tote my laptop and photography books there, set up shop at a table by an open window adjacent from the school yard where I wasn't employing my degree, and buckle down on my new education with a cup of chai spiced determination. 


On days when that brand of fuel didn't seem to cut it, I would head next door to another local joint called Book Ends. Boy, did it feed my soul.

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