It’s a Wonderful Life

Tis the Season to take a step back and reflect on how lucky I am. I have an amazing family, a solid career, and some pretty amazing friends. I thought it was fitting that for our Christmas card this year I chose the phrase

“It’s a Wonderful Life”

This year we had a mini photo session with Luna Signature to get some pictures for our Christmas card. We met with Aleksandra on a Sunday in October and LUCKED out. The weather was gorgeous and the babes were so cooperative! *Mental note to self, 4pm is the ideal time for them!

When I’m planning our outfits I always start with Giada! I had this Matilda Jane Platinum top that I knew I wanted to use. The colors were not traditional Christmas colors, but I thought it could work by adding some red accents!

I love mixing patterns and textures when I’m dressing our family for photos and using a variety of colors!

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What do you think?! I think the colors turned out great and Aleksandra did an amazing job of capturing our little fam!

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For the actual cards themselves I tried a new company and went with Mix Book. I ordered them on a Thursday, chose standard shipping, and they arrived the following Monday. I was SUPER impressed with that turn around time.

Here they are!

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Check out our previous cards!

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Making the Most of Mini-Sessions

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A few weeks back my family had our first ever mini-photo session.  As the name sounds it’s similar to a regular photo session just smaller.  A lot of photographers offer this type of session around the holidays to make the most of their time.  The photographer chooses a location, sets up shop for the day, and schedules photo shoots in short increments.  This seemed like a perfect chance for us to get some photos taken for our Christmas card without breaking the bank!  Like I said before this was our first time doing a “mini” shoot.  I prepared as best as I could, but looking back there are some things I would have done differently. So here goes… my TIPS & TRICKS to making the most of a mini-session.

-Get to your location EARLY!!  We got to ours with just minutes to spare. With a typical photo session you have time for the kids to run around, loosen up, and get comfortable with the photographer.  That’s not the case with a mini session.  We had a total of 30 minutes with our photographer and about 15 of them were spent coaxing my son to smile. See below… this was one of our first shots. NOOOO smiles for these two!

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-Bring a few props!  The photographer we used rented a couch for the day so I knew all the other families getting photos that day \would have the same ones as us.  I brought a mistletoe and we grabbed a branch nearby to add something different to our pics.  Looking back I wish I would have brought an extra blanket to add to our pictures as well!

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-Let your kids hold something.  My kids were definitely stressed that day! We spent forever reasoning with my son and so my daughter became crabby in the meantime.  Luckily the photographer had a “fake” snowball and it was just was my daughter needed to sit still.

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…and a few more for your viewing pleasure!  All photos by Luna Signature Photography. Thanks Aleksandra!

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Finally got him smiling by the end!

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Kids Being Kids… and capturing it!

Fall is upon us and here in Michigan it has shown up fast and furious!  While I am BEYOND excited to be sipping on pumpkin spice lattes while wearing my boots & scarves, I can’t believe how fast another season has come and gone.  When you get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life you don’t realize the changes.  In fact my babes have changed SO much just from the beginning of the Summer to the beginning of Fall.  I mean when summer first started Giada wasn’t even walking yet and now she’s RUNNING!

Pic12As Summer was winding down I knew we needed to get some pictures of these two before yet another season went by.

Pic11I met Adriane from Adriane Baden Photography earlier in the year and I knew she would be perfect to capture these two!

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I threw together some “Fall inspired” get ups and we met Adriane on a weeknight in downtown Rochester.

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Adriane has a little girl of her own so she was really able to relate to the kids and it made the session super laid back and fun!

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  In just about 30 minutes we were able to shoot some pics and be on our way to eating ice cream on a nearby patio! I just loved that I wasn’t trying super hard to get the right poses.  Adriane focused on the kids and just let them goof around!

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Anyone else have babes that seem to change as fast as the seasons?!  Have you documented their changes?

Well, Mom’s in Metro Detroit, you are in LUCK!

Adriane is offering a special to all my readers!! $75 for a quick, simple, and FUN session of your kids just being kids. It’s the perfect price point to capture your babes during this “season” of their childhood!  Meet her someplace local and let the kids run around. She will be sure to capture their personalities!

Pic16I mean, come on. I just about died when I saw the sweetness of this photo.

Thank you so much Adriane, I truly cherish these pics!

Email Adriane for details and be sure to tell her I sent you, you wont regret it!!!!

Macomb County Mini Session Photographer

10 Secrets to planning picture perfect outfits.

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Have you decided to bite the bullet and hire a photographer to take family photos of your family but you are lost on what to dress everyone in?!  It’s not the 1990’s and no you cannot all wear black and white.  Don’t worry, though, because I’d like to think that I am VERY experienced in the art of coordinating family outfits and  I am going to share my secrets with you!

Family photos are an investment.  Personally I feel like time with my babes just FLIES by.  In the blink of an eye they go from newborns, to babies, to toddler, and before we know it they will be grown up!  Once that happens, all we will only have are our memories and PICTURES of the time when they were small.  We try to take photos as a family every 6 months now that the kids are young.  Hiring a professional photographer isn’t cheap so I want to make sure that I get the most out of our bi-annual documentation of our lives.  Meaning we don’t just search the internet for the lowest priced photographer, show up in any old outfit,  cram in 30 minutes of pictures, and call it day.  These pictures are very important to me, so I plan them WELL in advance and take them with a photographer we LOVE and trust.

So here goes.  My 10 secrets to planning the perfect outfits for family photos.

1.  Pick a color scheme with 3 colors and try to mix patterns.  As you can see we are famous for having blue in our photos, but each time we have a 2 other accent colors.

2.  Dress mom and dad pretty neutral that way the kids can change outfits mid photo session and the parents won’t clash.  Same session below kids changed outfits mid shoot.

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3.  Plan who will be holding who ahead of time.  For us I typically hold my daughter since she is smaller and my husband holds my son.  See below my husband has on a mint shirt and my son is in plaid.  If my hubs was holding my daughter (also wearing mint), they would have clashed.  My daughter was in a pattern, so I was plain.

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 4.  Don’t be afraid to add color by using accessories.  Think bowties, hair bows, statement necklaces! Those are all ways to add color!!

5. Plaid shirts for boys!!  They are a nice way to choose a color scheme since there are usually 3 colors in them!  I usually put my son in a plaid shirt and choose complementing colors for my daughter.

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6.  Dress for the season!  Fall colors should be worn in fall, bright colors for summer, etc.  Take advantage of your background and plan accordingly.  For our Fall photos we tried to make use of the changing leaves!

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7. Bring your pets and dress them as well! They are a part of the family and wouldn’t it be great to document your child’s best friend!? My dog is HUGE so I buy him a little boys size medium!

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8.  Hang your outfits up on a neutral back ground and take pictures of the outfits ahead of time.  This way you can see how everything looks together and even ask your friends for their opinions on the color scheme.

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9.  Dress in layers.  That way you can take a layer off to get slightly different looks!

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10.  Look on the internet!!  If you search pinterest for “family photo outfits” you are bound to get SEVERAL results.  You don’t have to plan alone!!

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Happy outfit planning!!

**all photos were taken by our friend Kathy Davies at Kathy Davies Photography

Fall Fun!

Earlier this Fall we had our friend Kathy from http://www.kathydaviesphotography.com/ shoot some family photos of us.  We were armed with a wagon, a ladder, several blankets, changes of clothes, and PLENTY of Fruit by the Foot with hopes of getting some great images.   Per usual Kathy captured some of the best images ever and I am so thankful for her!

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Finding coordinating outfits was quite the task, but I am SO happy with it all came together!  Of course I needed to find a matching hoodie for the doodle! He wears a little boy size 10!

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With all the craziness of our lives these days, I am so glad to have these images of our family.

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Outfits: Mike: Shirt/Mustard Jeans (Kohl’s), Me: Dress (Old Navy) Boots (Kohl’s), Ari: Both Shirts (Target) Jeans (Old Navy) Shoes (Sperrys), Giada: Mustard Dress (Next) Star Dress/Cardigan (Target) Both Headbands (MyLilSweetieBoutique on etsy)