In a year as hard as 2020 has been, it can be kind of hard to feel thankful. The year started off very rough for my family when my grandmother entered hospice care in January and we lost her in early February. Shortly after, the quarantine started and it seems like it's been a real downhill slope since then. But there have been bright spots this year, and there is still a lot to be thankful for.
Even though I haven't seen much of my family this year, we're all still relatively healthy and most have managed to stay virus-free. My friends and I have managed to stay connected digitally instead of in person, and I'm happy that they're only a text or a FaceTime away. Although this year will be so different than others when it comes to meeting for a Thanksgiving celebration, I look forward to next year when we can hopefully get together without any fear.
Since March I've been staying with my sister Lisa and her family to watch my nephew Seth during the week so my mother who usually watches him won't be exposed to any germs. Even though it means we have to stay six feet from my mom, I'm grateful I get to be with Seth every day and that I'm quarantining with my sister who's my best friend, even if we've been driving each other a little crazy. I'm so thankful I have my girl Gracey here with me. She's the most affectionate and silly little dog and I love her so much.
I'm thankful my business has survived a year that has been the death of many small businesses. I had so many inquiries and reschedules from the lockdown, that I booked up really quickly for the year once I was able to work again. I've worked with so many wonderful clients this year and I also created so much personal work with the downtime I had, which was so invigorating creatively.
We didn't go out much at all this year, even after the final phases of reopening happened. We've been very cautious. But we did go out one day after taking Seth's Christmas and some family photos at Prosser Pines to visit Fink's Country Farm. We thought he'd be overjoyed to see all the animals, but his favorite part was actually the pumpkins. He has a real affinity for them like his Aunt Laura and it was so adorable to see how happy he was running around and patting all the pumpkins in sight. That's a memory I'm thankful for. I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday!
Little Stella is so smiley because this year is her First Christmas! Actually, she's just always smiley because she's a super happy baby. But she was really happy to go with her big sister Addison and her mom Lauren (one of my besties) and dad Mike to Prosser Pines this year for family photos!
Every year there seems to be one spot that get super popular with my clients. One year it was Blydenburgh Park, another year it was Islip Grange. This year it was definitely Prosser Pines in Middle Island. I always give clients a few suggestions based on the kind of backdrop they want, and this spot was the big hit this year. I think maybe because it's in the woods where we can spread out and there aren't a lot of people there, so it turns out to be a good venue for photography in the age of COVID-19.
When we met for this session, the leaves were at their most beautiful I think. The color of the fall foliage was so gorgeous, and the girls did such a good job!
Here are some of my favorite photos from our session!
I've been following Brody on Instagram for a long time. Not only is he super cute but he and his mom Debbie are out there doing a lot of good. Brody is a registered therapy dog. He regularly visits the Stony Brook University Hospital to cheer up the patients there. The kids there especially get a lot of comfort from Brody.
Right now because of the pandemic, Brody and Debbie aren't able to visit the hospital to do their important work and I know that they're definitely missed by all their friends there. They can’t wait to be able to get back into the hospital and bring comfort to people who desperately need it. I really admire what they do and I hope they can get back to their very inspiring work soon!
We met at the Stony Brook duck pond to do these photos. The light was beautiful and my subjects were so sweet. We did some family photos, then some super cute shots of daughter Lauren and her boyfriend and their dog Augustus, all in adorable matching outfits! Then Brody joined in for some solo shots, some portraits with Mom and then a few photos with his dog nephew Auggie!
It was so nice get to know this family and their sweet pups. Check them out on Instagram: @adailydoseofbrody and @augustus_frenchieboy to follow along with these adorable boys!
Here are some of my favorite photos from our session!
Halloween is absolutely my favorite holiday. Even though I couldn't have my annual spooky party this year and the holiday looked a lot different than usual, it was still fun to dress up Seth and Gracey and take some photos. We didn't have even one trick or treater this year, so I'm going to be suffering from a sugar high for the next few weeks while I eat through all the candy!
I bought Gracey's costume waaaay back in May when I saw it on clearance at Target. I loved dinosaurs when I was a kid, so I was excited to dress her up as a little Triceratops. She actually cooperated very well for her photos. There were a good few treats involved! My favorite one is a shot I caught just as she was licking her lips. She looks like a fearsome little beast (which she is sometimes) haha!
Here's my little Gracey girl!
Seth's costume was thrown together a little quicker! My sister Lisa didn't want to spend a bunch of money on a costume he was going to wear once, since we weren't going to bring him trick or treating this year. So she decided to dress him as cousin Eddie from the movie National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, one of her and my brother in law Will's favorite movies. She bought him a robe and a hat, figuring that he could wear both of those again after Halloween! We put him in a pair of rainboots and went up to my studio for a few photos! If you've ever tried to take photos of a toddler in a hat, you know that the first thing they usually want to do is rip it right off their head. But I've found through much trial and error that if you slip that hat on just as you give them something else to hold and take their mind off of it, you'll be able to keep it on a lot longer. We gave him a little cup to hold and it completely distracted him from the hat!
Happy Halloween everyone!
It was great to be back at Barkfield Road in East Northport for another pet portrait mini session event. We've done so many of these events that the owner Carol is now a dear friend to me. She puts so much work into making these events a success and I appreciate everything she does. Go visit her shop in East Northport for her quality products, amazingly decorated dog treats, but most of all her warmth, knowledge and hospitality. You will not regret it and your pup won't either.
We do this event twice a year to benefit the Dotty Fund, which is a charity that helps out with financial assistance for families whose pets need medical treatment. This time was our Valentine's Day theme. We had two backdrops, a white one with red hearts, and a champagne sequin background with a kissing booth sign. The dogs were more than willing to get in the spirit and give plenty of kisses!
Thanks again to Carol, Vicky and all the people who came in to support the Dotty Fund and give their dog a close up!
Here are some of the fuzzy faces I spent time with that day!
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I'm so excited to be heading back to the Barkfield Road pet boutique for a second Valentine's Day event. This is a pared down version of our Christmas mini session event. The sessions are very quick, just 15 minute appointments to get a few great shots of your pup with our Valentine's day setup. The event will be at Barkfield Road in East Northport on Sunday, January 26th from 11am-3pm. On offer will be photo prints in sizes from 4x6 to 8x10, metal ornaments in 2 Valentine's Day styles, and image cubes! The session fee is $25, but that will be waived with purchases over $25.
As always, this event will benefit the charity called the Dotty McMorrow Sandmann Animal Rescue Fund, AKA the Dotty Fund. The fund provides financial assistance to families struggling with a pet's medical bills. It helps them keep the pet cared for at home, so they don't end up in a shelter if their owner is unable to get them the medical attention they need.
Here's all the info about the event!
Call Carol at (631)651-9292 to schedule your session!
Ashly got in touch with me back in the fall with an interesting idea for a session. She wanted to have a calendar made for her mother featuring her mom’s puppy Archie. She wanted photos for each month with Archie posing among seasonal props. Since I’ve done just about every type of holiday photo I can think of and I’m kind of a pack rat, I had just about everything we needed right there in my studio closet. Ashly also had a few props in mind she wanted to bring too, so we were off to the races.
Being a Dane/Pit mix, Archie was only 8 months old when we had our session and he was already 60 lbs! That kind of young age mixed with such a giant body could have been a disaster for a photo session, but Archie was so well-behaved! He had a lot of energy like all dogs do, but I was so impressed at his sit and stay skills for such a young pup. He never had a problem looking my way when I squeaked a toy. He tolerated really well all the things we put on his head or around his neck. He was a little baffled by the Cupid wings we put on him for his Valentine’s Day photo, but he still left them on long enough to get a great shot!
When I dropped off Ashly’s products to her, she was so excited about giving her mom the calendar she made for her. I’m sure she loved it, because it was such a thoughtful gift. I always love when people give the gift of photography because I think it makes it that much more special. I’m sure Ashly’s mom will enjoy the calendar all year long and the photos of her Archie forever.
Here are some of my favorites from our shoot!
Archie was such a handsome and sweet boy and I love how his photos came out. If you follow me on Instagram, I’ll be posting them sporadically throughout the year when all the holidays and milestones that we shot come up!
Book your pup a session today! Email me at email@example.com or call me at (631)256-7476!
Christmas is so much more fun now that I can spoil my nephew Seth. Last year on Christmas he was only 5 months old, so he kind of just sat there while we opened his hefty present pile for him. This year, after practicing at his first birthday in July, he’s going to be an old pro at opening presents! I’m excited to see him enjoy Christmas a little bit more now that he’s a little bigger. He’s still not old enough to quite understand what’s going on so I’m looking forward to next year when he learns about Santa and reindeers and stockings and everything else and can really get excited himself for Christmas.
Much like his newborn photos and his first birthday photos, Seth’s Christmas photos this year were roughly a 3 day affair. We not only had a lot of outfits and backdrops to get through, but it’s also a much different kind of session taking newborn photos as opposed to 17 month old photos. Seth is almost constantly on the move and climbing and running and screaming and laughing and just generally being a crazy person :D It seemed like the only way to get him to smile and look at the camera was for my mother and me to sing the Winnie the Pooh theme song for him. Thankfully I remembered the words!
It was amazing to see the difference from last year’s Christmas photos. He couldn’t sit up by himself then so my brother in law had to hold him up on my vintage sled and then I had to edit him out of the photo later. This year Seth was literally dancing on the same sled, just holding his Gigi’s hand for safety. It was a much quicker Photoshop job this year!
Here they are!
When we were done in the studio, we went downstairs to take a very special photo with Seth’s great grandma. She’s our Mema so we call her Seth’s Great Mema. My mother realized that the two of them, the youngest and oldest in our family, were going to be 1 and 92 this year just like in the Christmas Song. I knew we had to take a nice photo of them together to commemorate it.
And so I’m offering this simple phrase to kids from 1 to 92. Although it’s been said, many times, many ways, Merry Christmas to you!
The last time Lily was in the studio, it was a very different looking scene in there. It was fully decked out in fall decor to celebrate her first birthday in October (hay, hay everywhere, as far as the eye could see!) This time the studio was 100% Christmas. This day was my last in-studio Christmas session of the year, so I was determined to use all the props in there one more time before I had to pack them all away!
First we started with her adorable red flower pattern dress and little red cardigan. Lily was so happy and clapping the whole time, and she really loved to look at the Christmas books I had put out in the studio. I loved how she looked against the sequin backdrop I put up. I feel like it makes her beautiful blue eyes stand out perfectly. We switched to the brown burlap backdrop when she changed into her cute little Santa suit. This girl was the only toddler this whole season who was ok with wearing a Santa hat! Every other kid ripped it off crying, but Lily was happy to wear it as she played with the props and books. She did such a great job!
Here are some of my favorite photos from our session!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (631)256-7476 to book a session!
Meet the Petrellis! Just kidding, they're my friends and they've been all over the blog for years haha. We had a lot of photos to get to this holiday season, so when planning our photo session, mom Diana and I decided we'd do two days in a row to make sure we got everything we needed. The first day we met in Stony Brook for a family session with dad Michael. The next day, Diana and her mom Janet (it's always good to bring a helper!) came with the boys into the studio to get some Christmas photos of just the twins. It's the best of both worlds!
The boys had a lot of fun playing with the props in the studio, and I made sure to save the best for last. Earlier this year, our friend Dina was cleaning house and getting rid of some stuff and she offered me an adorable little red metal fire truck for the studio. I knew this would look great in Christmas photos, and I knew Vincent and Louis would love it. They have a real fascination with anything automotive, like their dad. Remember when we took some of their newborn photos on dad's car and even...in his tires? The day before at our family session, Vincent and Louis made sure to point out every car that went by! Because I knew it would be a big draw and that it would probably distract them if it was in the room the whole time, I stowed the fire truck outside the studio until right at the end of the session. The boys loved taking turns riding on it and it was really adorable!
Here are some of my favorite photos from our double session!
Book your session with me! Email me at email@example.com or call me (631)256-7476.