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!
This may come as a shock, but I do occasionally photograph things other than kids and pets! Every once in a while, it's nice for me to flex other creative muscles and try different types of sessions. I know Sarah, Ethan and Jessica's mom Corinn because she's my dog Gracey's trainer (check her out here). She likes to get a family photo every year, so when she found out I was a photographer, we became each other's clients! This year, the dogs photobombed a little, but I hope next year they properly join us in our shoot! I took a little shot of them as they were watching us do our thing. They're too cute.
It's so much different photographing teenagers than little kids. I don't have to do any of my signature silly sounds or tell any corny jokes at all. As a result, this shoot was over before I knew it! The kids were eager to get to their friends and their video games, so they gave me their beautiful smiles and then went on their merry way! Here are some of my favorite shots from our session!
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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!
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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!
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Dominic came into the studio with his big smiles and stylin’ outfits earlier this month and he absolutely rocked his Christmas photo session! You might remember Dominic’s awesome first birthday shoot at Fink’s Farm back in September, (where I think I had as much fun as he did hanging out at the petting zoo), but this was his first time back in the studio since his newborn photos last year! Dominic was teeny tiny for his first Christmas, so this year he’s big enough to really enjoy himself, especially now that he’s walking!
We started with his fancy red sweater, then his cozy blue sweater, then we ended the session with some comfy Rudolph pajamas. We even tried to get a Santa hat on him, but if you scroll through the slideshow below, I think you'll see how well that turned out :D Of all the toddlers I had in the studio this Christmas season, only one tolerated the Santa hat, the rest were outrageously offended by it! Oh well, a cranky crying face is always just a *teensy* bit funny to me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Here are some of my favorite photos of Dominic's Christmas session!
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I was back at the pet boutique Barkfield Road for pet holiday mini sessions this year! Go visit this wonderful pet store if you’re in East Northport. The owner Carol does the most amazingly decorated dog treats, I’m in awe every time I go there and see them. She even has doggy cakes for birthday and gotcha days, dog cannolis, and so much more. My dog Gracey loves it every time we go in there, because she knows she’s about to get spoiled.
Carol approached me a few years ago with the idea of teaming up for holiday photo mini sessions and she always hosts them to benefit the Dotty Fund, which provides assistance to pet owners when they have a situation arise where they can't help their pet get medical attention. The Dotty Fund provides the means to keep the pet at home instead of ending up in a shelter, separated from the owners who love them so much. Every year we’ve been able to do a little better and better and increase the donation to the Dotty Fund. This year sales from the event contributed to a $450 donation to the fund! Not bad for a day’s work!
This is always a fun event to shoot, because I get to hang out with a bunch of dogs and the sessions are long enough to get to know them a little more than at my library programs. Some of the dogs have come back year after year and it’s always great to see them and their devoted owners.
Here are some of the great photos we got at the event!
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The Camerons and Ryans are some of my oldest clients! My mom Lorraine, a veritable Laura Pea Photography business card dispenser, connected me with both of them, and it turns out there are a lot of connections between the families too! My mom's best friend since the first grade is Emily. Her daughter Erin and son-in-law Tom are my clients. The other client is Robyn. She knows my mom because her husband Patrick worked for my mom at the library years ago! It turns out Erin and Robyn are friends and their daughters go to dance classes together, so all the kids are friends too! Erin's mom Emily was also Robyn's first grade teacher! Like I always say about Long Island: it's a big island, but a small world.
Since they always come to me for Christmas photos, this year they suggested that we do the sessions together! This was my first time doing a simultaneous two family session and I wasn't sure what to expect. What I forgot is that since I've been photographing both families since the kids were in diapers, they're all essentially pros by now. They gave me beautiful smiles and there was no need for silly jokes to get them to have fun. They were effortlessly adorable and they had a blast being able to hang out with their friends while we took photos!
Here are my favorite photos from the session!
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I’ve photographed Evelyn’s family a lot, so big brother Owen and sister Juliette are well used to me snapping away at them. Now that Evelyn has joined the family, it was time for her to get the Laura Pea Photography treatment! I posted their family maternity session a while back, and we did that session just in time because Evelyn was born not that long after! She just couldn’t wait to get in front of my camera, I think!
Evelyn’s mom Nina has a big love for fall like I do, so I had fun gathering up a ton of hay, pumpkins, gourds, flowers, etc. to use for our fall setup. I love how those photos came out! Evelyn was super sleepy and comfortable for our session and we got through tons of outfits, headbands, wraps and more. She did a great job!
Here are my favorites from Evelyn’s newborn session!
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This was my fourth year doing a pet portrait program at the Middle Country Public Library. Every year we’ve put on this program it’s gotten bigger and bigger. This year I photographed 50 pets in 2 hours and had so much fun. We decided to go back to a fall theme, like we did the first year. It was so good to see so many families who’ve come to the program year after year, and to meet a lot of new families too. Some of the dogs that came in were tiny puppies the last time I saw them!
I love being surrounded by animals so these programs are always a really good time. After patrons were done being photographed by me, they went over to the green screen area to get a snapshot done by the library with a digital background of their choice. Due to a battery issue, there was a bit of a line there so I got even more time to hang out with the pups when I was all caught up taking portraits!
Here are the photos from that day!
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Fall is my favorite season and Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I pretty much smile the entire month of October. Seeing the leaves change, going to fall festivals, decorating the porch with a ton of autumn decor, and planning out costumes is just so much fun for me. My fall porch is something I take a lot of pride in, so last year I took photos of Seth, Gracey and Ash out there.
This year, I had a fall set up in the studio for a few sessions, and if you follow my Instagram, you’ll probably have seen my stories about how incredibly messy the bales of hay were! I took some photos of Seth up there, and then we moved out to the porch, taking those messy hay bales with us! Gracey joined us at the end too!
Here are my favorites from that day!
Then a few days later, I took Gracey up in the studio for her close up in her Halloween costume! Again, if you follow my Instagram (or if you know just how crazy I am), it won’t be a surprise to you that I bought a little something to match her while we go trick or treating with Seth and for handing out Halloween candy!
Here is Seth in his actual Halloween costume as an Ewok from Star Wars. It was so hilarious watching him walk around with the oversized belly, he looked like a big teddy bear. It was so sweet. I love this little boy so much.
Follow along with me on Instagram for more Seth and Gracey :) and Happy Halloween!