So nice to have Shelly with us on the blog! I’ve been photographing her family for the last three years and they feel like old friends by now. I’ll let her tell you a little more about her session! (first names used with permission)
Please tell us a little bit about your family.
Josh and I have one daughter, Vivian who is 4 years old. We live in Cambridge and first moved to the area in 2010. We left for a few years to live in NYC and then decided to move back. We have put our roots down in Cambridge and love all the fun things it offers. We are actively involved in many outdoor activities like running, biking, kayaking, skating, and skiing. We love to explore parks, museums and live music.
How did you decide that this was the right time to hire a professional photographer? Were you marking a special occasion?
Josh and I are terrible at taking photos when we are doing activities throughout the year. We hate asking people to snap a photo of us when are out and about. This results in very few photos of all of us.
I decided we needed to get family photos each year, otherwise Josh, myself, and Vivian would not have many ways to capture each year. I also wanted to use the opportunity to hit pause on life and allow us to slow down for a moment and enjoy just being photographed. It brings us together as a family.
I love to watch Kate take photos or capture moments between Vivian and Josh or just Vivian on her own. She connects with Vivian so easily.
Was there anything you were nervous or worried about before hiring a photographer? How did you feel afterward?
No, luckily I am the type of person who never worries about trying things. I trust other people testimonials and rather make my own opinions. The testimonials were spot on and so was Kate’s talent.
Any funny stories or interesting happenings during your session?
I think our first session [a few years ago] is the most memorable. It was a very cold November morning and we all had to act like it was 60 degrees out. I still remember how cold our daughter was but she managed to keep a smile on her face. Her hair was so fine that the wind blew it where it would stick straight up. Although it was cold, we had so much fun.
I also have very fond memories of the session we did before my deployment. The moments Kate captured with Vivian and Josh were bittersweet as they would be the last photos with them before I left. Kate captured the best moments of us as a family and some wonderful photos of Vivian enjoying the trees and running along the Museum of Fine Arts. Kate sent me a little photo book that opens up. I took it with me on my deployment and kept it in my backpack at all times. I still keep it on my desk at work. This small action meant so much.
Of all the photos we took, which is your #1 favorite and why?
I have so many favorites. From our last session I absolutely love the close up shots she took of our daughter. This was one of my favorite photos:
How did you plan your family’s clothing?
I always stick to Kate’s wise words of advice. No white and nothing too bright or saturated. I try and keep outfits simple and comfortable. I always like to put Vivian in a sweet age-appropriate simple or classic print. I always choose a dress for her and it is her preference as well. I try to coordinate subtly with Josh. He keeps his outfits simple and comfortable as well (jeans, button down shirt and a blazer). I like to wear dresses or pants and a monotone sweater with very minimal jewelry. I always choose one hue and then work around different shades of light or dark from there.
Vivian’s hair is really fine and likes to fly around in the wind so I usually will put her hair in braids or ponytails so it stays neat and Kate does not have to worry about moving it out of her eyes.
Why did you choose Kate L Photography?
I loved her photos of family’s everything was extremely natural. I am not really a big fan of studio family photos or studio photos of any kind. Her photos had a sense of freedom and life to them.
Where was your session held and why? (any special significance to this spot?)
This year we had our session at North Point Park. No special significance other than it was easy for us to get to. I loved the intimacy of the park. I think we were the only ones there. It was so beautiful when the sun started to set and glistened through the tall grasses.
What was your favorite part of the session?
Kate’s ability to make Vivian, our daughter, smile and laugh. The sessions are so much fun because we not only get to catch up with everything Kate has done in the past year but I love how she makes us all laugh. Kate to me is like an old friend who I am just lucky enough to have as a photographer. She makes us all feel so comfortable and warm. She even makes some of the awkward positions feel comfortable and fun. We always have such a great time and I look forward to each year.
Do you have any advice to other families before their photo session?
- Find the photographer that is right for your family.
- Plan and prepare for your session in advance.
- Make sure you know what you and your family members are wearing and have everything ready so you are not running around the day of photos.
- Do not be late.
- Bring a blanket, water, snacks, wipes, or anything else you or your family may need to keep everyone happy during the session.
How have you used the images from your session, or what are you planning to do with them? How have your family/friends reacted to the images?
I always use our images for our holiday cards. I recently had to use the photos of Vivian for her private school applications. At some point in the near future I will have them all made into photo books so Vivian can have them when she is older.
My family always says I win for the best photos and Christmas Card. I get numerous comments on how wonderful the photos are from friends when I post pictures on social media.