As the leaves fall in New York...

The change in the weather is such a fun time for us New Yorkers! We love the colors and texture it brings to our landscape, and families love to use this as the backdrop to their annual family photos. Each year I offer Fall Family Mini Sessions in a Queens or Manhattan Park to highlight all those reasons we love this season and give a natural, and stunning backdrop to family photos. This year was no different as I had the honor of capturing this absolutely stunning family for their holiday mini session in Forest Park, Queens.

The moment I saw mom and her lovely family walking towards me on this November morning I knew we were about to make magic. They got the memo! Colors were on point, texture on their outfits really stood out, and their energy was already one that I could tell was fun, energized, and happy. All elements that make my soul sing.

Tricks to getting authentic photos

People always ask for non staged photos, or natural images, but let's be clear, these are absolutely always coached. Most families arrive to their sessions a big uneasy, or nervous, and my job is help make them look carefree and relaxed on the other side of the lens. In the case of this family I didn't have to do much, but we did stage our images so we could capture what was natural to their relationship. This includes finding out how the couple felt about outdoor displays of affection, and how they felt running and playing with the environment around them. The Rivera family was ready and it showed up in their gallery!

A few ways we created these authentic moments included asking mom to speak sweet words to her love in his ear, and have them share an intimate secret that only they could hear. This instantly allows for a moment of fun playfulness that reflects beautifully on camera. I also asked dad if he was ok having his little boy toss leaves at him, and dad was absolutely up for the challenge. Allowing me to see a little boy and his dad have fun, be playful, and create a special moment that they can feel when they look back at their photos. I also had mom and son have a special moment together where they could embrace, snuggle, and exchange sweet smiles so I could capture the beauty that is motherhood.

All of these moments are prompted, but they show as natural because they are. They are your story. I am looking to photograph your family as they are, and I just help get you there with a few key works and ideas. Your family is the true magic!

How often should you schedule a family session?

Annually! Come on! Those little humans you made grow fast, and you are changing each year as well. Don't let those times fly past you without begin able to document your story. Remember, these images are not just for you, they are the legacy of your family story. Take a morning, or an afternoon once a year to get dressed, put on some makeup, do up your hair, and have some fun with your family. You can schedule a private family session that includes all the bells and whistles like makeup and hair, outfits, and more, or you can opt for annual mini session to get fast photos that give you that update to your family gallery you crave.

What is the difference?

Full family sessions last between an hour and 3 hours depending on the package you select. If hair and makeup are a part of your package, like most of my families select, then it is longer because you are on set for an experience that is epic and memorable. Nothing is rushed and everything is planned to the letter to ensure your experience is amazing. Prior to your session I hold a Style Consultation with clients to help guide outfit selections and in many cases select outfits from my Client Closet, my online Amazon list, or I direct clients to companies like Rent the Runway for epic outfit selections that are truly special. These packages include multiple digitals and physical prints in various options.

Mini Sessions are offered in a small quantity throughout the year to give families a quick solution to family photos without too much commitment but with all the professional image quality they desire. In my case, I offer this sessions a few times a year and only a few spots so I can give each family the time they deserve while also keeping the service special. Sessions are typically between 20 and 30 minutes, depending on what is outlined for that specific event, and each family gets a set amount of images.

In both cases you can purchase additional digital images and prints. The experience is still epic. The outcome is still beautiful. Each family is different and your needs are as well. Have a question about which session is best for you? Email me at info@sweetsolphoto and I will be happy to help!

Adorable little boy shyly looks away as his parents share a loving gaze during a photoshoot in Queens New York park.
Bold fall colors surround little boy as he sits on a blanket during Queens family photo session.
Stunning family snuggles on a blanket in the park during their fall family session.