Tag Archives: north phoenix family photographer

Because They Are Only Little Once | Phoenix Child Photographer

They are only little once.

A reality that plague’s Mama’s everywhere. Maybe they’re a newborn. Maybe they’re turning one. Maybe they’re eight. No matter their age, this is the only time they will ever be exactly as they are.  Tomorrow they’ll be a little older than they are today. This day is a gift. So celebrate it!

Now is the perfect time for photos! No matter what now is. Capturing childhood through photography is near and dear to my mama heart. Not only do I adore working with the tiny humans because they are so pure, unabashed and free, but because it’s doing you, their mama, a HUGE favor. Preserving this moment in time, forever. 

It’s for YOU that I strive to capture your children as authentically and honestly as they are. Because they are only little once.

Milestone child sessions are sweet, sincere and beyond precious. Just me, your tiny human(s) and the great outdoors. Wandering, playing, chasing, laughing. Trust me, you’ll be so glad you did.

There’s still time to book your Spring session before it heats up…EMAIL ME to book your session!

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Baby girl laughing in a field of tall grass

 

PHOTO TIP : How to Look slimmer in Every Photo | Phoenix AZ Portrait Photographer

It doesn’t matter if it’s an iPhone picture or a professional session, looking good in pictures can make or break your day, right?  If you take a selfie that turns out awkward, UGH! You swear off selfies forever, right?! But, if the picture actually turns out good and you like how you look, then you relax, smile and feel pretty dang awesome! I’m sharing another tip for liking how you look in every photo you take!

Tip #1: Turn your body.

We’ve seen the celebrities do it: Slightly turn your body sideways (toward the camera) planting one foot in front of the other. Then point your toe in the direction of the camera and place your weight on your back foot. Facing the lens straight-on usually makes you appear larger, more square. Ladies, next time you take a photo with your honey, snuggle up and use my Belly Button to Hip pose (as seen below).

Tip #2:  Keep Your Chin Up and Out / Use your Tongue

The next time you are in front of a camera, (heck grab your phone camera right now and try this), just push your neck and forehead TOWARD the camera a little bit. This trick will elongate your neck and help to avoid any unflattering chin angles. Because let’s be honest: no one strives for a double chin.  Another way to give the appearance of a thinner face? Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth while smiling – go ahead, give it a try (you’re doing it right now, aren’t you?)

Tip #3:  Be aware of your Arms 

Create intentional space between your arms and your torso rather than squeezing arms against your sides. Placing your hand on your hip or loosely on another person are simple and effective poses that helps create a slimmer more flattering look.

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The Berlew Family

I’ve always been a morning person. I love the freshness of a new morning. I love the promise the day brings. I love the light.

As a photographer, I think I actually (dare I say it out loud) prefer shooting a morning sunrise family session over the traditional evening golden hour session. Everyone is so alert and ready to conquer whatever the day has to offer… even a family photo shoot!

These precious twin brothers and their wonderfully awesome parents met me recently on a chilly (for Phoenix) Sunday morning right at sunrise for their first official family photo session. Baby T (the twin in the blue and green plaid – who mom and dad lovingly called “the Quaker” because of how he was dressed – ha ha!) was stoic and slower to warm than his little bro. Baby B (he actually is the younger of the twins and was given the nickname of “the Amish boy” for their session) who was all smiles and silly faces for the whole sunrise session.

With the gorgeous Phoenix desert as our backdrop, this loving family needed little direction but gave me so much to capture. Their interaction was genuine and beautiful and the warm and beautiful AZ sunrise was truly second to none.

Phoenix family sunrise photoTwin brothers at family sunrise photo session

The KVAM family

Outdoor family sessions should be an experience. Not stressful or something to just “get through”, but an evening spent appreciating the family you have created. Of course I have   tips and ideas for how to prepare for a family session that aims to help alleviate the initial reaction of utter panic and anxiety after booking a family session, but the reality is, it’s a mind set people.

I promise, family photos do not have to be uncomfortable or something you reluctantly bring up to hubby. It may sound like a stretch, but he too could very possibly enjoy family photos! Especially with me. 😉

Your family photo session is a chance for me to capture your family just being together.

My approach to outdoor family sessions is so far from forced and awkward (two of the words I hear dad’s use the most when referring to family photos). Instead of agonizing over coordinated outfits (although a consideration) or the location being of utmost importance, think of your family lifestyle photoshoot more simplistically.

Family photos should not be about forcing the kids (or hubby) to smile… let you objective be to allow me to capture real moments of actual playtime, being silly, snuggling, chatting, exploring together and just enjoying some uninterrupted family time (in front of my camera). Let go of those anxieties and feelings of pressure for perfection. The reality is, THIS is your reality. Embrace imperfection AS perfection and feel your stress levels drop immediately. Oh, and the photos will offer SO much more than a smile. You’ll get emotion, connection and family. Your sweetlife deserves to be captured before this time in your life becomes a distant memory.

A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away. – Eudora Welty

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The KNIFFEN family | North Phoenix Family Desert Photographer

When a family books me for lifestyle family portraits, my main goals are to capture love and connection; if nothing else, a quick glimpse into the essence of what makes that family special and unique.

I do not want my clients to have images that are stiff and uncomfortable (albeit well-dressed) versions of themselves.  I want them to cherish the images that convey a feeling and that bring them back to a fleeting moment in time. When I deliver their gallery, I strive for their response to be “you really captured, US!”

Without a sense of connection I am simply capturing the pose and their outfits.  Perceivable connection gives family photos a human feel, and makes everything contained in them appear genuine and sincere.

Once you give yourself the freedom to go beyond the traditional, stiff and posed family portraits, you not only get images like these that exude emotion and authentic family life moments, but you take the pressure and stress out of looking perfect for family photos.

There are so many reasons I adore natural, lifestyle family portrait sessions but I think the images speak for themselves every time.

Family on a blanket in the desert in Phoenix | Lifestyle Family Photography in PhoenixSibling tickle | Phoenix Lifestyle Family portraitsMom + Dad | Phoenix Lifestyle Family PortraitsBig brother cheesy smile | Phoenix Lifestyle Family PortraitsSibling shot | Phoenix Lifestyle Family PortraitsLittle brother in a Tree | Phoenix Lifestyle Family PortraitsTwins touching noses | Phoenix Lifestyle Family PortraitsUp close twin eskimo kiss | Phoenix Lifestyle Family PortraitsChild Portrait | Phoenix Lifestyle Family PortraitsTwo brothers and a sister | Phoenix Lifestyle Family PortraitsFollow the Leader Family shot | Phoenix Lifestyle Family PortraitsKids skipping away | Phoenix Lifestyle Family Portraits Family Money shot | Phoenix Lifestyle Family PortraitsFamily connection on a blanket | Phoenix Lifestyle Family PortraitsDesert lifestyle family shot | Phoenix Family Photography Freckles and red head little girl up close | Phoenix Lifestyle Family Photographer

The CHAUHAN’s | Urban Phoenix Family Photographer

Hands down, the most rewarding part of my job is that I get to connect with the families I have the honor of photographing. Truth be told, I fall madly in love many of them. By the end of the session I want to take each precious child home with me. No need to be alarmed, I just love kids, I won’t actually take your children. Ha! There is a method to my madness. My connecting to the children is intentional. If I get them on board to play and engage with me, they will interact with mom and dad (in turn, getting mom and dad to relax and enjoy the session) which ultimately results in the most amazing, authentic, real family portraits.

This gorgeous family sprinkles the SweetLife Photography website often as they just exude what I stand for. A connected, loving family that appreciates natural, joyful and authentic family portraiture with the goal of documenting their sweet life just as it is at this moment in their lives. It is my mission to capture that love and mutual adoration they have for each other. I like to think that years from now these adorable siblings will be reminded of their childhood days and see just how much they meant to each other.

I gladly met this crew at the Arizona Science Center in downtown Phoenix for their urban family photo shoot. The contemporary vibe and contrasting styling worked perfectly together. I love that this location provided a ton of variety too!

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The Wolter’s | Scottsdale Family Life Portrait Photographer

Lately, I’ve been really focused on upping my game as family portrait photographer. Workshops, e-courses, tons of continued education because family photography is at the heart of my business. With all my new tactics and freshly cultivated knowledge, I met the stylish Wolter family for their sunrise family photo session at a very popular photo spot in Scottsdale that just so happened to also be special to them because they reside in the same neighborhood. It adds so much more to the session when the location chosen for a family session is meaningful.

It’s one thing to get a gorgeous family in front of my camera and capture great portraits, it’s a total work of art to capture the real emotion and true personality of a family. And that is my goal every time I shoot. I hope you can feel what I felt when I took these images. I hope you can feel the love they have for each other.

I just hope I did them justice.

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7 Tips for How to Prepare for Family Photos

Getting your family photos taken is something that is so exciting, but can turn stressful in a second! You want everyone to look good, behave and enjoy the experience. I’m here to tell you it is absolutely possible… as long as you know how to prepare for a family photo session.

Having been a family photographer for several years now, I am always the one behind the camera instead of in front of it.  So while on vacation a couple summers ago, I decided to have my talented photographer friend, Allison Johnson do a beach family session for us. It was a little different for me to be the subject instead of the photographer. Being in front of the camera taught me a lot about what my clients experience and I wanted to share these 7 tips for how to prepare for your family photos.

Need some help deciding what to wear in your pictures?  Check out my 10 ideas for what to wear for family photos.

How to Prepare for a Family Photo session | Sweetlife Photography

7 Tips for How to Prepare for Family Photos

1. TRUST YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER

Being in front of the camera can be a little nerve wracking! Ok. A LOT nerve wracking – that’s why I’d rather be behind the camera telling people what to do, than to be in front of it. HA! When getting family photos taken, remember that it is natural to feel a little nervous and embarrassed at the beginning of the session.  Everyone feels the same way, it’s normal!  That’s why you (and I!) hire a professional photographer. I will help guide you through the process, make you feel more comfortable and capture sweet moments you didn’t even know were naturally happening – like Allison did for me.

2.  THINK THROUGH YOUR WARDROBE

Many people don’t realize how much their clothing choice affects the style and tone of their photos.  Think about how you want your photos to feel and look, then base your clothing choices around those concepts.  If you are looking for exciting and vibrant images, your clothing choices will probably include bright colored clothing.  For me, I like my photos to match my home decor so that they naturally flow on my walls.  I love light airy images. My home is mostly white, natural colors. So I chose to base our wardrobe around more neutral and light tones.  When in doubt, look around your home for style inspiration.

How to Prepare for a Family Photo session | Sweetlife Photography

3.  SCHEDULE AROUND BEHAVIOR

If you have children, be sure to schedule your session for a time when your children tend to be on their “better” behavior, like after a nap or in the morning.  Scheduling a session during a time when your child normally naps or during a time of day when they are generally more tired isn’t the best idea, as you will be combating behavior throughout your entire session.  Yes, as a photographer, I always love to shoot during golden hour, which is an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset.  But, the reality is…those times of day aren’t always the best for every child.  Think of it this way, if you are going to spend money hiring a photographer and buying new clothes, schedule your session for a time when your children are the happiest.  There is no use spending all of that money and doing all that planning to have cranky kids in your pictures.

How to Prepare for a Family Photo session | Sweetlife Photography

4.  DON’T OVERBOOK YOUR SESSION DAY

On the day of your session, be sure you don’t make too many additional plans.  Keep the day relaxed so you don’t wear out your children nor yourself and so everyone is calm going into the session.  For example, if you have company coming into town and your son has a baseball game the morning of your session, that may put too much distracting stress on your family.  Schedule your photos for a day when you have no additional plans or distractions to ensure that you have plenty of time to get to and from your session.

5.  PLAN TO ARRIVE 15 MINUTES EARLY

There is nothing like traffic or having to turn around because you forgot your daughter’s shoes to put stress on your family before getting family photos taken.  Trust me, the stress of that 5th red light that you hit on the way to your session will show on your face in your pictures.  Plan on arriving 15 minutes before your session to ensure you have plenty of time to travel to your session and relax before it begins.

Arriving early also helps your children because you can walk around the location and get your children comfortable before the camera comes out.  Sometimes children just need to familiarize themselves with their new environment to help encourage comfort and confidence for the photos.  When everyone is relaxed and comfortable, I will have a much easier time capturing natural and honest photos of your family instead of spending time relaxing everyone.

6. BE YOURSELF

Once the camera comes out, be yourself.  And more importantly, let your children be themselves.  Family portraits are all about capturing the honest moments that make up your family.  Let your kids be your kids, silly faces and all.  Trust me, in the years ahead you will be so thankful that I’ve captured your true family instead of a nervous looking deer in the headlights looking family with forced smiles all staring blankly at the camera.  Don’t be intimidated when your kids become lively, I love capturing their personalities! Now, this is all within reason.  By all means, bribe your kids to ensure that they behave themselves. I am not saying a wild pack of monkeys makes great photos, only that a little personality doesn’t hurt.

When in comes to children, their comfort while getting family photos taken is important.  Allow them to bring their favorite stuffed animal or their blankie.  While you may not want this item in every single photo, sometimes a little comfort between shots is all your little one may need to keep them cooperative during the session.

How to Prepare for a Family Photo session | Sweetlife Photography

7.  SMILE.  ALL THE TIME.

As a photographer, I will be the first to tell you that some of my favorite photos I have ever taken of clients are the ones between takes, the candid ones. I will be taking pictures non stop.  When you are in front of my camera, it is fair game!  Make sure you are smiling all the time, you never know when one of those in between moments is going to be your favorite photo.  If you have little ones, let me worry about getting smiles of out them.  There is nothing worse than having a photo of a child that is smiling, only to see the parents both frowning in the picture because they were trying to elicit a smile behind the scenes.  Just keep smiling and allow me to help get the smiles out of your little ones.

How to Prepare for a Family Photo session | Sweetlife Photography

Getting family photos taken is something that is so special. I love that they visually and permanently document a time in my life that otherwise would have been a memory. Remember that the purpose of family photos is to document the here and now, silly faces and all. By keeping these tips for getting your family photos taken in mind, you will help prepare yourself for a wonderful session that will result in beautiful memories framed on the walls of your home.

Be sure to sign up to be on my VIP List to receive exclusive access to Limited Edition mini sessions and tips on how to capture your own sweetlife.  It’s free!

Welcome Baby Cooper

Introducing sweet baby Cooper…

I am an at-home family newborn photographer. Cooper’s mama reached out to me as a referral from another SweetLife family. She was elated to find out that I come to them as she wanted newborn photos that spoke more to their family connection and less about the props and sets of traditional studio newborn photography. Besides, they also have a busy 3 1/2 year old and he too would be more comfortable with photos at home.

Cooper was snuggly and sleepy the whole session. Big bro was a little hesitant to cooperate at first but as I do, I asked him to show me around his room and playroom discussing his favorite toys and how they work. I taught him about “ninja kisses” and by the end of the session, he gladly belly crawled across the floor and delicately smooched his baby brother – blue dum dum in hand, of course (bribes work, parents – we all use them)!

Suffice to say, this at-home family newborn session was a complete success. I captured some priceless moments of a gorgeous family welcoming their tiniest new member.

Welcome to the world baby Cooper! You are so loved. <3

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SweetLife Photography is booking sessions for newborns, maternity, baby and family throughout 2017!
Get in touch for information and availability.