Somerville Winter Fashion + Style Photography | Fashion On The 4th Floor, Chapter One

Somerville Winter Fashion + Style Photography | Fashion On The 4th Floor, Chapter One

If you have looked around at other fashion bloggers and felt like you can't connect that well with their sweet and girly style, please go visit Fashion On The 4th Floor! Although the name is a reference to Diane starting her blogging journey later in life, age is truly irrelevant in this case.  I would gladly throw any outfit on my body that Diane put together—she does bold, edgy, tomboyish and sophisticated all rolled into one SO well!

Read More

Wholehearted | Failure

Wholehearted | Failure

At one point when I was talking with someone recently, I said "I don't even think about failure anymore." To be honest, I hadn't even realized that until I said it out loud, but it's true! This year I have learned to give myself so much space to be, and this is one of the ways it's paid off. It was such an unexpected relief to say this out loud, and have a reminder that life is all a process. 

Read More

Arlington Autumn Small Business Portrait Photography | Musician and Composer Ruth Shyu

Arlington Autumn Small Business Portrait Photography | Musician and Composer Ruth Shyu

I've created portraits for several entrepreneurs, professionals and musicians lately, and usually they're about my age in their 20s or 30s. Often, their careers or new businesses are still fairly young and they're trying lots of new things and dreaming big. Everything is new and exciting (and often scary)! Working with Ruth was different in a very cool way because she's so full of experiences, having moved across the country and put in years of hard work honing her craft, building her skills, and being her own boss. She's faced and overcome some significant obstacles over the years, so I really cherished my time with her and the opportunity to hear her stories, while talking about what it means to be creative for a living.

This was just another example for me of why it's SO important as a creative person and/or entrepreneur to be in community with other creatives and entrepreneurs! The support we can offer each other and the special ways we can lift each other up are priceless. 

Read More

A Special Event for the Animal Rescue League of Boston—Dec. 2nd!

A Special Event for the Animal Rescue League of Boston—Dec. 2nd!

If you have a couple free hours on Dec. 2nd, then come out to Boston to mingle, sip some wine, and enter a raffle for awesome prizes! If you have a dog at home, bring them out with you to have me take their holiday photo (doggy hats and antlers will be involved)! Tickets are only $10, and proceeds will go to support the Animal Rescue League of Boston. ARL Boston rescues domesticated animals and wildlife from suffering, cruelty, abandonment and neglect. They receive no public funding and rely solely on the generosity of individuals like yourself to help animals in need. 

Read More

Collaboration with City Sports

Collaboration with City Sports

If you follow me on Instagram, you might remember that I've posted a few photos here and there in reference to my work with City Sports. And, if you've been following the brand in the news lately, you might also know that the company and all of its stores (spanning 6 states) are being liquidated as of just 11 days ago.

I have to say that this whole chapter of my life has come as a pleasant surprise that I'm now very grateful for. I never thought I would ever do product photography, much less for an athletic company (I care about being healthy, but I doubt I could ever call myself athleticI'm a yoga 1-2 times per week kinda girl). Little did I know that product lay downs could be done creatively and tastefully! Thanks to the help of the apparel buyers, graphic designers and merchandisers in the corporate office, I got to do some unique product photography for some of the City Sports emails, social media posts and store signage. I love that it was always a collaborative effort that brought in many people's visual perspectives. Today, I want to share a lineup of some of my favorite images I took for City Sports, partly as a way to bid farewell to this chapter of life and work.

Read More

Charles River Esplanade Professional Portrait Photography | Andrea Schroll

Charles River Esplanade Professional Portrait Photography | Andrea Schroll

Let me first open this post by saying social media is really cool, but for reasons that have recently surprised me! It can be too easy to get sucked into aimlessly scrolling through Facebook's or Instagram's feeds (speaking for myself here!), but with intention, the power of social media can totally be put to greater use! 

I discovered this firsthand recently when Andrea and I connected in a Facebook group. I had put out an "open call" to other entrepreneurs and small business owners, just looking to make some friendly connections with other people who share similar values in life and business. Andrea responded to my post online, and we ended up chatting over coffee for a couple hours soon after! It was so exciting to meet another woman at a similar place in her business, and get to talk about business and life in general with her! I didn't expect to book any photo sessions from a little Facebook post, but as we sat talking, Andrea told me she wanted new professional photography to use for her business. I couldn't wait to plan this session for her and bring fresh, personalized imagery to her brand!

Read More

Squantum Point Park Senior Portrait Session

Squantum Point Park Senior Portrait Session

When I was first chatting with J's mother on the phone about scheduling his senior portrait session, I think I was told at least three times, "Oh, he's a very no-nonsense kind of guy." In this case, "no-nonsense" apparently means being an amazingly easy going portrait subject! J knows what he does and doesn't want ("Yeah, let's not shoot by the giant rusty piece of metal...") but was also down to try a bunch of my creative ideas. I have to say, this is the perfect combo when it comes to portrait sessions! This guy even sat on a big (possibly dirty) piece of driftwood in his khakis for me (and for the record, I offered my own blanket for him to sit on)! Our time at Squantum Point Park was everything I could have hoped for, and I think J and his mom and sister would agree!

Read More

Personal Style | High-Top Black Sneakers

Personal Style | High-Top Black Sneakers

If you know me outside the internet, you know I wear a lot of black. It's been my go-to color for over a decade, and you know what that means: Black never goes out of style! It's easy to match with nearly everything, and looks flattering on everyone I know. It can be unassuming, but can still contain so much depth through texture. I tend to wear wardrobe basics in black with one or two pieces of an outfit in an accent color (usually blue or red). Lately however, as the days have gotten colder, this has led to a predicament in my shoe collection.

Read More

Why The Chilly Months Are The Perfect Time For A Day In The Life Family Session

Why The Chilly Months Are The Perfect Time For A Day In The Life Family Session

In her usual way, Ruby let out a mischievous giggle after spilling a pile of flour on the countertop. She peered over her shoulder to see if her mom thought it was funny too, and mom gave her a smile and raised eyebrow that said, "You know you're cleaning that up, right?" After wiping off the counter and washing her hands, Ruby returned to the mixer. Coming up behind her, Ruby's mother cupped her daughter's head in her hands and gave her a kiss on the crown. It was the kind that can only say, "I love you to the moon and back, even with all your crazy silliness."

It's moments like these that can't be scripted or posed. This is real life. Sometimes life gets messy, but there's no story without a little mess. These are the things that bond families together. No other family has a story like yours, and that's why I really believe in the value of these photographs. 

Read More

Work-Life Balance | Information Overload

Work-Life Balance | Information Overload

I'll admit it: Sometimes I'm thorough to a fault. I'm a research nut. If I could read articles and learn new things all day, I probably would. So, when I decided to take the plunge and officially call my freelance photography work My Business, I was pretty pumped that this weird research habit of mine could be put to good use. Adopting the title of Entrepreneur opened up a whole new world of things to learn and skills to hone that I couldn't wait to take on! 

You can probably guess what came next…my email starting to fill up with hundreds of daily newsletters, my desk becoming more and more covered by paper lists of "things to look into," and my mind becoming tired and spacey after hours of staring at a screen. 

Can you relate to always feeling like there's "more," and not wanting to step away from your computer or phone screen for fear of missing something important?

If so, maybe it's time to ask: What am I doing about this to get closer to a healthy balance of work and life, and limit my screen time so I can be more present in the world around me?

Read More

Adventures in Maine | Part Two

Adventures in Maine | Part Two

I'm excited to share the last two big sites we saw in the second half of the week, because I would recommend both of them! You might notice we spent a LOT of time in Acadia, and that's because it's huge (and really pretty)! It's much larger than I realized, and we could have probably spent our entire week here seeing different landmarks and hiking trails. 

Read More

Adventures in Maine | Part One

Adventures in Maine | Part One

When I first discovered photography, my camera came with me almost everywhere, and I would explore and experiment with it non-stop. I feel so happy and refreshed to have gotten back in that headspace. I loved being in the moment with my craft and my favorite man in these beautiful landscapes. But, what's even more special is knowing that as a family, Andy and I will have these photos forever to remember this time in our lives, and the wonderful places we've been together. In this digital age, our lives seem to fly by so fast, and it's so easy to get pulled away from staying present with those we love. For me personally, these photos, and the trip itself, are a wonderful reminder to keep coming back to what's important.

Read More

Getting Camera-Ready | Skincare

Getting Camera-Ready | Skincare

Today I'm writing for those of you who have had the thought this summer, "Oh yeaaaahhh…I need to get photos taken." It seems like I hear that comment every week! Whether you're thinking of headshots for that company publication or your LinkedIn profile, or of family portraits with your kiddo who has only had cellphone snapshots taken of them past newborn age, or of photography to market and boost the image of your blog or small business, this post is for you. Read along to learn about one major way you can get camera-ready!

I'll be honest: sometimes I majorly think ahead. I'll plan details for events that are coming up days or weeks ahead, and sometimes overlook those same details when the event arrives because I'm thinking even further ahead by that point! I annoy even myself with this habit sometimes, and I'm doing my best in this phase of life to slow down and be more present! However, I decided today to leverage my habit for planning details and share the spoils with you all! These are some tips I would give to any client who has an upcoming portrait session with me. 

Read More

Boston Summer Lifestyle + Professional Portrait Photography | Mary Casiello

Boston Summer Lifestyle + Professional Portrait Photography | Mary Casiello

Today, I'll be honest, I'm pretty psyched to share this portrait session with you. Partly because my portrait subject, Mary, and I both love how the photos turned out, and partly because this day was a really awesome one.

It all started two months after Mary's Day In The Life session with her family, when she got in touch with me again to say she was looking to get some updated photography for her website, and for posters advertising her musical performances. Let's just say I was totally thrilled to hear that!

Mary was a TOTAL trooper on this hot and sweaty August morning! We enjoyed our time taking a stroll around Larz Anderson Park and stopping where the scenery and the light looked inviting, and it made a great opportunity to catch up too!

Read More

Getting Organized: The Passion Planner

Getting Organized: The Passion Planner

I often have times in my business when I feel like my to-do list of things to tackle is SO long, and each thing is so big, I don't even know where to start. When I begin going down that thought path, you better believe I get a lot less productive! It becomes so much easier to put things off that just feel like "too much for today." I have really felt the need lately to get more organized and more focused in my work, and just haven't been happy with my level of productivity. I knew I'm capable of doing so much more and utilizing each day to the fullness of its potential. I could FEEL the potential in myself and my time, but didn't know how to get there!

 

So then I thought, "What if I tried using a planner again?"

Read More

Moving House and Creating A Home | Boston Day In The Life / Professional Portrait Photography Testimonials

Moving House and Creating A Home | Boston Day In The Life / Professional Portrait Photography Testimonials

Disclaimer: I try to keep my personal "Wholehearted" posts separate from my photography-specific posts, but today's post is a little blending of the two…because sometimes, personal life and work life blend a little, and I think that's ok. So here's what I've been up to:

Andy and I spent the entire week the last week of July piling boxes in our car and taking trips to our lovely new apartment, all while sweating our faces off! It was an exhausting week, but waking up to my favorite person in a space that it finally feels right to call "home" is so worth it. We couldn't have done it without the help of some awesome friends, and without the courage to help each other take the leap into a big life change!

Since my life for the past week has been consumed with moving house and I've barely had time to get any new photos together for a more visual post, I thought I would share some awesome testimonials I received after a couple recent photo sessions! Everyone loves a good, sincere compliment, but I think these testimonials are even more than thatthey show what the actual experience of a photo session is like, and why the investment in yourself (and sometimes your family too) is so worth it.

In contrast to the first section of today's post, houses and apartments come and go, but your personal story, and your family's interwoven stories, really are forever. As people, our internal memories, thoughts and feelings can be fleeting, but the visual and physical keepsakes of photographs solidify our stories and create a very special, shareable experience.

Read More

Wholehearted | Woohoo, We're Moving! / Eeeek, We're Moving...

Wholehearted | Woohoo, We're Moving! / Eeeek, We're Moving...

Today's post (as you may have guessed) is about a special announcement and awesome life change for My Other Half and I, as well as the emotional rollercoaster that comes with it. You may recall from my previous (and first) Wholehearted post that change sometimes totally freaks me out, and BIG changes pretty much freak me out 100% of the time. Change was hardly ever part of my world growing up, so when I became a young adult I had to figure out how to navigate it, and I'm definitely still in the process!

Read More

Boston Lifestyle + Professional Portrait Photography | Kari O'Briant

Boston Lifestyle + Professional Portrait Photography | Kari O'Briant

Happy Monday, friends! Have you ever heard of music therapy? If not, then you're in for a treat today!

Kari is a music therapist, and believe it or not, we met in college when we both went to Radford University in Virginia! After Kari and I had both graduated in our respective years, we both moved to Massachusetts unbeknownst to each other! We reunited up here not long after I arrived, and I'm so glad we've been able to keep in touch and have more fun times together!

One of those fun times includes the one where she emailed me and said she wanted new headshots, and I don't think I could have said yes any quicker! However, I didn't want these to be stale and boring, full of fake smiles and flat walls, so we decided to take a trip to Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain and play around (literally) with her guitar. You'll see lots of big smiles in Kari's photos, and that's because I kept asking her to tell me about her puppy, Reshi. Worked like a charm, and made us BOTH happy! 

Visit the full post to learn more about music therapy, and to read a glowing review from Kari after she received her photos!

Read More

6 Reasons Why Working With A Professional Photographer Is The Best Next Thing For Your Blog

6 Reasons Why Working With A Professional Photographer Is The Best Next Thing For Your Blog

It would be so easy to make a huge to-do list for a blogger who's just getting started called "1001 Ways To Create An Amazing Blog." I'm not here to do that today though. I want to suggest tackling one thing to build your blog's online presence, and make it a more beautiful place that readers love to hang out in. The one thing? Photography.

Which brings us to our list of "6 Reasons Why Working With A Professional Photographer Is The Best Next Thing For Your Blog." Read on to learn about The Gorgeous Factor, The Professionalism Factor, The Legit Factor, The Service Factor, The Quality Factor, and The Collaboration Factor!

Read More

Wholehearted | On The Chopping Of Hair and the Fear Of Change

Wholehearted | On The Chopping Of Hair and the Fear Of Change

Friends, I have something more personal to share today than the most recent photo work I've been doing. It's about my hair and my intense fear of change. Read on to learn more about my hairstyle changes through different phases of life, and the emotional journey I went on as I worked up the courage to get a pixie this summer. Before and After photos and tips to get prepared for your own haircut included!

Read More