In my latest post, #Printyourphotos I talked about creating a family year book for each year starting with 2014 since that is when Ethan was born. We have always wanted to do this project so we have memories for the kids when they get older and even now, it is fun to look back at the years with them and see how much they have changed!
In this post I am sharing a few of the photos that I started to take for 2019. It is going to be snowing later today into tomorrow, so I figured the best post to start with is a snow day post!
Friends of ours came to visit from New Jersey at the end on January. We had so much fun together and the kids were so amazing. They loved having eachother to play with and they got to do so many fun things. The day it was calling for snow, we had tickets to go to see Disney on Ice. We surprised the kiddos with matching Mickey T-Shirts ( Thanks, Target) and m&ms to have as a special treat. Everyone was so excited to see the show ( I was probably the most excited! 🙂
The snow started once the show ended and the kids loved to watch it out the window. While we stayed inside that night, we went out the next day to play! Ethan and his buddy, Declan loved playing in the snow. They had sled rides and made snow angels, they even went “slide sledding” from the playground. Henry on the other had was not a fan of the snow but he was a trooper and stayed out side with everyone. He tried to take a ride in the sled but that did not last very long. Let me just tell you…. and if you are a parent, you understand… it takes about 45 minutes to get ready to go play in the snow…. and you are outside for about 10-20mins tops. But its worth it. The kids love it so much!
If you are getting snow, be safe, be warm and have fun! Take out your camera and snap a few memories of your kiddos during this time! You will love to look back at them!
I am guilty. Guilty of not printing our photos out like I would hope to. When my husband and I bought our house, we said we did not want to have tons of frames all over the place, maybe just 1 or 2 photos would be nice but we wanted to keep it minimal. Well, we really only had 1 canvas print of a family photo that was taken at Thanksgiving in 2017. It is not my favorite photo I have ever taken, but it is the first full family photo we have had where we are all dressed nicely for the holiday.
When was the last time you printed your photos? Has it been way too long and you just realized you should probably back up your cell phone photos to your computer while we are thinking about this subject? You my friend, are not alone! Smart phone photos are so great that you can literally snap the photo, and share it with others on social media in seconds! I love taking photos on my phone… in fact…. my storage is almost full! See… you’re not alone!
SMART PHONE PRINTING-
Something I do is share my family photos on my PERSONAL instagram account. This account gets updated once a week usually ( or when I remember) and I upload many images at once. This is mainly for the purpose of printing through CHATBOOKS.
Chatbooks is a great way to have your cell phone photos printed. The books begin at $10 and once your instagram hits 60 photos, they create a book for you. You can use a consistent hashtag to keep the images you want printed all together and then the book is designed with that. These are a great way to never lose those precious moments you captured with your phone and a great way to have your photos displayed at home in a decor basket under or on a coffee table for guests to see!
To keep the budget on a lower side, I use the standard chatbook with a soft back and instagram photos.
I have seen so many blogs and pinterest photos of these GORGEOUS gallery photo walls! I am telling you, I am obsessed with how these look! You can use photos from your phone, and edit them to make them all consist in color, you can use professional photos as well knowing that when these are edited, the color will be consistent and all you have to do is select the frames!
Since we moved we now have beautiful wall space that having a gallery wall will look so nice! We just need to decide where we want to display it. I printed out 9 photos that I made all black and white since the photos were not from one session rather than from over the past few years so I knew the colors wouldn’t be consistent. I got 9 gold frames from Walmart- Better Homes and Garden 11×14 matted for 8×10 photos. I love how this looks and I can not wait to see it hanging on the wall all together.
The best thing about a gallery wall?? You can easily take the frames down and change out the photos when you want to!
Here are a few gallery wall inspirations I found online. **Note these are not my images but just images to give you an example of a gallery wall.
@ALSOPFAMILYADVENTURES- Katelyn James Photography
Once our gallery is hanging up, I will be sure to share how it came out! 🙂
FAMILY YEAR BOOK-
This is the same thing as a photo book only for me, I am creating this to be a yearly book where I have all our adventures captured and organized and at the end of each year I will place them into a book. My cousin, Jordan Brian Photography does something similar to this but instead of a printed book, he creates a slideshow with music and video. That is a wonderful Idea, however I am sticking to the hard back, paper pages and these books will be out all the time for us and guests to see!
Each year I take thousands and thousands of photos! I have been wanting to create these books since Ethan entered the world and I just kept putting it off. I never wanted to carry by “big” camera around because watching that and watching my live children run around in crowded places, I did not want to worry about my camera! So, here is something I realized I can do!
Use my cell phone. Edit the cell phone photos with my Ali B Preset that I use on all my photos in Lightroom Mobil. This will help them to look professional even when they are not. If you do not have Lightroom- I recommend the app PIC- TAP- GO. This app is $1.99 and has nice filters to help make your photos professional. ( My favorite filters are: Bright side and air)
Keep my FIRST “big” camera downstairs on a console table so that I can access it quickly while at home. Since I started doing this, I have taken more photos with a real camera than I usually do of my own kids and family! ( you have no idea how happy that makes me!)
I am using my FIRST big camera because then I am not stressed out and worried that something will happen to my work camera I use for clients. This takes a huge weight off my shoulders- I still am careful but knowing I do not need that one for work is kinda a big deal!
So, I finally made the time to go through folders and folders of images from 2014-2018 and I am starting to create the books! I edited the images pretty quickly since some were already edited from that time, and I am creating the year books through BLURB. These books will be HUGE. There are so many photos from the years and because they will be huge, I am using a hard cover with floppy pages like an actual year book so that I can fit as many photos and pages as I can inside.
Once these are printed and I get them in my hands, I can not wait so share them along with you on social media and this blog!
WEDDING GUEST BOOK-
I have had several brides print their own album from their engagement session which will be used as their wedding guest book! I love this idea…. now I may be biased because this is what my husband and I used for our wedding guestbook, but really its so fun getting to look back on your engagement sessions together and then reading all these nice things your guests have said to you on your wedding day! All of my wedding packages come with the rights to your photos which means you can print from anywhere you’d like! I have sugestions on where to print for the optimal quality photos but its totally up to you and your budget how much you want to spend. This year I am also offering album options printed from a professional printing lab. They are absolutely Ahhhhhmazing!
Are you planning your perfect beach front wedding? I have photographed many ceremonies and portraits on the beach for several years and now that I have established a business where I focused on serving clients on Cape Cod, I like to say that I now specialize in beach weddings!
Now, I know what you’re thinking- lets just got to the beach and get married…right? Well, there are a few things to consider logistically when planning to be married on the beach…unless you are using a privately owned beach or oceanfront venue.
A beach wedding may come with a few challenges so I put together a check list for you to make your toes in the sand, beach wedding a little easier.
BEACH WEDDING PERMITS
Having a permit is not always required if you have your wedding on a public beach, however if you have a large amount of guests attending, you may want to reserve a large space on the sand for as long as the ceremony will take place, a permit might be a good idea to look into. Before choosing the beach that your heart falls in love with, I have put together a list of questions to ask-
Does the beach require a permit to hold a wedding?Some beaches allow small weddings on a first-come, first-serve basis. However, many public beaches require a permit regardless of the guest count.
If the beach does require a permit, how much does it cost—and are there any other fees?Keep in mind that some permits have a nonrefundable application fee, and some charge additional fees if you have a larger number of guests.
How is the permit fee structured?Is it a “per hour” charge or a flat rate that covers the entire length of the event?
How far in advance does the permit need to be submitted for approval?Some beach locations issue permits as far as a year ahead, so start this process early!
How large of an area of the beach does the permit cover?If you weren’t required to map out your desired area during the application process, be sure to ask how much space you’ll have reserved (it usually depends on your guest count).
Will liability insurance be required?Some locations ask you to get liability insurance naming the city/county as an additional insured.
What is the maximum number of people allowed under the permit?This includes not only you and your guests, but your bridal party, officiant, photographer, and any other vendors.
BridalTIP: If all this permit talk makes your head spin, then we have 4 words for you: Hire. A. Wedding. Planner! They’ll do all the leg work for you in terms of permits and logistical planning so you can relax and enjoy the ride.
Beach Ceremony Logistics
If you are getting married on a public beach, having photobombs of beach goers is one thing to consider. There also may be beach cleaning scheduled, construction areas, public events, etc. These distractions could all be planned around the same time as your ceremony. Having this in mind, look into what else might be scheduled for that day and plan accordingly. This might mean the ceremony time will need to be bumped up a few hours or pushed back. Some questions you can ask are:
Are there any dates that are off-limits? Many beaches don’t allow weddings on holidays, like the July 4th weekend.
Can we reserve a specific time slot for our ceremony? If at all possible, schedule your beach wedding ceremony to take advantage of the best light for wedding photos.
Are delivery trucks allowed near the ceremony site? If not, are there loading/unloading zones close by? Vehicles are frequently not allowed on the beach, so all items may need to be hand-carried to your ceremony site.
Is there ample parking nearby for guests?
Are there public restrooms nearby?
Is the ceremony site handicap accessible? If not, see if they’ll allow golf cart rentals to transport any elderly or disabled relatives.
Can the site we plan to use be cordoned off? Beach weddings are pretty open to public viewing, so roping off an area might give you at least the illusion of privacy—and keep out any wedding crashers.
How early can we set up before the ceremony start time? Nothing like trying to give sunbathers the boot as the clock is ticking to ceremony time!
Beach Wedding Restrictions
Many public beaches have BEACH RULES when it comes to protecting the oceanside environment. Confetti, streamers, helium balloons, glass, styrofoam, rice and sometimes faux flowers are prohibited in many areas. Respect any signs that you see along the beach and be sure to find out a few this:
Are chairs, arches, aisle runners, or other decorative elements allowed?
Is amplified sound permitted? And is there a limit on the decibel level? Oftentimes beaches require speakers to face the ocean.
Are there electrical outlets nearby/available to use? If not, can we bring in a generator?
Is alcohol allowed? Note that most public beaches have open container laws that regulate or prohibit the consumption of alcohol.
What about pets? Many public beaches have a “No Pets” policy, so if you want Fido to be your ring bearer you better check into that.
Are bonfires or open flames allowed? If not, consider flameless LED lanterns to illuminate your event.
Are there size restrictions on tents or canopies? If your wedding is going to take place on a hot and sunny day, think about adding some shade with a wind-proof tent or canopy.
Life’s A Beach
We all know that Mother Nature can be a BEACH! so be sure to consider the following when planning your beach wedding:
When is high tide? You’ll want to avoid the possibility of your ceremony being dampened by waves.
What’s the forecast? If rain is predicted, you’ll need a contingency plan.
How windy will it be? You may need to windproof and weigh down some of your décor. (And rethink that cathedral-length veil!)
How noisy will our site be? Crashing waves, rustling breezes, and general beachgoer chit-chat can all add up to a pretty loud environment. Your sound system should be set up so that all your guests can hear your vows.
How hot will it be, and is there any shade? Wild guess, but you’re probably used to wearing a swimsuit on the beach. Now imagine being in a suit and tie, which is what your guy guests will likely be sporting… If there’s no shaded area, consider a canopy. But if that’s not allowed, giving out parasols can offer some protection from the sun.
How crowded will the beach be? Again, a beach wedding isn’t exactly private. If you really want to avoid the droves of summer bodies, consider an off-season wedding.
What’s the bug situation? There are some nasty insects that hover around seaweed, so try to situate your ceremony away from them.
Sand. Sand is a beach. Keep some towels and baby powder handy so you and your guests can dust off before the reception.
BRIDE TIP:Another thing that might need to be weather-proofed? Your bridal bouquet and other flowers. Many blooms don’t take kindly to direct sunlight, and the last thing you want is wilted wedding flowers in your photos.
Beach Wedding Receptions
Beach ceremonies are very popular, but if you are dreaming of having a sea side reception as well, this might be difficult to plan, you see… in many areas, partying on the beach is not allowed. I recommend that you have your ceremony on the beach and all your portraits on the beach too, then move the reception to an oceanfront venue. If you are really wanting to have it all in one place, and your heart is set on the beach front party, consider asking these questions:
Is a beach reception allowed? Many beaches will only accommodate wedding ceremonies.
Is cooking permitted on the beach? While you can eat on most beaches, cooking on the sand is oftentimes prohibited.
Can my caterer bring in food? They may be able to do so if they have a Special Event Permit, but keep in mind that there might not be a kitchen or prep space nearby.
Are there table décor restrictions? Many beaches don’t allow glass, so you may need to opt for plastic vases and cups.
Is live music allowed? Many beaches don’t allow amplified live music, but may allow some background music played via speakers.
One more time—is alcohol allowed? Probably not, but Google “Best U.S. Beaches to Legally Drink” if serving alcohol is high on your priority list.
Is there a curfew? Be sure to leave a cushion of time to gather your belongings and clean up all of your trash before the beach closes.
Prep Your Guests
High heels and sand don’t mix, right? Find creative ways to let your guests know not only what to wear at your wedding, but what else to expect.
Create a wedding website to highlight additional details about the day. Include a suggested dress code (e.g. “beach chic” or “smart casual”), along with a note about the anticipated weather. Depending on the forecast, mention bringing sunglasses, sunblock, paper fans, a hat, sweater, etc. You should also give your women attendees a heads-up about the sand situation so that they can opt for wedges or flats instead of stilettos!
Pick the perfect wedding save-the-dates and invitations to set the stage (and style) for your beach bash.
Consider giving out beach swag. A welcome basket at your ceremony entrance is a nice gesture. You may want to fill it with mini bottles of water, sunblock, bug spray, parasols, or anything else that might make your guests more comfortable in the beachy elements.
As a photographer, I do my best to capture those perfect moments in any lighting that I can. That being said, many beaches do not have an area that is shaded when the sun light is very harsh. The best way for me to capture your moments in the harsh sun light is to make sure that she sun us behind my subject. Depending on where the ocean is and the sun is at the time of day we are celebrating, consider the sun light being behind you to get the photos and backgrounds you are looking for.
At the end of each year, I love looking back through all of my images and picking out some photos of what I consider to be the best of the best in Weddings and Engagement sessions. I am sure you can imagine that this is NOT easy. It takes a looooooong time to go through all the images that I have taken over the past year, but its always so fun to see it all come together for this blog post. When I am finished and I hit the publish button on this post, it makes me so happy that I completed this one for you all too see. Plus, whats better than seeing images throughout the year and all these amazing memories come right back into your mind from some of the most fun you have ever had!
Looking back at all of these images really makes me feel so grateful. As a wedding photographer, there is really nothing better than being trusted by so many incredible couples to capture one of the biggest days of their lives, an every year that goes by my grate-fullness goes higher and higher! This truly is one of the best jobs in the world. I hope you enjoy this recap of an amazing 2018!
Hi, I’m Alex. I am a lifestyle photographer who absolutely loves her job and everything that comes with it. I appreciate the people I meet, the places I go and everything there is to learn about photography.