Swanson Extended Family Session | Winthrop, MA

Swanson Extended Family Session | Winthrop, MA

Hi Friends! Happy Tuesday!! It’s been a little bit since I have been able to blog my most recent sessions and I am going to be honest, I am not happy that I had such a long blogging break! Sometimes, and well…many times, life happens and it is so hard to balance it all. Am I right?! Well, while I am not all caught up in all the things, I am making it a priority to FINALLY get my newest work posted to you if not a few times a week, atleast 1 time a week… I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..

Here we are! The end of October… the season of family sessions and weddings! This wonderful family booked their session with me over the summer, just as the busy family season was about to begin! The location was so beautiful, just outside of Boston at the Winthrop Yacht Club! You will see that there are several families in this. That is because this was an extended family session! I just love these! I know I have mentioned them before, and it is so nice to see so many of you going for them. It is not easy to get everyone together on the same date, to do something like this, but this family did it! They all looked amazing coordinating their outfits and I love that it was a gift to the grandparents!

Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University Engagement Session | Stephanie & Daniel

Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University Engagement Session | Stephanie & Daniel

I feel like I am destined to shoot photos sessions on over cast days! I mean, I set up sessions with my couples and families MONTHS in advance. I always set them up for really, whatever time works best for you, but I always suggest 2 hours before sun set. I feel like more often than not, we have clouds during out sessions more so than sun. Guess what…I am 100% fine with that!

I am able to shoot my sessions in the sun, at sun set, sun rise and even those over cast days. I know everyone usually wants that high sun peek glow but you do not need to stress if it happens to be the day of your session and the sun is not out for most of it. I got you.

Stephanie and Daniel’s engagement session started out overcast. At times we had some cloud movement and we did get some of the sunny sun set glow, but for the most part, its was a cloudy overcast perfect session and I loved every minute with them!

Stephanie and Daniel are High School Sweethearts! I have had a few couples who have been together since High School and it is just the sweetest thing! They brought their fur babies with them and I got to meet Stephanie’s MOH, her sister Emily! They were all so nice and I loved getting to know them! Their pups, Griffin and Sadie were so cute and loved getting their photos taken too! I can not wait to see them all again for their winter wedding next year at the Pavillion at Pinehills! xo.

Family Sessions | What to Wear

Family Sessions | What to Wear

Hi Friends! I have had so many people ask me about outfit choices for their family session, I decided a blog post would be a great way to share that information with you! These are just a few outfit coordinating tips that I have thought about through the years but the most important thing is that you are comfortable!

When thinking about what to wear and props to bring, just know that less is more. I do not provide props for sessions but I am happy to incorporate things that you may want to bring. One thing we can do would be styling to add a little something to your images. We do not need to have a ton of things to style with, maybe just a few.

Here are my tips and tricks for getting ready to have an amazing family session!

Styling your Session

Want your photos to look more editorial? Bring a little extra something with you! Fresh flowers bring an extra “wow” factor to just about everything, especially when they’re attached to something else, like a bicycle basket, tree swing, tent, picnic basket, balloons or car bumper. Whether you want to incorporate larger items like classic cars or bikes, or smaller ones like blankets or hats, even planning for just one extra styled item could be a fun way to make your session more unique.

Coordinating the Crew

As you’re coordinating your outfit with your family, keep in mind that your outfits will look the most cohesive on camera when the color palette and wardrobe pieces coordinate, but don’t actually “match.” In fact, I recommend that you avoid thinking about “matching,” and instead think about what “fits” together. This will create more visual interest, and allow each personality to shine through.

How to Mix Colors

The goal for coordinating a family is to visually break up the colors and shades so that you’re not all wearing the same color on top and bottom. The more we can mix that up, the better. I encourage you to think about planning each outfit with “dominant colors” and “accent colors” in mind. A dominant color is the color that you see the most in an outfit, while an accent has a smaller piece of visual real estate. When you’re planning each family member’s outfit, if you can aim for each person to have a different dominant color, and then tie in and vary the accent colors, it’s going to look great all together.

For example, if you’re wearing a blush dress, soft blue earrings and nude heels (blush being your dominant color), then he could wear a navy coat with a white button-down and gray pants, paired with brown leather shoes and maybe even a blush pocket square (making navy his dominant color). Your daughter could wear a soft blue top with a white tulle skirt (making a soft blue her dominant color) while your son wears light beige pants with navy suspenders and a white button down (making white his dominant color). Now each person has their own dominant color while still incorporating a few touches of the others that will pull all the looks together. This will break up the color visually and highlight each personality. Most of my moms choose their dress first, and then build the rest of the family’s outfits based around that.

Remember, I recommend selecting those softer, lighter tones and avoiding those ultra-bright, bold colors. The camera loves shades of soft pink and muted blues, mixed with sophisticated light neutrals like heather gray, creams, leather brown and white. Feel free to vary the shades of the colors, too. That softer color palette fits beautifully into a natural environment, and can easily be paired in so many different ways.

Mixing Up the Pieces

If you have multiple children, don’t feel like you need to put them all in the same type of outfit. For example, one of your daughters could wear a dress and flats, while the other wears a skirt and boots. One of your sons could wear a bowtie, while the other one wears suspenders. Mixing up the wardrobe pieces will bring a great visual interest to the photos.

Prepping Your Little Ones

Before your session, pack a bag with snacks, water and any small objects (like toys or lollipops) that might help me get their attention when it’s time for them to look at the camera. If they are old enough to understand you, it’s a good idea to prepare them for what’s to come before the session starts. Explain how much the photos mean to you so they know to be on their best behavior. A lot of families discuss and pick something fun in advance as a treat after the session if they’re good listeners, like an ice cream cone, for example. It also helps if they’re bellies are full and they’ve has some good rest beforehand. Once you prepare them physically and mentally, then feel free to give them (and you!) grace! They’re little, and I know that some days don’t always go as planned. I’ve seen it all and will make sure to get you great photos, regardless of their moods. My goal is to make this as fun and stress-free as it possibly can be for you and your family!

I hope this is a helpful guide when it comes to getting your family ready for your photography session! If you have any questions or more things to add, let me know, I would love to hear from you!

xoxo,

Alex

20 Things to do the week of your wedding day | Wedding Wisdom

20 Things to do the week of your wedding day | Wedding Wisdom

Hi Friends! Happy Tuesday! I am so glad you’re here! Are you a list person like I am… I’m talking bullet points, hand written, have several notebooks with different color pens highliting the most important things you NEED to do in that moment?? You are?! Did we just become best friends?

After months ( or maybe years) of planning, your wedding day is almost here! You have all your vendors confirmed with a time line in place, your dress is ready to be worn, RSVPs have been returned. You Got This!

The week before your wedding can be a little hectic with last minute to-dos. Here is a list to look over to be sure you are not missing anything! With years of being in the wedding industry, and being a bride myself ( almost 9 years ago!) I’ve got you, girl.

Don’t stress. Somethings on this list you can have someone help you with. Thats what bridesmaids are for, right?

Remember to try to stay as flexible as possible during this final countdown. Last minute tweaks will happen, so go with the flow. Just stay on top of things and try to keep your end goal in mind: getting married in a few days!

1.Pickup your wedding dress– You’ll need to pick up your dress the week of the wedding, but don’t stop there! Try it on in full. Be sure to include trying on your shoes and jewelry. Practice that walk down the aisle and make sure everything looks and feels comfortable. Some dresses might require you to test drive a bathroom run to be sure that part of the day can go smooth.

2. Break in your shoes– They’re likely brand new and you’ll be wearing them for a while on the big day. Wear them for a short period of time each day around the house and walk around on a few different surfaces. The ballroom dance teacher in me always recommends to try your first dance together in your shoes. Let your feet get used to them so come the big day you are not in pain because your shoes are hurting your feet.

3. Complete everything you need to do for work– Take care of any big projects or assignments at work early on that week so that you don’t have a to-do list of work tasks floating around in your head. Work is the last thing you want to think about as you head into your wedding weekend. It’s time to relax and enjoy each moment! Go back super refreshed and MARRIED!

4. Last minute RSVP’s- Time to call anyone who hasn’t RSVP’d yet. Reach out to the last-minute guests who haven’t told you whether or not they’re coming to your wedding. You might not want to bother them or cause any wedding drama, but just know that those MIA guests might show up and have nowhere to sit. It’s a great reason to check in with them.

5. Inform Venue of FINAL head count- You’ll want to give the final headcount to your hotel or caterer on the Monday before the wedding (or whenever required by your contract).

6. The Seating Chart- Most of the RSVPs should be in by now, so sit down with your spouse-to-be and finalize the seating arrangements. Be sure to send a copy to your vendors who need it.

7. Confirm Honeymoon Itinerary- Double check your flight times and confirm your hotel bookings and any other activity or dinner reservations you might have.

8. Toasts on the wedding day- If there are a couple of people who are reading a little something special to you and your better half at the wedding or rehearsal dinner, check in with them and confirm. You can also let them know the time frame that they should expect to speak, so that they feel calm and ready for their role.

9. Wedding Gift Captain– Choose a family member to collect the card box, any wedding gifts that guests brought, and any decorations you may want to keep and take them home for you. You may be too busy to remember to do this, or you may be heading to your wedding after-party. Assigning this task to someone else (and someone responsible) will help make sure everything makes it home to you safe and sound.

10. Detail Boxes– Prepare boxes of things you’ll need for the wedding—t the guest book, cake knife, toasting glasses, etc. Deliver them to whoever will be in charge of getting them to the right place.

11.Social Media Master– Assign a trusty bridesmaid or groomsman to take care of any social media logistics like testing out your Snapchat filter on the day of, or encouraging guests to use your wedding hashtag.

12. Welcome Bags– Stuff these with candy and goodies for your out-of-town guests and deliver them to the hotel. That way, when they arrive, they have a package of wedding excitement waiting for them. Don’t forget water bottles. Your guests will love you for them later!

13. Emergency Kit– You can buy one specifically for the occasion or go the DIY route. You’ll want to include things like band aids, nail file, hair spray, pain killers, tampons, a small sewing kit, safety pins, extra makeup….Oh and Chocolate… really…. get some chocolate in there.

14. Pack for your Honeymoon– If you’re leaving for the honeymoon within two days of the wedding, pack your bags. You’ll feel much better having that out of the way. You won’t have to worry about doing laundry or adding last-minute items to your suitcase the morning after your big day.

15. Card for your Love– Go out and get a card- write down a couple of words and feelings for your soon-to-be spouse to read on the morning of the wedding. It will help get them excited and emotional for the day ahead of both of you. This also makes a beautiful moment to capture during the getting ready portion of your day. I just love when couples exchange a little note the day of.

16. Spend some quality time with your fiance’– Coffee Date, Ice Cream Date, a walk around the neighborhood. This is your last week being engaged and you need to enjoy every moment together during this time.

17. Check in with your bridesmaids– Reach out to see if they have any last-minute questions and confirm when/where they should meet on the day of. Bonus points if you can organize a fun ladies brunch or happy hour that week with a possibly mani/pedi.

18.Wedding Party Gifts– Those adorable gifts you bought to thank your bridesmaids for all their hard work? Be sure to wrap them up and include a nice, personalized note with each.

19. Confirm Rehearsal Dinner– If another family member is putting this together for you, check in with them and confirm the details. If you are in charge, confirm the menu, timing, etc.

20. Clean your ring– It is without a doubt that I will be photographing your rings while you get ready to include those images as part of your story details. You definitely want it extra sparkly on your wedding day!

I hope you find these little to-do tasks easy peasy the week leading up to your wedding day. Don’t sweat the small stuff and remember to relax! Soon you will be married and dancing the night away with your family and friends!

xoxo,

Alex