For Lyla

This one is tough….REAL TOUGH…both this post and this woman. Please read.

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Some of you may know Ali if you are local to our area.  If you don’t know her, she is an amazing woman who I had the chance to meet this summer.  

At age 40, Ali’s world was turned upside-down with the diagnosis of Stage IV colorectal cancer...a cancer that originated in her colon and spread to her liver and lung.  You can read all about her journey here  https://tougherthanthis.wordpress.com .  Her words about her journey are much better than I could ever attempt to write.  


I first heard about Ali through a fundraiser that the amazing women at Little Hoboken organized for her family.  Ali’s story really resonated with me.  We are both the same age, with daughters the same age.  I wanted to do something so I donated a photography package to the fundraiser.  Ali actually ended up winning the package!  How awesome.  She contacted me and we quickly got to planning.  

Ali wanted to make a film documenting her family being together, especially for her sweet baby girl, Lyla.   “I just want some footage of our summer together so she has fun memories to look back on and remember’.  ❤️

Admittedly I was nervous about the session.  This was difficult work because it means so very much.  I wanted to do it justice.  Ali and her family were like old friends, so welcoming and easy going.  We spent the afternoon at their favorite place and captured them doing what they love to do.  Ali also told me that one of their favorite quotes is “All you need is faith, trust and pixie dust”.  Lyla loves fairies and their magic so I really wanted to capture the whimsical nature of childhood.  Fairies?  Pixie Dust?  I found a song called Neverland and it was perfectly fitting for the film.  
Anyway, this KICK ASS woman just got back from surfing the waves of Costa Rica.  She is RUNNING A RACE to raise money for her disease on October 21st.  You can learn more here:

http://gyrig.convio.net/site/TR/GYRIG/GYRIGEvents-2018?team_id=39205&pg=team&fr_id=3697

Please consider donating to this important cause!  ❤️

In addition, Ali is planning a trip back to her native Australia to visit family and friends.  This warrior has no plans to give up on this battle of her life!  

Ali, I am humbled to know you.  Your strength and determination go beyond what I could ever imagine.  Keep up the fight.   

Jason, you are an incredible support to your wife and little girl.  One can see why both of them adore you.  

And Lyla, your mommy and daddy love you so very much.  This is for you sweet girl…

xo.



Farewell to Hoboken - Hoboken Family Photographer

I was so happy to connect with this family before they packed up and relocated back to mom’s home state of Wisconsin! With about a week left before the big move, the family wanted to capture their cute guy in the itty bitty city that he first called home.

We started in Shipyard Park where the light was on point! We walked to the waterfront and Maxwell Park to enjoy the sights and the swings! Finley marveled at all of the helicopters traveling back and forth above us. He could not take his eyes off of them and I loved watching how enthralled he was. Grandparents joined in on our session for a few snaps as well. So special.

Wishing you all great things, J Family! Hope you come back to visit and see more helis!


Welcoming Nico!

I had the pleasure of meeting these precious brothers and their amazing mama one morning for a newborn session.  Big bro Leo loved the camera and little Nico was so serene the whole time.  These boys are too cute for words!  Mom may have her hands full with these two young ones (she handles the "busy" with ease and grace), and one can easily see that her heart is so very full love for them.  

Click on the song link below before perusing the pics!  

Meet Baby Jack

I have never kept up at blogging.  It's just not my strength.  I overthink everything and feel like I need to have wonderful words to tell the family's story.  But I just need to let the photographs tell it.  The images can do so much better than anything I can write.  So I have decided from here on out that every time I send off files to clients, I am just going to add some over here (or at least try to).  I hope you enjoy these.

Click the link below to listen to a sweet tune as you meet Jack and his adoring parents.  Happiness abounds!

The Spitz Family Welcomes Sloane: Maternity and Newborn

Always so honored to capture such special moments for families...especially being asked to do it again.  I met Stefanie and Seth in Hoboken when they welcomed their first child, Aiden.  They were so great and easy to work with.  Fast froward three years and I was welcomed again to their new home to document the arrival of baby sister Sloane.  Aiden is such an awesome big brother (and sweet pup, Callie, always remains an awesome big fur sister).  Stef and Seth have added such sweet details to the baby girl's room, all hand made, just like it was for Aiden as a newborn.   So many congratulations to all!

Tracy + Patrick - A Maternity Session

Tracy and Patrick joined me for an evening maternity session (okay, you can probably tell by the lack of foliage that this was last fall.  I am terrible with blogging, but I HAD TO SHARE this session).  This lovely couple braved the chilly temps and we created beautiful images together.  They were so sweet to work with and I think I can say we all had fun!  Can't wait to show you some images of their sweet baby as well.  Stay tuned!

Dress:  Fillyboo 

What are You Waiting For? Simply Motherhood Mini Sessions

Ahh these sessions are some of my very favorite!  The bond between mother and child/ren is so beautiful and deserves to be documented.  You deserve it and so do your little ones.  Really...how often do you get to be in the frame?  Us moms are ALWAYS the ones behind the camera.  

The moms and littles seen in the slideshow here were so lovely.  Even when they thought things were going a little haywire with the kids, each was able to take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the moments.  We were able to capture so many lovely memories....moments that will be treasured by the mothers and children alike for years and years to come!  

I am doing another round of these amazing mini sessions in Hoboken on July 15.  Contact me to schedule...I only have a few slots left.  Treat yourself, mama!  I promise that you will not regret it.  What are you waiting for?

 

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The Snuggle is Real

After I finished up Krysta and Nick's maternity session, I was so excited to be invited to capture the new baby.  Little Nick was such a pleasure to photograph!  His black and white nursery was so adorable and the light was amazing.  Needless to say, I was in heaven capturing all of the awesome little details and of course the precious babe (his head of red hair - just love it!) and his adoring parents.  Even the pup wanted in on the session.  Many congratulations C Family.  I know you are enjoying every minute!

Waiting for Baby

I met up with Krysta and Nick on a warm day at the end of August (yes I am STILL catching up on blogging the later half of 2017).  The light was amazing, as were this couple who totally rocked their session.  We walked and talked AND clicked and captured some great moments.  I am still amazed how lucky I am to be allowed into peoples' lives to document these special times.  

Stay tuned for the BABY!  Boy or girl, what do you think?!

Merry Little Family

What is not to LOVE about this adorable group at their holiday photo session?  I mean the family dog's name is Holly - nickname "Holly Jolly"!  We did the session at a local nursery full of fragrant Christmas trees.  Mom had the family coordinated so nicely in creams and greens.  Dad, baby and pup were all smiles (seriously, in some images it looks like she is smiling!)  I had so much fun with all four of you...Happy New Year J Family!

My Most Favorite Gifts

Since I still am in disbelief about the age this birthday brings, I won't discuss right now.  Instead I will share with you images of my most favorite gifts ever bestowed upon me. 

I took the kids out on a warm October afternoon to try to get a holiday card picture...you know the one where you dress them to coordinate, bribe them with a treat if they do a good job and hope for the best?!  Of course you know that one!  Well I got more than I could have hoped for with the images from that day.  I let go of what I thought i "needed" to capture and allowed myself to make what I wanted to.  I came home to my computer, looked through the files and literally turned to my husband and told him, "This is the kind of stuff I want to do more of for my clients".  It felt like a turning point for me and I have started incorporate more artistic imagery into client sessions.  I hope you like what you see here!

 

Welcome, Knox!

It's no secret that I have a certain love for newborn sessions.  The newness, innocence and those tiny baby yawns and movements are so special.  This family welcomed baby Knox to the crew and he is such good little guy!  His big sister is just as sweet.  I feel so thankful that families allow me to document such a significant time in their lives.  

Autumn: "a beautiful little girl who sees in colors that other seasons haven't seen"

In July, I was graced with the opportunity to shoot a session for Spectrum Inspired.  If you don't know what SI is, please check it out!  Given that working with children with autism is my other profession, I was very excited to be able to do this.  I was so moved when I read Autumn's application and her mother's words.  

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From Patricia (Autumn's mother):

"Autumn is our only child (unless you count the fur pup). She's five years old and was diagnosed with autism right after she turned two years old. The diagnosis wasn't surprising, if anything, it brought us relief. Ever since, we've been on a path at making sure Autumn has the best life and opportunities possible. She continues to thrive daily and accomplish tasks I didn't think that she could do at one time in her life. She's my inspiration and main reason for living. 

... I wanted to share the backstory on her name. My husband and I decided to wait to start a family and we always hoped to have a daughter. When I became pregnant, I just knew that I was having a girl. One night in February (about half-way through my pregnancy), we were watching a movie and the name Autumn was mentioned. During that moment, my husband and me looked at each other and knew that the name Autumn was meant for our little girl. It was more than just hearing the name in a movie. Autumn represents when we actually met and fell in love way back when. My husband figured that it would be the perfect name for our daughter; her name signifies the love that we have for each other. Autumn is a constant reminder of our true love. Plus, Autumn has always been my favorite season. Thus, we had a summer baby we named Autumn. A beautiful little girl who sees in colors that other seasons haven't seen. She's our everything."

Autism IS beautiful.  Autumn, her family and their incredible love are beautiful.  

I hope you enjoy these.

A 'Farewell Hoboken' Session | NJ Family Photographer

It was so difficult to pick favorites from this session.  The Williamson Family was preparing to say goodbye to the little city that they called home for years...the city where they started their beautiful family. We spent time capturing the family in their local neighborhood doing what they do, strolling the piers, visiting the parks, making some art with sidewalk chalk.   I mean when the NYC skyline has been your "backyard" for years, you have to document it!

Best of luck to this foursome in their new home!  

Miss Mary Katherine | NJ/NYC Newborn Photographer

How happy I was to photograph my very good friend, Erika and her growing family!  Miss Mary Katherine made her arrival this summer and was as sweet pie during her session.  I loved how she always kept those tiny hands snuggled in close to her face!  Big sister, Alexandra offered songs and kisses!  Mom thought Alexandra would wear a white sundress to match the baby, but Alexandra had her own ideas on wardrobe (see below).  Some of my favorite shots of the session were the family shots with the toddler doing her thing while rocking the American flag, tiara, hot pink dress and a glittery tutu!  She also let us know when she had her fill.  It's real life people.   I love when parents embrace the honest moments and are cool with documenting life just how it happens.  

So much love to you P Family!

Amy + Mike's Engagement Party | Dozzino, Hoboken, NJ

While I am not currently shooting large events, I had the opportunity this past summer to capture a small engagement party here in Hoboken.  Amy and Mike are Mile Square residents and hosted a fun afternoon event at Dozzino, a local place that makes oh so good artisanal pizzas (and more!).  

Before the guests arrived, we were able to capture some shots of the couple.  Afterwards, they greeted their guests and had a wonderful afternoon!  May I also say that the couple did a great job on the details of the party.  Check it out below!

Wishing you all the best, Amy and Mike!  Such a pleasure to work with you.  

An Afternoon with Rambler

While we were in Winnipeg a few weeks ago, my sister-in-law's friend, Diane, invited the kids to ride out and see her horse.  So Michele (my SIL), Emma and her cousins, Adam and Claudia spent an afternoon on the farm with 19 year old Rambler.  Approaching his golden years, Rambler is a sweet old boy who was so gentle with our crew.  The kids enjoyed brushing and riding Rambler.  Toward the end of the visit, we were able to feed Rambler some of his favorite treats...apples and carrots.  

I wasn’t anticipating taking a lot of images, but as soon as we arrived, I was happy I had my camera with me.  Unlike shooting in the city, this was something totally different for me…a new, yet super beautiful setting with different characters (the equine type!) and many unique details.  I loved documenting the afternoon using low light, shadows and silhouettes.  I used both my Nikon and Fuji cameras, in addition to my favorite 35mm and Lensbaby for these images.  My creative heart was aflutter and I could have stayed all day!

Thank you so much Diane and Rambler for a fun-filled afternoon!  Diane is an amazing owner to Rambler.  One can tell that she certainly loves her boy!  She also takes some treats for the aging horses who can't graze the fields anymore.  

P.S. - I never saw a horse roll until I met Rambler!  They really do roll!  🙂

Image heavy...however , in my opinion, the story is much better told in images as opposed to words.    

 

 

Colliding | Spectrum Inspired + Heart of Surfing | NJ Photographer

"Let the beauty of what you love be what you do" - Rumi

My two worlds colliding.  

In June, I had the awesome opportunity of photographing a surfing event for individuals with special needs. I couldn't help but think that finally my two passions in life were coming together.  (For those that don't know, I am a behavior analyst/special educator, having worked in private and public schools for individuals with special needs, namely autism).  I loved every bit of this day and the beautiful and inspiring faces and hearts in front of my camera.  

The Heart of Surfing is an organization that offers individuals surfing lessons at the beach in Ocean City, NJ.  Throughout the year, the organization offers other indoor and outdoor recreational activities.  By the happy smiles on everyones' faces, it is easy to see that this weekly event brings so much joy to all involved.  The East Coast Dog Surfing Association joined Heart of Surfing to add bring some surfing dogs into the mix!

I covered this event for Spectrum Inspired, "a global community that connects, supports and uplifts individuals and families touched by Autism Spectrum Disorders".  Spectrum Inspired "uses Lifestyle Photography to document a diverse group of children on the spectrum and their families across the globe in effort to normalize and destigmatize ASD. It is our mission to give families a platform to voice their struggles, celebrate their victories and share their story; all the while, removing the stigma and stereotypes of what is thought to be representative of Autism and show the world just how broad and beautiful the spectrum is."  Spectrum Inspired's mission is close to my heart and I am honored to be involved with their cause.  

You can get your own copy of the amazing magazine here

The following are just a few (maybe more than a few) images from the day...