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It may be March and spring vibes are in the air, but let’s get real for a second. We live in the North Country and more then likely we will have more of the fluffy stuff. If you are interested in getting Winter Family photos check out these helpful tips!
Choose Your Location
Location matters for any shoot. You may want a winter session at your own home , at the Carthage Bridge like in the photo above, or Downtown Watertown. Last week, I wrote a blog all about my fav locations for sessions! One cool thing about New York is our four seasons. I’ve had families that book sessions Winter, Spring, Fall, Summer to document the seasons. For my military families, they love documenting the changing seasons and their time in New York. If you choose to do this, please try to pick a location that has warm shelter nearby or has quick access to your vehicle. This will prevent kids, pets and adults from getting uncomfortable during the session. We don’t want sad faces in the photos!
This is an important step, especially for outdoor shoots! No one wants to catch cold taking pictures. Indoor shoots protect against the elements but if you still want to capture those winter time vibes, consider wearing your favorite hat, fuzzy sweater, or snow shoes to get that special seasonal feeling.
Select Your Theme
Photo shoots always go better with a theme! You can go for something fantastic and magical with a winter wonderland theme! You can get hilarious action shots with a family snowball fight or a jump for joy! In this shot, the family decided on pinks, reds, and black to have some coordination in their wardrobe.
How about a family flannel shot with everyone posed in their favorite flannel? The options are endless!
We all know how difficult and dangerous traveling during the winter can be up here in the North Country, so it is very important to drive safe on your way to and from the shoot. Try to schedule your appointment with a little bit of time to spare so you aren’t rushing to make it to the shoot. The roads are full of surprises and we want you all to be safe this season!
Enjoy some hot chocolate
If you decide to have your photo session Downtown Watertown, you can park at my studio and on your way home, you can stop inside for shelter and Hot Cocoa. If we are on location. I will often bring a thermos of Hot cocoa or I recommend to my clients to bring a warm beverage they love.
My thermos will be filled with some sort of tea. My fav is Chai!
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Do you have any questions about winter sessions?
Leave a Comment below and let me know!
Location, location, location! The right location can be just the thing to take your photos
with Sarissa Melissa to the next level. So, I thought I’d post my Top 5 locations to give all
of you some ideas for Sessions that are the right fit for you.
There are many benefits in having your session in the studio. Firstly, we don’t have to worry about weather (unless a winter storm makes it unsafe to travel to the studio.) Speaking of winter, having a session in the studio means everyone stays warm and toasty.
The best reason to have a session in the studio is the ability to plan out all the details of your session and get creative.
From various backdrops, creative lighting, to making a stage for your little’s birthday session or newborn session. Getting creative in the studio also means taking your images, and turning them into composite images that look just like a fairytale!
THE JEFFERSON HISTORICAL SOCIETY
The Jefferson Historical Society (Paddock Mansion) is one of my all time favorite places to photograph families, seniors, models. The grounds keepers do an incredible job with the landscaping and care of the gardens.
The best part is this beautiful location is conveniently located next door to my studio. It is also an ideal outdoor shoot location during months when the weather is unpredictable since there is shelter nearby.
Some of the best shoots I’ve ever done have been in people’s homes. Sessions at home tend to be a more comfortable and natural setting especially for families especially the kiddos!
Our homes are where we build our lives and grow our families, what better place to express your family’s bond than your own home? Plus a huge bonus… you’re setting will be absolutely unique to you!
I have had the joy of photographing families at their home playing on the jungle gym, kids packing a box for dad who is over seas, and a mom snuggling up to her baby in a colorful tutu.
This is a easy location to find that has plenty of room to roam about for photos!
Thompson Park is ideal for clients with pets or small children. Plenty of space in the great outdoors and you can treat yourself to a visit to the playground or the Zoo afterwards!
Thompson park is a great location all year long! It’s perfect for summer, winter and fall photos. Thompson park is a stunning location in the fall!
Downtown Watertown is an excellent area for photo sessions! There are so many historical buildings with great texture that will make the subject (you!) stand out!
Places like the Paddock and Library provide many opportunities for amazing shots! And don’t worry about parking because there is plenty of parking at the Masonic Temple where my studio is located and downtown is a short walk away!
BONUS….. Secret Special locations.
There are little nooks and places I have found on my days scouting locations. From barns, to businesses, to little spots off the side of the road, I’m always exploring new places to bring my clients. So if you have an idea and want to go out of the box Iet’s chat and get creative!
What’s your favorite place out of the top 5?
Do you have any suggestions of places I should scout for sessions?
When I was a kid I used to get super pumped when we got a copy of the Sunday paper, just for the comics! My favorite comic strip was the “Love Is” comic. The “Love is” comic strip featured two cute characters in love. Artist Kim Casali created “Love Is…” when she drew little picture love notes for her husband-to-be. Seriously, how adorable!
Love is in many of the portraits I capture and I’m celebrating with a few of my favorite and most loved photos.
LOVE IS… celebrating your first baby on the way.
LOVE IS… being a mom
LOVE IS… brother and sisterly love.
LOVE IS… having furry children
LOVE IS… kissing the one you love.
LOVE IS… Falling asleep in grandpa’s hands.
LOVE IS… walking your dad home after deployment.
What does Love mean to you?
Leave a comment with what Love is to you!
This week for Sarissa Melissa Photography LOVE IS…
Dressing up our son for his first Valentine’s Day.
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Furchildren! For many people they are like children. Their pet’s might have a full wardrobe of clothes, take over the entire bed at night, or eat a special home cooked recipe to fit their diet. Fur lovers, I’m with you on this one! I’m a huge dog lover myself. My first dog was a black lab I named April (like April O’Neil from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!). She was a calm sweet girl.
Currently, I have a crazy border collie named Trinity and a scrappy papillion named Dahlia. As my husband always says, “Dogs are good people.” We understand that our pets can be just as much a part of our families as any human and we love documenting this bond. I often get asked if I will photograph a family with pets and you know what I say? Bring on the slobbery kisses! This is not to exclude cats because I have photographed families with cats, and our feline friends are always welcome
I’ve come up with a few tips and tricks for getting the most out of
your session with your pets!
Take Care of Business
Just like when we go to the vet, make sure your four legged friend is fed and has gone to the bathroom before the shoot. Less messes to clean up and a happier puppy make for photography gold! [For outdoor shoots, consider bringing a water dish and bring baggies to make sure we leave only paw prints!]
Toys Aren’t Just For Kids
Make sure to bring your four legged friend’s favorite toy. It can add an extra layer of adorable to your pictures and will make them feel more at ease.
Walk It Off
If your dog is anything like our border collie, it may be a good idea to take a few laps around the parking lot of the Masonic Temple to burn off a little bit of energy so your puppy is ready to take direction and get those pictures that you will treasure forever!
Bring Their Favorite Treat to Make It Sweet
Treats are a great motivator for dogs. It’s important that we let our fur-babies know they did a good job. Also, treats are a great way to get your puppy looking at the camera.
Some dogs react negatively to reflections, shadows or flashing lights. If your dog is prone to this kind of reaction, let us know and we will adjust our setup and camera settings so we get those perfect pictures while reducing your dog’s (and your) stress
BONUS!!! A Trip to
Jessie’s Pet Spa
A list of tips on how to prep your dog for a photo session would not be complete without a mention of my favorite groomer and grooming team at Jessie’s Pet Spa. Jessie’s Pet Spa has been grooming my dogs for 9 years and let me tell you something… Dahlia my papillon knows when she goes to Jessie’s because she leaves with extra pep in her step. Often client’s ask about grooming their pet before the session.
Here are some tips from Jessie at Jessie’s Pet Spa
The best time to get your dog groomed pre-photoshoot is within 24-48 hour but it really depends on the breed. Longer hair dogs she would recommend 24 hours before or same day grooming.
If you decide you want to get your dog in a fashion color… Like Becky she also recommends the same time frame, 24-48 hours. Only thing is with fresh color you need to make sure your fur child stays out of the rain or you will run the color.
With color Jessie highly recommends taking your dog on regularly scheduled grooming visits before you go in for color so her and her staff would know if the dog could handle the color process. They don’t want to mess up a permanent color before a photo shoot!
Visit Jessie’s Pet Spa on Facebook for more info or call (315) 489-1032 to book an appointment
Thanks for reading our handy tips on getting the most out of
your photo session with your furbabies!
After last weeks blog post I can’t stop singing “Return of the Mack.” I guess it’s better then having baby shark stuck in my head!
In our last post, we talked about how we’re re-dedicating and re-establishing our business for the New Year. I thought this would be a great opportunity to share with you my Top 5 reasons I love (and might be obsessed) with being a photographer.
1. Watching Families Grow
A cool thing about being a family photographer is having client call you for their daughters 3rd birthday when you have photographed the same family photos since the baby was in mom’s belly. That happened this week!
Last year, I did elizabeths 2nd birthday photo session two weeks before I had my son. I was determine to get her shoot in before giving birth. My studio is not far from the hospital so I wasn’t worried!
Family has always been important to me but ever since marrying my husband and giving birth to my son, that importance has become more apparent in a much deeper way. The sense of meaning and purpose that family provides to me drives me to push harder, dream bigger and stay focused because I am no longer just looking out for myself. I am now part of a team; a special unit that as a whole is far stronger than the sum of its members.
Now that my husband has joined me in the business, I feel stronger and more prepared to tackle any challenges that lie ahead. This deep and abiding love for my own family leads me to celebrate families wherever I find them.
2. Making Memories that will Last a Lifetime.. Hello Legacy Photos!
My superpower is providing clients with products that capture them at this moment in time while giving them a fun and memorable experience. I want client’s to look back at the photos and remember when their purple haired photographer was singing to the kids to get them to laugh!
You might be thinking, what the heck is a Legacy Photo?? I just made it up!! haha.. That’s the fun thing about owning a business. But in all reality, it does mean something awesome.
A Legacy Photo is something you will have in your family for a lifetime. It’s a photo of your kids laughing, a photo of your mom, a photo of your son who just became a senior, it’s a photo of the ones you love!
A Legacy Photo is a photo of 4 generations of family! When we miss our loved ones we don’t hug a hard drive or a cd, we pick up a photo and remember that day, that smile.
3. Share my Betsey Johnson Like Style
I like my photos like my closet, colorful, vibrant and unique! I love creating images that sparkle and pop because I want to capture more than just your picture. I want to capture you looking and feeling your best!
the most important color in my artist’s palette is joy! As a graduate from FIT, I always have my eye on fashion and color in my work. I enjoy working with clients to help them find the right wardrobe for their session or providing them with a list of great local businesses to shop! For some of my maternity momma’s, I create the look of a flowy dress with fabric from my studio collections. When it come’s to sessions, I get crafty!
4. Hugs! Because they’re awesome!
Some of the most treasured things I take away from this business are the relationships that I have built with my clients! since I started in 2010, I have watched families, individuals and businesses continue to grow through the years in all sorts of ways.
hugs were a big part of this session. I told the boys my light was magic before I hit the trigger. I always like to warn kiddos about the light. These little ones yelled in excitement every time I hit the flash, and then they would both run to hug me. Yup! Two hugs every time I took a photo, that’s a great deal! The last time I took the boys photos, they were itty bitty and I could fit them both in a wicker basket.
Since I am a transplant to this area, these connections and clients have become a part of my extended North Country family and as I said before, family is everything to me.
5. Community Love & Connections
You know that saying, “it takes a Village to raise a kid,” I feel that way about business. Throughout the years, I have had the honor to work with some incredible local businesses from Rhonda’s Footworks, Anna’s Chop Shop Hair Studio, XL Design and Marketing, and one of my favs, Strut Boutique. The first time I did a Strut Boutique photo session I had Jason from Vidoeworx create a video of my process from start to print!
The last session I did with Strut Boutique we did a maternity session. I modeled my bump for the session and my husband was photographer for the day.
Whether it is a new skill in my craft, a new returning client or a new spiritual insight, I constantly look for ways to learn and expand my horizons. Every year I feel as if I have come a little bit closer to being the businesswoman, wife and mother I know I can be. I sincerely hope that you and your family will be a part of this journey, who knows what we can learn from each other!
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It’s a new year and at Sarissa Melissa Photography and that means new goals, new challenges and a whole new vibe. I know your thinking… umm Melissa, New Years was 25 Days ago.
Tis true but our reason for the delay is that we have been hard at work reorganizing our business to better serve you. We have come to the realization that the main drive behind this business is family. Providing for our family and providing our clients and their families with beautiful memories and art.
It’s kind of why we chose this date for the relaunch of the blog. Today, our baby dude officially turns 8 months! I now truly believe what my friends with kiddos mean when they say it goes fast. I feel like it was just yesterday he was a 6 pound noodle with a major serious face.
In the reorganizing of the business, we decided we needed to bring back the blog. (We being me and my creative editor, my hubby Ken.)
So why did we choose to bring back the blog?
Share Stories from sessions
Give a better “picture” into what’s goes on behind the scenes
This year, we have made it our goal and purpose to truly be YOUR family photographer and we plan on sharing stories from bump to belly, what goes on behind the scenes of a cake smash, How to plan for a family session, guides on what to wear for each season, and what’s new in our photo land from products to new services!
Sarissa Melissa is ready to help you celebrate all of life’s great milestone events from Maternity, Newborns, Cake Smash Sessions, Family Sessions, Seniors Sessions or
Imagination sessions… (More info on that coming soon!)
Yes, we still provide other photo services but we want to dedicate this year to celebrating Families. We have expanded our product and service line to better serve your needs. In addition to our standard prints, we also offer prints on artboard, canvas, wood, metal, and custom designed wood easels by the Tousley Crew.
We invite you this year to join us in celebration. It doesn’t matter how big your family is, whether you were born into it or if you found it, each family is unique and special.
Celebrate what makes your family unique with us and we will not only provide you with pictures but also create beautiful, elegant art for you that will capture how special your family truly is.
Sarissa Melissa Photography, YOUR family photographer.
xoxo Sarissa Melissa Photography & Fam
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All I want from Christmas is a photo of my family and a hot cup of coffee that didn’t come out the microwave for the 3rd time. Yes, I’m talking to you busy mom and I relate. I write this with my preheated coffee and what might be drool or formula on my shirt. Busy mom, I want to help you out and capture your families photos, create a card for you, and help you cross one thing off your holiday to do list!
I say busy mom not because I want to exclude anyone. I say this as a fellow mom and your holiday ninja friend. So couples, dad’s clients with awesome dogs, I’m talking to you too!
November 17th & 18th, I’m hosting Vintage Holiday Mini Sessions in the gorgeous Masonic Temple by the fireplace. Decor will be done by Pretty Little Vintage Co. If you’ve seen Pretty Little Vintage Co. in action at events and weddings you know Brianna does an incredible job with her eye for decor and vintage pieces. I will also have cookies, cocoa, and HOT Coffee, microwave free! ( P.S. the cookies are a family recipe!)
Click the link below to register, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 845-699-9404
If I don’t pick up right away, I’m probably hanging out with my little man. Leave a message and I will call you back.
Can’t make the mini but want to book a holiday session? Click the button below
email email@example.com, or call 845-699-9404
For weeks, I've been thinking about what to do for my husband for Father's Day. Pre-Baby I was in super nesting mode, filling my notebook with to-do lists. Now that the little one is here and I'm slightly sleep deprived with a little that prefers to be held, I'm not getting hundreds of things done in a day.. and that's okay. I'm being totally for real... I have to put reminders in my phone to remember to feed myself.
I had an ah-ha moment with a few great ideas on how to celebrate my husbands first Father's Day. My husband's not the kind of person into stuff (he still has a flip phone by choice!) For his first Father's Day, I wanted to give him a few special gifts and a great memory. So this morning, I gave him a framed art piece I hand lettered with Henry's hand and foot print. Tonight, I have planned out a delicious dinner and dessert for the night. And for something memorable, we will be giving Henry his first bath today!
I have two more special gifts coming in this week, but today, I want to take a moment to share a letter I have written to my husband.
January 14th 2017- Engaged!
We went on a date and had for dinner at the diner and a drink at the Paddock. When we got home, you told me there was something in our Little Free Library. I ran out the car thinking someone had messed with the library. I was looking at the post and the roof and you laughed and told me to look inside. I opened the Little Library door to find an engagement ring.
You got down on your knee and asked me to marry you. I cut the silence of the night with my squeals and excitement. Yes yes yes! This would be the beginning of our adventurous 2017!
August 12th 2017- Our Wedding Day
Our wedding was a perfect fairytale. We had a beautiful outdoor wedding at your parents house. We shared the day with family, friends, and our fur babies. We spoke our vows on the porch your dad built.
On this day, we make a promise to love, cherish and honor each other always. We cried, laughed, and danced. All the while, I could not stop looking at you, thinking about our future, the places we will go, the family we would have one day.
The day after the wedding, we went to the laundromat, and I booked our honeymoon using their free WIFI. In minutes we had booked a sweet cabin in the woods in Vermont thanks to AirBnB.
Out of all my trips, vacations and adventures, this by far was my favorite. Cabin in the woods, alone time, no wifi, no plans, just a binder of maps and the plan to enjoy each other, find a couple cool place to visit, and relax on our time off.
You're gonna be a Dad!
September 19th 2017,
I took a trip to Rite Aid for gummy bears and a pregnancy test and found out I was expecting. I made a frantic attempt to get you out the house for a few minutes so I could come up with a clever way to tell you the news. On this day our world would forever be changed. Becoming parents was something we had talked about but in no way did we think it would happen so fast.
Though out the pregnancy, you were my rockstar! Each day you told me how beautiful I looked, rubbed my belly, talked to the baby, and made sure I knew I was very loved. You kept me well hydrated with lots of water, and ginger ale. You even made sure I had gummy bears on those nights I had gummy cravings. And thank you for eating all the sweet things I would bring home so I wouldn't be tempted to eat them all myself.
Best Friend, Husband, Labor & Delivery Coach, Father, Protector
The day we were supposed to go to the hospital for the induction, they told us to wait till noon and call back. Both you and I were very awake and too excited to go back to sleep or do much of anything that morning. So what did we do...we listened to music and dance together in the kitchen.
I will savor that moment for the rest of my life.. especially us singing Journey 'Don't stop, Believin'.
June 25th 2017, 11:04 AM, we welcomed Henry Ellis Tousley into the world. I leaned my head on his and gave him a small kiss before they took him away. I had an emergency c-section, so I had to get put back together. You left with Henry and stayed by his side as he went though all his tests and checks. After the doctors assessment, they told us Henry would have to go to St. Joseph's Hospital so they could put him on IV and observe his breathing. You made sure you were there for our little man the entire time, leaving to Syracuse to be by his side.
The next day, you would spend 14 hours holding Henry in your arms on and off in between doctor checks and changes. You wanted to make sure no one else held the little man until I arrived.
Sunday, June 27th, our little family was reunited, and on that Monday, we made the journey home. You quickly realized, I was not well enough to take care of myself and Henry so you took an extra week off work to take care of the both of us. You stepped up like a super hero, caring for Henry's night feedings, and helping me get out of bed, and get dressed.
I fell in a deeper love for you!
I didn't know if could happen, but yes... I fell in deeper love with you the week Henry was born. Seeing the way you loved our son, and the way you cared for me with kindness and patients the first week made my heart glow.
I'm forever grateful.
During the first week, you kept telling me I was strong, and capable. You made sure you made time to talk to me as my emotions were crazier than all the rollercoasters at Six Flags combined.
I have to give a shout out to your family for raising a man I'm proud to call my husband. I love watching you bring those taught values into our little family. You continue to amaze me each day.
I'm proud to be raising a son with you. You're not only Henry's Hero, but you're my Hero.
I love you now, I love you always, We got this parenting gig together, Team Tousley.
The only thing better than having you as my husband is our child having you as his dad.
Our little Family
My hubs has helped take bump photos, build backdrops in the studio, and assisted me with shoots over the past few months. He has even helped ease my ever growing feet. I knew I had to do a bump cover in celebration of one of his all time favorite bands, The Ramones. I had an instant idea when I saw this Ramones cover... and it went like this...
Me: Honey.. I have an idea
Hubs: You always have ideas!
So very true!
The idea was to include his parents to have the full band, "The Tousley's"! When I told his mom about the idea she was very excited. Dad had the same look as Ken... O Mel and her ideas!
Let me just take a moment to give a shout out to my in-laws. I'm truly blessed to have them in my life. My mother-in-law helped me create my registries and figure out all the baby things I would need. The last time I really helped care for a baby was my sister and that was more then a few years ago. There are so many new baby items like the snotsucker... ewww I did not register for that because I used to use the old fashion bulb sucker on my sister. I did here that the snotsucker is hygienic, cleanable, and you see what's coming out so you know what to tell the doctor. You learn new things every day!
I also fall in love with the idea of wearing the baby. In the past few months, I have stopped about 6 mom's while shopping to talk to them about their wraps. I must have looked desperate for advice because the mom's didn't hesitate to give me their input!
Meet The Tousley Family
TOUSLEY FAMILY- I took these photos in 2015 with a tripod and remote. The black and white is an all time favorite. When we got to this photo, my remote decided to kick the bucket, so I set up the camera on a timer. Dad Tousley placed a ladder next to the steps so I could easily roll into the photo with everyone. We where pretending to drink moonshine and spit it out. Well, mom and dad Tousley ended up spitting the pretend moonshine (water) all over Matt and Lauren's heads, causing us all to bust out in laughter creating one of the most perfect candid photos I have ever taken in my photo career.
INSPIRATION--> "ROCKET TO RUSSIA" THE RAMONES
Making The Ramones proud with this photo recreation I took in Mannsville New York with help from my trusty Tripod. The shirt I'm wearing in this photo happen's to be my father-in-law's football jersey. It's about 30 years old and has the Tousley name on the back. I just fit my 37 week belly!
INSPIRATION--> "ABBEY ROAD" THE BEATLES
The Grand Finale Photo had to be epic so of course we had to finish with The Beatles. My awesome sister-in-law is in town awaiting the arrival of Hank with us. She helped me capture this photo which looks simple but required some work. From planning the wardrobe, to mastering the walk, while trying to not get run over by cars. My hubs was a trooper rocking no shoes like Paul. Surprisingly, I did not have a white suit in my wardrobe. I did have a dress that was white on the inside. So I wore the dress inside out and made it work. Best part of the shoot... a lady started honking the horn yelling.. ABBEY ROAD! I LOVE IT! .... That was possibly the best way to finish this project.
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read the blog post, give me photo ideas, and those that participated and help me capture the photo creations throughout this project. It started as a fun idea and ended as a project I will be printing in a book to have a copy of "The Bump Cover's" Project Greatest Hits. I plan on taking this idea into Hank's Monthly Photos which will be different tracks each month.. followed by his Greatest Hits photo session for his first birthday. But before all that can be planned, we're sitting here patiently awaiting his arrival!
When I found out I was pregnant, I started going through my closet packing all the things I knew would not work for my growing belly, and hanging up all the things that would work. I was pleasantly surprised that 90% of the cute things I could wear were dresses and tops I got at my favorite local shop, Strut Boutique. Strut Boutique is owned by the fabulous Ashley Scanlin-Pignone. She's a mom, business owner, and one of my dearest friends. I told Ashley about how excited I was about being able to wear my Strut clothes during the pregnancy, and it gave me an idea... a maternity fashion shoot to share how cute, comfy, and stylish you can be rocking a baby bump, or like the title of this post " Strutting what your baby gave you!"
Before we dive into the photos from the shoot, I wanted to take a minute to share a little bit about Ashley and her mom advice!
What inspired you to open Strut Boutique?
Ashley: A passion for fashion is what inspired me to open STRUT. As a kid I'd go to Michael's and it started with me making clothes for my Barbie dolls then I took fashion/merchandizing in school and loved designing my own clothes. I've always liked wearing outfits out of the norm or when I did buy things I altered them to look different.Since I was a teenager it's been my dream to open my own boutique! Dreams do come true!
What has life been like being a Boss mom ?
Ashley: Being a Boss momma is hard work but very rewarding! I definitely have had to learn to balance every day Life better. I am thankful I get to bring my child to work with me everyday and I think I have it down to a science now. Some days are hectic, answering phone calls and emails with a 1 year old crawling all over you or having a temper tantrum is my norm now.. I can multitask like no other.. He may be climbing up my leg while I am cashing out a customer or trying to run into the dressing room ,But most times he is content being our entertainment and greets ever lady with a smile! I'd have it no other way.I work hard so I can give my child the best life I can!
What styles do you recommend for expecting mom’s?
Ashley: I recommend wearing whatever you feel comfortable in .You don't necessarily need to buy maternity clothing.I didn't buy one piece.Most the time a pair of leggings and a oversized shirt is the answer for a casual look.Most of my dresses became tops, add a belt to dress it up. Soft knit fabrics and breathable material are a must..those hot flashes get real serious. Maxi dresses or a fitted dress with a pattern can be super cute to accent that cute baby bump..Show it off!! Don't be afraid to take fashion risks, have fun with it!!
Can you give me your favorite mom styling tips?
Ashley: I can honestly say my style has changed a little bit as a mom..No more long dangling earrings, no more big statement necklaces, no more heels, not as much time spent on my hair and makeup. I keep it classy by adding a cute jacket, blazer or cardigan with jeans, leather pants or a dress!Lots of graphic tees and dark colors are my go to. Comfy shoes are a must.I keep it simple, but still stylish. Don't get it twisted though..when it's a mommy's night out I go all out!
"Strut What Your Baby Gave You" Photo Shoot
I set up the lighting and camera and had help from my hubby & Ashley to take these photos
Shop Strut Boutique!
Located at 308 State St. Watertown, NY 13601
Follow Strut Boutique on Facebook
Shop Strut Boutique Online
Hair & Makeup in Ashley's Photos by Angela at Elements Day Spa & Salon
Baby kicks woke me up this morning. Today is my first Mother's Day! My hubs and I have family plans this evening, but I have the entire half of the day to myself. I decided, I'm going to spend the day reflecting on the pregnancy journey with my feet up. They look rather fluffy these days.
Here goes my pregnancy journey....
September 19th, 2017
It was a Tuesday. I was returning to work from my trip to Tennessee to be there for the birth of my nephew followed by a newborn session in his nursery. My best friend Heidi knew I was late and she kept telling me to take a test. I picked up one at Rite Aid. I was already heading there for gummies and mascara. I never mentioned to Ken that I was taking a test, I thought I was late because of the busy weekend. And then I took the test... boom positive! And so, our adventure began...
That face and early signs of the bump!
Christmas Announcement.. IT'S A BOY!
These are a few of my FAVORITE THINGS!!!
Pregnancy Pillow & an overnight stay to wait out a snow storm, dino shoes, & baby books!
Zumba workouts made this momma feel her best!
My father-in-law found this awesome shirt!
I wore it when I performed at the Local Lip Sync Battle... Bruno Mars, "Uptown Funk"
Fun with friends from the Mayors Charity Ball to
Working at Tunes 92.5 radio station!
The Greater Watertown North Country Chamber of Commerce presented Intrepid Broadcasting, Inc. Tunes 92.5/104.5 with the 2017 "Business of the Year award. After 8 years working at the radio station, I continue to love the work we do for the community and appreciate the recognition from our colleges.
The bump... I can't stop taking photos of the bump!
Trinity & Dahlia love to cuddle the bump.
One Epic Rock Star Baby Shower!
An April ice storm didn't stop the event!
The Beatles greeted all attendees with VIP Passes & sheets for them to draw a letter for Hank's Alphepbet book
This journey has been incredible. From feeling his first kicks to watching my hubby talk to my belly, I have loved the time I have spent creating new life. I love sharing the excitement with friends, family, and clients.
For years, I have taken photos of expecting mom's from bump, to baby, to first birthday's. Seeing children grow up through each session has been one of the main reasons I love being a family photographer. I love being a part of a families journeys and helping them document their children's growth. I know that when the kids have grown and started families of their own, they will look back at photos. Those photos will become family heirlooms, treasures to look back on, photos that will be here beyond my years.
Thank you to all the families that have let me into your life and let me capture special moments for you. It has truly been an honor. I look forward to many more sessions, capturing new life and laughter, and sharing my story and photos as my little one grows.
Thank you to all the mom's who have giving me the honor of photographing you and your families.
You have all been a true inspiration!
Happy Mother's Day!
Thank you to my friend Ashley for helping me capture these lovely photos in celebration of my baby boy Henry (aka Hank)
Baby Henry is due May 20th. This week, I will be celebrating by updating the blog with new Bump Cover Photos leading up to the grand finally photo!
Also, I will have a special post going up about being pregnant and fashionable with help from Strut Boutique!
Mom's, I would love to hear about your first Mother's Day! Leave a comment below with your story!
These two weeks where possibly the longest, toughest weeks of the pregnancy. I started to really feel that I was pregnant. I mean, I knew it all this time, but between my work schedule at the radio station, photo sessions, and online meetings, I was running myself like a mad woman. Week 37 I really realized.... I need to make detailed to-do lists and get the important things done first and foremost. I worked in my cloffice (closet-office) to get things done for business while trying to get all the things ready for Hank.
Prepping my work for maternity leave has been an adventure the past few months. I have started booking August and September sessions, leaving openings for July. Which was a good thing, because by the end of week 37, I started getting requests for July session. This is going to be one busy momma!
Am I crazy? Maybe? I have been trying to relax but I secretly love doing all the things!
INSPIRATION--> "AMERICAN RECORDINGS"
I wanted to have a photo with my furbabies so when I saw this cover I nearly jumped out my chair. THAT ONE! Yes THAT PHOTO... It's happening! This photo was taken in my back yard. I had to keep the girls on the leashes, as they love to run off. Notice Trinity's border collie, distracted face! On the other hand, we have Dahlia posing for photos. Pretty sure we mentioned food, and that's the only reason why she's posed so nicely!
INSPIRATION--> "UNAPOLOGETIC" RIHANNA
Hubs shot this photo of me in our living room. I wore a strapless bra I colored in. I didn't want an exposed boob on the blog so I extended the shade. No tattoo on the belly because I didn't want to hide that bump. Hank's Auntie Sandy was the inspiration for this photo as she is a huge Rihanna fan. Auntie Sandy is such a fan she's got the Rihanna highlighter. You know, "Trophy Wife", the one all the kids are raving about. It's gold, hence the title of this blog! Because of her love for Rihanna, I gave her the task of coming up for the words that I would wear in the photo.
Things are getting closer and I'm trying to do all the things before Hank arrives. This included online meetings with boss besties, photography classes, and photo reveal meetings for clients. I ended week 34 prepping to shoot team photos for the 6th year for the North Country Heart Walk. My awesome mother-in-law assisted me with set up and getting teams prepped for their photos. This week was one of the busiest to date. I keep saying I will slow down but anyone that knows me knows that might be impossible. Well until Hank arrives, then sleep depervation might slow me slightly.. haha.. I'm hoping it's slightly.
INSPIRATION--> "ONE IN A MILLION" AALIYAH
Nesting is real life.. and I kind of love it. I'm making labels, reorganizing my craft and art supplies, clothes... Martha Stewart has nothing on a pregnant woman that's nesting. While organizing my stuff, I found these sunglasses from a billion years ago when they where a thing. I called them my Aaliyah glasses. I can still sing and rap all the lyrics to "Back & Forth"! This album, "One in a Million" blew my mind! So much groove and killer beats thanks to the help of Timbaland and Missy Elliott. Sadly Aaliyah left us too soon. In her honor, I had fun recreating this photo in the hallway of the building that is home to my studio and help from my hubs.
INSPIRATION--> "STIFF UPPER LIP" AC/DC
35 Weeks pregnant kicked off with my Rock Concert themed baby shower! From VIP Passes, to the "Henry Ellis Band" Stage, my mother-in-law rocked out an epic event. I took the next day off work to unpack all the shower goodies with help from my sister. She washed all of Hank's clothes and helped me get the house organized. She knows my creative brain best and loves to organize so we ended up getting a lot done.
Week 35's photo was taken by my hubby in the studio, and after 4 hours of playing in photoshop, I created this masterpiece holding a little guitar Auntie Sandy bought for Hank. I couldn't do the big guitar thing as it would have hid my bump.. and it's rather bumpy these days!
Week 32 & 33 have been a bit nuts! I went from high energy to bye energy. On top of it, I had a bunch of sessions and meetings. Week 33 was VERY exciting! My super amazing mother-in-law helped me get the nursery up in business. I was feeling like a bad mom. I had a corner in my office of Hank's goodies and no nursery, meanwhile, I'm reading all this stuff online and seeing all these mom's with pimped out nurseries.
Well, this weekend, we did it all! Amazing Mother-in-law shampooed the rugs and moved furniture and my collection of stuff that was in the office. O boy, does this girl have stuff! My father-in-law came over during the process and he put some hooks on a shelf he made Hank, got a rod up and BOOM.. instant closet. My father-in-law is the real life Macgyver! It's great! But I make him twitch whenever I mention my ideas I saw on Pinterest. I'm pretty sure I have mentioned this before.. but I have mom brain so that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it... like when I got pulled over this week and said I'm pregnant and I need to go home pee and rest and got out of a ticket!
INSPIRATION--> "JOANNE" LADY GAGA
Week 32 I have always LOVED lady Gaga.. so it was a given that I would include her in the blog. Joanne is her latest album and boy oh boy... my girl does not disappoint. This one might be my favorite album of hers to date. It's raw, it has grit, the songs have great layers, and it shows off her voice and talents.
INSPIRATION--> "THE FAME MONSTER" LADY GAGA
Week 33 Hands down, my favorite album to blast when I'm getting ready for a girls night out. It's going to be a while till I have one of those again. I might just have to jam this on a family night in and subject my hubs and Hank to some Gaga!
Lastly, I want to thank everyone who has been following the blog and joining me on this photo and life journey. I took on this project thinking it would be something fun to do but it has become so much more. I have been able to try new photo tricks and techniques. Some of the images I share are out of the box for me, like The Baby Monster. I look kind of scary but it's hilarious. The moral of the story... don't be afraid to experiment with your craft, take chances, and be weird!
Speaking of being weird, check out the Sunshine Belly Photos from the Illumination party at Focus. This costume was inspired by Sunshine Care Bear!
Instead of Melissa writing this weeks baby bump blog post, she has recruited me (her husband) to share some thoughts on this crazy experience we're facing together. Since she started this project, she wanted to have a picture with the two of us. Melissa kept going through my records to find an album for us to imitate and I was resistant. Example: "How about 'Double Fantasy' by John Lennon and Yoko Ono?" No! Yoko broke up the band! You're not going to be Yoko! "Okaaay, how about "Rumours" by Fleetwood Mac?" "That's a breakup record! You don't do a maternity picture imitating a breakup record!"
Eventually she suggested the cover to "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan". It was a winner to me. The picture sort of reminds me how Mel likes to be close to me when we walk places (mostly so she can grab on to me when she's slipping on that North Country ice) and it is one of the standout albums of Dylan's early 60's catalogue before he went electric. Since I couldn't be behind the camera, we talked her boss Tim into shooting this picture (he's a big Bob Dylan fan so Tim and I had some fun talking about favorite eras and albums of Bob Dylan).
In other news, the same day we had an appointment where we found out that our little Hank is not just happy and healthy, he's hairy! Before you ask, Mel hasn't had any heartburn (she says it's because of the apple cider vinegar she drinks. Yuck!). She can't wait to find out if the hair is blond like mine or brown like hers. But we will find out soon enough because May is coming quick and that's when the bump becomes our baby!
INSPIRATION--> THE FREEWHEELIN' BOB DYLAN
Melissa: What did you think of "The Hubs Take Over? I think he needs to be a guest again on a future post, or maybe we should do a collaboration!
Thank you to my hubs for helping me with this project, from being behind the camera to writing this post and helping me wrangle in my crazy ideas! This photo was a combination of two images. The first photo was taken in outside my studio, the second photo was taken in Adams. This one was one might be my new favorite image of the project.
Time to prep for week 32!
This week, I feel like Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys 2... "this just got real." Of course, I censored that line for the blog... and for Hank. He's moving a lot this week, he's making his presence very known, I don't want to be a bad influence.
I'm going to be completely honest... this week I feel like a zombie who wants to eat oranges all day long while cuddling with the dogs on the couch. Not typical zombie behavior I know. I have too many things I'm trying to do before he arrives. Momma's, I would love to hear your advice on how you combatted your to do's before your first little one arrived! Reality is sinking in... it's both exciting and and slightly terrifying.
INSPIRATION-> PATTI SMITH
Week 30's photo was inspired by Patti Smith's album "Horses." Patti Smith was one of the original influences on punk rock in the mid-70's and brought a new lyrical style heavily influenced by French poetry. My husband has a couple of her albums and really liked this idea, so I had to toss one in the mix for him. I wore my husbands shirt from our wedding for this photo. I even attempted to tuck it into my maternity band pants.... ummm yea... I feel like I look like a marshmallow in this photo. I almost didn't share it but like I said before, this project is all about getting out of the comfort zone, and finishing this crazy series I have planned out. I'm totally making a Greatest Hit's Book with all the cover photos in it when I'm done with the project!
Next week's blog post and photo is going to have a sweet twist! The photo will include me and the hubs! AND.... he's going to guest write the blog post!
Meanwhile... I will sit on the couch, eating oranges while cuddling the dogs.
This weekend, I'm going to a photography convention for 3 days with my fellow members of NNYPP (Northern New York Professional Photographers.) This photo was taken by by colleague, Jennifer McClusckey from McCluskey Photography LLC at our Lighting Workshop mid February.
Time for me to start packing for conference. 3 days learning from a group of incredible photographers, hands on workshops, a trade show, and getting in costume for an "Illumination" themed party. You can follow my adventures on Instagram stories!
I think I got hit by the reality train in week 29. It might have been the visit to the doctor saying ... "You're in the third trimester of our pregnancy" or maybe someone telling me.. you're dancing and lip syncing on stage in your third trimester.. don't have the baby on stage (more on this topic later).
INSPIRATION-> BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
"BORN IN THE U.S.A"
Week 28's photo required not one, but three helpers, and a flag. The flag in the photo belongs to my husband's parents, and it has a pretty SWEET story!
The flag was found when they were helping with some clean up and rehab on an old building. It was on the floor in a balcony area. It's a 48 star flag that was made before 1959 when Alaska and Hawaii became states. It's approximately 5'x8' and have individually sewn stripes. The stars are applique and are sewn on. Although it is in very good condition, other than some minor stains, and moth holes, the cotton material is too fragile to allow it to be used for display.
WOW.. what a story right! So when it came time for the photo, I borrowed the flag but did not want to clap or pin it to anything to get the shot. I took the flag back to his parents house and had them hold up the flag in the living room while my Ken, the hubs aka photo assistant, took the photo. He was happy to take this photo. At the end, you will see him with his mug that was very fitting for a cup of coffee after he took this photo.
INSPIRATION-> DAVID BOWIE
This one was funnnn! It took me 25 minutes to do my makeup. My leg was going numb standing in one spot for so long. If I dance and move around I'm fine. Dance... like I did the past 2 weeks! ...
MOM'S INSANE is a title Ken came up with. Here's the reasoning...
So the last two weeks, I have participated in a Lip Sync Competition hosted by the radio station, Tunes 92.5. I also work at Tunes, and came up with this fun idea. I also like participating in the event. And even though yes! I'm in my third trimester... I couldn't pass a chance to participate!
Week 28-- I performed, "I'm Pregnant & I Know it" and "Uptown Funk" with my friends were all judges in the competition. Ashley Scanlin-Pignone from Strut Boutique, Olivia Grant from ABC 50, and Singer, Songwriter, Eddie Cito. Week 29-- I performed Queen "We Will Rock You" and Ken came up for the Guitar Solo.. which he was really playing because he really took the time to learn it! My second song that night was a mix I made.. "Ironic" by Alanis Morissette, " Thousand Miles" by Vanessa Carlton, and "Whatta Man" by Salt-N-Peppa. I finished the song on "you so crazy.. I think I wanna have your baby".. and dropped the mic. I always wanted to do that!
--- If you read my mini novel, I love your face! Here's a few behind the scenes photos from both photo sessions. Stay tuned for week 30... !