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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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
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.