Madigan and Camden

I have known Madigan and Camden’s mom Stephanie for a very long time.  In fact, she’s that person in my life who just seems to keep popping up.  I might not hear from her for months or years and then… there she is again!  Gracing me with her presence in my life once again.  Some how the two of us have managed to stay connected through middle school, high school, college (yes we happened to go to the same university), and our first job together (which happened to be in the same school district teaching the same level).  Oh and did I mention…. we ended up in graduate school together? No, none of it was planned… we’ve accused one another of stalking each other! Honestly thank goodness for Steph because she has been my friend through some challenging times.  We walked some hard roads together.  I might not have my Master’s Degree today if her friendly smile wasn’t there to greet me at every class.

Stephanie is a Mommy now.  She called me up… ok actually she sent me a Facebook Message, isn’t that how it’s done these days?  And she asked me create some photo memories for her and her family.  Can I say it… what an honor!  I know I know.. it’s what I always say.  But it is TRUE!

Of course her kids are just amazing.  We had a ball!  I think my Noah now has a secret crush on Madigan.  I made the mistake of telling him she likes Legos.  Plus, she’s gorgeous!  Mom is going to be beating the boys off with a stick!

Camden is just a sweetie.  These two munchkins really made me look good!  How lucky was I?

Thank you Stephanie for sharing your babies with me.  It was wonderful.

To see more of Madigan and Camden please click the slideshow below.

Mike, Caryn, and Company!

Can I introduce you to one of the coolest families around? OK so I’ve had the pleasure of photographing this bouncy gang twice before so you might already be rather familiar with them. You are welcome to check out their past sessions here and here.  Since they are so full of smiles they grace my blog and my website often. But here they are! Mom and Dad are Mike and Caryn, the kidlets include Elizabeth, Sarah, Joshua, and of course little Matthew.


Each session with this crew is just hysterical. They are so full of energy, laughs, and giggles. I get a great workout and I always leave grinning ear to ear.


The coolest thing about these sweeties is how much they love each other. Of course they are siblings and they do have their share of sibling squabbles. Really those moments just leave me giggling even harder. I think that might because they remind me of own three babies ever so much.


The part that always surprises me the most is how much they enjoy our sessions. I’m always told the kids have a blast in front of my camera but I hear Elizabeth takes it to the next level. Mom shared with me that she went to school the following day and wrote a very detailed and flattering play-by-play account of our time together. I feel honored.




Stay tuned… I’m pretty sure this crew will grace my lens again next year. I can’t wait to see how they’ve grown.

To see more of Mike, Caryn, and Company please click the slideshow below.

Norah is 9 Months Old!

Yep! I did it again!  I got to photograph Norah!  And she is now 9 months old.  Where is this year going?  I bet her mom is asking the same question.  She’s just growing way too fast!  Here are the results from our fabulous session!

The little park Mom Annie chose for this session just happened to be the same park where Norah’s father proposed to her.  It was important to her that we document this special place with photos by the sign proclaiming the name of the park.  Norah and I were happy to oblige.

Don’t blink… because before you know it Norah will be 1 and I’ll be posting THAT session!

To see more of Norah’s session please click below.

Happy Wednesday! I hope you are all having a fabulous week!


Caryn, Mike, and the WHOLE Gang!

You might not remember but just about a year ago I had the opportunity to photograph three of the cutest kids I know (next to my own of course).  Elizabeth, Sarah, and Joshua did a stupendous job rocking the camera at nearby Hubbard Park.  If you don’t remember the session then click here to go check them out.  Since that day, if you had asked me to describe the best family session I’d ever had was like, I would have described that session.  These three little ones were just joyful, cooperative, absolutely silly, and their parents just made it all that much easier!

Fast forward a year now and I have a new favorite family session ever!  The family has grown!  Yes indeed if I remember correctly I do believe Caryn was keeping a bit of secret on the day I photographed her kiddos.   They now have a sweet and handsome little Matthew.  I could NOT be happier for them!  Especially because they asked me to capture his first portraits.  And THEN I got to photograph the ENTIRE family!  I think Mike and Caryn were a little bit jealous of how much fun the kids had last year at their session.  They wanted in on the action too.  Who could blame them!

Let me start with Matthew!  I set aside a special session all for him.  I mean, how could I not?  Look at his roley-poley baby loveliness!

And his eyes!  My goodness!  When I created these photos Matthew was just about 3 months old.  3 month olds are so sweet!  They are happy, alert, and even full of smiles.  He had all of that going on!  But it was the beautiful blue eyes that just captured my heart!

A week or two later Caryn and Mike corralled the whole gang together and we met up once again at Hubbard Park so that we could capture everyone together!  This year, unlike last year, it was sunny and pleasant!  And the kids were just awesome, of course!  We decided to start the session with what is probably the most difficult photograph to capture…. the WHOLE FAMILY!  I admit, I get rather anxious and sweaty for these whole family shoots!  Four children and and two parents!  Yes that is a lot to manage!  But I think we pulled it off rather nicely!

Next on the list, some photos of all four children, together, smiling.  And hopefully not just that CHEESE smile but a real HAPPY smile!  That’s the tricky part.  These days we take so many photos of children that they put this funny fake smile on whenever a camera is near by.  It is my mission to try my best to get REAL smiles.  What does this entail?  Making an utter FOOL of myself!  I laugh, I cry, I fall over, I make bizarre noises!  You name it, I’ll try it.  Here were some of my favorites.

Once all of this was out of the way I was free to get down and have some fun with each cutie pie all by themselves!

And finally, near the end of the session we squeezed in a little time for Mike and Caryn together.  Can I tell you something about these two?  They are just the most in love couple I’ve met in quite some time. And that says a lot because I happen to be blessed enough to photograph a lot of engaged couples or couples on their wedding day.  I just love how these two love one another.  It is a great example for the rest of the world.

Until next year guys!  It was awesome and I am so thankful for the chance to do it!

To see more of Caryn, Mike, and the Whole Gang please click the slideshow below!  To see more of Matthew’s special session click on the slideshow below that!


Tips for Your Photo Shoot! What to Wear! Connecticut Portrait and Wedding Photographer!

Do you have a photo shoot with Crystal Starr Photography coming up soon?  Have you thought about booking one soon?  Let me help you have the best possible experience and create photos you will treasure forever!  Let’s begin with the basics.  What should you wear?  What kinds of clothing are most flattering and look best in portraits?  Let’s get into that.

What NOT to wear!

  • Anything you don’t feel comfortable in.  Seriously!  If you aren’t comfortable then you will not look comfortable in photographs.  You will be self-conscious or fidgety.
  • Avoid solid dark colors and solid light colors.  When everyone in the group is wearing all white, all black, all gray, or all navy blue you create photo that is more 2 dimensional, flat, and to be quite honest… boring!  Not to mention very unflattering for everyone.  It becomes difficult for the eye to determine where one person begins and another ends so EVERYONE ends up looking much wider!  No one wants to look wider, trust me.
  • So toss out the white shirts and khaki pants or jeans.  You can do better.  I promise!
  • Avoid tiny stripes or patterns, or logos.  These are distracting and are not picked up well by the camera.
  • Avoid having everyone wearing just the same thing.  Seriously, the matchy matchy look is just not flattering or interesting!

So what SHOULD you wear?

  • Alright, I just massacred all of your ideas didn’t I?  Before you run away screaming keep reading! Bright, bold, saturated colors photograph best.
  • Choose colors that go well together. One way to style your family is to choose one colorful piece of clothing (like Mom’s dress) and coordinate everyone else’s outfits around it.  To be more specific, choose three bright colors and purchase everyone’s clothing around those colors.  Perhaps pink, blue, and yellow are your colors.  Maybe sister has a sweater with those three vivid colors.  Dad has a nice shirt in blue, brother is dressed in yellow, and mom has pink and blue in her attire.  Coordinated and interesting but not totally matching.
  • If we are shooting a large extended family then think in much the same way.  Choose three colors and just invite everyone to go with it.
  • Bold elements are a lot of fun!  A big bold necklace, a wide brimmed funky hat, a brightly colored scarf, big chunky healed shoes, all of these things add so much interest and variety to a photo.  A talented photograph can use these fun things to bring out the best in the photos and they can ensure these things do not overtake the photo.

Below I have a photo of one of the best dressed sessions I’ve ever had.   You can see they are definitely coordinated but each outfit is distinct and if you knew these children then you’d know what they were wearing is what they like and feel most comfortable in.

Confession time!  I stink at coordinating my own family for photo sessions.  I am NOT a shopper!  I cannot STAND malls.  I’d like to hire this Momma to dress MY FAMILY!

I hope this FAQ helps you when planning your next photo session!

Have a fabulous week!

The Eyes Have It! A Family Session at Hubbard Park

Would you just look at these two adorable little boys?  Their eyes are just absolutely amazing!  They just sparkle and radiate!  What a fun session this was!  We arrived at Hubbard park on a clear crisp beautiful autumn day.  The trees were absolutely at their peak of color.  But these two little boys stole the show.  We ran and we laughed.  We climbed and yes, we even splashed in a few puddles.  All in the name of good fun!  It is sessions like these that make this job the best in world.  Thank you so much Kerri!  Your boys were just love and I was privileged to photograph them!