A Newborn Family Album! | CT Newborn & Family Photographer

Happy Wednesday!  What a week this is turning out to be! Let me tell you craziness abounds!  Our household has faced a stomach bug, a cold, relentless allergies, a field mouse, mountains of laundry, sleep deprivation, and complete craziness!  Oh and did I mention my husband is still in a cast!  That’s life in the fast lane I guess! I have to say that yesterday was a total blast!  I hosted my first giveaway here on the blog and the response was overwhelming!  I am giving away stuff I love and you have the chance to win a gift certificate to the Etsy shop Gorgeous & Company .  You all must love her stuff too because you are entering in DROVES!  You can still get in on the fun!  Just click here to view yesterday’s blog post for the details.

Alright! Enough of that!  I have a new session to share with you today!  And what a session it was!  I always tend to gush over my clients.  My business has led me to meet the most amazing, sweet, and generous people.  I am blessed immensely by each and every one of them!  Since I am a custom photographer I usually only do one session in a day and this gives me the opportunity to really be relaxed and get to know my clients.  By the time all is said and done and all of the photos and products are delivered we become friends!  I recently shared with you the maternity session of Heather and Her Husband John.  I titled it Gorgeous is an Understatement. You all must have agreed because that session has become one of my top viewed sessions of all times!

Well Heather had the precious baby she was carrying the day I took those photos!  A healthy happy baby girl!  It was exciting to get the call to come back and photograph her newborn photos.  Their sweet daughter was a precious sight to behold.  She was just so sweet and so cuddly.  She performed like a champ for her photos and I was able to create some of my best newborn shots ever.

Heather and John were so thrilled with the results of their session that they asked me to create an album for them.  So I thought I’d spice things up a bit with this post and share the pages from that album.  Notice this family decided to mix in some of their maternity photos as well.  They are such a beautiful family!  It made the whole process very simple.  I love how the pages came together and I hope you do too!

 

This is the opening page.  Please note I removed details to protect my clients privacy.

 

 

Each image here represents a double page spread.  So you are looking at these photos as if the album were laying open on your lap.

 

 

 

I love to create pages with one photo that fills the entire page.  These ones are always stunning!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So there you have it!  A custom album by Crystal Starr.  Thank you so much for looking! Have a fabulous Wednesday everyone and don’t forget about my giveaway here!

Friday Loves! And of course… the NOT so loves!

Friday again!  How did that happen?  The weeks just fly by don’t they?  The busier you are the faster it all seems to race away.  I really am trying to find the time to stop and smell the proverbial roses as they say.  I think I’ll try to choose one activity each week that makes me SSSLLLLOOOWWW DOWN!  This week I took the time to do something I have been MEANING to do for a couple of months.  Photograph MY OWN CHILDREN!

You know the saying, the cobbler’s children have no shoes?  The photographer’s children have no photos!  I’m always so busy photographing everyone and everything else that my own kid’s get a little lost in the shuffle.  Joyanna is ALREADY 10 months old!  I’ve got to do this while I still can.

Oh, and Mom.. don’t look… these are your mother’s day presents! (You all KNOW she’s going to look right?)  Oh it doesn’t matter anyway, I’m just sharing ONE today!  I’ll share another next week when I post about improving your photos using great light.

So let’s start with some NOT SO LOVES!  Get them out of the way so we can end on a high note.

  • I still can’t get the check from our home owners insurance cashed.  It needs to be Fed Exed across the country.  But FIRST we need to have a notary stamp it.  Ugh!  Like I have time for this nonsense!
  • Repairmen who act like they can’t be bothered.  Look buddy, if this job is too much of a pain for you I can always take my work and my money someplace else!
  • When I go to two grocery stores looking for something simple and neither have what I want.
  • Gas prices… have you SEEN THE PRICE OF GAS LATELY?
  • Diaper rash, ok yes I wrote this one last week.  It’s here again because our problem has not been solved.

Ok, now on the wonderful things!  LOVES!

  • I love love LOVE my new iPhone!  This thing rocks!  I can text like every other person in the world now.  I can answer client emails and Facebook posts on the fly.
  • I LOVE Instagram http://instagr.am/.  It’s this fun way to share snapshots from your iPhone.  I’m having a blast with it and probably getting a little carried away!
  • I LOVE the sessions I’ve booked this week.  Yeah me!  Still crossing my fingers on that wedding I wrote about last week though.
  • I LOVE the photos I captured of my baby girl this week.  Ok so I’m biased.  But I just think she is the most beautiful child!
  • I LOVE my son Noah who completed the entire first level in his math program this week.  Go Noah!
  • I LOVE the couple whose wedding I am photographing tomorrow.  Jeremy and Jen are the coolest.   I consider it a true honor that they asked ME to document their big day.  (A not so love would be the butterflies in my tummy.  It is my FIRST wedding of the season.  It is also the first wedding I will ever shoot where I know MANY of the guests.  Please pray I don’t trip and fall and make a fool of myself.  I’ll never live it down if I do!)
  • Oh! Almost forgot another LOVE!  I LOVE the 50mm 1.4 lens I’ve been renting this week.  I used it to take the photo of my daughter below.  This is on my must buy soon list!  It is just DELICIOUS!  I’m going to rock it out at the wedding tomorrow!

Have a great weekend everyone!  But before I go, here is a quick collage of some of my loves this week!  You’ll see my bride and groom, my baby girl, and my iPhone with an instagram photo.  Take care!

 

 

It Sure Is A Blessing to Give! Or, I’m as good as Jay Harris!

It was fall when I received a message from my friend Jen.  She was planning a human auction to raise money for the new building our church is renovating.  She was looking for talented people to volunteer their time and services.   I automatically assumed she was asking me to help her brainstorm a list of people who ask.  I think I read the message 4 times before I realized she was asking ME to donate my photography skills.  Wait me?  ME? I’m being included in a list of people skilled enough to donate something to auction?  It probably seems ridiculous to some but I couldn’t believe it!

Before you could say boo I started writing an email telling her how excited and honored I’d be to do it.  But then my fingers FROZE!  All the what ifs started flooding my mind.  What if my session went for some piddly amount?  Or worse!  What if no one bid on me?  I’d be hurt and embarrassed!  I had serious doubts about accepting.  But I did, thank goodness I did!

The night of the auction finally came.  I was NERVOUS!  I didn’t want to go.  I didn’t want to witness my own humiliation if I only brought in $10.  I mean, all of my friends were going to be there!  But at the same time, I couldn’t stay home either.  That auction began.  They started with some delicious pies and other baked goodies.  Someone donated dog training services and someone else donated some interior decorating services.  My husband bet on some help from a handyman to do some fix ups around our house.  One of the most exciting items of the evening was a golf game and tour of ESPN with Sports Center Anchor Jay Harris.  Some of the guys were furiously bidding and the excitement was high.  What fun!  Then came my part.  A Session with Crystal Starr Photography.  I told myself I’d be happy if I rounded out at around $75.  A $100 would be wonderful.  The bidding started.  First $25, then $50, and before I knew it we were at $75.  Phew!  I would be embarrassed after all!  But then it just kept going!  And going! And going!  My head was spinning!  How could this be?  People were excited!  A little war was going on between the Pastor of our church and a couple of others.  Can you believe my session went for just as much as the round of golf and a tour of ESPN with Jay Harris!?  I was beside myself!  Pastor Joe won.  He told me his daughter-in-law wanted it and he decided he was going to get it for her.  My heart sang!  Not only did I feel appreciated in my work, but I was able to do something I loved to bring a nice chunk of change to the church.

The session was fantastic.  Jay and Sheena had just had a little baby a few months back.  They wanted photos of her and their nearly two year old Rylin.  Baby Riese was so sweet and tolerated my fussing and my camera like a champ.  Rylin was a doll.  So full of energy and just as curious as any little girl should be.  She kept me on my toes but listened so very well.  Mom and Dad were super.  They kept a very positive attitude and gave me the space to help their children be successful.

I was so blessed with this session.  I hope to have the opportunity to donate my photography to another great cause some day.  I’m not sure I really want to do another auction!  As fun as it was, it was a bit much on my heart!  Thank you Jen for asking me.  Thank to all of those who bid on me.  And thank you to the Jakum family for such a wonderful session!

Loves… & Well… Not So Loves!

It’s Friday!  You know, that day everyone races to get to every week!  That day when everyone can party because the weekend is here!  So congrats everyone you made it!  Since it is Friday I think it is a good time to look back and reflect on my week.  What Rocked and what just didn’t! I’ll start with the didn’t so I can end on a high note.

 

NOT SO LOVES!

Hmm… funny thing is.  I had a pretty amazing week so this is actually hard.  Let’s see…  Ah! I got it!

  • Repairmen!  I had a couple of them here this week.  I’m sure you’ll all agree that any time you have to have repairs done to your home, it is a NOT SO LOVE!  Especially that part where you have to hand the big fat check over!
  • Japan!  The sadness, the devastation, and the ongoing nuclear crisis.  There is NOTHING to love about that!  God I pray for those people.  I feel so helpless.
  • Diaper rash! My moms out there, they know.  There is NOTHING to love about diaper rash.  My poor baby girl!

NOW MY LOVES!

I think there could be a lot of these this week!

  • I LOVE that I got to hear Jasmine Star and Justin & Mary speak at CT PPA on Monday!
  • I love the new friends I made that day.
  • I LOVE the big fat check our insurance company wrote to us to help us pay for the repairs to our house (a not so love might be the fact that we couldn’t cash that check because it was made out wrong! UGH!)  But really, thank you God!
  • I LOVE my husband who played mommy on Monday so I could go off and do my thing!  He’s awesome!
  • I LOVE the session and wedding inquiries I received this week.  Cross your fingers and pray they pan out.
  • I LOVE that I get to take my family on a fun field trip to check out how they make maple syrup later today.  Even Daddy gets to go! On top of that, we get to hang out with some pretty awesome friends.
  • I LOVE how God is blessing me!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Oh, and because no post is complete without a photo!  Here is a LOVE photo from this week!  My two younger children horsing around.  I LOVE how much Joyanna’s brothers love her!


A Family Portrait Session at Hubbard Park

It was a wet fall day.  Silly me, you’d think I’d check the weather forecast when I have an outdoor shoot scheduled.  That was a bone headed move!  I had no idea it was going to rain.  Driving down the highway I eyed the ever graying clouds with a scornful eye.  And then the rain drops started to pelt the windshield.  Darn it!  I should have called this poor family ahead of time and rescheduled.

I called my husband and asked him to check the radar for me.  I love my husband.  He is always there for me at times like this.  My acting meteorologist informed me that there was a window in the rain headed straight for the park.  I had a chance to get it in.  Phew!

I climbed out of the car and was met with a warm welcome by my friend Caryn.  She and her husband Mike eyed the sky and asked me if I really thought this was going to work out.  “Well, we are here! Let’s see what we can get.  If we have to I’d be happy to reschedule.”  She agreed and opened her van doors to let her little crew scamper out.  To my delight, the children were thrilled and full of smiles.  They didn’t seem to notice the weather.  The air quickly filled with squeals and laughter.  I eased.  I knew we could make something out of this.

I suggested we take a walk down a nearby set of stairs into a lower part of the park where the light still seemed pretty well.  As we descended some I felt my head get pelted with little drops of rain.  The children didn’t seem to mind!  If anything, they seemed to enjoy it!.  My first mission was to try and get the ever elusive sibling shot.  You know, the one with all three, smiling, LOOKING AT THE CAMERA!  Sarah, Elizabeth, and Joshua range in age from not quite two all the way to 6.  What a challenge.  But they made it easy!  They were delightful and eager to do as I asked.  So mission 1, accomplished.

 

And then the rain began to really fall!  Oh dear! With squeals and laughter, we ran to take shelter under a nearby overhang.  I snapped a few more as we waited to see what the weather held for us next.  I am forever grateful to Caryn and Mike.  Their easy going, laid back attitude completely rubbed off on the children.  They decided to have fun with it and the children took that cue and they had fun too.  That attitude created an atmosphere of big grins and giggles that are a breeze to photograph.  All of this despite the rain.  And wouldn’t you know it?  The rain let up just enough for us to continue with our mission.

First up was funny man Joshua!  This little boy’s expressions were absolutely darling!  I wonder if he had half as much fun with me as I did with him.  A total doll.  A complete gentleman.

 

 

Then we had sweet Sarah.  Shy and giggling.  I could tell she was a bit nervous.  But she was a total shining star.  I was totally impressed with her through and through.

 

 

And finally, we cannot forget Elizabeth!  She is the big sister and she shines in her role.  On this day she was sporting a new gappy grin and a bit of concern about a little bandage on her finger.  I had so fun much chatting with her.  What a little lady.

 

 

Would you believe we completed this session in about 45 minutes?  That has to be a record!  3 small children in 45 minutes!  With more than a couple of breaks to dodge the rain drops to boot!  WOW!  That’s just a testament to what a family they are.

 

Thank you so much Elizabeth, Sarah, and Joshua!  You three make an awesome team! Thank you for making ME look so good!  I truly look forward to next time!

 

 

Time to Start Sharing! A Newborn Session

Ok Folks!

The holidays are over!  Many of my clients asked me not to share their photos until after the Christmas season as many of them wanted to gift their photos to friends and loved ones.  I didn’t want to spoil any surprises so I have not blogged many of my fall sessions.  Well it is time to start!

Today I bring to you the absolute sweetest family.  I was given the honor and privileged of being welcomed into their home when their newest arrival was just 5 days old!  What a doll!  And his big sister cracked me up the entire time.  Big sis is a typical spunky 2 year old with lots to say and lots of love for her baby brother.  We had a ball.

Adam and Lindsay thank you for a great session!

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!

Feeling All Warm & Fuzzy Inside

My to do list these days is endless.  Crystal Starr Photography is absolutely exploding!  What a ride!  The blessings God is bringing me through my camera are exhilarating…. and exhausting!  It isn’t always easy keeping up with what is essentially a full-time business, a husband, and three children (two of whom I am homeschooling and the third of which I exclusively nurse).  I rise early and fall to my pillow late.

The most important business related item on my to-do list this evening was delivering a print order to a recent client.  I usually love delivering prints.  I love the ooohhhs, aaaahhhs, and smiles.  It is fun to bring a bit of happiness into people’s lives.  The conversation tonight over the open box of prints did not disappoint.  The family was happy with the final product.  Horray!  But then Mom held the 11×14 print of her gorgeous daughter near the spot on the wall it will soon grace.  Suddenly, for me at least, the photo came alive and took on new meaning for me.  It became not just something pretty on my computer screen (as I see my creations on the computer FAR more than any other place I have the opportunity to see them – it is the nature of the digital photographer).  But something precious for this family.

Jeanette is growing up. She’ll be off to college soon.  Her whole life awaits her.  I know it sounds corny and kooky and what have you, but I can sort of imagine Jeanette’s future children – and dare I say grandchildren – admiring these photos and gushing over how gorgeous she was when she was just a young lady ready to strike out into the world.  No they won’t think of me the photographer during those moments.  But something I created will be enjoyed and have precious meaning for a long time to come.  That just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I’m not sure I can look at this photo in just the same way ever again.  Thank you to Jeanette’s family for blessing me with so much with just this one photo shoot.

FAQ: What do your spiral bound photobooks look like?

In the past I offered something called a session album as part of a couple of my packages.  I found the description must not be very clear because most of my clients asked me what exactly that was.  So I’ve decided to rename the product. I think Spiral Bound Photobook is a bit more accurate.  It features front and back custom designed sturdy covers.  These books are absolutely adorable and perfect for toting around in your purse and sharing with others.  They make fantastic gifts as well! I feature the 5×7 version in my packages but they also come in 4×6, 5×5, and 8×10.

Since a picture is worth a 1,000 words I thought you’d appreciate a visual of exactly what I am talking about.  I created this album for one of my recent clients.  I was quite pleased with how it turned out.  Of course, I did have a gorgeous model gracing the pages.

Enjoy!

Happy Birthday To My Ezra!

Today is a special day!  It is my baby boy Ezra’s THIRD birthday.  Goodness how did that happen!  He really isn’t a baby any more.  You know how it goes.  They just grow too fast!

So let me tell you about Ezra.  He came hollering into the world just before 10pm on October 14th weighing in at a healthy and hefty (no pun intended) 9lbs 2oz!  TWO POUNDS bigger than his big brother was when he was born.  We were blessed with with health and happiness.  He gained weight quickly and easily and all has been well for his entire short little life.

Ezra is definitely my little man.  Early on he seemed to favor men over women and Mommy over almost everyone.  Except for those times when only DADDY would do.  He has always been sweet and loving yet at the same time his emotions can swing large!  If he isn’t happy, boy will you know it.  If he IS happy, boy will you know it!

From the moment he laid eyes on his big brother Noah it was total love and an ultimate bond.  Ezra observed every move Noah made right from the time he was just a little new born.  We used to let Noah ride his bike in the kitchen.  Ezra, at just a couple of months old, would sit in his highchair watching, no studying is a better word, from afar.  But you could tell that he couldn’t wait to be able to do that himself some day.  As Ezra grew he took on the attitude that if his brother could do it he could too.  And you know what, he’s mostly been right.  The brothers are inseparable.

The thing about Ezra that strikes me the most is his total servant’s heart.  That little boy lives to help others, do for others, and make others happy.  He will share his last special treat, pick up a dropped item, and even bring mommy her breakfast when she is busy nursing his baby sister.  It brings Ezra total joy to serve others.  He teaches me a lot every single day!

Love you Ezra!  Mommy couldn’t be more proud!  Happy Birthday sweet cheeks!

Oh, and don’t wish him a happy birthday.  It totally embarrasses him and he hides!

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