The Three Questions of Family Portraits

The Three Questions of Family Portraits

Manalapan Family Photographer


The three questions of family portraits start with who,what and where. When chatting with clients about their family portraits, these three questions are always raised.  First, I want to know who they would love to photographed with. Second, I take out the concern about what to wear. And finally, I sit with my clients, talk about what they do as a family and we figure out where the photoshoot should take place.




Family- photographerFamily- photographer

Leverage the value of working with an experienced family photographer. As one, I can answer these questions. During our planning session we will cover all the basics, including these three concerns. Obviously, the answers will differ depending upon your family dynamic and the types of photos you like. However, the general premise for them remains the same. And yet every family is different.

Family- Photographer

Who To Include

Well, this answer is simple. Basically, invite whomever you would love to have a moment captured in time and hung in your home as an heirloom! Perhaps you are just looking for updated family portraits of your immediate family. If that is the case, then the answer is easy. However, if you are considering these photos as gifts, it may make sense to invite other family members. Understand, multi-generational portraits shows a family’s history. These photos  can be passed from generation to generation. And, including grandparents (or possibly aunts and uncles) provides you the opportunity to capture your entire clan! When we sit down we can discuss your ideas. We will determine exactly who to invite to the photo session.

What To Wear

Honestly, “what to wear for a photo shoot” is a pretty common question. You would not believe the stress this decision can cause. When you share your vision for the photos and who will be included, we can work together to determine the best wardrobe choices. Really, you can dress formally or casually. Also, your family can wear the same colors or incorporate complimentary ones. Based on my experience as a professional photographer, I know what works and what doesn’t. If you are looking to buy something new, I can even share some great places to shop! In short, we  will help you make the best choices for your photo shoot. I also want it to match the color’s in your home where your artwork will be hung!


Where to have your session

Clearly, this can be a difficult decision.  Let’s face it, the choices are endless.  Lately, I have loved the indoor shoots I have been doing in my studio. Honestly, I can control the atmosphere and the lighting. And, I have so many props to include. That said, a shoot on location can be magnificent. I am well-known for my beach photos and have done sessions throughout New Jersey. Recently, I did a photo shoot in a lavender field.  Magnificent does not even begin to describe the resulting images.  In short, the location is going to be dependent upon the feeling you want the photos to invoke, the family members participating and, quite often, the weather.  Together we will determine the most perfect location for your photos. I have taken pictures almost everywhere and am happy to make suggestions or try something new.

The Value of A Professional Photographer

Finally, family portraits, taken by a professional photographer, provide tangible memories that will truly last a lifetime. I love shooting them, my camera provides me a window into your lives and I love to use my experience to capture the essence of your family. Working together, I will provide advice and counsel on the who, what and where of family photos: who to invite, what to wear and where to shoot.  Rest assured, every detail will be covered.

  Please know, the ultimate truth is I want you to have these photographs to last a lifetime. Family photographs are much more important than you can imagine. Sadly, one day it may be all you have left. And trust me it will be a blessing.



If you are interested, contact me today today to schedule your family portrait session.  Honestly, I am excited to meet you, learn about your family and share my ideas for beautiful photos.



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September 11 2001 | The day my life changed forever

September 11 2001 | The day my life changed forever

  September 11 2001. I feel as if I have lived a thousand different lifetimes since then. Click here to see last year’s thoughts.

        September 11 2001. It is so damn surreal. Has it really been 18 years, is my youngest daughter really 18 years old? It dawned on me this morning that the anxiety I am feeling and the beginning of September is all because of this. I think Greenday said it best, ” As my memory rests but never forgets what I lost Wake me up when September ends” I think it was all of the year’s I spent reaching out to my kids teacher’s. Dear so and so.. If you are going to talk about September 11 2001 this year, please let me know, so I can act accordingly. My daughters are all in college now but don’t think I don’t think about it.

marlboro-family-photographer       This photograph was taken in May of 2001

This is the one and only family photograph I have. Imagine only one photograph of your family? How could that be? I am begging all families out there. Don’t be like me, have your family photo’s taken. One day they may be the only thing you have left. This is the sad truth. I have always said that I am so grateful to be a photographer, my daughters have many photos of themselves with Lloyd. What about those that don’t?

There are still people suffering out there. Look at the first responders and their families. They have to sit and watch their loved ones suffer for doing their job. I respect each and every one of you more than you could imagine

There are also the”Children of 9-11″ who suffer daily

When the good things happen, we remember And there are so many GOOD THINGS! Imagine all the graduations, the accomplishments, the things a parent should be around to witness. Its heart wrenching. It honestly sucks the wind out of me to have to hate September and all it brings every year. My kids are older now, and it is harder. Which child will have memories creep up and first grieve now. Trust me September 11 2001 is still an ongoing issue in my home. Mental Health is so important.


Here is my Plea as a 9-11 Widow

 Please don’t post photos on facebook of the Twin Towers on fire. Because It hits me in the gut and then I get into a lost pit of rumination thinking of Lloyd and what he went through. I know you are doing it from your heart, if you must PLEASE block me on the post. If you are friends with my kids, please block them as well. It KILLS us to see it. Please don’t call or text me to say ” I am thinking of you today” I know you are 🙂 I appreciate it, really. If I talk to you daily then call me!

 It’s time for a new family photo

And trust me I will put alot of due diligence on which family photographer I will pick.( who am I kidding I already know )  I also won’t wait because time is promised to no one.

I hope every single day I make my girls proud. Because every single thing I have done, is for you. If it weren’t for you I would be lost. You are the reason I am a strong woman. You are the reason I fight for whats right. You are the reason I woke up 18 years ago and decided to live.

    I would love to donate a Fine Art Family portrait to a family who has recently suffered the loss of a parent. If you know of anyone please click HERE  reach out to me and let me know.




September 11 2001


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  • Janeris - So touching. You had that portrait taken just in time. So sorry you had to go through that.ReplyCancel

  • photobiz18 - Such beautiful memories captured for all eternity. Hold them all close to your heart.ReplyCancel

The Importance of Family Portraits

Family Portraits

 The importance of family portraits cannot be overstated. Check out your summer pictures, are there beautiful family portraits among them? For some reason, maybe because I’m a mom, the start of school is always my new year. As such, it is the perfect time to make sure your have a beautiful and current family photo.

3 Reasons to Schedule Your Family Portrait Session

As a professional family photographer, it’s not surprising that I believe in the importance of family portraits. But, my love of of these photos is more than professional; it’s incredibly personal.  You see, years ago, I was widowed. My husband’s death left me with three young children. I knew how important it was to make sure these beautiful girls knew how much their dad loved them. While I told them this regularly (really, all the time), it was the family portraits we had that convinced them.  In these photos, his love for them came alive.  They could see it. A picture is truly worth a thousand words.



Now understand, I’m not suggesting you schedule professional family portraits as a precursor to a possible tragedy. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Photos bring joy.  When you schedule your family portrait session you will capture the here and now, set aside a special time to bond and create beautiful art work for you home or to gift.

Capture The Moment

Time is fleeting – and we all know it.  While days are long, years truly do fly by. Your family will never look the same as it does at this specific point-in-time. Take this opportunity to have heirloom pictures taken together.  So often in pictures, someone is missing – usually the mom or dad because “someone has to be the photographer.” Now, that person can be me!  Make it a priority to ensure you have pictures of your whole family together. I promise, years from now you will look back on these pictures and remember so much about your life at this particular time. The memories captured in these photos will make you smile for year to come.


Quality Family Time

While the “goal” of a family photo shoot is, of course, the pictures; many don’t expect the incredible benefit the actual process of taking the pictures provides. Imagine the opportunity to spend time with your family away from the disruptions of every day life. Like the photo above at Pleasant Valley Lavender Field. As a professional photographer, one of my goals during the shoot is to minimize outside distractions (like cell phones) so you can authentically interact with each other. This opportunity to simply “be” not only results in the most meaningful photos, but also provides you some truly quality time together.

Beautiful Pictures

Of course, your family portrait session will result in classic family photographs. When we meet to view your pictures, I will share with you the amazing options you have. Together we can create luxurious fine art pieces to use throughout your home or to give as gifts to those you love. The most intimate way to decorate a home is with photographs – and family portraits are truly art that tells a story. Don’t forget to include Grandparents!

Schedule Your Family Portrait Session

Taking family portraits is one of my favorite things to do. I love meeting new people and witnessing the interaction between family members. The opportunity to document your lives at a specific moment is so special to me. Look around your home, do you have a recent family photo? If not, NOW is the time to get one.  Contact me today and we can work together to plan the perfect portrait session for your family.




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