There is just something so special about your baby reaching that 1st birthday milestone. After a year of incredible growth, your tiny infant has become a one year old...on the brink of becoming a toddler.
One of our favorite sessions to do in studio is a First Birthday/ Cake Smash.
This beautiful (and delicious) little cake was made by our favorite local baker, Stefanie of Sweet Luxe Cake Design.
You can find her gorgeous creations here: www.sweetluxecakedesign.com/
We started out this session with some pictures of the birthday girl. This is a good opportunity to not only get a few sweet photos before the mess, but it also gave her a bit of time to warm up to the camera.
Once we get our pre-cake photos, we set the cake down in front of the birthday girl and let her have fun!
Seriously...is there anything cuter than baby toes?
Ava had a fantastic time at her cake smash, and her pictures are so precious.
After all these pictures of delicious, adorable cake mess, I leave you with some words of wisdom from my kindergarten teacher.
"Kids are 100% washable, non shrinkable."
Click the contact tab at the top of the page to request more information about our cake smash sessions. We would love to hear from you!
Mrs. Fernandez was a woman full of wisdom. Any time we were gluing in class (with that super sticky minty smelling paste jug) she would tell us "a little dab will do ya" which of course my little kindergarten ears heard as "a little dabool dooulya" I'm embarrassed to admit just how old I was when the light bulb went off and I realized what she was actually saying.
For our Small Business Spotlight this month, I visited The Toy Chest in Hope.
Hope is such an adorable town. The Toy Chest is located right on the corner by the blinking light.
If you are looking for a perfectly curated shopping experience, this is the place to go. Walking into The Toy Chest feels a little like stepping back in time. Around every turn, you are either rediscovering a part of your childhood or discovering an amazing new toy. The owner, Kirk, greets each of his customers as they come through the door (one of the reasons we love shopping small businesses). For my visit, I asked Kirk if he could give me some recommendations for stocking stuffers. His enthusiasm is contagious and I am excited to surprise my family members on Christmas morning with some of his suggestions.
Best of all, each of these products is under $15 at The Toy Chest (and most are under $10).
My kiddos would love the Star Wars and Roblox. I had to convince myself not to buy one of the Retro Toys for myself.
A few more retro toys. I remember playing Jacks with my mom when I was little...she was so good! It is so fun to share a part of my childhood with my kids on Christmas morning.
Who else remembers these toys? You gently squeeze the bottom pieces together and the little characters flip around on the string. They are so cute!!
These are one of my favorite stocking stuffers at The Toy Chest. They are Bluetooth enabled, so you can stream wirelessly from your favorite device, and the sound is great! I was shocked that these were within my stocking stuffer price.
I love the experience of shopping at The Toy Chest and finding toys that you just won't find in a big box store. This toy train is so sweet. I could imagine all age groups being excited to receive a toy like this.
I couldn't help myself...they are just too cute. There is a little wooden button on the bottom and when you press it in and out, they dance. My kids get a total kick out of these.
My girls love these little backpacks. They stash all kinds of tiny things in them and let their dolls "carry" them to doll school.
My girls can't get enough of these little guys either. Something about their small size and sparkly eyes that draws them in. They are the perfect size to tuck into a stocking for Christmas morning.
Pop toys!! I don't know about your kids, but my kids love these things. The candy canes are adorable for stocking stuffers. Kirk has a great selection of these in the store. I love the octopus ones.
The Toy Chest is the best place to find the perfect gift, small or large.
Shop small. Shop local.
Tell him Chris and Andrea will see him soon...probably today...we have shopping to do!
Oh and if you see my husband...let him know they have Dickens Village pieces there as well.
This was our first year doing Christmas Tree Farm mini sessions, and it was so much fun!
We were able to set up a few different places at the farm to get more variety for our families. The tree farm even had a caboose we were able to use to capture some pictures....now how do I convince my husband that I need to buy a caboose of my own?
We didn't miss a single family member!
Join us in our studio in beautiful Hope, New Jersey for our Premium Studio Mini Sessions. Sessions are 30 minutes long and will feature three different setups. Perfect for Christmas cards and photo gifts. Our premium sessions include access to online card ordering from your own private link. Photo prints and gifts are available a la carte.
The Premium Studio Mini Session can be booked through this link:
Our Christmas Tree Farm Mini Sessions will be held at the gorgeous Sunset Christmas Tree Farm in Blairstown, New Jersey. Sessions are 30 minutes which is the perfect amount of time to grab some individual photos of each family member along with some family photos. This session is perfect for Christmas card photos and they also make great gifts! Our tree farm mini session comes with three digital images. You will also have the opportunity to purchase prints and photo gifts a la carte.
Sessions can be booked here:
You're (probably) not going to buy a ballgown and wear it to McDonald's.
You've invested in professional photography (your ballgown). You have all of the digital files and you are going to print them yourself and save a ton of money. I mean, that crazy photographer is going to charge you $50+ to print a picture that will cost you $2.00 to print at Walmart (McDonald's). Does she think you are crazy?!?!
Why, why, why are you wearing your ballgown to McDonald's?
Professional labs charge more for a reason.
Did you know that professional photographers calibrate their computer monitors to exact specifications so that when their images are printed at a professional lab, the colors are true? How many times have you printed at a chain pharmacy only to notice that your picture that looked great on your phone looks a little green?
The paper quality at a professional lab is archival quality, as well as the ink. This allows your family photos to become family heirlooms, able to be enjoyed for generations.
"Look at great-grandma! She was SASSY when she was a kid!
Professional photography is an investment, and part of that investment is the quality of the product you take home with you. we want to help you create stunning quality ART for your walls at home, because your family is a work of art.
After looking around my house, I think the perfect place to put large portraits of my kids is my living room. It's a bigger room with high ceilings, I think they are going to look fantastic.
Here's a quick phone image of what it looks like.
Custom artwork is an investment and I really wanted to have an idea of what it was going to look like when it was done. The canvases I am drooling over are 20x40...huge! I wanted to make sure there would be no buyer's remorse.
I measured the pictures that were already on the wall so I would have a size reference. That allowed me to upload the picture into my editing program and make a scale mock-up of what the canvases would look like on the wall.
This is the result:
I LOVE how they look!! The canvases have been ordered and I can't wait for them to come in.
These will be four 20x40 canvases in float frames.
I am so excited to be able to offer this as a service to our photography clients. I want you to know for sure that you are going to absolutely LOVE the artwork that is going on your walls.
Stay tuned for the after photo so we can see just how accurate the mock-up really looks!
We are suffering from a big case of "The shoemaker's children have no shoes" over here. I probably have hundreds of "favorite" pictures of my kiddos...all in my computer.
They really belong on my walls!!! Big beautiful images that will make me smile and remember just how precious these little critters are (and how fast they are growing).
These are literally the only pictures I have of my kids in my house (other than some sports magnets on the side of the fridge).
Total facepalm...the fourth baby isn't even in there. Say it...PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH LADY!!
I know, I know! I am going to pick out photos and order large canvases this week. I'm going to do it, and you are going to hold me accountable.
I can't wait to show you how they come out.
Added bonus: I was listening to a podcast and they were talking about how seeing photos of themselves and their families around the house is really good for a child's self-esteem.
When my kiddos are having a bad day, I want them to be able to come home and look around and see pictures of what is really important. US! Remember the good times, smile ant the silly moments, and feel the LOVE.
If you are up for a little extra reading, this post talks a little more about the psychology behind how family portraits can help boost your child's self-esteem, and why printing those photos and getting them up on your walls is so important!
Your family is a work of art, and artwork should be displayed!
Andrea is the daughter-in-law half of the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law team that makes up The Creative Edge Photography. She has four young children of her own and understands that photographing children is much like herding cats.