Greetings for the Holidays!

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With our hectic lifestyles of cell phones and e-mail, nothing short of Santa himself says “Happy Holidays” quite as much as an old fashioned Christmas card! It’s reassuring to get those holiday greetings, and its extra special when you can actually HOLD it in your hand–better yet, display in your home over your fireplace or door!

So how’s the best way to show off those festive cards? You can easily and inexpensively make a garland of cards for your mantel or doorway by threading a few dozen large beads onto a decorative string. As cards arrive, hang each one over the string between two beads; the beads will serve as spacers. For those non-folding cards, try Gripping Stuff!, a nifty adhesive felt that allows you to display cards (and pretty much anything else) without ruining your woodwork or wallpaper. Look for it at your local stationery or office supply store, or for additional information, go to http://www.gripping-stuff.com.

And don’t forget, as those cards come in, snip the return address from the envelope, and tape it to the back of the card. After the holidays, you’ll have all those addresses to update your Christmas card list for next year!

When it’s time to take the decorations down, gather all your cards and stack them together face up. Go through each card and punch a hole in the upper left-hand corner, taking care not to crop off any faces or essential writing. Next, use a small ribbon to tie a loose loop through all of the cards, leaving enough slack to easily look through the cards. Store the group with your holiday decorations, and when next year rolls around, you’ll have a fun and festive booklet to set out on a table or in a basket. Each year you can do the same, and enjoy watching your friends and family grow and change with each passing holiday!

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Family Craft: Photo Ornament

Capture your favorite photo in an ornament forever! This is a perfect low cost present for any loved one on your list, and it’s so easy, even the kids can do it! Remove the top/hook from a clear Christmas bulb, preferably a bulb 6 inches in diameter or larger. Cut a picture about the same diameter of the bulb. Wrap your photo around a pencil, photo side out, and slip the pencil and picture into the bulb. Use the pencil or a Q-Tip to straighten the picture out so it stands upright in the bulb. Fill the backside of the photo with ribbons, confetti, and potpourri…. anything festive!

Lastly, with a paint pen, add your greeting (name, date, etc.) to the front of the ornament.

Use your creativity and dress it up for a personal ornament will brighten anyone’s tree!

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Great Gift Ideas!

Can’t decide what to get that special someone? We’ve got the perfect item for everyone on your list!

Moms & Grandmas love our beautiful photo purses, try the stylish handbag for mom and a cute, compact cosmetics bag for grandma! Don’t forget the classy Isabella Chase photo jewelry, a perfect fit for the most discriminating taste!

Dads & Grandpas can always use new pictures of their favorite kiddos for their office, why not try a photo collage of all the grandkids!

Still can’t decide? Let them decide for themselves! Gift certificates available in any amount!

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5 things to help you take better Holiday Photos of kids

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Make sure you have back up batteries and SD card.
Ok, so this might seem like overkill, but I’m sure we’ve all had that moment where the entire family is all together, you’ve convinced even the most unenthusiastic family member for a “quick pic” , everyone is finally in place, perfectly in front of the fireplace and BAM-you’re battery is dead on your camera. You’re then scrambling around asking everyone if they have an extra set of batteries, while the once perfectly posed children start to fuss,the new baby in the family starts to cry, uncle Ned is agitated because someone snagged him for the “quick” family photo just as he was getting ready to go outside for his smoke and grandma falls asleep in the chair. Not fun. So bring along a backup set of batteries so you can switch out the old ones and keep taking great photos. I usually keep mine right in my pocket for quick easy access. Maybe even check the battery level BEFORE you gather an entire household of family and pose them.

Always have an extra SD card on hand too for multiple reasons. First is the obvious, you never want to get that message “card full” when you’re right in the middle of shooting the perfect picture and you don’t have a backup card to put in. A good rule of thumb is to start with a fresh clean formatted SD card each time you go somewhere or want to use your camera, then you probably won’t even need the backup unless you’re like me and just keep taking photos the entire time-I usually go through a FEW SD cards. The second reason you want an extra SD card on hand is that sometimes you just get a dud SD card or it gets old and it fails. You’ll see an error message (depending on your camera) “card read error” and I won’t lie, most of the time you’ll lose those images that were already on the bad card …..so back up back up back up!! That is why it’s never good to keep a ton of images on that SD card, just in case it does fail, you won’t have photos from last year on it that you just haven’t uploaded to your computer.
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2. Anticipate what the child will do next.
Ok, so last year you asked Santa for that fancy schmancy digital SLR camera and, well… it just wasn’t in his budget. So you feel like you are “Stuck” with your point and shoot and can NEVER seem to get the shot you wanted because it was done and over by the time you pushed the button. Before I had my SLR and started my business I actually started on a point and shoot (well, I even had a film camera llllllooooooonnnnnnggggggg before my point and shoot, lol) and I took a bunch of great shots. In fact, I still like taking my point and shoot with me when I go to small family functions rather than carting around my big luggy SLR. The key to a point and shoot is to ANTICIPATE what will happen next and take the shot just a few seconds BEFORE it actually happens. This is a tricky one, but you know your kids and chances are, you know what’s coming next. It takes a little practice but start to notice when you are actually pushing the button, if you are missing the shot, and then adjust your timing a bit always thinking about what might be coming and if you want that shot.
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3. Help reduce the blur.
If your camera doesn’t have image stabilization then you have to have a steady hand. One of the ways I help reduce blur, no matter what kind of camera I am using, is to hold the camera out (or up to my eye) but bring my elbows into my body and steady them on my chest. This helps reduce the amount your arms are moving and hands are shaking. It sounds simple….and it is….but it makes a BIG difference. I also will hold my breath when I go to take the final shot. This way your chest isn’t moving your elbows thus moving your camera. You’ be surprised how much breathing can shake your camera. And this one might be an obvious, but with kids it can be a hard one…..stand still! Chasing them all over WHILE taking photos probably won’t end with a good result. Slow down, stop moving even for just a second, take your time, and steady your hands on your chest, take a breath in, and TAKE THE SHOT! (Then don’t forgot to breathe out of course, lol)
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4. Get down to their level (or up if they are a climber, lol)
If they are on the ground you should be on the ground. My favorite place is on my belly, elbows steadied on the ground, camera in front of my face. Getting down on their level gives an entirely different perspective in the photos. It makes you feel like you were part of what they were doing, connected in the action, not just a passerby. If you have a climber, like my son was, then climb too. Ok, maybe grandma shouldn’t be doing this one, BUT if you feel comfortable and are healthy enough to climb then climb with them; trees, couches, playgrounds. If you’re not adventurous, scared of heights, or have medical problems that may prevent you from climbing a playground jungle gym no worries, use your camera zoom and make it feel like you are right there with them. The key is to not just look down at the kids from a standing position or to be half a football field away when they are on the playground. Make it feel like you were part of the action!
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5. Don’t make everyone stop and say cheese!
Long gone are the days of making the kids stop and say cheese. Don’t get me wrong, a family photo all cozied up to the fire or a family reunion of everyone posed smiling is great. I take those every year. But what I mean is that the kids are globing gravy on the turkey and have it smeared all over their face and you pull out the camera because it is such a cute moment only to make them STOP what they are doing to look at you and say “cheese”; mouth full, gravy coving the table and now pouting because they don’t want you to take their photo… the moment is gone. I think that telling kids to stop what they are doing and smile at the camera only takes them away from the true moment that needs capturing. Instead, try to be as inconspicuous as possible. Sneak up, maybe use some zoom so they don’t even know that you are taking a photo. Try to catch them doing the things they love as they happen. If you can’t be inconspicuous then sometimes it’s easy to partner up with another parent, grandparent, uncle or friend and one person can just PLAY with the kids and get them laughing, smiling….have some FUN. Then your partner in crime can take a few shots (with or without you in frame) and you will probably get genuine smiles and laughs instead of those goofy fake smiles they give when you say “hey guys look at me and smile” Bottom line: stop interrupting the real moment to say cheese. Photos that are not staged tell the story of who they are and are magical when you look back at them!

Best of luck this year and remember to be yourself, have fun and if you have any questions feel free to email me at photographybyjaime@live.com To keep up with new images and posts follow me on Facebook too http://www.facebook.com/jaimebrookphotography (bc can you believe that Photography by Jaime was taken?)

Sibling love/ Child Family Photographer Scotia New York

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I really get so excited when I have the opportunity to do photo shoots for repeat customers. I love getting to see the children each time and see how they’ve grown. Honestly, it really puts life into perspective for me. I am awestruck by how quickly life really passes by. The astounding changes that take place from visit to visit make me step back and try to appreciate all the little things in my own life. I try to kiss my own children each and every second I get, I call an old friend that I haven’t seen in a while, I visit with my grandmother even if it’s only for a few minutes. The passage of time is relentless and doesn’t stop just because we are busy with work, school, children, homework, running to soccer practice or ballet lessons. The passage of time is our teacher; expecting us all to learn that each second is precious.
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I met this little lady almost a year ago at her newborn photo shoot. At the time she was merely 5 days old. She was NOT happy that we wanted to undress her and pose her when alllllll she wanted to do was cuddle with mommy in this new world outside of the tummy. I’m still not quite sure how we pulled it off but I managed to get a few sweet slumber poses at the end of the photo shoot…even the cute naked ones! Fast forward almost a year later and this time when we met her contagious smile lit up the room. She was all about smiles, laughter and was so cute she just made my day.
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But, let’s not forget her big brother! This kiddo’s curiosity for life and his environment was amazing. I love this age! I never EVER thought 2’s were terrible. I loved every second of each and every “why”, the getting into everything just to explore the environment around them, and I most enjoyed that the littlest things are filled with such wonder an amazement. With this little one we put a Christmas ornament in and out of a box for over 10 minutes and each time he opened the box saying “Where did it go?” His astonishment didn’t get less, it only grew with laughter each time!
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Ahhhh … Sibling love. It’s a complicated love. They are each other’s best friends or worst enemies. Luckily during this photo session I was able to catch the best friend aspect of sibling love.

Stay tuned in a couple months for this cutie-pie one year old cake smashing photos!!!

Alexandra & Jeremy – Schenectady New York Child Photographer

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Well, I hope you all have finally gotten into the swing of being back to school. My poor blog has really taken a back burner to lots of fall time photo shoots, editing and then don’t forget the kid’s homework, reading time and the LOVELY new common core curriculum!

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So here I am trying to catch up on my blog with these two beautiful kiddos. Full of life and joy, I had so much fun playing chase, peek-a-boo, and “you can’t catch me” lol.
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I’ve also started working a bit lately with textures in my photography. I have been adding all sorts of amazing textures to make my photographs look more like paintings. I have really enjoyed my time with this and just adore the final edits. I hope you do too.
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PeeWee the pomchi

I love meeting new clients! It is like finding treasure. It is so much fun learning about my customers and who they are, where they have been and where they are going. I believe that this is what life is all about…making connections. I am blessed to have my photography as an avenue to meet such wonderful folks like these. Thank you little Peewee the pomchi and to your family for an enlightening afternoon.
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OH SO ADORABLE

It is so hard for me to believe that I have come so far in my photography journey. 5 years ago I started off taking photos in a tiny little kiosk in the middle of a hallway at our local mall. Yes, that was in the MIDDLE OF THE HALLWAY. Just imagine trying to take photos of a child as tons of people walk by…talk about distracting! But, as I met customers they were kind and understanding and knew everyone needs a break in getting started. I then went into a nice big mall studio which I loved, but quickly learned that if I didn’t have plans of doing a typical cookie cutter photography chain that the mall hours were going to be exhausting for me especially having small children. So off I went, packing my studio up and setting it all back up in my garage. Yup, you heard me say it…my garage! Once again my loyal customers followed, telling me that they didn’t care if I took photos in a grubby parking lot somewhere they just had to come see me. Now, 5 years later I am settled in my awesome home studio in Glenville where I have the special privilege of doing photo shoots in the convenience of my house while still being available to my family. What more could a girl ask for (well, maybe a few more fancy shmancy new camera lenses, lol)
These photos are of an oh so adorable little girl that I have been photographing since my first days in the little kiosk. She was only just a baby at the time and now she just started kindergarten!! I cannot believe how fast time flies by. It seems like it was just yesterday!

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oh so bohoweb