VIEW my portfolio
Lehigh Valley family photographer serving Allentown, Easton, Bethlehem, Quakertown, Center Valley and beyond!
type below and hit enter
Contact me now to set up your dream session.
Have you ever gotten your child’s school portraits back from the photographer and think… is this a joke? Your child looks like a deer in the headlights… their hair is a hot mess… they came straight from gym class and are a sweaty, red mess? We have all been there!
Wanna see my school-aged awesomeness over the years?? Be sure to read to the end to see some of the school pictures I brought home to my mom.
I got to thinking about how my Splintered Owl measuring board at the studio is SOO full from the ages of three to five years old, so much so that there is almost nowhere to write another name (come to think of it, Danielle if you’re reading this, I need another board!) then then it begins to thin out and there is room to write again. That’s because a lot of parents begin to skip those milestone birthday sessions as their kid turns school aged.
Let’s think this through for a sec: We literally battle through all of those tough ages and stages- we get photos of running one year olds, we capture two year olds who hate us at that moment, three-nagers, the “cheeeeese”-y fours and when they head off to kindergarten and actually LOVE having their photos taken and have gotten comfy with the studio and me, we say… “We’re gonna let the school portrait guy take it from here! It’s been real, LG!”
I’m exaggerating of course but you get the gist.
One of the things I pride myself most on is my ability to connect with kids. If you’ve ever been to my studio you know my motto is, “whatever it takes” and I fully embrace that when I have a kid in front of my camera. (Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by my squawking rubber chicken… )
When you stay loyal to a photographer for years, your child begins to trust them. They feel that familiarity when they walk in the door. They begin to associate me almost like a silly aunt they get to see once a year. THIS. IS. SO. IMPORTANT.
Connection through the camera lens isn’t easy when a child is afraid of me. The real magic happens when they can let their guard down and let their silliness show. That’s when those real smiles and “candid moments” everyone is always talking about actually happen. Genuine smiles happen not while saying “cheese” but when I have a rubber chicken pooping on my head or my feather duster keeps making me sneeze. It happens when I can ask your child which they would rather eat: skunk pizza or a trash can milkshake. (I saw you smile right there while you gave that two seconds of thought…)
Coraline is the perfect example of this. She went through all of the stages with me. But this last session for her 8th birthday photos was one of my favorites. Because of all of the years Coraline and I put into cultivating our friendship, she shined so bright at her session that her grandma sent me this message:
“Thank you Lori for another wonderful photo session. i haven’t heard Coraline talk so much when she was with you. You are a very special lady. I hope you know that.
Here is a photo of you in action. Love always.”
This matters. This is so cool.
Continuing milestone birthday sessions are so important. With the launch of the new website, we have decided to rename them to: “SPOTLIGHT SESSIONS”. It is a milestone but really it is me putting the spotlight on them:
making them feel like they are the only person in the world that matters at that moment
highlighting what makes them unique and their interests at this age and stage of life
giving them the space to be just as they are without worrying about perfection
Props from home are encouraged but not necessary. The creative possibilities are endless.
As busy moms, many of us working while raising families, it’s easy to put off what seems daunting or not of utmost importance. But overtime, especially since adding two little ones to our household, I’ve recognized the value of giving each of our kids their own “spotlight”. Time alone with each of us parents… it lets them know they matter, we see them as individuals and we love them for who they are and not just as a part of our children as a group.
If budgeting for this session is a concern, consider using it as part of their birthday gift. I can’t tell you one specific birthday present I got as a child but I vividly remember my brother and I surprising our parents with photos of the two of us from Olan Mills in K-Mart. Up until that point, I had never had a photo shoot with my family that I can remember.
Let’s make some core memories for those kiddos. Book the shoot. I promise it’ll be worth it.
Here are some more examples from my friends who come to visit me for their birthday milestone / “spotlight” photos, along with their school photos:
P.S. Here’s my SWEET vintage school photos I promised you!
Don’t forget to sign up for my Email Newsletter here: LG Newsletter Sign Up
Follow me on IG, FB and Pinterest for more newborn photography inspiration:
FB: LG Photography
Pinterest: LG Photography
© 2023 LORI GENEROSE. LG PHOTOGRAPHY LLC. all rights reserved.