Thursday, May 29, 2008

Father's Day gift!

My husband started a new job in November, and was recently complaining that he didn't have any current pictures of the kids in his office. I set out to take a group picture of the kids to frame for him as a surprise on Father's Day. All I can say is it's tough to get five restless kids to sit still AND look AND smile all at the same time. Of course, I knew this already. I am not quite done with deciding which group shot I'm going to use, but until then, here are a few pictures of the kids...individually! I think I might frame some of these for the house.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Not a baby anymore!

My little boy turned three today, and I've been snapping pictures of him all weekend. Why is it so much harder for parents to get those perfect pictures of their own children? I swear Andrew doesn't want to listen OR sit still lately. I got a few shots that I'm relatively happy with, though. Happy birthday, Little Buddy!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Brother and Sister

After working with several newborns, it was a fun challenge to take these pictures of bigger kids, ages 1 1/2 and 4 1/2. They have some of the most beautiful brown eyes I've ever seen!


Mason was precious to work with, but my favorite part of our newborn session was watching the interactions between Mom and Dad and their new son. I left their home with warm fuzzy feelings!

This might not be a perfect picture, but I just love the fact that Dad was willing to pose for this feet shot. It puts things into perspective!

Close to home

I had to share a few of my recent favorite pictures of my kids. The three youngest tend to be much more willing to be followed around with a camera!

The Twins

As soon as I heard that my friend was pregnant with twin boys, I got excited about taking their newborn photos. What an opportunity! These 6-lb, 7-day-old twins were a joy to photograph. What a miracle!


This was my very first newborn photo session. I planned to meet with Brooklyn and her mom just a week after she was born to catch some drowsy newborn shots. Not Brooklyn! She was wide awake and interactive. I loved all of her expressions! What a beauty!


If you haven't already, please see custom photography and what to expect for more information about what I offer.

Note: I am usually able to customize a session to fit within your needs as well--just ask!

Session fee -- $180
**Includes up to 3 individuals, or a family photo session without individual portraits (add $15 for each additional person for portraits)
**Session includes up to 2 hours of one-on-one photography time, with time built in for changes of clothes, feeding, getting comfortable, etc.
**The best shots will be hand-edited for color/lighting, blemishes, special effects (B&W, sepia, color isolation, and artistic touches). I used to offer 10 shots per photo session, but am now offering a disk with all the photos that turn out.
**Within 2 weeks, you will receive a photo disk with your high-resolution, hand-edited files, which you can keep-to print, share, whatever! All disks include a copyright release.
**Because of gas prices and babysitting charges for my kids, reasonable travel charges may apply for travel 30 minutes beyond my home area.
**Prices may change, but once you book a sitting your price will be fixed.

**If you'd rather save the trip to the photo counter (or if you know that your prints will never make it off the disk if someone doesn't do it for you!) I can also make quality Kodak prints for you. Prints typically take longer to complete and deliver than photo CDs.

Prints and special products --
4 wallets -- $5
4x6 -- $1 (minimum order of 25 4x6, or with enlargement order)
5x7 -- $10
8x10 -- $20
11x14 -- $40
16X20 (poster) -- $65

other custom sizes available--price will be based on closest standard size (ie--5x5 prints are the same as 5x7 price)

Photo Collages --
(features your choice of 3 to 100 photos in one print)
5x7 -- $18
8x10 -- $25
11x14 -- $48
16x20 -- $75

Other products, such as gallery wrapped canvas (highly recommended!), photo mugs, bags, shirts, and other specialty products are available. Just ask for a quote! If you have something particular in mind, chances are I can do it for you!

What to expect from a session

My goal is to capture the personality and true self of those I photograph. If that means getting down on the floor and playing with a child, rocking a baby for comfort, chasing after a toddler at the park, or waiting for a feeding or clothes change.... you can be assured that I will do whatever it takes to get those special, relaxed shots (yes, even if it means doing a silly dance!).

I prefer to use natural lighting. This can be done in a well-lit area of your own home, in your yard, or at a favorite park. I find that the familiar, homey settings create even more meaningful portraits for your walls.

Sessions usually last from 30 minutes to up to 2 hours. Sometimes it takes a little while for children to warm up to a strange person with a camera (although as a mother, I promise that I'm NOT scary or intimidating!), and so I like to plan for some time to get aquainted.

What to wear?
.....Think simple! Newborns look best in their birthday suits (clothes don't tend to fit them yet, anyway!). Gather favorite blankets, especially those with texture! Dress children in solid colors (stripes or other geometrical patterns are fine), but avoid busy prints.  Families don't all need to dress the same, but it's good to coordinate. For instance, pick a theme: pastels, shades of blue, red-blue (a great combination!), jeans, khakis, etc. I have two suggestions: look for family photos that you like and try to copy their style. Then lay out a bunch of clothes options on a bed and eye what goes well and what stands out too much.

After your session, you can expect an e-mail with your photo gallery. These are not the finished prints, but simply a preview. Choose your favorite shots and any special requests (ie-"Please make image #6 black and white"). Within 2 weeks (and usually much sooner), you will receive a disk with the full-size image files, including a copyright release so that you can make as many prints as you'd like. Please see pricing for further details.

What is custom photography?

The following experts are from an article by Marianne Drenthe, used with permission:

The photographic art you choose to place on your wall is ultimately the result of the vision of the photographer. This vision, coupled with what you wear to your session, the environment, the lighting, even the mood the subjects are in at the time of photographing creates the work that you will want to proudly display on your walls forevermore.

What custom photography ultimately is all about is choice and experience (as in THE experience). Custom photography is about finding someone who will photograph your family, give you devoted 1:1 attention without worry of the next ‘in line’ or the feeling of a crowded portrait studio. A custom photographer will typically show you a fairly extensive gallery culled to only show the good images that meet the photographers’ creative sensibilities. Often the images are fully edited images-color corrected with blemishes and undereye circles removed. Custom photographers are also known as boutique studios, offering a range of products and unparalleled service. Think Lexus vs. Hyundai, think Nordstrom vs. WalMart.

Going to a chain studio, as a consumer, you don’t have the benefit of 1:1 attention for 2 hours at your home where your child is allowed to explore, play and be comfortable in their home environment, nor do you get the experience that many custom photographers are known for or the lovely captures of natural expressions. You simply get a bare bones, "SAY CHEESE" experience. Keep this in mind when selecting a photographer.

Digital technology is brilliant. The digital revolution has brought amazing flexibility and amazing amounts of control for the photographer, the hobbyist, the professional, the amateur. With flexibility comes a price though. Camera equipment is still considerably more expensive when you factor in its’ lifespan, the need for additional resources for processing those images, the time it takes to get a usable image and the effort that goes into all of this.
Even though you pay $1.99 for a print at your local drugstore and paying for film is pretty much a thing of the past (although you still pay for memory) you may be wondering why you may pay upwards of $40, 50, 70, 90 for a custom photography print.

The answer is multifaceted and has a lot to do with the time, aforementioned equipment costs, artistic vision and reputation of the photographer, expertise and the usual costs of running a legitimate business.

For more information on custom photography, please visit


Welcome to Simply You Photos! I am a custom portrait photographer in Maryland, north of Washington DC. As I mentioned in About Me, I am a mother first. Photography is my love and my hobby, not my full-time job. I hope to be able to enjoy taking photographs of other families and children that will reflect those special and unique family relationships....without disturbing mine too much. :) I am flexible with my time, and can be available Monday thru Saturday, but family always comes first. Thanks for understanding, and for stopping by my blog! Enjoy the site!