Westminster MA Family Photographer — Amanda Luisa Photo & Illust

I have a healthy mix of friends, family, and new clients I have the privilege of photographing in my life right now. This one happens to be very good family friends that have supported me for a very long time.

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It was nice, too, because a lot of us are getting older now and it’s nice to see everyone growing up and moving forward with their adult lives.

I had a great time and it was a great way to finish off the year. They were taken at Crocker Pond in Westminster, MA, a spot that is somewhat personal to the Moeckels. Close to their home and a place that they chose to take Adam’s senior photos as well. It looks like the fall [and it technically was, I suppose], but it was just in time for the holidays.

The colors were great and they were able to pop right off the background of their photos. They also chose excellent colors for their own clothing that didn’t take away from the natural beauty of their family.

It was a great end to 2015 and a great way to pay back a family that means so much to me. Happy 2016, everyone!

Behind the Lens

For this blog entry, I have been inspired by new technology over at Light.co to write about what happens behind the camera, so this will be all about my process. I want to take a second, also, to suggest that everyone check out their new camera technology. Their camera uses a bunch of different lenses working at once to capture light and focus. It looks awesome.

To begin, I’ll share some photos of myself in action:

These photos were all taken over the summer while on the job. The first one was taken by a client during a senior session and the second two by my second photographer. These are actually some of the only picture of me while photographing.

Through the course of a session, I can be found contorting, rolling in grass, and climbing rock walls, attempting to get the right angle for a shot. On top of making sure I’m in the best possible position, I have to ensure I know the best way to use the technology and tools at my disposal.

As a photographer who is still learning and figuring things out, I’m faced with a lot of challenges going into certain sessions and often work through them as they arise. Some of the biggest adjustments I have to make on the fly entail lighting and posing. My new camera [Nikon D810] now allows for much more flexibility than before in dark situations, where my old camera [Nikon D5100] left a lot more up to pushing its limits. Often using a flash to aid me, I’ve been able to learn new technology on the go. It’s easy enough to read up about different technology, but I always find it easier to learn by doing.

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The greatest look into my process is through newborn sessions. Each one is so unpredictable and different for me. For any session, I try to get to know the client as well as I can beforehand, which I still do, but obviously a newborn will never care about what I’m doing there. It’s especially hard because I’d rather shoot in a natural setting with natural light, but since people are so connected to the internet [particularly Pinterest], clients tend to have images ready to go in their head for what they’re looking for — which can be a help and a hinderance. Because of this [and the fact that I live in New England where there are more cold days than warm days], I’ve constructed a background out of pvc pipe and various fabrics, that I bring to people’s homes [I always wonder what people are thinking when they see me carry it in or setting it up].

This has become a good tool I can use to get great photos, but also must look like a huge mess to people as I’m setting it up. I’ve gotten good at simplifying the process, but it’s a constant work in progress. With the background comes the challenge of lighting. Sometimes it’s possible to use natural light creatively, but I also have faced many occasions where I’m again pushing the limits of my camera and bouncing small amounts of light all over the place.

It’s newborn sessions, though, where I find I have the most room for creativity. In those moments, I like to bring out my zoom lens [or other creative lenses] and play around. As I’m often pushing myself to learn and find new techniques, I’m often playing around and trying things out while I’m behind the camera. Sometimes I find that, while I like to be creative with my shooting, I sometimes get bogged down in completing the session and regret not taking more time to try things out. This is a goal I always carry with me to sessions and that I hope to continue to improve on each time out.

This may not be the best philosophy or lesson to live by, but I always find that when in doubt, I can more often than not edit my way out of a mistake. This is not a part of the process that I encourage in myself, but it’s all part of the process of learning and teaching yourself new techniques and skills.

I hope this was an insightful look into my struggle behind-the-scenes and not just the ramblings of a photographer trying to make sense of her own process. I enjoyed this myself because I feel like it’s not often I look in on my process like this and I think it’s a good exercise that I should do every so often. Thanks for reading, if you’ve held on this long!

For more images or to like my page, follow the links:

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Thanks!

Amanda =]

Family Photographer Leominster, MA — Doyle Conservation Center

It was a busy fall and because of that, I’ve been a little behind on blog posts. I will be posting a few over the next couple weeks, and I’ll also be posting a special behind the scenes blog post that should be a fun look into my session process.

But for now, the Goguen family.

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One of my very favorite places to photograph is the Doyle Conservation lands in Leominster, MA. The conditions for this particular shoot ending up being absolutely perfect. It was relatively warm and the leaves were at their full peak. Lastly, the beauty of Doyle Conservation made a great backdrop for these fall family photos.

I’ve had the privilege of working with Chelsea over the summer for senior photos and I really enjoyed working with their whole family.

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Usually I don’t mention orders in blog posts, but they got the last image I posted as a canvas and it came out GORGEOUS.  These guys were all lovely and I’m looking forward to doing Adam’s senior photos next summer! =]

Clinton MA Children’s Photographer — Killian’s 1 year photos — Amanda Luisa Photography & Illustration

A few weeks ago, I got to do Killian’s 1 year old session!

I have a special connection to Killian because I also babysit him and his brother, occasionally. It was a lot of fun! I love when I get to take photos for different stages of a child’s life. This was also extra special because we did his photos on his actual birthday (which is always awesome). It was a humid day out, but he was all smiles. We even got to use this great quilt (made by a relative) and it really helps to make his eyes and adorable shirt pop.

Mom was determined to get one last photo with blocks spelling out how old he is in months (she did it every month) so that she could have a year’s worth of block photos. We had to work some magic to get a photo before Killian grabbed the blocks. Then, we tried to set up some decoy blocks for him to play with so that he didn’t keep taking the photo blocks. Ultimately, we got a couple great shots, even with him going after the blocks. He was a great sport about everything and we even ended up getting some fun family shots.

I love how these photos came out and I’m excited for what the rest of the year brings. With so much going on this fall, I’m not sure how many sessions I’ll be able to do until the end of the year, but I’m hoping to get in a few different things.

Check out my facebook page for more things like this and for information about everything happening in the next few months.

Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, Natick MA — Natick MA Family Portrait Session

Had a family session with some friends a few weeks ago! We went to Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary and it was the perfect spot for a photo session. We had a nice walk and got some awesome photos.

I’m so excited with how these came out. I think the first one above is my very favorite from this day. It was a very hot, humid afternoon, but we had a lot of fun and even got some exercise!

I love discovering new places to take people for pictures. This one was definitely a place I will try to take people in the future. It was a lot of fun with a lot of cool areas and I think we got a lot of great shots.

To check out more, like me on facebook or visit my website!

Clinton MA Senior Portrait Photographer — Allie’s Wachusett Reservoir Senior Photos

So excited about Allie’s senior photos!

I have to say that my morning that day started off a little rough. The Wachusett Reservoir is not very far from where I live, so I went to head down a little early for the session. I went to start my car and my battery had died. Thank goodness my session was in town that day, not sure what I would’ve done if it was somewhere further away, but I ended up walking down to the reservoir instead of driving (which wasn’t as bad as it sounds haha). After that, the session went very well!

Allie was great and had such awesome things to bring to the session. She does Irish step dancing so we even got to do some with her dance shoes on top of the reservoir! From there, we moved onto central park in Clinton, MA.

We started in front of the Museum of Russian Icons and ended in front of an awesome brick wall with some vines. We even found a great, old looking door off of one of the churches in the area. It was a beautiful day and Allie wound up with some amazing photos. I’m very happy with all of these and hope she loves them, too! Congrats, Allie, Class of 2016!

Central MA Wedding Photographer — Bridget & Matt, Springfield, MA wedding

At the beginning of August, I had the pleasure of photographing Matt & Bridget’s wedding! Though there were a few hiccups during the day, like how during the ceremony, the sky opened up and started pouring rain, everything cleared up in time for a beautiful day.

The ceremony took place at a church in Springfield. It had beautiful stained glass windows inside and we were able to take great photos both inside and out. During the ceremony, it started to pour rain, but luckily it finished by the time the ceremony ended (and it was so warm out, the rain dried up rather quickly). We did some formals at the church. The only downside to the rain was that we weren’t able to go to Forest Park afterwards. It ended up being probably for the best as we were able to save on time and do the rest of the formals at the reception location, the Ludlow Country Club in Ludlow, MA.

The reception was lots of fun and everyone looked like they had a fantastic time. Lots of happiness, family, and dancing. These guys definitely brought the party.

Very glad I got to be part of their special day and think I helped to really capture the beauty and happiness of the day. Congrats to Matt & Bridget on their beautiful life together!

Want to see more? Like us on facebook!

Mt. Wachusett Senior Session — Lindsey, Class of 2016!

Here’s another Senior Session I’ve been meaning to post for a bit: Lindsey’s session at the top of Mt. Wachusett!

Lindsey is a snowboarder and was looking for her photos to really say something about her. It ended up being a hot day, but that didn’t stop us from having a great time and getting some great photos.

Every time I do a senior session, I find that I like it more and more. I always expect to love photographing babies and newborns because it’s such a critical time in their lives and it can be hard for families to catch those quick moments and emotions, but seniors are so rewarding because it’s also a critical time in their lives. This is the moment just before they make a very tough decision that will set their life in a certain direction. Even if that direction changes, the senior is being opened up to a whole new world of experiences. I love being able to capture these personalities and moments where they’re not quite kids and not quite adults.

I feel like I’ve been really lucky this year with seniors who are a willing participant in their pictures. All the seniors this year have come in with a goal in mind and a willingness to have great photos.

I especially love the photos towards the end of this session where the lighting was just perfect and the scenery was gorgeous. I hope Lindsey had a great time also and has a great senior year. Go Class of 2016!

Stillwater Farm Senior Session, Sterling MA — Amanda Luisa Photography Illustration

A little late on a few posts, but I will be getting them out over the next few days/weeks.

This first one is a Senior Session with Chelsea! I had the pleasure of taking her photos in Sterling, MA at the Stillwater Farm! I had never been there, but I’ve past it a bunch and it always looks so cute. There was a big barn, an old house, some farming equipment and tons of grass. We had a blast taking a bunch of really cool shots of Chelsea, who is looking forward to her senior year!

The barn was great and we hit it at a time where the lighting was PERFECT. The colors of her clothes were fantastic and fit really well with the backgrounds and scenery.

I had a great time photographing Chelsea and wish her the best of luck in the coming year. Go Class of 2016!

Westminster MA Family Photography — Delaney

Since starting out a few years ago, I have photographed Delaney and Marissa. I have a few babies that I’ve gotten the chance to see get bigger, but with Delaney it feels extra special. Soon, she’ll be gaining a baby brother and I can’t wait to meet him as well.

We did a mini-session last week because we will be seeing them again at the end of July when the new baby arrives. I love this age because Delaney’s personality is really shining through and it’s hard not to love the silly ones as much, if not more, than the more serious ones. I really love some of these shots and I can’t wait until next month!