cooper / by Ashley Brown

Boy, has this been a busy few weeks! In addition to gearing up for the fall season and the various things we have in store, Kristen and I have been busy working with a bunch of great families... locals, new and old faces, and a big chunk of families who are vacationing in the area and wanting to capture the beautiful attributes of upstate New York in the summer. We plan on doing a blog a day for at least the next week. It is our personal challenge, as it would be a shame not to share all of the personalities we've had the pleasure of photographing lately. Kicking things off is Cooper. I photographed Cooper several times over the course of his first year as part of our first year study, and he has blossomed from a sweet baby boy to an inquisitive and intelligent 2 year old. Cooper's mama gets a gold star from me as she is a believer in Ashley Brown's Rules for a Successful Portrait Session. Well, I'm not THAT strict, but I do remind (or, drill into!) our clients a few things that make for fantastic portraits.

1) A timeless, classic outfit. For little boys, I have a soft spot for bubble rompers, jon-jons, and long sleeved Polo shirts with the sleeves rolled up. My broken record statement is that wardrobe can make or break an image. You want your child to be comfortable, but for a portrait session, stepping it up a notch from every day wear makes for a polished portrait that will stand the test of time... not looked dated or too much like a snapshot.

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2) Incorporating something meaningful and indicative of your child. Nothing is better than an adored lovey, favorite toy or book making an appearance. When Cooper picks up his lovey, he nuzzles it with his nose. Consequently, the puppy's velvet nose is pretty much gone! His mama wanted to make sure we captured that action, and I know that image is going to be one that she truly cherishes. When your child is all grown up, it is priceless to have an image that says, "That is exactly who they were at that age." Same goes for their various expressions and mannerisms, which we really try to capture in a session... not just the big, toothy smiles.

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3) A fun outfit or accessory. This goes along the same lines as number 2. If your child has something that they wear a lot at this age... in Cooper's case, an adorable pair of swim trunks, but it could also be a pair of boots, a princess dress, etc... bring it along! Or, simply an outfit change that is more colorful, casual or modern helps brings some variety into the session.

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