Reen Fitz Photography

Lifestyle Photographer: Hudson Valley / Westchester County, New York

Tag: Family (page 1 of 2)

NYBW Spring Minis 2019!

Wow, this year is just flying! (Or is it just me?) A few months back, my baby girl (AKA “Little Apprentice”) got to tag along for her very first photoshoot! It was the Spring Mini-Sessions for New York Babywearing! What better way to introduce her to Mommy’s work? Here she is, appropriately dressed in her camera bib (handmade by me!)

This round of Minis was fantastic, and different in a few ways from the other Minis I’ve done for NYBW. First, I got to document the growth of one adorable family that had a beautiful new baby since I’d last photographed them at the Autumn Minis! And with these being fundraisers for NY Babywearing, it’s only fitting that I catch some babywearing in action! First, on a snuggly newborn, and then with a toddler!

It’s a great example of how babywearing makes babies (of all ages) feel safe and comfy!

NYBW is a support group for parents interested in learning to safely wear their babies in slings, wraps, or carriers and connect with other local families. The group currently ranges from Yonkers, all the way to Syracuse! If you are interested in learning more about them, you can check out their Facebook page!

NYBW Mini Sessions 2018!

This 15 minute mini session day is becoming a fun Autumn tradition! For just $50, each participating family gets a 15-minute photoshoot and 5 digital photos. I think it’s such a great way to get a few quick and easy photos for your holiday cards, while supporting New York Babywearing (formerly Babywearing International of Rockland/Westchester)! Last year, it was an incredible whirlwind of adorable families, so I was psyched to be invited to do it all again this year!

I must admit I was a little nervous about being 8 months pregnant and getting through the shoots without muscle pain or getting dehydrated. When I work with kids, I tend to get down on their level and kind of squat-run to keep up with the ones that are especially energetic. (Fortunately, that turned out to not to be an issue! Phew!)

The issue I had was the weather forecasts! Oh my goodness. Photographers and weather forecasts: a tale as old as time. OF COURSE the day before the sessions, the forecast called for rain- and only in the timeframe that I would be taking photos. And every weather source I checked said that the rain would stop at a different time.

Long story short, I spent the day before (and early morning the day-of) the shoot moving things around and fretting over what to do if the rain didn’t stop in time. With a last minute location change to a spot with rain cover, we were all set to go!

Although it was absolutely freezing and pouring when I arrived on location, the rain stopped and the sun started to peek out by the time my first family of the day arrived! And it continued to get warmer and sunnier from there!

I am just in love with the beautifully even overcast lighting that we got. It was such a gorgeous day for cozy Autumn family portraits, and I honestly could not have asked for cuter families or happier babies to work with!

And a BIG HUGE thank you to my sister-in-law, Lex and baby Willa for assisting me through the day!!

NY Babywearing is a support group for parents interested in learning to safely wear their babies in slings or carriers and connect with other local families. The group currently ranges from Yonkers, all the way to Syracuse! If you are interested in learning more about them, you can check out their Facebook page!

A Great Big Happy Announcement!

We are super duper excited to share that we are expecting a baby this November!!!

I’m already over halfway to my due date, and sporting an obvious baby belly. I just had no idea how fast the months go by when you’re expecting! I figured I should hurry up and make an “official” RFP announcement before the baby arrives!

We aren’t finding out baby’s gender, but we have a feeling he/she likes [gluten-free] bagels and loves dogs. Seriously, I think this kiddo has some crazy dog-energy. And by that I mean, if my pregnancy experience is any indication (melting at the sight of any dog, and seeming to attract more of them), this little one is going to be the kind of person who dogs gravitate toward (And those are always the best people, aren’t they?)

 

The holidays will certainly be busy around here!

What does this mean for RFP? It means that there will be limited spots available for the rest of this year- so book your sessions ASAP to make sure you get those gorgeous holiday card photos!

I’m planning on doing sessions until early November- and that’s only 3 months away! (Whoa. Where did the year go???)

Email me NOW to save your spot!

Introducing…Miss Willa Mae!

Last November seems like SO long ago…but you may remember that way back in November 2017, I did a gorgeous autumn Rainbow Baby Announcement photo session with The Fitzgeralds.

…And then on Christmas, we found out “It’s a Girl!”

And here she is…Willa Mae Fitzgerald

Such an expressive little lovebug… 🙂

 

Let’s take a peek back to her big brother Cooper’s photoshoot! I love this little side-by-side comparison.

Let’s Dance!

Well I certainly kicked off Spring 2018 right! I got to photograph 2 events all about dancing!- Backstage at the Rivertown Dance Academy Festival, and at the Rockin’ Rave at Westchester Children’s Museum!

First, let’s take a look Backstage at the Rivertown Dance Academy Festival!

At this shoot, I arrived well before showtime to capture the final preparations that go into putting on a great show. From warm-ups, to hair and make-up, and even a group hug and pep talk moments before the curtains open (pictured left of center, above). And when the curtain finally opened and the show began, I was able to captured a backstage view of some of the performances!

A bit about RDA, from their website:

Rivertown Dance Academy was founded on the belief that everyone, regardless of ability to pay, should have the opportunity to pursue high-quality and comprehensive dance education. Rivertown Dance Academy is accessible in location, literature, and in ability to provide need-based financial aid. 

If you are interested in learning more about RDA or taking a class, check out RivertownDanceAcademy.org

A few weeks later, I had the absolute pleasure of photographing the light and sound dance party known as the “Rockin Rave” at the Westchester Children’s Museum in Rye!

This party was geared toward the older kids, and featured colorful lights, dancing, prizes, and lots of yummy food options (including the donut wall, pictured in the center)! The music had kids and parents dancing the night away!

Located right on the boardwalk at Rye Beach, WCM is a place for hands-on learning, offering children opportunities to build, climb, and experience STEAM education in action. I can’t think of a better place for parents to bring their kids this summer- beautiful beach views, an exciting learning experience, and great parties? Seriously, where was this when I was a kid???

To learn more about WCM (and plan your visit!) check out DiscoverWCM.org

These were both extremely fun, new experiences in event photography for me. I love trying new things like this! It challenges me, keeps me on my toes, and expands my comfort zone, which is a wonderful feeling.

Take a peek at some more from these events on my Flickr!

Over the Rainbow & Over the Moon

We just have so much to celebrate these days! I recently posted about my nephew’s first birthday, and here we are again, celebrating yet another new member of the Fitz family!

Last week I posted a couple of outtakes/behind-the-scenes photos from the gorgeous autumnal family photoshoot I did with my brother Dan’s family. I’ve gotten to document so much of their story, and I was so happy to be a part of their very special announcement too.

And here it is…(with behind-the-scenes footage of our session!)…

Oh my, becoming an Aunt never gets old…not even the ninth time! 😉

Autumn is the perfect time for family portraits! Everything’s so sun-kissed and beautifully colored, and holiday cards will be going out so soon! (If you haven’t booked your Fall session yet, there’s still time!)

A little creative editing to celebrate Dan and Lex’s rainbow baby!

See more in the Flickr album!

15 Minutes of Family Photo Fun!

Autumn is the perfect time for family portraits! The sunlight and foliage are so beautiful, and soon enough you’ll be sending out your holiday cards! (If you haven’t booked your Fall session yet, there’s still time!)

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to work with Baby Wearing International of Rockland-Westchester (BWI Rock/West) in their mini-session fundraiser. The group offers support to new moms and dads by teaching proper baby wearing techniques and letting members borrow different carrier styles from their lending library. I have family and friends in this group, and I think it creates such a great community and resource for parents.

 

During the group’s mini-session fundraisers, photographers from all over Rockland and Westchester offer 15 minute family portrait sessions (5 final photos), for just $50.

So in the span of just 2 hours, I photographed 6 beautiful families. It was such a wonderful whirlwind of bright eyes, squishy cheeks, and so much personality. Ages of the children ranged from newborns to zooming toddlers (and one little sister that was just a month away from being born!). There were kids that LOVED the camera, and ones that wanted nothing to do with it. There were also some that held the attitude “Sure, you can photograph me…but you have to catch me first!” (Honestly, these are usually my favorites. They get the best action shots with big, bright, mischievous smiles!)

Of course, I came with a few tricks up my sleeve (or, more accurately, in my Mary Poppins-esque tote bag). I was joined by my lion and elephant puppets, my little shaker egg, and a set of juggling balls, which my husband would juggle behind me to catch the attention of an unfocused toddler.
(Whether babysitting, teaching, or just being “Aunt Reen”, juggling has always been my favorite way to catch kids’ attention. No matter what age, they will always stop and stare in wonder. Unfortunately, I can’t do it while holding a camera…yet…)

Behind the scenes…employing the help of my elephant friend!

If you’re a new or expecting parent, check out BWI Rock/West to find out when the next mini-session fundraiser is happening. Maybe I’ll see you there!

For info on having the full, total-package RFP session experience, contact me!

Happy Birthday, Cooper!

My nephew Cooper just turned one, and it makes my heart so very happy that I’ve gotten to photograph so much of his first year!
I photographed his mama anticipating his arrival…

I was so psyched when this photoshoot was featured by Rock & Rollick in their blog series Rockin’ The Bump! (See more on Facebook and Flickr)
Then some sweet ‘Fresh 48’ photos…
(More on Facebook and Flickr)
We also had a shoot for his birth announcement. I wrote about the editing process of his announcement photo here.


And in the blink of an eye, he’s demolishing his birthday cake!
You can see the official smash video (and catch a glimpse of my camera and the top of my head) over on The Fitzgerald’s YouTube channel

And just like that, his first trip around the sun is complete! Happy Birthday, munchkin!

If you’re a new or expecting parent, contact me about booking sessions to document your baby’s first year! It goes crazy fast, so don’t wait!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Mamas out there!

And to my fellow step-moms, Happy early Step-Mother’s Day as well! (In case you didn’t hear, we get to celebrate on the Sunday after Mother’s Day!)

I wish I could send you all flowers, but this eye-candy will have to do for now. Please enjoy these sunshiney yellow flowers (and the fact that you don’t have to water them!) 🙂

Here I am with my mom! I’m sure that just out of frame, and right in my mom’s peripheral vision, my 5 older siblings were causing some kind of ruckus in the sand.

Are we connected on Instagram yet? This week I posted some of my favorite Mama & Baby portraits. Follow along to see what’s next!

How I Got the Shot: Cooper’s Birth Announcement

A couple of months back, I shared this photo that I took of my nephew, Cooper, for his birth announcement.

I got a lot of compliments on the photo (Why, thank you!), and even a lot of “Were you on a ladder?” and “Where did you find a blanket that big?”

In short, the answers are: No, and I didn’t.

When I took this photo, I was standing right on the floor, directly over Cooper. No ladder needed.

And believe it or not, that blanket did not come close to covering the whole floor.

Here is the original shot:

Way too bright, and the background is busy and distracting. But let’s make it work!

Enter: The magic of editing!

I started by enhancing the color tones taking down the light a bit, which brought out the details that were a little washed out in the sunlight.

Then I zoomed WAY in and, using the Clone Stamp Tool as a virtual lint-roller, removed any fuzz and dog hair from the blanket (Cooper’s big sister is a white bulldog named Mush!), until the blanket was totally black.

Now you see it…

Now you don’t!

Once the colors were all set, I used Clone Stamp again and a TON of patience to carefully “stretch” the blanket to the corners of the photo. I had the tool on 100% opacity and a fairly large size brush, adjusting when I needed to.


I began to realize that I was, at times, forming wrinkles and creating a distracting and busy background (see: lower circle in screenshot below). I was able to remedy the situation by carefully fine-tuning my stamp usage and cloning in flatter areas in a way that “ironed out” a lot of distracting wrinkles. And, as you’ll see in the upper red circle on this screen shot, the clone stamp will copy anything in its path, including the wood floor, so I had to keep on top of that as well.

While I was super close up in this photo, I also noticed that the bright light on the black blanket created some green tones- and I did not want to enhance those by spreading them throughout the photo. Just as I did with the “ironing” portion, I was sure to go back over the greener areas with clone stamps of darker spots.

I’m a minimalist when it comes to editing, so I don’t usually do quite this much post processing, but I saw potential in this photo and learned a lot in the process!

Check it out, before & after:

Email me at ReenFitzPhotography@gmail.com today to book your session!

And if you’ve got a baby on the way, check out my “Bundle of Joy” package and save when you book multiple baby sessions!

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