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  • Writer's picturePamela Buddenhagen

A maternity session, some headshot fun and more work in the studio

The week was so humid and I was glad my upcoming maternity session was scheduled for sunset the next day. Lizzy and I decided to take a drive down to Roger William's Park and check out a few different options for location. I always like to take a peek around as the landscape changes, sometimes it seems like from week to week. It was very warm but the skies were getting dark. We were due to get some strong thunderstorms after 5 and it was about 3. Perfect timing, I love the looks and feel of a good upcoming storm. If you know anything about me, it's that I love love love any type of weather event. Heavy rain, a big snow, a hurricane! So Lizzy and I went through Dunkin and grabbed some coffee and made our way over to the park. It was quite empty besides a group of gardeners working in the gorgeous mulch bed as we pulled in. The skies were turning darker and the wind was starting to pick up, it was the perfect time to scope everything out and sip our coffee. There were a few dogs out for their walk and a family with little ones scooping up a blanket and some toys to head out. We hit two different go-to spots and took some pictures to send to the client to make sure she approved. She was of course very happy with the choices and picked the first spot, which was by the Casino building. Here are a few photos of the beautiful emptiness that day. I can never get over how gorgeous this park is. Lizzy and I peeked inside of the building to see what we could see. Oh, it was so beautifully stunning. We were wondering what type of events were held there and when it opened up. I enjoy looking at old buildings and picturing what used to be, I can almost see it in my mind, big dresses, pinned up hair, such elegance and riches at any type of party that would be held here for sure, it gave me a Downton Abbey vibe.

We headed out so we could beat the rain home and made it just in time. Randy was in the shed putting some stuff away when it started to downpour. He was texting me from the back yard telling me he was stuck back there, I of course had to laugh. I looked out and saw him standing in the doorway of the shed and said "yea you are, see you when it calms down a bit" He didn't even want to run to the back door and I didn't blame him. Before he started his clean up he was finishing the trim along the corners of the floor and it was all that was needed for finishing up the little details inside. He then did some more caulking, priming and painting and it was looking fresh! There were still some things left to do as far as mounting the backdrops and lighting but as for the room itself, it was finished and after the rain calmed down that night we just stood in there and admired all of the hard work and envisioned what was ready to become of our business. I have wanted a studio for years, but always wanted to be able to come to my customers. They love it and it's so convenient when little ones are involved as well. So this, this studio that my husband made from scratch is a dream come true.

The next day was hot and humid again, I spent it in the pool and in the AC. When time was starting to roll around for my photo session I felt the temps starting to calm down a little so I was certainly happy about that. Lizzy and I grabbed our equipment and headed towards the park. It looked different today as we were pulling in. There were no dark and gloomy skies, the parking lots were far from empty and families were set up with picnics, frisbees and bikes throughout. As we approached the Casino building my first thought was " well, this isn't right" It was a bit too crowded. "Oh no, it's a wedding" I saw a parking attendant and confirmed. He said we were more than welcome to still shoot to the left of the building but the area to the right and down by the water was blocked off. That was of course a gorgeous spot and something we had hoped for. Lizzy looked at me and said "well, that's why all those men were cleaning up the flowers and grounds yesterday" Yep, it sure is. So I called my client and told her we will start here and then move over to the Japanese Flower garden. She did love both areas, so was certainly pleased to be able to shoot in both. I was very glad that worked out well. This is why I like to check out multiple areas and always have some sort of side plan because you just never know.

I think one of my favorite things about my business is that my clients are so diverse. I am always fascinated by culture, languages, the dynamics of different families and how they interact with each other. We all live in our own worlds and not everyone gets to experience exposure to so many different ways of life. It's so amazing and this world is so big and beautiful. I've photographed families as small as mom and baby all the way to a family that all lived together and made up of grandparents, aunts uncles and cousins.

This family today was such a pleasure to work with, they were a blended family and I loved seeing them interact. This momma to be has a 14 year old step son who is such a joy. He was so respectful and helpful. He was very into this photo session which I loved because with teen boys it can completely go either way. He was finishing up 8th grade and going into high school he told me. He said he's not nervous at all, he's ready to go. Typical boy. Having teen girls, I always marvel at how different they are. He is very excited about his new baby sister due next month and he is already ready for her newborn session. They will be a part of those photos as well. That session is set up for July 17th unless baby decides she's ready sooner. As the time approached a little past 7pm, the sun started to set and it was everything I wanted for lighting for them. This is my favorite time for outdoor sessions and I suggest it for all of them. With the sun coming down and splashing a gorgeous glow over this family it also started to cool down as well. We had a great time and all I want for my clients is to leave the session feeling relaxed and like they had fun. I strive to make this experience un-stressful, worry-free and something they'll always remember.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from the day.

Lizzy and I packed up our goods, high-fived for a job well done and headed home. We were beat from the heat of the day and headed straight to Dunkin....notice a trend here. Lizzy assists me with lens change should I need one, positioning for little ones and she is my reflector holder. She works hard and loves photography as well. She is into landscape photos and I told her she needs to get an Instagram page going because she is very good!

While we're posting about a maternity session and upcoming baby photos, for anyone who is interested, let me explain how my newborn photo sessions work. I encourage mom to be to reach out and schedule their baby's session at least a month or two before their due date. The perfect time to photograph baby is between 10-14 days old. There are sometimes circumstances that come up to prevent this from happening in time, and that's ok too. That being said, you'll be penciled in for 2 weeks after baby's due date and I'll ask you to contact me after he/she is born so we know if we're keeping the date or tweaking it a bit because we all know the baby comes when the baby comes. When we set up the session we will discuss your expectations and what you have in mind as far as a more natural versus posed set up and if this session will include strictly newborn or if you'd like mom, dad, and/or siblings involved as well. We can also discuss colors and prop choices. When we come the day of the session we will be pulling up in our mobile studio and will set up, get AC/heat running and make sure temp is perfect for baby. I'll send a text message when we are ready for you to come out. It's best if baby can be fed right before we begin so they're sleepy although we know that is not always possible. You'll have a nice spot to sit and relax while I photograph your little one. If mom, dad and sibling(s) will be involved we will get those photos done first. I want you to relax and not feel any stress if baby is crying or not settling right away, these sessions are not on a time limit and sometimes take up to 2-2.5 hours between stopping for feedings and changes. I will have diapers, wipes and small towels on hand as well. I like my new moms and dads to be relaxed and enjoy this time. Once the session is done I will set up an appointment to come back and we will view and choose your images. Your final images will be beautifully edited and you'll get to purchase prints, framed portraits, canvases or even albums. We also offer birth announcements, ornaments and many more gift items. Once chosen your portraits will be delivered within a couple of weeks.

So along with the inside of the studio being finished up, we also needed to work on our new logo to put on the outside. We searched through so many, even thought we found someone who we were going with and placed our order. It didn't wow us and we needed to keep searching. We finally found a woman on Etsy who is an amazing artist and created the beautiful logo we had in our mind. It will be on our studio and also on photos and our website. We're in love with it. Simple and happy is what we were going for.

Also, on the outside of the studio Randy wired a back up camera. We wanted to make sure we were as safe as can be coming in and out of customer's homes and neighborhoods by being able to see all around us. So he went the extra mile and got crafty like he does. He wired it to the headlights instead of the reverse lights. So now while we are driving and our lights are on we are able to see behind the trailer and to the sides where ever we are at all times. It wasn't the easiest task, but he conquered it. First off it was 94 degrees the day it arrived by mail. He wanted to get right to it. He was on the ladder on top of the trailer and he was sweating. I was in the pool on my float feeling extremely guilty but I couldn't get up there with him too so I figured I was safe to float until he needed my assistance on the ground. I finally crawled out to see what I could be helpful with and I got into the truck and had to keep turning the lights on/off and putting the break on. Well all of a sudden I started rolling backwards, Randy yelled for me to stop and I put it in park. Yep breaks to the floor, fluid all over the ground. Break line broke. Scary. Luckily he's a jack of all trades and ordered a new break line and already got it installed, both sides to be safe too. Anyway, the monitor was also giving us issues and wasn't functioning properly so that had to be returned for a new one too. It just wasn't happening that day. But it's now all fully functional, with new monitor in and ready to go.

My best friend just got her real estate license and I was of course more than happy to do her headshots for her social media pages and her new business cards. I was excited that she would be my first go at the mobile studio lighting. I brought Emily and Lizzy in there for practice before she came over so I could perfect the lighting. With that done I was ready for her. We of course had a fun time and got some photos thrown in that we were most definitely not going to put on her cards. Nicole and I have been best friends since second grade. We've shared a lifetime of laughs, tears, hard times and great times. I'm so proud of her for going for her real estate license, getting hooked up with a team and getting everything in order to change her life. Here is some of our fun and then some serious headshots, because of course, that IS what she came for.

Stay tuned for next week's blog as we have a graduation session, a 1/2 birthday session to prepare for and some major birthday fun in New York City for my daughter! Have a great week!

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Pamela Buddenhagen
Pamela Buddenhagen
22 jun 2021

If any of my readers would like me to include anything specific in my upcoming posts please feel free to let me know, i’d be happy to!

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