Cathy Wilson Ramin Photography: Blog https://www.cathywilsonramin.com/blog en-us (C) Cathy Wilson Ramin Photography cathy@cathywilsonramin.com (Cathy Wilson Ramin Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:08:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:08:00 GMT https://www.cathywilsonramin.com/img/s/v-12/u991152699-o87037144-50.jpg Cathy Wilson Ramin Photography: Blog https://www.cathywilsonramin.com/blog 80 120 Family Photography: It's all about Relationships https://www.cathywilsonramin.com/blog/2017/5/family-photography-its-all-about-relationships I first met Christine and Felix in December of 2014 at a photos with Santa event at Sam Bridge Nursery in Greenwich.  At 5 1/2 months old, Joey was having his first visit with the big guy in red!  

As she was waiting for their souvenir photograph, Christine mentioned that she wanted to capture some images of Joey's upcoming 6 month milestone.  We talked for a bit, a date was set and thus began our journey.

I don't know if Christine and Felix knew this, but at the time of this session I was just starting out in my business.  Although I've been an avid photographer since high school, majored in art and photography in college, and worked for another photographer for 4 years, I was only about six months into my business and still had major jitters before any photography session.  I was so nervous about getting good photographs for this sweet family that I turned this 6 month milestone session into a marathon.  We spent 2 1/2 hours putting this poor, sweet boy through multiple outfit changes and endless set ups all to make sure I ended up with a few good images to capture this time in his life.

I mean seriously, we did it all!  Joey, Christine and Felix were all troopers that day.  We survived it together and I was thrilled that they asked me back to take more photographs when Joey turned 1.

 

 

A few months later, I heard that Joey was going to be a big brother!

 

 

And in April of 2016, the family welcomed sweet little Maggie.

 

 

When it was time for Maggie's 6 month session, I found myself getting emotional thinking back to that first session with 6 month old Joey.  I had that bittersweet nostalgia that all parents are familiar with; 'how is Joey already 2?', 'how did time pass so quickly?'.  

 

Little Maggie turned one in April and big brother will be turning 3 next month, so last weekend we got together again to record these milestones.   Far from the days of being overwhelmed by nerves, now I am just excited every time I get to reconnect with them and see how the kids have grown and changed.  

 

Before my eyes, Maggie has grown from a snuggly newborn to a toddler starting to explore the world on wobbly legs.  

Before my eyes, Joey has grown from a shy, reluctant subject to my little buddy, eager to tell me about the big thoughts he has on his inquisitive little mind.

 

As I think back over the last 2 1/2 years with the Guiffras, I think about how grateful I am to have been able to witness and document the evolution of their family.  I am grateful for the relationship that was born on that December day in 2014 and that continues to grow now. I don't know how I got so lucky to have such kind, loyal clients, but this relationship, right here, that's what my work is all about.  Connecting with others, hearing their stories and preserving their memories in hopes that we might better understand ourselves, each other and this shared experience of being humans.  This is why I do what I do. 

 The evening of this last photography session, I received a text from Christine:

"Thank you again for today, Cathy!  Joey said his prayers tonight and said, 'I am thankful for seeing Cassie'!"

Right back at you, baby boy!  Until we meet again.  <3 <3 <3

 

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cathy@cathywilsonramin.com (Cathy Wilson Ramin Photography) CT family photography CT lifestyle photography Ct lifestyle family photography classic portraits family photography newborn photography https://www.cathywilsonramin.com/blog/2017/5/family-photography-its-all-about-relationships Thu, 25 May 2017 16:10:42 GMT
Turning your photographs into holiday gifts https://www.cathywilsonramin.com/blog/2016/11/the-best-photo-gifts Making your family photographs into spectacular holiday gifts

November is already upon us and believe it or not, now is the time to start getting your photographs organized for holiday gifts!  With so many great options for personalized photo gifts now, you can find something for everyone from children to grandparents.  Here are a few of my favorites!

 

Memory Game

How fun is this twist on a childhood classic from Pinhole Press?!  Just upload 12 photographs to create a 24 tile memory game perfect for the young kids in your life.  What better way to keep a special day alive?

 

 

Wood Block with Prints

Artifact Uprising offers "elevated quality, thoughtful design and responsibly-sourced materials" to make beautiful photo products to showcase your memories. Their beautiful Walnut Print Block is meant to pair with a set of square prints that can dress up any loved one's desk.

 

Wall Calendar

For those of you who (like me) take A LOT of photographs, a calendar is a great option for showing off your favorite photographs!  Every year, I take my favorite photos and create a calendar for the upcoming year. This has become a family favorite Christmas gift and if I ever take a year off, I hear about it!  Minted makes the creation of the calendar easy with pre-built templates and drag and drop editing options.  

 

 

Collage Print

AdoramaPix has you covered for creating a wall-ready collection of images.  Whether for Dad's office or Grandma's family wall, a collage print offers the opportunity to tell a story in a small space.  With a bajillion pre-built templates plus the option to print on photo paper, canvas or acrylic, AdoramaPix makes it easy to create a polished, versatile gift. 

Personalized To-Do List

I don't know about you, but I can never have too many note pads!  If I don't write it down, it doesn't get done.  So share the love by giving the grandparents a film strip notepad from Pinhole Press.

 

Magnets

Instagram lovers celebrate!  Sticky9 specializes in products for squares (and I mean that in the nicest way)!  Link right to your Instagram account and select a set of 9 images to make a fun interactive fridge gallery for that special someone.

 

 

 

Take a little time now to sort out your favorite photos and keep them in a folder on your desktop.  Many sites will start having pop-up sales in the next few weeks, so get prepared with your list now and make gift giving easy this holiday season.  Best of luck!

 

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cathy@cathywilsonramin.com (Cathy Wilson Ramin Photography) CT lifestyle photography day in the life photography family photography photo gift ideas photo tips https://www.cathywilsonramin.com/blog/2016/11/the-best-photo-gifts Wed, 02 Nov 2016 17:30:00 GMT
5 Tips for creating your own Fabulous Fall Photos! https://www.cathywilsonramin.com/blog/2016/10/5-tips-for-creating-your-own-fabulous-fall-photos 5 tips for creating your own Fabulous Fall Photos!

 

There is something about fall that brings out the photographer in all of us.  As many moms are thinking about holiday cards and trying to capture those fall family traditions, I want to share some tips on making the most of this colorful season!

 

Include the environment

As you're taking photographs of your fall family outings, help to tell the story by leaving some space to include the environment in your photograph. The environment will help create scale to show your child's size and it will give extra details that help spark memories when your family looks back on the pictures in years to come! 

 

Take advantage of early sunsets

You might have heard before that the hour before sunset is golden hour for photography and is one of the best times for outdoor portraits. This is because the sun is closer to horizon and creates softer light with less harsh shadows. Take advantage of autumn's early sunsets and get some great shots before bedtime.

 

Pay attention to the details

Just like our Language Arts teachers always told us, the details are what make the story come alive!  Leaves, pumpkins, scarecrows--all these elements scream fall and help us remember where and when we took the photographs when we look back on them in years to come.  

 

Get playful with your wardrobe

You know that anytime you allow your child to leave the house in a costume, you are instantly promoted to supermom!  Why not invite your child to dress up in costume and go on an adventure?!  Walk around the neighborhood, a local park, downtown, wherever!  Your child's imagination will be sparked and you will invariably encounter some great photo ops as she gets into character.  

 

Get in the Picture

As you're out with your family celebrating fall traditions, don't forget to get in the picture! Moms are often uncomfortable in front of the camera but just remember photographs are not just for you, they create a record for your kids. To your kids, you are the most beautiful woman in the world. Be present in their memories!

 

Enjoy this colorful season!  

 

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cathy@cathywilsonramin.com (Cathy Wilson Ramin Photography) CT family photography CT lifestyle photography day in the life photography family photography photo tips https://www.cathywilsonramin.com/blog/2016/10/5-tips-for-creating-your-own-fabulous-fall-photos Wed, 26 Oct 2016 12:57:50 GMT
Girls Weekend! https://www.cathywilsonramin.com/blog/2016/10/girls-weekend So just last week I wrote a post about how it all goes so fast.  You know the saying: one minute you're changing diapers, the next minute they're off to college.

Well, this weekend I had a whirlwind of sessions scheduled and as I sit here now editing and arranging the images I realize that I documented the entire spectrum of childhood all in one weekend!  From three week old L in Monroe to 17 year old E in North Haven, my weekend was full of beautiful ladies each in their own sweet space of being.  

 

 

3 weeks young: just beginning life.  Wants only swaddling, cuddling and comfort.

 

 

 

6 months old: Rolling, scooting and ready to explore the world!

 

 

 

3 years old: busy, busy, busy little helpers!  Big heart and big imagination!

 

 

School Years: gaining independence, testing boundaries, negotiating friendships and

exploring life knowing their parents are always there to catch them if they fall. 

 

 

High School Senior: Ready to leave the nest.  

 

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to spend time with each of these ladies and help their parents capture memories of these fleeting phases in the lives of their children.

 

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cathy@cathywilsonramin.com (Cathy Wilson Ramin Photography) CT family photography classic portraits parenthood https://www.cathywilsonramin.com/blog/2016/10/girls-weekend Wed, 05 Oct 2016 17:30:00 GMT
The 20 minute rule https://www.cathywilsonramin.com/blog/2016/9/the-20-minute-rule-and-my-new-mantra  

Back when my daughter was a baby, I remember reading an article instructing parents on the importance of spending 20 minutes a day with their children.  “Psshh,” I thought smugly, “I spend hours on the floor each day with my baby. 20 minutes? How sad.”  I was head over heels in love with my daughter, wanted nothing more then to soak up every minute with her and couldn’t imagine a life in which 20 minutes a day was an acceptable allowance of time to spend on my baby.

 

Head over HeelsMe & A, 2008

 

Well, life changed. 

 

In the 7 years between the day I first read that article and now, I have moved twice, started a business, and watched my husband accept a position at work that has him away from home more often than not.  My days morphed into a blur of multi-tasking as I tried to balance the needs of my kids and my goals for my business with virtually no support and very limited childcare.   

 

Stackable Ramins, 2011Work/ Life Balance

Over the last year, my daughter developed a refrain that I started to hear daily.  “No one cares about me.  No one pays attention to me.”  Fantastic.  “No matter how much I give her, no matter how much I do for her, it’s never enough,” I thought. 

I alternated between brushing off her remarks as her being dramatic and blaming myself for being selfish for putting so much time into my business.  I redoubled my efforts to stay centered and present.  I tried to compartmentalize family time versus work time.  But still, the accusation kept coming.  “Nobody likes me.”

Alone in the big, wide world.

Finally I came across an article from a parenting course that I had purchased long ago. In this article, Amy McReady, founder of Positive Parenting Solutions, explains what she calls Mind, Body and Soul time.  Simply put, Mind, Body and Soul time is time spent one-on-one with each child for 10 minutes, twice a day in an activity of the child’s choosing. 

 

There’s that 20-minute a day rule again.

But now instead of smug dismissal, I felt a sudden panic.  20 minutes?  Per kid?  Every day?  Who has time for that? Our daily routine flashed through my head:

get ready for school > school > get ready for after school activity > activity > get ready for bed > bed

Far from the days of having hours engaged in kid centered play, now we’re reduced to mere moments of conversation tucked between the commitments of life.  Yes, we have time together, but undivided attention centered around an activity of my daughter’s choosing?  Dear God, she wasn’t being dramatic. She was feeling the loss of true connection and desperately waiting for someone to hear her.   

A Day at the Beach

So I meditated on this puzzle of how to create more time, and then I made a plan.  I started putting my son to bed earlier and made a commitment to create Mind, Body and Soul time each night with my daughter in that hour between my son’s bedtime and hers.  It’s nothing fancy.  Usually she just wants to play dolls or act out a scene from a favorite book.  Sometimes we just talk. But do you know what?  It’s working!  She’s happier, she’s more patient with her brother and the best part—no more accusations that we don’t care about her. 

"Good story, Cathy, but what does this have to do with family photography."

Well, this brings me to my Oprah “What I know for sure” moment: the number one thing our kids want from us is our time.  In an age when busy-ness is rampant and time seems to be of short supply, it can feel oppressive if not impossible to get in daily quality time.  I get it.  There are days when I look at my calendar and think, “no way, not happening”.  In fact there are days when I have evening obligations and I miss Mind, Body, Soul time.  But my daughter now understands that I am doing my best.  She sees that I am making an effort and she keeps enough reserves in her tank to carry her through the days when life gets in the way.

CWRPhotography_Lifestyle_Sally_4583CWRPhotography_Lifestyle_Sally_4583

This realization is one of the reasons I am so committed to Day in the Life photography.  Your days are full of obligations.  You and your kids don't need another 'have to' on the schedule that takes you away from time you could be connecting as a family.  I center my photography around what you like to do together.  You get to stay emotionally available, engaged in an activity that your kids love.  You get to give your children the gift of your time, and I just arrive to bear witness.  

We hear the phrase so often, it become cliche:

It goes so fast.  

In a way, all we have is time.  It's how we choose to use it that counts.

 

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cathy@cathywilsonramin.com (Cathy Wilson Ramin Photography) CT lifestyle photography Ct lifestyle family photography day in the life photography family photography https://www.cathywilsonramin.com/blog/2016/9/the-20-minute-rule-and-my-new-mantra Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:30:00 GMT
Getting Real: Day in the Life Photography https://www.cathywilsonramin.com/blog/2016/9/getting-real-day-in-the-life-photography It starts with a question:

 

 

Maybe you answer 'baking together'. 

Maybe 'going on a hike'

Maybe it’s elaborate dramatic play complete with dress up.

Maybe it’s hitting your favorite playground. 

Maybe it’s playing soccer in the backyard.

 

Whatever you answer, that is how we begin to tell the story of your family.  From our initial conversation, I start to build a picture of your life.  We’ll talk about your family members, their personalities, their likes and dislikes.  We’ll narrow down your days into a favorite activity (or two…or three) that really define this time in the life of your family, and we’ll plan a session (or two…or three) around that. 

 

Now here’s the good part: once that decision is made, you are free to go back to enjoying your life! You carry on with your favorite activities and I show up to document the memories that you are already making as a family.  No coercing your children (or your husband—who can sometimes complain more than the children, amiright?!) into matching outfits.  No power struggles over posing.  No artificial smiles.  Just real, authentic moments with your real, human family.

 

In Day in the Life sessions, I utilize a photojournalistic style to document your family.  I’m a fly on the wall recording your interactions.  I see the connections made over play.  I see the laughter, the frustrations, the accomplishments, the love and I present it back to you in photographs.

 

 

 

 

After the session, I will come to you for the big reveal.  We will view the images together and I will sit by your side as we build the album, collage wall, or portfolio of your dreams.  Yes, I want you to print these images!  I have researched quality, archival products to offer my clients because I firmly believe that your children deserve this gift of family memories.

 

How many pictures of your children do you have on your phone right now?  

How many of them will your children ever see? 

 

I make it part of my service to make sure your children see these images by staying by your side until that photo album/ collage wall that's been on your to-do list for the last (fill-in-the-blank) years finally gets done!  I even have people to come install the collage wall for you!  

You see, that's my purpose as a family photographer.  These pictures are not for Facebook or Instagram (although there's nothing wrong with sharing them there, too).  These photographs are not meant to prove to the world that your family is perfect (no one's is).  These photographs are for your children and grandchildren to remember the good times you had as a family.  Pure and simple, I want your children to have this record of their time with you.

So that's it!  Your memories are captured for generations to come and you get to move on, guilt-free, to enjoy the next day in the life of your family.

 

Ready to start planning your Day in the Life session?

Contact Cathy now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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cathy@cathywilsonramin.com (Cathy Wilson Ramin Photography) https://www.cathywilsonramin.com/blog/2016/9/getting-real-day-in-the-life-photography Wed, 21 Sep 2016 17:27:16 GMT