Mom baked the cake during session

Amandine turned 1! She holds the record of completing the most packages I offer in my Baby’s First Year Plan.  Amandine had never had a real cake prior to the session so her Mommy wasn’t sure whether she wants a cake smash pacakge. So instead, she booked Amandine a traditional portrait session and just wanted to go with the flow and see.


Mom loves the on-location idea. We discussed color themes during pre-session consultation and as usual, I like to surprise her with a few additional ideas. We did the session on a cozy summer day and just took our time. If Amandine needs a nap, go for it. If she needs a break or snack, just do it. There was no rush and Mommy just went into the closet to find new outfits and accessories as we go. I captured lots of candid pictures of Amandine hanging around in the kitchen with Mommy as well as playing with her big sister’s easel set (shhh…).




At 12 months Amandine can crawl very well and stand with little support. She has very rich expressions. If you visit her sitter and newborn session blog (links will be given at the end of this blog), you know this is not news. However, she did have some new expressions to share such as the adorable baby duck face.


I surprised Mom with a wall showing my favorite pictures of Amandine from the newborn and sitter session.

Okay, I don’t want to take it personal. I believe Amandine loOooves my wall of pictures idea. 😉
Wooden “ONE” sign by Crafts by Jackie

Another surprise is a sparkly mirror theme. Amandine really had fun playing with her own reflections.

The “mirror” is made of a plastic, shatterproof material called “Plexiglass”. Please do not try this with real mirror at home. It is not safe that way.

Again this is why I love on location service. Admandine was in the mood for more pictures so at the last minute her Mommy decided to add the cake smash theme in. She used a boxed cake and substituted items to make it allergy free. The frosting color was made with real strawberries. The whole cake was made in about 20 minutes and she put it in the freezer for about another 10 minutes to let it chill.

Happy Birthday sign by Crafts by Jackie
Amandine pretends to blow the candles. Such a smart girl!

Thank you Amandine for another wonderful session. We will see you next time very soon!

First Birthday Gift
MuSen’s birthday gift for Amandine: Mini Silver Living Locket With Crystals ; Birthday Cake CharmRose Stardust Swarovski Crystals16-18″ Silver Cube Chain ; packed in a fortune cookie jewelry pouch

To visit Amandine’s sitter session blog, click here.

To visit Amandine’s newborn session blog, click here.

To learn more about the First Birthday pacakge, click here.

Ready to book a customized, on-location session for your little ones? Contact us now!


Alice Wonderland Themed Wedding

How should I describe Stephanie? Organized, communicative, caring, creative, and always putting the family her absolute priority. Let us focus on creativity for a moment: I arrived at the venue early on the reception day to document the setup process. I was blown away by her amazing Alice Wonderland themes. She designed, shopped, and set up all the centerpieces by herself. Wow and Wow! I even joked to her and said she should consider becoming a wedding planner/theme designer so we can partner together and rock the wedding business.

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Stephanie got her flowers from Costco and ShopRite. All centerpieces and flower arrangements were done by Stephanie.

Tim Burton is the true inspiration for the whole theme. Stephanie loves how his mind thinks and sees the world so when she thought wedding she figured. Alice and Wonderland is still an elegant theme for them (Stephanie and Phil). Then everything started to come to her. Pinterest was a little help but once Stephanie thought of an idea she just ran with it. Organizing it was fun, according to Stephanie. She went thrift shopping, Goodwill stores and just going on a hunt for different tea pots,tea cups, books, etc. It was an amazing adventure. “You never truly knew if you would find what you were looking for or just not get anything at all. But it was trying to find the hidden treasure that made it so much fun!”, said Stephanie.

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Stephanie was pretty much all over Monmouth NJ to find everything she was looking for. The Christmas Tree Shops, Big Lots, HomeGoods and thrift stores helped with the decor. Also Amazon was her best friend too.
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Guests check-in Table
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Bride and Groom’s Table

The wedding dress is from David’s Bridal and it got pockets! A fun fact to share: if anyone knows Stephanie, her Moto is if the dress has pockets it’s hers. She never know what to do with her hands it’s an awkward thing for her. So she loves pockets because then she doesn’t have to worry about feeling uncomfortable about where to put her hands. Her friends think it’s hysterical. During the wedding, whenever Stephanie puts her hands inside the dress pockets her friends tease her about it and they will have a good laugh together. I noticed that and just had to find out from Stephanie what it was all about.

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Meet the Bride Stephanie
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Meet the Groom Phil

The reception was held at the Cranbury Inn. Stephanie and Phil chose it because of its rustic and vintage feel. The couple had an awesome experience there. The food was delicious and Tom the owner is very knowledgeable and attentive. They would go back again in a heart beat and have a party there again.

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The loft layout inside the Cranbury Inn is so special. The guests watched the couple’s ceremony from upstairs. The newly wed greeted all guests one by one as the guests walked down the stairs.


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Portrait taken near Cranbury Memorial Park

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The Brainerd Dam

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Brett Dash was their DJ and is fabulous to work with, “Easy going and a great guy”. Kara Lynne From Élan Hair Studio in Seagirt NJ did Stephanie’s makeup. “She is the best! Any type of makeup to wedding, party, Halloween, etc. she is your girl. True talent and I’m so happy with her beautiful work. She is also my colorist.” Ashley Evan from Élan Hair Studio in Seagirt NJ did Stephanie’s hair. “If you need a blowout and/or up styling she is your girl. She can make anything work and make your dreams come true. Any special event I have to go to I go to this beauty!”

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The First Dance
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On the bracelet that Stephanie wearing is the coordinates of Elkmont Campgrounds in the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee. It’s where Phil proposed to Stephanie. The bracelet is from Phil also got Stephanie another bracelet with the coordinates where they first met.
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The mother of one of Stephanie’s good friends from work home-made this wedding cake. It was made out of pure love and hard work. Stephanie gave her the idea and she created it for her without question and the couple couldn’t have been any happier with the results.

The thing that scared, made her anxious and nervous the most, according to Stephanie, was “will I be able to set everything up in time, will what my imagination wants for the theme of the wedding going to execute properly, and did I just go over board and of course put too much on my plate”. Otherwise with getting married Stephanie never had a doubt in her mind and either did Phil so that was the easiest part.

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Tips from the bride:

“I am organized chaos, but my best friend Kiki helps me organize it with lists, to-dos and important things that need to get done. As for getting organized for the photographer everyone should have a list of what pictures they want. There are so many regrets on people forgetting to get that one picture. So you as a couple should sit down and make a list of pictures you would like from your wedding so you have no regrets when you get the proofs back. No picture is a stupid picture. Its a memory you can have forever.” (Yes Stephanie, you won’t understand how much that has helped me, by providing me a guests picture list. It really saved my life as a photographer on the wedding day.)

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“Our experience was awesome. The only thing is we wish we ate more because the food was so delicious. Advice is just enjoy your day, it goes by quick. If you can get your pictures done earlier do it so you can enjoy every moment. And make sure you eat because you are paying for it and we know us brides starved ourselves to get into a dress so make sure you have that delicious meal”

Here is my session gift for the bride. I chose a heart shape rose gold color living locket because the rose gold color reminds me of Stephanie’s wedding gown and Cranbury Inn’s color theme. To accent, I also added vintage rose stardust Swarovski crystals. You And Me Puzzle Piece charm represents the union of Stephanie and Phil. Silver Wedding Ring charm is to remind Stephanie this is a wedding gift. I also include a Family Branch charm because I love the way Stephanie care about her family!! Silver Playing Cards charm reminds me of the Alice Wonderland theme and Stephanie’s amazing centerpieces designs. And the Camera charm is to remind Stephanie this gift is from me. The living locket will be displayed on the Living Locket Photo Frame along with one of their favorite picture from that day.

Stephanie and Phil did their engagement session with me back in February at the historical Batsto Village. To view the blog on their engagement session, click here.

Interested in finding out what the couple say about MuSen? Read their testimonial here.