My Lucky Star!

Meet my nephew Ethan! He recently turned 2 and the two families planned a playdate at Princeton University. Ethan is one of my best friends’ son. Both me and my BFF are single child. We treat each other like siblings, and each other’s kids like nephew and nieces.


Ethan is the lucky star of my photography business. Till today, I am still thankful for my BFF’s trust and confidence in me. She handed her first born to me for newborn pictures. They turned out terrible, very few good ones. I felt deeply embarrassed. Ethan’s newborn session helped me realize my weaknesses as a photographer. And that became the turning point of my business. After the session I put myself in a boot camp to beef up all the necessary skills as a photographer in general and as a newborn photographer in particular. My hard work gets paid off. It is not how long you are in, but how fast you can improve. Back in June this year, I was nominated as one of the 2017 National Association of Professional Child Photographers (NAPCP) Best New Emerging Child Photographer (BNECP).

6 weeks old forest theme
Ethan’s newborn picture at 6 weeks old



Ethan is one of my favorite portrait faces. I also did a lifestyle 100 Days and first birthday cake smash for him.


For Ethan’s 2nd birthday portrait, my BFF was looking for relaxed, outdoor, not formal but candid shots. “He likes to laugh and smile but camera shy, so works well when picture captures the moment.”

2 Yeas Old Portrait at Princeton University (11)
A quick capture of Ethan having fun walking up and down the stairs

Ethan’s outfit is from Rags to Raches.   His Daddy picked out a pair of black shoes from Jordan so the outfit matches with the shoes, “plus it looks really good on him”.

2 Yeas Old Portrait at Princeton University (5)
Ethan was a premie but his afterbirth weight has been in the 90 percentile for a long time. He learned to sing before he learned to talk. He is a split image of his dad.

2 Yeas Old Portrait at Princeton University (4)

2 Yeas Old Portrait at Princeton University (9)

My BFF was concerned about Ethan not cooperating, not meeting the agreed upon time since they couldn’t predict his nap schedule. “The session turned out great, there were other kids (MuSen: my girls) so made this more like friend and family outing rather than a formal photo shoot. The location was perfect, weather and timing were perfect too.”

“Afternoon session worked out well for us, after nap, before dinner. Bring snacks just in case. Follow his lead, plan to visit a few different spots.”, more advice from my BFF.

2 Yeas Old Portrait at Princeton University (2)
Prospect Garden, which lies behind Prospect House, was designed by Ellen Wilson, who lived there with her husband, Woodrow Wilson 1879, while he served as University president. (Source: Princeton University Campus Attractions)

2 Yeas Old Portrait at Princeton University (3)

2 Yeas Old Portrait at Princeton University (10)

2 Yeas Old Portrait at Princeton University (8)

2 Yeas Old Portrait at Princeton University (7)

2 Yeas Old Portrait at Princeton University (6)

2 Yeas Old Portrait at Princeton University (1)
Fountain of Freedom

MuSen: My BFF told me she has noticed incredible improvement in my photography skills in such a short amount of time. Ethan’s session caught lots of social media attentions. The collage I made for him stayed as top posts of many popular hashtags on Instagram for days.


Model Citizen Media
It also help me to get identified by Model Citizen Media and I was invited to give their interview a try. I am deeply motivated by their quote:”You can’t fall if you don’t climb. But there’s no joy in living your whole life on the ground”.
Fun Fact: As I am drafting this blog I went check out Instagram hashtag #princetonuniversity out of curiosity and found out my random shot of my oldest that day at the arcade has become the #1 top post among 41,872 public posts. Wow!

Thank you Ethan for continuing inspiring me!! Auntie loves you very much!

To find out what my BFF thinks of me as a photographer? Click here.

To learn more about the Oak pacakge, click here.

The Family behind Crafts by Jackie

I release this blog on a Thursday because it is perfect for throwback.

My friendship with Jackie goes back to a long way. Her daughter Haylie and my daughter Sammi were at the same daycare. They were also in the same dance class. I remember those cute little bunny costumes. Years later, both families expand with more kids. I started my photography business around the same time Jackie started her crafting business, and we soon formed great collaborations. Haylie and her younger brother Charlie did a wonderful fantasy model call for me. This mermaid meets fisherman image attracted lots of new clients in the early stage of my business.

Mermaid meets fisherman

Haylie also modeled a tutu outfit for me.

Hot Pink_Black_Light Pink Diva_1

I had the honor to be their family photographer two years in a row. The family loves outdoors. Last year’s session was at a local park and this year at the beautiful Lavallette Beach.  Wonder how much has changed in a year? Let us take a look:

2016 at a local park
2017 lavallette sunset

Their favorite family activity would probably be going crabbing together. It’s something outdoors that they all love to do. Funny enough, they barely even eat seafood- it’s just a fun way to get out and do something together. “In the sun and right by the beach!!!!”


Perhaps the biggest change I have noticed as a photographer would be how much Charlie, now 4, has grown. I remember it was quite some work trying to get his attention and stay focused during the family session last year. But this year, he poses for me, smiles for me, so great to work with!

Charlie, 2016
Charlie, 2017

This handsome little fellow recently started a karate/martial arts class and it is his favorite place to be. He’s already earned his orange belt!

Charlie and Mommy, 2016
Charlie and Mommy, 2017

Haylie LOVES gymnastics. The conditioning, the never ending practices, anything and everything leading up to the meets, she loves it all! Her team is more like her second family now.

Haylie, 2016
Haylie, 2017
Haylie always wanted a sunset silhouette poster with her gymnastics moves and we did it!

Kaylee enjoys playing softball in the spring, and takes a gymnastics class as well.

Kaylee, 2016
Kaylee, 2017






12x12 Film Strip

Jackie loves being a full-time mom and being able to work from home. Her craft business has come a lot further than she ever imagined! And in her spare time she enjoys couponing, and has a fabulous stockpile closet! Click here to visit Crafts by Jackie’s Facebook page.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Chuck is a huge Green Bay Packers fan.. as well as a fan of his family.

The couple, 2016
The couple, 2017

When preparing for their photo sessions, Jackie always try to go with a color scheme. She wants them to match, but not too “matchy”. Once they pick their location, and date – she starts the search! With the pictures usually being done in spring/summer, it works out perfect that she can find some lightweight, fun colors. This year the family did a pretty teal/aqua color with white. – For the girls, they had clothing from Abercrombie Kids, with Charlie’s clothing from Target. The year before, they chose a dark blue, and did the same thing. They found a couple cute things that matched, and it all worked out! They typically stick to colors in the blue family. It matches their décor in the family room for when they get their pictures made!

2016, dark blue theme
2017, teal/aqua color with white

Here are some tips from Jackie when preparing a family session:

“Number one, with small children – ALWAYS have a back up outfit. As well as wipes, and maybe even a stain marker/ Not even having pulled out of the driveway on the way to our beach photo shoot, my son somehow ended up covered in chocolate. I still don’t even know where the chocolate came from!!! Also, bring some snacks/drinks (non messy ones) in case you have to encourage (bribe) your children to continue smiling for all the photos!!!

Also, don’t stress it. Don’t overthink it. Go into it having fun, and your photos will come out better than you would’ve thought possible!”


“The only worry I ever had with Karen before our session, was the weather!! Last year’s photos, it was supposed to be a cloudy/miserable day and I remember worrying our photos wouldn’t come out great. After keeping in close contact with Karen monitoring the weather, we both wanted to continue with them anyway! And I am so happy we did! The photos were AMAZING. The weather wasn’t too hot and humid. It was the perfect weather for a photo shoot!!!”


“Working with Karen, doesn’t even feel like a photo session! She goes above and beyond to check out locations, that will be great shots, as well as fun for the family. It’s hard to entertain a little kid (plus the older siblings), but I love that it’s always done at a place that brings them joy. Between a park setting, as well as an outdoor beach session- she found places that had jungle gyms, and let the kids run free to take breaks! While at the same time getting photos of the kids just being themselves!”


From MuSen: I truly enjoy photographing Jackie’s family. This year’s beach sunset session was done in a playdate format. Both families had so much fun at the beach. What a wonderful memory!

Beach All
Charlie is the lucky only boy!

MuSen’s surprise for Jackie’s family: a moving portrait!


To find out what Jackie thinks about MuSen? Click here.

Rodan + Fields Themed Cake Smash

First birthday cake smash has become one of my favorite type of photo sessions lately. So much creativity, personality and characteristics involved. For this particular session, Mom is an enthusiastic R+F independent consultant and super passionate about what she does. For her son Jacob’s first birthday, we brainstormed the idea of having the baby role play a dermatologist along with a R+F themed cake smash.

The inspiration came from this advertisement picture. We therefore decided on a plain gray seamless paper background along with props and banners that would give us a laboratory look.

R+F Ad

Silver and white smash cake adorned with gum pastes and real R+F travel size products is hand crafted by Slice of Fancy/Sweet & Stuff.

R+F Smash Cake
Cake is vanilla flavor with lemon buttercream.

Chemistry bar glassware made of REAL borosilicate 3.3 lab glass capable off withstanding extremes in temperature is from Med Lab Supply.

R+F Smash Cake 2

Crafts By Jackie put together a thoughtfully designed happy birthday banner using fonts similar to R+F’s.

R+F Cake Smash Setup

Jacob R+F Cake Smash
For Jacob’s safety we removed the glassware during actual cake smash
Color liquids inside the glassware are actually Powerade.  Picture showing behind-the-scene Powerade cheers (“gon bay”).

Mom is also a good sewer. She made Jacob’s doctor smock out of her preggo pillow case. Jacob’s big sister used the remaining fabric and made her own doll a dress, on which she wrote heart-melting happy birthday wishes to her baby brother.

Doctor Smock
Behind-the-scene doctor smock making pictures from Jacob’s Mommy

For this session I sneak peek with a first birthday cake collage and it was such a big hit.

Jacob Cake Smash Collage

People also responded so well to this bathtub picture.

This baby size bathtub is one of MuSen’s all time favorite props.

Wait! We are not done yet! After the cake smash we also took the little guy out for a walk and captured some lifestyle pictures there.

Jacob Outdoor Collage

To learn more about Rodan + Fields products, please contact Mimi at or 718-288-5085. Her website is: Click here to take your free 60 second consultation



Solutions Tool
Free 60 second consultation

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

From Strangers to Friends

Cameron’s first birthday session was a big hit. It is something very different. Instead of smashing a cake, he smashed spaghetti.

Chef’s guide to perfect spaghetti recipe.
1. Make sure veggies are fresh and taste delicious. (They are from the photographer’s own garden, picked one hour prior to session!)
2. Stir well during cooking
3. Check tenderness
4. Enjoy!

Cameron’s Mom Lizzy and I have become friends through all these portrait sessions. This is the 3rd time they came to me for pictures. I feel so grateful that she always opens up to my ideas and willing to try new things with me.

They were the winner of my session donation in support of East Brunswick Youth Council on 2016 East Brunswick Day. Lizzy had always wanted to have professional pictures taken of her family and the children, but it just never happened. Coming across the donation I made at the silent auction made her think that this would be the best time to try to win something! And She did. “A fantastic photographer who is creative and listens to input and produces beautiful pictures!”, said Lizzy.

Portrait was done on location in their house.
Ron, the dad, football and sports nut who is also into memorabilia and collectibles.
Liz, the mom, loves craft stuff and shopping!! “lol and spending time with the kids.”, according to Lizzy herself.
The couple love taking the kids on outings… Central park, the beach, zoos, etc.
Arianna, now the 14 year old, artistic and funny. Great at drawing cartoon and animation as well as more classical pieces. To visit blog on Arianna’s Bat Mitzvah, click here.
Bryce, the 3 year old, silly kid that loves to make people laugh. “He is our little superhero.”


Cameron, now the 1 year old, “our little butterball of happiness”. He has figured out how to get around, but he really loves his pacifier and his mommy. He celebrated his first Hanukkah last holiday season.

“I love how well Karen interact with the kids and family, its not a simple task to get so many people to focus and smile and get a great picture! I also love that she let me help get involved and pose and make suggestions during our session”, said Lizzy.


For Cameron’s first birthday session, we came up with the spaghetti smash idea. Lizzy had purchased a large pot for Cameron to fit into and I provided the fresh veggies from my own garden and chef’s hat that we used for the props. The other props Lizzy rummaged through her drawers for the rolling pin and spoons.

Safety tip: always put heavy weight at the bottom of props like pot, bucket, etc for babies to prevent accidental flipping. A 10 lb weight plate from any sporting good store would do just fine.
Lizzy was worried that Cameron would not co-operate at all for the pictures and the entire session would be wasted, but he did great!


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“Have fun with the entire experience, and don’t expect your 1 year old to do what you want them to do :)”, shared Lizzy. She loves this picture because it captured a real moment of a 1 year old.
2017 Silient Auction Ad
From MuSen: I am donating again at this year’s East Brunswick Day to support EBYC. Visit the FB event page for more details.

To learn more about the Sequoia package, click here.

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