Thanksgiving Weekend Extended Family Session

Now the holiday craze is over let us spend some time and look back at some of the late Autumn sessions last year.

Besides shopping what else can you do on Thanksgiving weekend? Having an extended family session done would be a great choice. They make timeless holiday gifts.

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This photo session is a holiday gift for the parents (the kids’ grandparents). The parents had asked for an updated family picture of all of them. They had done it in the past, but it had been five years and the children had changed quire a bit.
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The siblings: Left – Wendy; Middle – Rob; Right – Dianna

“My parents would plan family vacations where we would travel around the country in their station wagon for two-three weeks at a time. Although it was a lot at the time to be trapped in a car for that long a period of time, those times consist of some of my favorite family memories.” – Dianna

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Now when all the families get together they just relax and talk about all the things going on in their lives as well as reminiscing about times when they were young.
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Dianna’s family – Dianna, Jackson, Cole, and Mike. Mike and Dianna have been married the shortest amount of time, but have lived in three different houses.
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Wendy’s Family – Wendy, Bill, Liam, Emily, and Colin. All the boys in this family are Eagle Scouts.
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Tammy’s Family – Rob, Ava, Emma, Robby, Andrew (front), and Tammy. Rob and Tammy are both doctors and have the most kids.

Tammy chose the outfits. In the past, each family would pick a separate color, but this time they decided to do something different. They also felt white shirts and blue jeans were the easiest to match.

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All the girls
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All the boys
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All the grandchildren

They did worry about the weather. Tammy’s family was up from Virginia and everyone could only meet on this one day. If it was raining, it would have made for a much different experience.

“Have a back-up plan for the weather. We were very lucky that it worked for us on the day that we chose, but it could have gone either way. Coordinate colors in advance. Try to make it easy on everyone if you have a big family, because the last thing that you want to do is annoy people before you even start the pictures. HAVE FUN!!! This is either for you or loved ones. Although it can be stressful, try to make it fun. It gives you a better memory to reflect upon.” – Dianna shared some words of wisdom for anyone planning an extended family in the future.

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All the ladies
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All the gentlemen
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Yay! They did the “walk” for me! – MuSen

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“Karen was so accommodating!!! Anything that we wanted to try or do, she obliged. We were a large group, but she was organized and very easy to work with. Also, Karen was honest. If a picture wasn’t working, she let us know and we would try something different.”

From MuSen:

Extended family session is fun, but could be difficult to coordinate and stressful at times. Treat it as a get-together event for everyone and enjoy the moments! I love how easygoing everyone is and wouldn’t mind trying out different ideas with me, and if the ideas didn’t work, we just laughed it off. Weather was great that day and not too cold. It was a clear day and at the time of the session the sun position was high and the lighting condition was harsh. This imposes some degrees of challenges as we need to constantly change our locations and directions in order to avoid direct sunlight and blotching spots. This problem can also be resolved with proper use of shades and flash.

A 8×10 hard cover photo-book is included with the session. It is a prefect holiday gift choice. To find out more about the Oak package, visit here.

Ready to book your own Oak session? Contact me now.

Mid Autumn in Central Park

When it comes to photo-shoot there are so much you could do at the Central Park. The tip is to stick to one small area and try to make the most of it.

The family likes the scenery and the backdrop of the city from the park. Besides Central Park, they also considered the Battery Park, the Gantry Plaza State Park, and the Old Westbury Gardens. After pre-session consultation and understanding the their needs, we settled in with the mid section of Central Park (around 72nd street).

The route started at the Bethesda Fountain. We then walked along the west side to the Bow Bridge, and took quite some pictures by The Lake as well. We wrapped up the section at the Ramble.

The family wasn’t looking anything in particular. They just thought it would be nice to take some family photos. If anything they wanted a casual and easy going look and this was exactly what we did.

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Near the Bethesda Fountain

The couple’s son Connor was about 14 months old at the time. He is very spontaneous and curious. He loves to do things on his own and tries to help out on everything.

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On the way to the Bow Bridge (this picture is one of the most popular pictures on my Instagram account)
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By The Lake
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More by The Lake
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Bow Bridge in the background
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At the Ramble
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Connor’s clothes are from Janie and Jack and Gap.

Tips from the family: “Don’t think of it as picture day. Think of it as a regular day where you’re hanging out with your toddler and having fun. No stress! Just a fun outing day with the family.”

MuSen: A session involving toddler could be very exhausting for both the photographer and the parents. The outcome would be the best if not posed and just focus on candid captures. Always bring snack, drink, change of clothes, and comfort toys. Relax and enjoy the time together! This is a full family session with many beautiful scenery including Bethesda Fountain, backdrop of the city in the background, and more closeup view of the Bow Bridge. The family chooses not to release those images which I completely respect. Besides receiving all their pictures in a nicely crafted photobook, I also surprise the Mom with the following session gift from my OrigamiOwl collection.

Central Park Session Gift
Large Rose Gold Heart Living Locket with Crystals; 18-20″ Rose Gold Large Oval Chain; Assorted limited edition Charms and Swarovski Stardust Crystals.

Click here to learn more about my outdoor Oak pacakge.


Early Fall Family Outdoor Session

Guest author: Amy

I always wanted to do an outdoor family portrait. We had one done in a studio over 5 years ago and it was very sterile. I thought if I won, there was no excuse but to get it done.

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Our favorite family activity is fishing. Every year we try to go on vacation to a lake. Fishing turns into a yearly competition to see who catches the most fish!


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I enjoyed the session because we were all together in our element. The park and lake were the perfect setting for us. Karen made it very casual and relaxed and that made the session even more enjoyable.

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My kids hate to dress up so I wanted to make very casual and comfortable for them. Megan decided she would like to wear her favorite blue dress from T.J. Maxx and we all followed her lead. Luckily, everyone already had blue shirts from various stores such as Old Navy and Kohl’s.

I was worried my older kids would not want to cooperate. They hate getting their pictures taken. I was told I was torturing them! But once we got there, they were troopers and did it for Mom!!

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Don’t stress about it. Your hair and clothes don’t need to be perfect! Be yourself and enjoy the time together!

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From MuSen: Amy’s family session was fun for me as well. The weather was just perfect. Many thought a sunny day is the best for outdoor portraits but in fact as a photographer I prefer a cloudy day. The clouds serve as a natural light diffuser and when taking views in a wide angle, can really gives you a dramatic look. I love how down-to-earth Amy’s family is. Their little teasing of one another made me laugh with them. I am all about my local community and truly enjoy the process of getting to know families around me through their photo sessions. I cannot be more thankful for the supports my community is giving me.

To find out what Amy thinks of MuSen, visit Raves.

Romantic Autumn Sunset Row Boat Engagement Session

This beautiful fall season brought me beautiful love stories. I captured my very first engagement session and it is with a very special theme – Row Boat.

Raleigh enjoys fresh water fishing while Isabel enjoys horseback riding. They both enjoy spending time outside and with their rescue dog, Robbie.

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They met through a mutual friend. They chatted via email and eventually went out.

Raleigh proposed in the middle of Palmer Square with friends hiding in trees taking pictures and a champagne toast.

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They will be getting married at Mercer Lake with a reception immediately following on June 9th, 2017. Isabel is most excited about all the personal touches they are making to make their wedding unique. Can’t ruin the surprise!

They went for their usual outdoor hiking or adventuring outfits. They chose colors that would really stand out with the changing leaves while staying comfortable. They are really lucky to have a personal stylist!

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Isabel’s best friend suggested the row boat theme as an omage to Raleigh’s love of fishing and setting the theme of getting married on a lake. She said she imagined it to be like “The Little Mermaid’s Kiss the Girl” scene. The Autumn leaves were a huge bonus! And their dog Robbie is part of their family and he will be in the wedding so it was only fitting to have him in the shoot. The row boat was only scary when Isabel had to change positions and it got a little rocky! Not to mention she does get a little sea sick!

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MuSen’s Notes: Prior to the session I did a pretty throughout location scouting to make sure we can fully take advantage of the beautiful sunset lighting during golden hours. It was a fun session and to add more varieties we also captured pictures at the nearby park, the dock, and the edge of the lake. I reserve the couple’s most favorite images to be used for their Save-The-Date announcement and not sharing them anywhere in my blog, website, or social media sites. Congratulations once more and wish the two happily ever after.

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