What to Wear for Family Portraits

The question clients always ask after they book a family session is what they should wear on their day. Coordinating your outfits can be an overwhelming task, but, this quick list will help you plan accordingly. When thinking about your familes outfit, always keep in mind the location of the shoot, and what your goal is. For instance: a warm, burgundy, color palette with sweaters would look off on a beach.

Most importantly, if you’re stuck…. text me for help!

I love helping my clients choose their outfits. Just text or email me photos of different possibilities and we can put the pieces together.

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GENERAL TIPS

Start with one person.

It’s easier to visualize the whole idea when you start with one piece. I suggest starting with “Mom’s” outfit, or, any girl outfit since they typically have more print options.

Complement, don’t match.

I know, when you think of family portraits, you think of white shirts and khakis… While that is still a beautiful beach look, nowadays, you want colors that generally complement one another. Soft colors (light blue, gray, blush) or warm colors (brown, orange, burgundy) are a good way to start. I like to use the soft color palette while on the beach and the more warm colors for fall shoots.

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Stick to one outfit.

Family portraits are already a symphony of moving parts: don’t add any complication by changing the outfits. It will only make for grumpy kids and even grumpier adults.

Plan for the weather.

Nothing is worse than being miserably uncomfortable in a perfect outfit. If you’re planning an outdoor session in the late fall or winter, consider scarves, hats and gloves as an additional accessory for the day.

Consider layers.

You can incorporate multiple colors and looks through layering. If you’re wearing a dress, consider bringing a kimono and belt: both can be removed for a different look. For boys, consider layering button downs with sweaters. Layering not only allows for the incorporation of colors but it also allows for different looks on the day.

While this may all seem self explanatory, below are some more tips and tricks to making sure you’re wearing the perfect outfit for your Family Portraits.

For the Moms:

Say yes to:

maxi dresses, fitted tops tucked into long skirts, a-line dresses/coats, skinny jeans, cardigans, blazers, scarves, ankle boots,  riding boots, fitted tunics, rompers

Say no to:

strapless, sleeveless (unless you love your arms), low-cut shirts, baggy clothes, chunky knits, boxy shirts.

For the Dads:

Say yes to:

blazers, chino pants/shorts, button-downs with sleeves rolled up to elbows, sweaters layered over collared shirts, dark wash jeans, leather shoes/boots, cardigans.

Say no to:

short-sleeved polos, short-sleeved button-downs, baggy shorts/pants, athletic shoes, cargo shorts, white t-shirts, white dad shoes.

For Kids:

Everything listed for Mom and Dad, plus, accessories. For girls, add headbands and bows, and, make sure any dress they wear has shorts underneath. For boys, add bow ties, suspenders, or a cute hat. Avoid tank tops, neon clothing, anything with quotes, saying, or characters.

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Verity Moments Summer Report

It’s the first day of school here on Long Island, and, as I walked Emmett this morning, I was reminded of how exciting this day is. All the kids at the bus stops were talking about their favorite adventures; some kids more verbose, while others were nervous about what lied ahead.

While I am no longer an official student, I do consider myself a student of life. As we all should be. This morning, my goal was to use my quiet time (the neighborhood is infinitely more quiet with the kids at school!) to outline my goals and consider a shift in my business.

As I look back on my summer, there’s a part of me that wonders how I kept it all together. Or, rather; did I keep it all together? It was my first Full-Time Photography summer, paired with still working full time at the restaurant. I worked hard this summer on making myself more present when around others, and, making a more conscientious effort to see people more often. As an INFP personality, I need those introverted days to refill my well- and, working two full time jobs doesn’t allow a lot of time to do that. But, I tried.

My summer was filled with memories from clients: from spending Father’s Day laughing with a family, to photographing one of the most impactful weddings of my life. I also booked three weddings for next year (which is more than my business ever did!) photographed an elopement (one day I’ll be able to share those!) and even traveled for a family portrait session. (which is coming soon to the blog!) I started cooking again! Which, also ended up being great for my waistline- I’ve lost weight, and have had less PCOS symptoms. (although, this past weekend hit me with a doozy that I’m still working through.)

I learned new shooting and editing techniques. I’ve watched as my style, while still rooted in those truthful moments, has become more refined and concise. Which, makes editing a lot easier. Quality photos over Quantity of photos.

I ended my summer by traveling to Lake George and revisiting my old college on the way. Being on campus again reminded me of the 18 year old version of myself. That lofty, unfocused, dreamer who just wanted to write books and be creative. Walking the same paths she did when she had a story idea or just needed fresh air, reminded me of what I want for my life, and how I’m closer than ever to that dream.

Now, as I sit at my desk with the sun illuminating my hands as I type this, I can’t help but feel relieved that summer is over. While I will miss my beautiful Italian tan, I love new seasons because they bring on new beginnings. I started this new chapter with a mentor phone call and am 90% positive I’m going to be taking a step that could change my life forever. As my mentor said on the phone: “what I’m hearing is that you’re scared of you. The talent is there, stop being afraid of yourself.” It looks like your girl has a little bit of a confidence flaw, haha.

Entering into September, my goal is focus. My goal is to stay consistent and my goal is to continue to share my gift of photography with the world.

Here are a few of my favorite personal shots from the last few months.

New Packages for Clients!

I first fell in love with photography when I was six years old. My brother, seven years older than me, had a kodak disposable camera lying around, and being the obtuse little sister that I was, I took it and made it my own. I’ll never forget the sound the camera made as I wound it up, or looking at the image I framed through the viewfinder and pressing the shutter to capture that moment. Of course, that first moment was documentation of my brother’s messy room: I was tired of always being yelled at for clothes on my floor when right across the hall, another room was just as messy.

Baby Leanne ready to get her gremlin hands on things that were not hers

Baby Leanne ready to get her gremlin hands on things that were not hers

My first set of photographs was a day in the life of six year old Leanne. I lined up my stuffed animal friends for the perfect shot on my little bench, I followed my childhood dog around the backyard, and took pictures of my parents. I was upset I used my twenty or so pictures so quickly, but, seeing my work when my parents finally got around to getting that camera developed was so monumental to me. I was able to “hold” my day again. They were physically there, captured forever.

My parents still have those first ever photographs in their home, and I love being able to hold those moments again. Now, while my photographs have certainly evolved from blackmail and my dog going to the bathroom, the feeling that I get when photos are developed haven’t changed.

In today’s digital age, it’s easy to forget how important printed photographs are. It’s easier to leave the photographs on the computer and just share them on social media. Which is why I’m excited to introduce a new package for all my clients moving forward. I have wanted to do this for a while now, but, I wanted to do it in a unique way to myself. I also wanted to make sure the pricing would work: it’s a finnicky balance to honor your art while also honoring budgets, but, I’m proud to be able to offer clients something new.

Moving forward, when you book with me, each session will include a keepsake box with prints inside. Of course, clients can still order prints through their galleries (and, I would definitely suggest doing any canvas prints with my printer!).

As I grow and expand my business, the importance of being true to my values grows more and more, and I’m excited to honor six year old Leanne with these keepsake boxes. It’s my hope that holding your photos will bring you the same joy it always brings me.

Looking forward to printing and creating more and more memories with you all.

xo,

Leanne

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Will & Kate: A Northport Love Story

When I met with Will and Kate to be their wedding photographer, there was something kismet about being around them. Perhaps it’s the way Will and Kate look at each other, or the way they put each other at ease, but being around them felt so comfortable and right.

When we discussed an engagement session , there was only one spot they had in mind. Having gotten engaged in the Northport Park, that was the only place they wanted to have their engagement photographs taken.

Strolling through the park together, it was those little moments that made the session so special. It was the way Kate would look up at Will with that sparkle in her eye, or, their willingness to trust me when climbing a bunch of rocks “for the shot.”

After this engagement session, I couldn’t be more excited for their wedding next year.

Here are a few of my favorites from the day.

Family Photoshoot: Northport

For Mother’s Day, Joe bought his wife a family photo session. With two kids in college and one a teacher upstate, their lives were moving rapidly, and all they needed was a pause button. Getting a family of young adults together is not an easy task, but, after a lot of back and forth, we were able to make it happen.

Spending early Father’s Day with this family was a gift. We all laughed so hard, and it was the best way to spend an early sunday morning. Plus, it was a nice change of events to photograph adult “kids”, although, a lot of my techniques didn’t translate to them well. I guess only 2 year olds like “Ducky”. (kidding! Ducky wasn’t present)

Here are a few of my favorites from the day!

Jaqueline & Bobby: The Larkfield

It’s been six weeks since I photographed Jaqueline and Bobby’s Wedding and I still feel the love from their day running through my veins.

It’s a rare gift to be in the presence of true love, and after 15 years together, Jaqueline and Bobby still emulate that “falling in love for the first time” glow. But, it wasn’t just the two of them that were filled with love; it was their friendships and families that made the entire day overflow with this indescribable warmth. From long time friendships, parents who still respect each other and each others partners, grandparents who weren’t there physically, but were there through modern technology, and all the little moments in between, this day and these people have bettered my soul.

During Bobby’s welcome speech, he discussed how at their home, they have a “grateful jar”. Everyday, they write down what they’re grateful for, and on days where they’re overwhelmed, they read a note from that jar. Since this moment, I have adopted this habit. If there is one thing I’ve learned from being around this couple and their family for the few short hours that I did, it’s that life is too short to be anything but grateful for all the blessings we have. Jaq & Bobby, I’m grateful for you two. I’m grateful to be a small part of your day, and I’m grateful for learning from you two. Thank you for teaching everyone you know the importance of those little moments. I wish you two nothing but continued happiness and success.

An Introduction to my new Best Friend

Having documented Heather and Mike’s journey to parenthood, it only felt right that I try my hand at newborn photography with my new best friend. I’m not going to share her name, because while she definitely did work for the camera at 11 days old, she doesn’t even know what the internet is yet. This little lady was the first newborn, newborn, I ever met. And, let me tell you: I’m in love.

Now, before you start buying me baby onesies, this still doesn’t mean I’m ready for one of my own. The greatest part about someone else’s child is that you can return them when they start crying. I have never tried my hand at newborn photography, and I’m thankful that Heather and Mike had more faith in me than I did. Did I spend the 36 hours prior to the shoot obsessing over everything newborn portraits? Maybe. Did I buy the special pillow and blankets and little wraps and a bow for my new best friend? Maybe.

Was I scared holding her because she looked so new and innocent? Yes.

But, did I love the way she cooed and took in the world? Yes, yes I did. And, now that her birth announcement is proudly displayed on my refrigerator, I can share some of my favorite pictures from this afternoon.

P.S.: As if Heather and Mike weren’t good enough to me already, Heather used my book in the portraits for her daughter, and even typing this, I’m getting teary-eyed. I hope one day I can read it to her. If you’d like to pick up your own copy of one of my books, check me out on Amazon here.

Lately

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A long, long time ago, I wanted to be a blogger. I passionately documented my life on the inter web for all three people who frequently visited my page to see. Life updates, funny posts about customers (I work in a restaurant: I have ENDLESS funny stories about customers), recipes, and whatever was on trend. And, then the blogging world changed. I needed to share more of myself on Instagram, share my outfits, and constantly post content. I was overwhelmed. And, while I made money on my little blog (affiliate marketing, yo!) I knew that path wasn’t for me.

Now, with all that said, YOU’D THINK BLOGGING ON MY PHOTOGRAPHY SITE WOULD BE THE EASIEST PART OF THIS WEBSITE!

That’s really just me, yelling at me, for not updating this more often.

And, so here I am, attempting to break my writers block with a little Thursday evening ramble to catch everyone up on my happenings.

Since the last maternity photo session I posted, I have photographed a baby shower, another maternity session, a newborn portrait session, and a wedding ceremony at town hall. I’ve also been photographing the food at our restaurant for our Instagram content, and in between all that, have photographed some personal projects. I am also working full time still, which has involved rolling out 3 new menus in just under a month. Yeesh, writing it all out like that helps me understand why I’m so tired, haha.

With editing finished on all but one of those above sessions, I have never felt more rooted in my path. I think a lot of people can resonate with the feeling of “wanting to follow a dream or passion.” Especially in today’s climate, it’s so easy to wonder if you’re on the right path, and, where I live, it’s also easy to wonder if you’re doing “enough”. I often write in my instagram captions how I’m “grateful” for each experience, and I think that’s the perfect word to describe how I feel about this photography experience. I am so grateful that I am able to be a part of these moments with people. I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue my education and learn new techniques. I’m grateful for the feeling photography provides my soul. It’s almost as if my soul has been trying to steer me to this path for the last ten years of my life and now that I’m on it, it’s just elated.

Two years ago, I had my palm read. Within the lines of my palm, the reader found a lot of truths and predictions about my life. Now, while I received a lot of information in that reading ( I typed it up for reference), two parts of it really stood out to me.

  1. That I have a long love line, and it started about 5 years ago (3 years ago during the reading.) I met Mark, my husband, 5 years ago so that felt sweet.

  2. That around my thirties I’m going to live in a much more creative world. My aesthetic line is long, and the lines surrounding it indicated that I’m going to have a very creative career.

Well, next week is my twenty ninth birthday. I’m on the precipice of my thirties and while most people dread it (believe me, I don’t love the forehead lines I am developing) I’m mostly excited to see if that all comes true. With the way it’s moving, I think it is.

Now, before I fear hitting “publish”, I’m going to stop writing. Cheers to sharing all of the galleries and some more musings!

Feel free to visit my instagram @veritymomentsphotos

I’m also HOPING to get this website redone soon. I hired someone back in October, and they ended up being a total bust, BUT, now that I finally have my refund, I plan on finding a new designer. Here’s hoping, at least!

Thanks for following along!

Maternity Portraits, Sunken Meadow State Park, NY

If you asked me a year ago if I could ever see myself photographing Maternity Portraits I would have said “no”.And, yet, here we are- three maternity portrait sessions down and falling more and more in love with them each time.

The truth is, I think there is something magical about pregnancy and I consider each maternity session a blessing. To be able to witness a mom at her strongest, and to be there to capture them at their most beautiful, it truly is a gift.

Melissa is due any second now, (no, honestly- she could be in labor right now. When we met there was no mucus plug. I don’t exactly know what that is, but, it sounds important.) but, through the hustle and bustle of the holiday’s forgot to schedule a maternity portrait session. Talking to her at the restaurant, I gently suggested that I could photograph them for her, just so she could have this moment forever and she agreed.

On a windy Tuesday afternoon, we met at Sunken Meadow State Park for some portraits. Yes, we met on the beach in January. Was it mildly insane? Probably. Do I love each photograph? Yes.

Melissa is a strong, beautiful, spirit who is going to raise the most beautiful baby. Her trust and her friendships are such a reflection of her, and I cannot wait to meet baby pup.

I am so grateful for that serendipitous Friday night, and I’m even more grateful that you trusted me with these moments, mama. You’re going to be incredible.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Maternity Photos in Islip

The greatest gift you can give a photographer is trust, and that is exactly what Mike and Heather gave me the day of their Maternity Photoshoot.

Heather knew she wanted to capture her expanded baby bump before Spud was born. Mike knew he didn’t want to shoot on the beach again ( I can’t blame him- it was windy that day.) I knew I wanted to use my last smoke bomb. Together, we created a vision.

While I have yet to experience what it is like to grow a human inside of me, and while I still envision it much like when Bella from Twilight was pregnant, there is something magical about the idea that one woman human is carrying around another human for nine months. Heather and Mike talk about “Spud” (they won’t tell me the name- I tried!) as if she has been around forever. And, maybe she has. After all, their love story dates back far, and this Spud is a creation of two people who genuinely, truly, love and respect each other.

Much like the novels that Heather teaches, I wanted Heather and Mike’s love story to be encapsulated in a magical way. I wanted their photos to have the juxtaposition of the darkness of the woods, with a whimsical element like the giant balloons. The balloons also serving as a pun because Heather is truly about to pop.

These portraits are not typical Maternity Photos, and for that I’m grateful to Heather and Mike. I wanted to capture them at their purest, happiest moment since their wedding day. I wanted to give them genuine portraits of their love, and I wanted to be able to show Spud one day just how in love her parents are.

Heather and Mike, thank you for trusting me with this moment, and for your friendship. I cannot wait to meet Baby Spud.