The Planet Photo Family Session :)

The Planet Photo Family Session – the holiday card shoot!

There are some families out there (who shall remain nameless at this point in time) that don’t always love to have photos taken. It’s not a specific thing, but a general “Oh do we have to? Can’t we do it next week?” kind of response. Usually I compromise and just take photos of the kids, but this year I booked our session on the shared family calendar just like any other regular shoot. The day that my family was going to get their christmas card picture!

I have a list of tips and tricks for styling a family shoot. I know, I hear you groaning from here, but the advantages far out way the disadvantages and it means that you can have more printing options when everyone coordinates. Notice I didn’t say matching, you know I prefer coordinating to matching right? So let me know what you think. I am pretty happy with how they turned out this year and I even printed and framed a selection of the pictures before the holidays!!! Procrastination is everyone’s worst enemy (even mine) but I was determined, and it really is easier to just go ahead and do it right away. Go with your gut instinct to pick your favorites and get them on your wall where they can be enjoyed. I already have a date pencilled in my calendar for our next family picture. There are no excuses for the Planet Photo Family in the future!

OK. Enough chatter. Onto the pictures. My favorite comment on facebook was that my hair looked like I just stepped out of a Pantene commercial. I always read all the comments, and of course love the complimentary ones, so please send me a comment!

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Family Photo Session – Danbury, CT

Family Photo Session – Tarrywile Mansion, Danbury, CT

What an adorable family! Another set of twins, this time twin boys with the cutest big sister you could ever wish for. We met over at Tarrywile Mansion a few weeks ago for a family photo session when there were still leaves on the trees and the golden light of fall in New England. Mikey and Tracy have that great relaxed attitude of parents that are used to going with the flow and they didn’t try to micro-manage the shoot. We hung out and played in leaves, we played tag, got running hugs (another great perk of the job) and threw big chestnut “balls” around. I have a feeling they all slept well that night after an afternoon at Tarrywile – Mikey and Tracy earned a glass of wine for sure!!!!

So, I am asked all the time what the ideal age is to take family portraits and I have to say every age has it’s advantages and it’s challenges. One thing I have learned over the years is that you have to follow the lead of the kids and some of the best shots of the day are on the way back to the car. Kids are busy and curious and generally don’t want to sit and “smile pretty”….. so let’s not make them do that! Let’s have some fun and keep it light, the shots will come and the personalities of the family will hopefully shine through much more than any of the manufactured contrived “pretty shots”. I think you can tell that this is a family that has fun together – what do you think?


Newborn Photography CT – Branford Baby Boy

Newborn Photography CT – Welcome to the newest member of the Raw Photo Design family.

Before Planet Photo I worked as part of the Raw Photo Design team – we called ourselves the “raw family”. Raw Photo was started by Eric and Amber Langlois, a young charismatic couple from Connecticut with an amazing talent for photography. Eric and Amber brought a unique style to the CT wedding photography market and to couples wanting a modern, editorial style to their wedding day photography. I came on board to help with family photography and this little guy’s mom, Jill handled the studio management. With Brenden and Rob in the studio editing, the raw family expanded. Earlier this year Eric was lost in a tragic drowning accident leaving behind Amber, their two children and a baby on the way. Friends and family from all over Connecticut have supported and grieved alongside Amber and his loss is felt every day by many who knew him well and many who just admired his incredible talent. Although I no longer work for Raw Photo, I will always consider myself a member of the Raw Family and I was thrilled to welcome the newest member. Eric would have adored him.

The fund for Eric’s family

Jill’s beautiful baby boy was born when the leaves were falling and the air was starting to get a chill. Probably my favorite time in New England. No humidity, true blue skies and clear crisp days. We had to get him outside in the leaves and we wrapped him up in a cocoon to keep him warm. My son was born while we were living in Copenhagen Denmark. He took his naps bundled up in his pram and parked in the fresh air, even at daycare they put the babies outside to nap in rows of prams with no wheels! There has been much written about the Scandinavian tradition of parking prams outside a restaurant and leaving the baby unattended, something that would be unimaginable in the United States but is considered completely normal in Denmark. I will let you decide if you ever would dare….but don’t risk it in NYC, you just might be arrested!


Just a hint of a smile!


Family Photos – Brookfield, CT

Family Photos – Brookfield, CT

This Brookfield CT extended family have a lot of energy between them! We met on a sunny but slightly chilly morning at Happy Landings Farm and they burst out of the cars ready and eager to run and chase each other around. Could you imagine trying to capture these six in a studio????

It was so fun to see how they interacted together and how comfortable they all were with each other. So often today families are scattered far and wide but this family gets the benefit of growing up knowing and loving their cousins. The big ones look out for the little ones and everyone joined in to help make each other smile and look in the direction of the camera!

Erin is a teacher and I imagine she’s a great one – her kids certainly respond well to her fun, outgoing personality.


I love how the twins are literally doing laps around Mom, Dad and their baby brother – it looks like he is used to it though and not at all phased by the chaos!!!


twins_cousins_brookfield_CT_familyI was blown away by the classic celtic coloring of this family, their red hair is stunning.


All the cousins sitting still for a moment or two……


The kids were getting a little cold but with a tootsie roll waiting for them in the car they were such troopers and I think the rosy cheeks just add to their cuteness!


CT Family Photo Session

CT Family Photo Session – Planet Photo meets a beautiful baby boy!

I had the pleasure of meeting this little guy a couple of weeks ago for a newborn family photo and he was the cutest! Newborn sessions are completely unpredictable. You never know how fast the baby will fall asleep, or how much they will like me “fiddling” with them once they fall asleep. One thing I can usually count on is some time to hang out with the parents and get to know a little about the family this new baby has been lucky enough to be born into. I loved this guy’s parents and almost invited myself along to lunch afterwards!!!


Once I get the baby posed in a certain way then instead of moving them, it’s me that moves around and I try to get a couple of different angles of the same pose.


His moms didn’t really want to be in the shoot but this shows the love and the support this baby will have surrounding him in life – I love this!


Look at those big eyes! He was taking the whole thing in and didn’t want to miss a trick.


Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy!


Ridgefield CT Newborn Photographer

Ridgefield CT Newborn Photographer – Planet Photo wants you to meet this future Rock Star Baby!

This shoot was planned on a bus ride to the Bronx Zoo – one school trip chaperone and one special-ed teacher chatting over the noise of lots of 4th graders excited to be out of school for the day! I love when a mom has time to look forward to the newborn shoot and has ideas to make it special.

I had an absolute blast with Kelly and her Mother-in-Law Karen and the newest addition to the family. Kelly’s husband plays guitar and loves music so we wanted to try to tie that in to the shoot. I love to make the newborn shoots a unique and personal experience, whether taking a prop from the home or including the colors the family loves, there is usually a way to make all newborn sessions just a little different. Some babies love to be on their tummy, some prefer their back, I listen and look for the cues from the baby and make sure they are always safe and secure. No photo is ever worth risking the safety of the baby. Thankfully my training as a nanny and my own children have prepared me to feel comfortable around babies and newborns and I love every minute of the shoot. Kelly and Karen were spotters in the guitar shots and were just out of the frame in case he came out of his deep sleep and stretched out his long legs!

So, grab a cup of coffee and check this one out – he is a keeper!


Sherman CT Family Photographer

Sherman CT Family Photographer Planet Photo in a Candlewood Lake Family Session

A relaxed photo shoot on the shores of Candlewood Lake in Sherman CT with an active almost one year old?????? You know that as soon as they are mobile, then chances are you are going to get a few cute shots of the back of a toddlers head as they take off across the lawn. This little girl was no exception, but she loved to smile at the camera, and I managed to get a few of those beautiful big brown eyes as well. She is adorable and everyone who meets her remarks on how much she looks like her mommy. I am sure you can see it too, but she sure loves her Daddy.

Photographing young families is always a question of balancing that “holiday card pose” with capturing the magic interactions between family members. I absolutely LOVE the shots of this family laughing and playing together. That’s what it’s all about for me – those moments of sheer joy when they forget that I am there with a camera and just enjoy each other. But those moments are captured for ever, and to me, they mean of so much more than that holiday card pose.



Wilton CT Photographer – A baby sister!

Wilton CT Photographer – sibling session

This purplicious young lady is lucky to have a calm and relaxed mom to welcome her to family life in Connecticut. Caroline is the type of person I could share a cup of coffee with and put the world to right, but with a new baby and an almost 2 year old she is going to be a little busy for a while! Big brother and Dad were not home when we met, just seven short days after the birth of baby Hailey, but we had fun capturing that new sleepy baby phase. Hailey made the cutest baby noises you could possibly imagine, stretched and squirmed a bit and then promptly fell asleep! In short, she was perfect during our session. I wish Hailey, Caroline and the rest of their family the very best for the future.

Personal Photography: An inspirational disabled artist living in Singapore

Personal Photography: An inspirational disabled artist living in Singapore

Singapore based Chelsea Fairclough is a very talented young artist – who also happens to be in a wheelchair….


“When you can’t hold a brush in your hands, mouth or feet – just use your wheels and dance!”

For most teenagers having a professional art exhibition, with paintings sought after by private and corporate art collectors, under their belt at 14 years of age would be a remarkable feat. For Chelsea, every day is remarkable, every day is a challenge and every day is a miracle. Chelsea was born with a mass in her neck that meant that she spent a considerable amount of time in hospital, but despite all this she had a “normal” childhood. She travelled back to the UK to visit family there and she attended school in Singapore. She was a strong student, a great swimmer and she loved dance and music. But in 2007, after a period of declining strength and stamina, she suffered a massive stroke resulting in another extended stay in hospital. She had strokes before and bounced back after time and extensive physiotherapy. This one was different. She didn’t regain the use of her legs, in fact she was paralyzed from the neck down and unable to breath for herself. She needed a tracheotomy and the realization that she would be wheel chair bound for the rest of her life began to set in. It was an extremely difficult time for the whole family.

The school community at Singapore American School have been amazing and a particularly dedicated art teacher Ms. Mac was not willing to give up on Chelsea’s artistic talents. She developed an art program just for her and they have weekly appointments to create art by music. Chelsea picks the music, the paint colors and, in a typical bossy teenage kind of way, directs exactly where they should go!

I wanted to document the process so that you can see just how much goes into every canvas that she produces.

There is so much to tell about this remarkable teenager – please leave her some love on her blog –

The music selection needs to be just right and reflects Chelsea’s moods and interests. She is a movie fanatic and will watch a favorite over and over again. 

Her wheelchair is controlled by the cork ball – she nudges it with her chin and gains just a tiny bit of very important personal freedom.

Pat, her helper, guides her to achieve the results that Chelsea has determined.

The wheelchair is very responsive to small movements so it is sometimes difficult to maintain a straight course, but boy she can move in that thing!

The finished canvas is left to dry overnight and the floor bears the evidence of the evenings activities. They have a deal that the first class of the day are the first to critique each new canvas and marvel over the paint on the floor!!! 

Ms. Mac and her daughter Lilly are Chelsea’s biggest fans and supporters.

After the painting session is over Chelsea zips around the empty high school and checks out the news posted in the hallways. She is comfortable there and the other students are used to having her in class, but the normally crowded hallways make it difficult for her to speed. The teachers have grown wise to her ways and know that she pretends to be asleep when she doesn’t want to participate in class!

After school there was one more activity for Chelsea. A young artist named Gelyn Ong had an art exhibitiion at the Red Sea Gallery. Gelyn was raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and had supported Chelsea at her own exhibition. If you look at the Make-A-Wish Singapore homepage you will see that they love Chelsea’s story!

One of the Make-A-Wish Singapore staff members. And below Chelsea poses with Gelyn Ong. A quiet, polite and extremely gifted young artist from Singapore. This was her second exhibition and each time she has donated to the Make-A-Wish foundation.

All that time in her chair is exhausting for Chelsea and at the end of the night she wants nothing more than to get comfortable in her bed and read. With someone to turn the page for her of course!