portraits

In Home Newborn Photographer - Palmer, Wasilla Newborn Photographer

Once upon a time I wanted to a a photographer that photographed babies. Babies on a beanbag and perfectly posed. Then I realized I was not comfortable with that. What I was really drawn towards was images of the parents holding and snuggling their new baby and not looking at the camera. That’s really where they belong. So, I decided to change my approach. I now do lifestyle newborn sessions.

First, I guess I should explain what lifestyle means. A lifestyle session is really a storytelling session. The goal is to get a series of images that tell the story of what feels and looks like to care and love your newborn. During the sessions I usually wont ask you to look into the camera. I do give direction to get the best images possible, but I won’t put you in any stiff poses.

When it comes to being a newborn photographer in Palmer, Anchorage, and Wasilla, Alaska lighting is very important. Not all homes have amazing light, and during the winter months the light isn’t always ideal. So I do ask my clients to pay attention to the light in their homes, and when I arrive I will ask you to show me around so that we can use the best light possible. If additional light is needed, I am equipped to bring additional lighting equipment.

Anchorage Newborn Photography

Here are a couple of questions that I am often asked.

First, why are lifestyle sessions better than posed portrait sessions?

I’m not against a posed family portrait. The problem I have with that is when a client thinks that that one image is all they want or need. That might be the case, but if so, then I am not the photographer for them. I want images that show a variety of moments, emotions, and compositions. With one or two posed portraits you can’t really see how much they are loved by their parents, or capture their little features.

The second question is why don’t I offer mini sessions?

Again, I am all about telling the story of the newborn and the family. I can get a good posed portrait in a few minutes. Looking at the camera posed portraits is really about how they look and not how it feels. I cannot get a collection of images that show the special connection between family members, a variety of emotions, and moments within 10 minutes. It generally takes a while for clients to get comfortable and relax during the session. What is special about how I photograph is that I take my time, I work the scenes, and I let my clients be who they are. I have had clients come to me in the past because they had a mini session, they felt rushed, and didn’t love their images. I really don’t recommend mini sessions for photographers or clients.

Wasilla Newborn Photographer

Choose Your Own Adventure...Palmer, Anchorage, Alaska Family Photography

When you were a child did you ever read those “Choose your own Adventure” books? I did, and I loved them. I would even read the books a couple of times, just because I wanted to see what different endings, or stories I would get. I love to relate these books to my photography. I offer two types of sessions for families. Portrait sessions, and In The Life…Home Sweet Chaos Sessions. Let me break down the differences for you, so that you can choose your own adventure.

First off, let me be clear that I enjoy both types of sessions. I find them both equally important, but they both serve different purposes for families.

Portrait Sessions: are you and your family at your best. This is an opportunity to capture emotions you feel for your family. Such as joy, affection, connection. You are proud to show off your family, and the images. They are beautiful, and are often something you hang on your wall, have printed in an album, and send out as Christmas cards. During portrait sessions you are directed to the best light, and given direction on posing for the most beautiful images. If you have more questions about my portrait sessions visit my F.A.Q.

Jakeman Family During their Portrait Session

Jakeman Family During their Portrait Session

But that is really half of the picture. It’s a small slide of who you are as a family. That is why I also offer and recommend In The Life…Home Sweet Chaos Sessions.

In The Life…Home Sweet Chaos Sessions: show a wide range of emotions. Everything from happiness when your toddler runs through the sprinkler, tenderness when you touch your baby’s face. Sadness when your child is throwing a tantrum, humor and what your toddler is doing, and exhaustion from parenting all day. During these sessions I document rather than direct. I capture the activities that your family enjoys doing together. Little things such as making breakfast, washing the baby, going for a walk, spending the day at the fair. The little things that families do every day to grow closer together. 30 years down the road it is these images and moments that you will want to remember…because they are real, natural, organic, unposed moments. They are who you really are as a family. When you are a parent it is important to have images of you with your children. It’s impossible to photograph these moments yourself. Your job is to be in the moment. My job is to make sure you remember every breath. If you want to learn more about these sessions visit my F.A.Q.

Jakeman Family During their Home Sweet Chaos Session

Jakeman Family During their Home Sweet Chaos Session

L. and her Mother - Palmer, Anchorage, Alaska Family Photographer

Being a mother is a beautiful thing. We love these little human beings so much that our hearts could explode, but at the same time they also have the ability to drive us crazy. Being a mother needs to be photographed, and I don't think it happens as often as it should be. I challenge you, that if you haven't been photographed with your children professionally in the past 2 years, to do it. You will never regret it, the regret comes from not doing it. 

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Alaska Peony Farmers - Anchorage, Palmer, Alaska Commercial Photographer

I had the opportunity to photograph these hardworking, Alaskan business owners! We originally photographed them this spring because they needed an image for marketing, but they really wanted to have an image with the flowers that they are farming. This is a 4 generation photo which makes it even more priceless. Alaska Peonies are the best! So get out there and buy some while they are available. Not only will your day be brightened, but you will be supporting local Alaskan business owners. 

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Lilacs in Bloom - Anchorage, Alaska Child Photographer

Lilac season in Anchorage and Alaska doesn't last long! So I try to take advantage of them when they are blooming. I offer portrait sessions for children, tweens, senior portraits, and women of all ages. I provide my clients with high quality, fine art prints, albums, and wall art. Don't miss out! Email me at info@christalhoughtelling.com or call 907-982-5409 to set up a session. 

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Sophia - Palmer and Anchorage, Alaska Fine Art Child Photographer

As a fine art child photographer in Anchorage and Palmer I have a lot of options to include flowers in the summer time. I have wildflowers, Lilacs, Lupine, Fireweed, Dandilions, Wild Roses. Including floral crowns into a portrait really makes my heart sing. They bring a touch of femininity to an image that I really love. So if you love flowers as well, please contact me about a floral portrait session. I photograph women of all ages, you are never too young or too old! 

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Selena Hatchers Pass Senior Portraits - Palmer, Anchorage, Senior Photography

I love photographing and creating senior portraits in Hatchers Pass. Every summer when it warms up, and opens I take my family up there to explore. The raw, natural beauty takes my breath away. I love combining the natural beauty around my subjects along with the natural beauty of my clients. Being able to photograph children, tweens, and senior girls in a natural beautiful way that isn't too posed is something that I love to do. When I get to hand my clients the actual prints printed on fine art, archival paper, I know my job is done. They have a fine art piece that they can hang on their wall and show their children years from now. 

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With teens and social media, they are often craving the "likes". But I remind them that this images isn't just for "likes" it's an heirloom. So 30 years from now they will see their image and realize what a beautiful person they were, and are. I strongly believe that women should have professional images done their whole life. Take a look at Selena's images, and feel free to contact me at info@christalhoughtelling.com to schedule a session.

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Activities for Natural Family Photos - Palmer, Anchorage, Alaska Family Photographer

Any time a family contacts me they ask for ideas of activities that would be good to do for natural family photos. As a documentary Anchorage family photographer I tell them that family photos should be a real representation of how your family likes to spend time together. My sessions are relaxed, and natural because I work hard to make good photos of you spending time with your family. Summer is upon us in Alaska and it is short! So here are some ideas of activities that would be great for you to do as a family for your photo session. 

  • Play at the Lake or on boat

  • Roasting hot dogs and marshmallows

  • Play in the sprinkler at home

  • Go to the icecream shop and get icecream

  • Fishing together

  • Bake something as a family

  • Play in your yard and your home together

  • Go to your favorite little town on "vacation"

  • Go to the reindeer farm

  • Visit a glacier or take a glacier helicopter tour

  • Visit a local farm and pick out produce or flowers

  • Go berry picking

  • Go on a short hike and have a picnic

  • If extended family or friends are in town this is the best time for a family session and take them around to all the local tourist spots and spend time together at home.

You don't have to limit yourself to this list! Whatever you want to do as a family I can tag along. My documentary sessions last anywhere from 4 hours to a whole day. When clients hear that I spend the day with them sometimes they are surprised.  But the fact is that I am not taking any of your time, you get to spend your time doing whatever you want and I am just along for the ride. If you have any questions or want to schedule your family session contact me at info@christalhoughtelling.com. 

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