Sunday, November 29, 2009

New York City Photo Shoot December 19th 10AM-2PM

Gorgeous memories of their tiny faces - Kristin Burns

So you've been meaning to get professional photos of your baby, child or family but with everything else you've got going on - holiday parties, decking the halls, shopping-til-dropping - you haven't yet.

It is not too late to have prints ready before the holiday season is over. Take a half-hour and wrap up (ha!) all your holiday gift-giving at once. Everyone loves receiving photos of your children for gifts.

I'm super-excited to announce a day of mini-sessions at Claret on Saturday, December 19th from 10-2!

Claret is a beautiful wine bar in Sunnyside but so much more. From the Sunnyside Strings performance I photographed this Fall, to serving lovely tapas and hosting live music weekly, Claret has become a neighborhood institution in the brief time it's been here. I'm so happy now that the cold weather has ruled out photo sessions in the garden of April Glass, I was able to find such a beautiful, bright location with huge windows and gorgeous wood to host in our neighborhood.

Back to the photo shoot, here are the basics if you are interested in joining in:

Sign up for a 30 minute mini-session for $50. Please bring your favorite toys & join your little one for a family shot too if you like. You'll receive your choice of CD or online gallery (password-protected) of the photos within the week. Prints are discounted to 4x6 $1, 5x7 $5, 8x10 $10. Check out the portfolio of photos on my site if you'd like to get an idea of my style.

To book your time slot, just give me a call at (718) 791-0536 or email me. Can't wait to photograph your little ones!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Inspiration Wednesday: Be thankful

Part of last Thursday's Baby Thanksgiving feast - Kristin Burns
Today's Inspiration Wednesday post won't so much deal with one charity or group that inspired me, but with a whole host of people, places and things I'm thankful for this year.
  • my husband for balancing school, work and fatherhood with still being a kickass husband
  • my daughter for only growing more hilarious as she turned into her own little person
  • our parents for their glow of grandparently happiness when surrounded by the new generation
  • our siblings & their new children for sharing those grandparents!
  • my local mother's group for supporting me in way more than baby stuff
  • our neighborhood, whose local businesses have been amazingly supportive of my photo work
  • our friends for embracing our child as one of the gang - I promise we'll hang out sans bebe more this year!
  • my aunts for making our first post-baby plane flight vacation painless and relaxing
  • all my freelance photo editing clients for financing my personal photography work
  • my new-found "Say Yes!" attitude
  • the internets for connecting me to old friends, new clients and great ideas
  • Michelle Obama's advocacy for girls' education and healthy food
  • Michelle Obama's arms for making me want to work out more
  • Mad Men for all their helpful parenting tips (kidding!!!)

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Why wait until Black Friday? Wrap up your shopping today.

A family portrait is much nicer than a Snuggie, right Graham?
I know it's traditional to wait until the day after Thanksgiving to have the big holiday sale. But starting today for my loyal blog-readers (Google analytics don't lie), you can do all your holiday shopping and get a special deal for yourself!

In addition to giving The Little Dozen (a series of 12 mini-sessions for the first year of a baby's life) you can now purchase gift certificates for individual photo sessions. To celebrate, when you purchase a session to give, you receive 50% off a session for your own baby or child!

Personalized & packaged to give - how easy is that?

It's that simple. Bonus: book your family's session for December or January and you'll also receive a FREE 8x10 portrait for yourself and one for the gift-getter. Check out the site for pricing and my portfolio. Now isn't that better than braving a crowded mall at 4AM?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Fun: Thanksgiving Family Moments

The first wave of babies - photo credit Ann Price

I'm still recovering from hosting the First Annual Baby Thanksgiving at our place today - 14 babies and their parents (mostly moms) over for turkey and mayhem. Very fun. Since I'm in a Thanksgiving-y mood, here are some clips from TV celebrating the holiday. Whether you spend it with friends or family, I wish you a happy Thanksgiving.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Inspiration Wednesday: Jumpstart Reading

Morning book time while we get ready for work - Kristin Burns

This week is the first annual New York City Independent Bookstore Week. Check out The Independent Booksellers of New York City site to see the list of events, readings & bookstores. I like Books of Wonder in the Flatiron district for kids books - and they are having a big fall picture books event Saturday if anyone needs an outing.

I love to read, as does my husband. So we were extremely excited when our daughter took to the habit too. She now brings over her favorite books to me on the couch, climbs up onto my lap and flips the pages as we go. For a child who loves to go-go-go, that time is a welcome break for both of us. We haven't pushed books on her, but simply by reading to her before bed and surrounding her with books, she has already shown concentration and patience - 2 traits I hope help her in general as she grows.

Surrounding her with books came natural for us - and our family & friends who gave her most of them! - but what about children who aren't blessed with age-appropriate books in their home? How do they get comfortable with reading? Jumpstart is an organization that brings volunteers into preschool and daycare centers to help young children get a leg up before kindergarten. On their annual Read for the Record in October, volunteers read The Very Hungry Caterpillar to 2 million children and incorporated crafts and other learning activities to bring the story alive.

This holiday season, why not add Jumpstart to your volunteer or donation list? Other ways to help children learn (and learn to love) to read include:

* set up a regular reading time with your own child
* organize a story time at your local library or playgroup
* donate books in good shape to a daycare center in your neighborhood
* give books at baby showers
* support local bookstores and ask the shopkeeper for recommendations

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happy birthday Moses!

Sunday was our nephew Moses's birthday & we celebrated in style.

His mom made adorable (& healthy!) baby-friendly carrot cakes for the kiddos.

Fear not, there was strawberry shortcake for us grownups.

Here's hoping your birthday wish comes true!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Fun: Veterans reunited with their kids

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stephanie Tigner (RELEASED)  071008-N-4163T-141 

In honor of Veterans Day, today's features photos of soldiers returning from war and reuniting with their families. All the descriptions are from the photographers or sites that provided the photos. Get a hanky, folks.

(Photo above) SAN DIEGO (Oct. 8, 2007) - Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Kelley Wood hugs her daughter during the homecoming celebration for guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69). Milius was assigned to USS Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) and is returning from a six-month deployment in support of the global war on terrorism.

Soldiers from the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) were reunited with friends and family at Holman Field in St. Paul on May 22, 2009 after a one year deployment support Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Photo Credit: Sgt. Maj. Terry Anderson, 8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs (Photo Courtesy of U.S. Army)
Giannette Toro, 6, prepares to reunite with her father, Sgt. Jaime Toro, early Tuesday morning, Jan. 27 at Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii. More than 180 Soldiers from the 728th Military Police Battalion and the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team returned to Hawaii following 15-month deployments to Iraq. 

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class John Suits/Released) 090921-N-2456S-100 
NORFOLK, Va. (Sept. 21, 2009) Sonar Technician (Surface) 3rd Class Frank Diaz assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge (DDG 96) holds his four-month old son for the first time following his return home to Naval Station Norfolk, Va. On April 12, 2009, Bainbridge Sailors assisted in the rescue of Richard Phillips, captain of American container ship MV Maresk Alabama after being seized by Somali pirates.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Steven Khor/Released) 090902-N-4031K-001 
ATSUGI, Japan (Sept. 2, 2009) Lt. Cmdr. Mike Kinter, assigned to the Royal Maces of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 27, hugs his son during a homecoming celebration for Carrier Air Wing 5 at Naval Air Facility Atsugi. CVW-5 returned to Japan after a four-month deployment aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73).

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Mark Logico/Released) 090821-N-7498L-097 
PEARL HARBOR (Aug. 21, 2009) Gas Turbine System Technician (Electrical) 3rd Class Brent Palmer sees his daughter for the first time as the guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) returns to homeport at Naval Station Pearl Harbor after a seven-month deployment as part of the Mid-Pacific Surface Combatant Operational Employment program. The program calls for all Hawaii-based surface combatants to focus on conducting intermediate and advanced training and regular deployments in the western Pacific Ocean. 

War sucks, but the love these soldiers, sailors, airmen and seamen have for their families sure doesn't. So support our returning veterans - single gals & guys, do more ;) Happy Veteran's Day!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Custom Holiday Cards - as low as $0.60 each!

Babies LOVE cards! - Kristin Burns

Since I've posted the holiday card designs, I've had a lot of interest and a lot of questions. To answer some of the most common, here's a sample holiday card process. The main thing to remember is to pick a photo you love and I can make it work in the design you love. Easy peasy!

Since I don't want to spoil the surprise for those of you getting cards from my clients, I chose a photo of my daughter that we won't be using on our own card this year. A basic snapshot of her playing with some magnetic toys on my parents' new fridge.

First pick a holiday card design from my site:

Email me with the number of cards you'd like, the size of the card, the photo and the wording. I'll take care of the rest and mail you the cards when I get them from my lab. Shipping is included in the cost!

Now check out some examples of the photo above added to some of the more popular card choices:

Aqua Florentine

Holiday Stripe

Retro Snowflake

Let me know soon if you are interested in seeing your own baby, child or family in one of these designs instead. All the wording, pricing and ordering info is in a special holiday card section of my site.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Inspiration Wednesday: City Harvest & more Thanksgiving Charities

Gobble, gobble - Kristin Burns

I remember volunteering with my Nana at a soup kitchen in Boston on Thanksgiving. And it felt good - serving people in need food on a day we set aside to give thanks for all we have. But what about the other 364 days of the year?

Turns out Thanksgiving is the number 1 day to volunteer in America. But what food banks, soup kitchens and other food outreach programs need is money and people year-round. Still, as the holiday season arrives, it makes sense to think about how lucky we are and help those who need it.

Seriously - do you even know how delicious you are, turkey? - Kristin Burns

This year the number of homeless, poor & unemployed families that need food has risen, so if you normally donate, give more. If you normally don't give, give.  Here are a list of some good charities - feel free to comment or email me with more if I'm missing any.

City Harvest

Feeding NYC
Feeding America’s Hungry Children
Children for Children (founded to help children volunteer at a young age)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy birthday Sesame Street!

 Catherine relaxed and enjoyed her photo session immediately after cuddling with Elmo - Kristin Burns

Today is Sesame Street's 40th birthday! This makes me happy, reminds me I'm old and means I can share memories of it with my daughter one day. One resident of the show's city neighborhood (way back in the 70's, a bit of a slum) who keeps showing up at my photo shoots is Elmo.

 Alone for once (usually clutched protectively) - Kristin Burns

A Muppet not quite 40, but beloved by many a young person for his quirky humor, kindness & sense of wonder. Hopefully the Children's Broadcasting Network will see this as tribute or homage. C is for copyright.

That mouth is made for little fingers like Mikayla's - Kristin Burns

Here's today's 40th anniversary show with Elmo helping the First Lady with her garden.

See he's helpful too - a lovely role model for my daughter! Michelle Obama ain't bad either.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday fun: Obama Babies

President Barack Obama lifts up a baby during his visit with U.S. Embassy staff and their families in Prague, April 4, 2009. Photo: Pete Souza

It's been just over a year since Barack Obama was elected. And like politicians before (and after) him, he was often photographed kissing babies. But whether it was his youthful campaign, his loving young family or the excitement of electing the first black president - Obama and babies made a winning team.

Taking our new baby to the polling station

Inauguration Day

Of course, some suspected there would be a post-Inauguration Day baby boom. I'm one of those crazies who hope the boom extends to the Obama family. How amazing would Sasha & Malia be with a cute baby sibling?

But the big question is - who would babies vote for if given the chance? 

Hooray for the first year!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Newest Black & White Baby Photos

Araceli is sweetness & timelessness in black and white - photo Kristin Burns

Looking over the blog, I noticed that I haven't included any black and white photos of the children, babies and families I've photographed lately. Color photos capture the beautiful skin-tones and fun clothes of my little subjects, but I always include black and white shots in my sessions too.

  Owen's amazing winter hat (& mama) - photo Kristin Burns

Black and white photography works so well with baby photography. Without color, you can focus on the soft texture of their skin and clothing, their sparkling eyes. 


The contrast of black & white really show off Moses's new teeth - photo Kristin Burns

Plus, when you are planning holiday presents for your family, black and white photos can feel more elegant and timeless. More giftable. Why not make your gift-giving easier this year and schedule a photo shoot for your child now?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November goals

No excuses, we're in the big boy seat now, Santiago
Oops, It's already 11/4 and I forgot to post my November monthly goals to Modish Biz Tips.

First looking back on October goals:

1. Get the word out!
- really talk to people at the fair next weekend and give out lots of info done - and it was a lot of fun
- research local businesses to line up a second location for in-store photo shoots. Loved doing it at April Glass and think a second place would help both do better need to do
- plan Launch Party & ask friends to each put up a few cards in their neighborhoods & spread the word need to do

2. Turn that word into action!
- finish filling the sessions for the Boston shoot 10/24 done
- publicize the April Glass shoot 10/17 done
- book 3 in-home sessions done

3. Plan ahead for a busy Fall!
- finalize holiday card designs done - a big one!
- contact past clients about printing again need to do

4. Enhance my website!
- I'm pretty happy with this but possibly updating the contact section to make it more user friendly. Embedding an email form? decided against

Pretty simple this month after a busy October:

1. Pick new local business to host Mini-sessions
2. Schedule Boston shoot for early December
3. Autism photo shoot
4. Compile email mailing list
5. Spread word about holiday cards
6. Seek out more photo editing work

October went pretty well. My main accomplishment is figuring out a good work-flow for planning, shooting, proofing and delivering photos. And organizing my tax/finance side. And figuring out that everyone wants to book shoots on the weekends. All good things!

Which means I now have more time for photo editing/production jobs during the week after taking a break to launch my baby photo business last month. Check out my photo editing and producing site to see examples of past work. It's so much fun for me to balance my own photography with finding great photos for other companies!

Inspiration Wednesday: Zen Family Habits

Nothing wrong with a brother an sister just playing in the leaves - credit Kristin Burns

I get it.  We're parents; we're busy. But there the busy you need to do - pay bills, grocery shop, make dinner - and the busy you feel guilted into doing. The lessons, playdates, carpools, toys out the wazoo.

Since Baby Einstein was debunked (who honestly thought a video was going to turn their children into baby geniuses?) I feel an even stronger pull to simplify our child's life and provide her with the space to learn & grow. One great resource is the Zen Family Habits blog.

My husband has subscribed to this for a while and I recently added it to my overflowing GoogleReader too. I love their attitude of encouraging children and families as a whole to enjoy themselves and not about the stuff you are being advertised into thinking is necessary. Check them out if you'd like to have a different voice in your head.

Some of the best advice I've gleaned so far boils down to:

1. Don't overschedule
2. Have fun with your kids
3. Live your own life
4. Ask for help
5. Simplify your stuff

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Newest nursery photos

Welcome to Grr...aham's nursery

I may love to take photos of babies, but I'm also obsessed with home design. Floorplans, patterns, prints, paint, tile, flooring, lighting - seriously, I cannot get enough.  Like many new parents, I spent a lot of time and money creating a nursery for our daughter with my husband before she was born.

So now when I go to a new family's home for a baby, child or family photo shoot, I make sure to include photos of the nursery & other playspaces.

I adore that monkey perched over the letters!
Recently during a local photo shoot, I was smitten with the design of their nursery. Sometimes with boys' rooms, you get more neutral colors, but this was bright and fun.

Little touches like these darling wooden toys really add personality
If you also made a big effort to welcome your child into your home by making a space all theirs - even within your bedroom - I would love to include some photos of it for you. In fact, I have a whole section of my online portfolio dedicated to Nursery & Toys so you can get a peek at even more amazing children rooms.

Wild & classic at the same time

Monday, November 2, 2009

Who's that in the garden? The cutest little gnome in Sunnyside!

Cutest gnome in the garden 

Still recovering from a Halloween weekend of parties, redoing the living room and candy coma. But here's a shot of my daughter dressed up in her garden gnome costume posing in front of our friends' house down the block from us. Hope you had a happy Halloween!

 Blowing you a kiss goodbye for now