How to choose a Senior Portrait Photographer | Southern Maine Seacoast NH Senior Portrait Photographer

It’s that time of year again! Senior portrait season is here. For some soon-to-be seniors this is the day they have dreamed of since junior high and for others, they dread the vulnerability of someone else “controlling” the camera and seeing the pictures before they do.

This is the selfie-generation we’re talking about.

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There are a ton of photographers and “people with nice cameras” who are willing to take your senior’s photograph. How to choose?

1. Look at their portfolio. Let’s face it, a photographer’s website is going to have their best work. Start there. The website should be beautiful. Perfect skin tones, true to life color, and facial clarity. If the website is “just okay”, chances are, their every day pictures are probably not great.

2. Look at their recent work. Check them out on social media. Do you like what you see? Different photographers have different editing styles. Stay away from photographers who look like they put trendy instagram filters on their pictures. You can put filters on your selfies, but when you pay a professional to take your pictures, you want a clean, timeless look. These are your forever pictures.

3. Look at their longevity. How long have they been in business? Do you want to trust your senior portraits to someone who just opened up a photography Facebook page, or slapped “photography” onto the end of their name on their instagram account? Probably not. If your hard drive crashes five years from now, it would be nice to go back to the photographer who took your pictures to see if you can get a copy from them. You won’t be able to do that with someone who is no longer in business.

4. Ask questions. Approximately how many seniors do you shoot per year? How many years have you been shooting seniors? What kind of camera do you shoot with? (then google it; your photographer’s camera should cost thousands of dollars). What software do you edit with, do you edit blemishes? (ACR, Bridge, Lightroom, Photoshop – all acceptable answers). At Mercy Street Studio we all use both Lightroom and Photoshop on our pictures.

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These are your forever pictures. It’s an investment worth getting right.

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..or you could just skip the hassle and contact us, we’ll take care of you!

 

 

 

 

York Hospital & Fresh F8 Photography

YORK HOSPITAL PHOTOGRAPHERYesterday we announced some very exciting news, for us, and for parents delivering at York Hospital; we will be providing their in-room photography services. Amazing. Since we made the announcement we’ve received lots of questions about what this means and if it’s too good to be true.

Well, we’re pleased to confirm that it’s not too good to be true. We will be at York Hospital on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 10am to take pictures of the fresh new faces (and probably some tired-but-excited-and-utterly-in-love-parent-faces).

If you are delivering at York Hospital and would like to have us photograph your new addition you simply need to notify your nurse. That’s it. You don’t have to tell us, you don’t have to fill out a form, sound a trumpet, or send a stork to drop your room number down our chimney for us to wake up to in the morning. Simply notify your nurse.

Our process is to call the charge nurse on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays at 8am to see if there are any families who need photography at 10am that day.

We will pop by and photograph your family in a “fresh 48 style” – capturing your baby, and your family’s first moments together – those precious details that will soon fade into the depths of our memories.

Braden-56The sessions will be approximately 15 minutes and you do not have to prepare for them. These are documentary-style photos; no need to think about coordinating outfits or even combing your hair. The focus is on the baby and the soon forgotten details – like how they fit into your hands.

We have teamed up with York Hospital to offer this service with no up-front cost and very competitive print and digital image pricing (based on a volume discount in partnership with the hospital). This pricing plan is available only to York Hospital patients who are able to be photographed when we are scheduled to be there.

We still offer our traditional Fresh 48 photography to clients who wish to have a more personal experience: us being “on call” for your baby, delivering at home or any hospital, a full hour session with larger gallery of images, or would like the session to take place at a time that is convenient for them. Our Fresh 48 photography session fee is $195 and then prints and digital images are purchased at our regular studio pricing.

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FAQs

I am delivering at York Hospital, can I get on your schedule?

We do not schedule in-room sessions at York Hospital, we show up to patient rooms who have indicated to the nurses that they would like an in-room photo session. For the most part, all sessions will take place on Mon, Wed, Fri at around 10am.

However, if you would like us to schedule you for a full Fresh 48 session, and be “on call” for your session, we are certainly still able to do that, but the pricing structure would be in accordance with our normal studio fee structure, not the York Hospital rate.

What happens if I deliver on a Friday night and get discharged before Monday?

Our normal photography days are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. We will do our best to get to the hospital over the weekend if we are notified that a family would like pictures, but there may be cases where it is not possible.

If you would like us to be “on call” for your session, you would need to book a full Fresh 48 session through our studio.Janousek-55

I would really love a photo of my baby with her sibling, but her sibling is in school until 3pm, can you come later in the day?

Unfortunately we are not be able to accommodate each patient’s individual schedule preferences under the York Hospital pricing structure. However, if you would like to schedule a full Fresh 48 session with our studio, you can contact us and we can arrange for a scheduled session for your family (a session fee would apply).

What is the difference between the in room photography at York Hospital and a full Fresh 48 session?

  1. In-room photography is “Fresh-48 style” (also known as “documentary style” or “lifestyle”) photography that takes place at York Hospital on certain dates at a specific time. These are not scheduled around each family’s needs. Our studio’s Fresh 48 sessions are scheduled individually with each family when it’s convenient for them.
  2. Our in-room sessions are about 15 minutes long with a gallery of 15+ images. A Fresh 48 session can take up to an hour with a gallery of 35+ images.
  3. In-room photography sessions take place at York Hospital. Fresh 48 sessions can take place at any hospital, birthing center, or home.
  4. There is no up front cost for in-room photography sessions at York Hospital. Our Fresh 48 sessions have a session fee of $195.
  5. The print and digital pricing for in-room photography sessions at York Hospital is based on a volume discount rate, while there is no discounted rate for our full Fresh 48 sessions.
  6. Both in-room sessions and full Fresh 48 sessions receive the same award-winning photography our studio is known for. Both types of sessions view and purchase their images via a password protected online gallery.

Will you be using props like you do in your studio?

No. The in-room sessions are very “documentary style”. If you would like to have your baby photographed with props at our studio, please contact us to schedule a session with the studio within 7-14 days of birth.

However, if you would like to include personal items, such as a special blanket or hat in your in-room session, you certainly may do so.

I would like my baby photographed but I don’t want to be in the pictures, is that possible?

Yes, just let us know your preferences when we arrive.2018-08-29_0008

Can I get both the in-room photography at the hospital and a newborn photoshoot at your studio?

Yes! Of course you can! The photography is so very different, it makes sense to have both.

I’m delivering at a different hospital, can you still do our Fresh 48 photography?

Yes, we would love to! We have provided Fresh 48 photography for patients at Wentworth Douglass Hospital, Portsmouth Regional Hospital, and at home for several years and will continue to do so. Lynn is our resident Fresh 48 photographer and is passionate about providing this type of beautiful imagery for families. She loves being “on call” for our families and getting those “we’re heading to the hospital” texts.

Do you offer birth photography?

Yes, we love capturing “the big moment” for families. At this time we only offer birth photography for scheduled c-section deliveries. Pricing would fall under our normal studio pricing regardless of where you deliver.

More questions? Feel free to contact us!

 

 

 

NH Birth Photographer | Portsmouth Regional Hospital

Maybe it’s because I am a Mom myself. Maybe its because it’s such a emotionally charged event. Or perhaps it’s just because I am a giant softie, but photographing a birth is one of the most special things for me to be a part of.  Being asked to be present for what is very likely one of the most exciting and highly anticipated moments in a parents life means a lot to me.  I take it seriously; I cant sleep the night before; I usually cry at some point during the birth…its just how it goes for me! 🙂

The first birth I ever photographed holds an extra special place in my heart, and when I just saw his Mom post on Facebook that he turned 2, (wait, what?! where did time go?!) I knew I needed to go back through my archived photos and take a walk down memory lane.

When I arrived at the hospital at OHMYGOODNESSITSEARLY o’clock, I got to share in the excitement that was palpable in the room. I am not sure Mom loves looking back and reminiscing about having an IV placed but its part of the day! And the smiles of relief when it was finally properly placed and she got a break from being a pin cushion is a happy sight! 2019-02-28_00022019-02-28_0001

If you’ve never had a caesarean, I will tell you there is a STREAM of people that you are visited by prior to heading to the OR; 4 million nurses, the delivering Doctor(s), the anesthesiologist, a lab tech to draw blood…it feels endless. But before you know it…its just you and your support person, and its time.2019-02-28_0003

Sometimes at a birth nerves are high. Some people prefer quiet and I am happy to just fade into a wall, but sometimes people want someone to talk to, either to pass the time or release the nervous energy. After Michelle was taken into the OR for prep, Marcus and I started chatting. I was able to learn a little more about what brought Michelle to the situation of having a planned c-section, and how her first labor had progressed (or more accurately NOT progressed) during the birth of their first child. Hearing the pride in his voice when recalling how strong she was during her first delivery, and the excitement over what was about to happen, gave me a glimpse into how strong the bond in this family was.

After what felt like forever the OR nurses came out to get Marcus, and we went in to join Michelle who was fully prepped to meet their little man! Marcus sat next to Michelle and they chatted quietly. Having been in her spot 3 times myself I remember how much better it felt once I was joined by my husband; waiting for the familiar face to sit beside you can be a hard few minutes ‘alone’. 2019-02-28_00052019-02-28_0006

The hospital staff was phenomenal at keeping Michelle and Marcus up to date about what they were doing, and how much longer it would be. Even the anesthesiologist said to me ‘ok its almost time and its going to happen fast, are you ready?’.  OH I WAS READY!2019-02-28_0008I’ve given birth to three beautiful children via c-section, and so while I never really saw what was happening behind the screen, I knew that once it got a little quiet, and the Doctors started leaning in a little closer to Michelle, that baby was about to make his entrance into the world.2019-02-28_0009.jpg2019-02-28_0011And in one of the most surreal moments I’ve been blessed to witness, suddenly this new little life was here, and we heard a cry.2019-02-28_0010

The smile under Dads mask at hearing that cry went right up to his eyes…it was a moment to remember.2019-02-28_0014Again if you’ve not ever had a c-section birth, you get a quick peek of the baby, and then the baby is scooted across the room for a little cleaning, and some vital sign evaluation, footprints etc. And while Dad escorted the new baby, I was SO happy to be there to take those photos so later Michelle could see those moments she wasn’t directly involved in. 2019-02-28_00152019-02-28_0017

The baby definitely enjoyed testing out his lungs during some of these moments…until Dad held his tiny hand…and then silence. Babies know their Moms and Dads the instant they are born, I just know it.2019-02-28_00192019-02-28_0020It was finally time to make his way back to his Momma for a snuggle!2019-02-28_0021Being a spectator and not the patient was so incredibly different. Seeing how much is going on constantly while you are in there was amazing. The team working together to take care of Michelle was busy keeping her comfortable while Marcus and I were ooh-ing and ahh-ing over Baby…and it was such a beautiful moment to see Michelle have her son finally resting on her chest so she could fully take him in.2019-02-28_00242019-02-28_00222019-02-28_0023After a few moments of snuggling Marcus, and the baby (and I 🙂 went to the recovery area for the rest of the ‘baby review’. Weight, measurements, first visit from the pediatrician all happened in there, and again I was SO happy to capture these things for Michelle while she was in her final stages of being cared for in the OR. 2019-02-28_0033

The pediatrician came by for the very first Doctors ‘appointment’ 🙂 Spoiler alert: she said he was PERFECT! (and he was!)2019-02-28_0028.jpgAnd finally…some alone time with Dad. I left the room for a few moments so that these two could bond while they waited for Mom to be brought back into the recovery room with them. 2019-02-28_0031When I popped back in a few moments later, Michelle had made her way back to her room and she was already snuggled up holding her new baby. 2019-02-28_0032Being a part of this day for this family is something I will never forget.  No matter how many births I am lucky enough to photograph I will always remember this first one!

Big Brother | Maine & NH Newborn Photography

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This little guys big brother won my heart from the minute he walked in.  From his beautiful blond curls to his sweet giggle.  He was such a good listener and such a sweet big bro.  I have no doubt these two have years of friendship ahead.Citorik-2b

Citorik-37And this sweet little guy was pretty perfect for his session as well.

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And how about his stunning mother!?Citorik-40

I do it for the snuggles  ~Sarah

Fantasy Photoshoot | Haunted Overload at DeMerritt Hill Farm in Lee, NH

It’s no secret that I love to “play photography”, pushing the envelope, trying new lighting, lenses, posing, and editing techniques is just the type of good clean fun I like to have in our off-season.  What’s the saying, “Champions are made in the off-season”? ..well that’s how I feel about photography – our creative pursuits makes us better photographers in every possible way.  Even if we never ask you to flip upside-down and walk down the stairs of a creepy haunted house, we would know how to shoot it if you requested such a photo.

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I have some friends who have been trying to get me to go to Haunted Overload for years. However, there is a teeny tiny problem with their plan, 1) I’m afraid of my own shadow. I’m literally a baby when it comes to all things scary. Like I run up the stairs from the basement, not for the cardio (like I tell the kids), but because there’s an invisible zombie behind me.  2) I’m out flat all fall. There is no time in my schedule for fun and games – which is also the prime creep season.

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But my friends are clever and resourceful. This winter they wrote with “an idea” that I couldn’t resist. A photoshoot at Haunted Overload. Sure it was closed and boarded up, but they had permission for us to use the location as well as props and outfits. I was in.

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The only actual problem was that it was 2 degrees outside. I told them I was in once the weather warmed up. Then I checked the weather forecast, and miraculously I saw a 55 degree day in the extended forecast. We all circled that day on our calendars. It was ON.

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Then a thing happened. I was struck with bronchitis. I mean, it hurt to breathe. I’m not exaggerating, breathing felt like I was swallowing knives. Very sharp knives. But I knew my friends had put so much effort into the shoot, even taking the day off of work, and it’s not like 60 degree days come along often in February. So I drank some tea, warned them that I had no voice, and wrapped a scarf around my mouth and nose to buffer the cool air and somewhat contain my germs.

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What happened next was pure magic. Maybe dark magic, if I believed in such things. I got through the 2+ hour shoot without any knives in my throat. I believe the adrenaline of shooting heals all things. I felt nothing but pure bliss while we shot.

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The location was absolutely freaking amazing. I have never seen anything quite so glorious. Creepy? Yes. Even boarded up. Even without the “characters”. Even with snow on the ground. Even in broad daylight.

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But also gloriously cinematic.

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And our models were perfect. I have photographed Marina and Emalee many times before, so I knew they were going to bring the magic. Plus THEY LOVE SCARY CREEPINESS, it’s like their thing.  They didn’t need my non-existent voice telling them to do creepy poses and expressions, they just brought it.

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Then for the rest of the week while I was recovering I had these images to play with in Photoshop.

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Creating different scenes and giving each picture it’s own story and vibe was such fun.

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Thank you Obycs for such a fun day. I love you ladies.

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Erin