Passionate About Boston
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Boston Photography Guide Photographer Roundtable

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Mira Whiting Photgraphy

What inspires your photography?

My academic background is in history, and that is a huge guiding force for me in how I run my business — I think a lot about what will help you not only have these moments to share for now, but for generations to come with beautiful archival print products that will stand the test of time.  Digital files don’t have the same archival qualities, and I want to make sure you can share these memories with your great-grandchildren.  When I’m shooting a portrait session, I love to figure out what makes THIS family tick — it’s a little different for each one, and capturing that unique quality that makes your family special is something that should be treasured and passed down.

What is the best tip for someone preparing for a shoot with you?

My favorite tip to give my clients is to relax as much as you can — it helps everything, from maternity and newborn sessions, to family sessions with potentially cranky kids, to business portraits.  Especially for sessions involving kids, having relaxed parents can make a world of difference — I will take care of getting your child engaged in a playful way where they won’t even think too much about what it’s for — just that they’re having fun.

How long have you been a photographer?

I have had my business up and running for about two years, but I’ve been serious about photography for almost 20 years — I got my start in film cameras, and I find that that still influences how I shoot with a focus on getting everything set up right in-camera without having to rely too much on post-processing.  I also did most of my early shooting in black and white, and while I do shoot in color these days, I find that black and white portraiture still holds a very special place in my heart.

How would you describe your style?

My style is clean and classic — portraiture that won’t look dated in 10 years‘ time.

What motivates you to continue being a photographer?

My clients are a huge motivation for me.  I love meeting new people, and hearing their stories.  I also feel a huge sense of  purpose when I can hand a finished, printed product to a client, knowing it will be something their family can find joy in for years, and that someday a little child might look at these images and hear stories about what Mom or Dad (or Grandpa or Grandma!) was like as a child.

What is your favorite Boston area location to shoot and why?

I love exploring new spaces, and finding spaces that might not look very promising on the surface but end up being fantastic portrait locations.  We’re so lucky in the Boston area to have so many gorgeous spots to choose from, it’s hard to pick just one.  I think if I had to pick, though, I’d probably pick Menotomy Rocks Park, in Arlington, which has several lovely spots to choose from.

What is the best part about your job?

The best part of my job is getting to show my clients their final images and seeing their reactions — I love seeing how they can see themselves, and see how this slice of their lives will be preserved, however that works best for them, whether it’s wall art they’ll pass every day, or an album they’ll take out to reminisce.  It’s like a little peek into the future to see how they’ll really USE these images to enrich their family life.

Photos by Mira Whiting

Leah LaRiccia Photography

What inspires your photography?

I’m inspired by the moments and relationships I witness, and the challenge of capturing them with honesty, emotion, and beauty. I love to tell stories with photos, and to make fleeting in-between moments visually permanent. I look to the most influential street photographers for inspiration, and admire their ability to combine perfect moments with stunning composition.

What is the best tip for someone preparing for a shoot with you?

Don’t be afraid to be yourselves! My approach to family photography, whether it be a strictly documentary session or posed on-location portrait, is to highlight what makes the family and each of its members unique. If you go into the session relaxed, without putting pressure on yourselves to be something you’re not, the session will be a positive experience for everyone. Your kids will actually have fun, and will be disappointed when it’s over.

How long have you been a photographer?

I’ve been taking photos for as long as I can remember, but became fully immersed in photography when I moved from Boston to NYC in 2004. I haven’t put my camera down since. At the time I was working as a molecular biologist, and decided to stop to attend photography school in 2007. I’ve been a full time photographer since 2010 and am beyond grateful I get to do what I love for work.

How would you describe your style?

Documentary family photography is about storytelling. It’s natural, relaxed, and honest. During each session, I take the time to connect with each family member to build trust. I keep the mood light and silly, and let kids be kids. I take my time to wait for and define the moment, showcase the relationships and connection between family members, and tell a story with every frame. I look for emotion, humor, love, and smiles. I capture in-between moments and the happiness and magic of childhood.

What motivates you to continue being a photographer?

Being a mother! I started thinking about documentary family photography and family portraiture after having my son, and becoming acutely aware of how quickly he was growing up and how the cutest phases would be outgrown without warning. Being able to gift parents (and their children) visual memories of these fleeting phases while getting parents into the pictures is really important to me. It’s something I want every family to have – photos that capture childhood, relationships, and the loving, frantic, and silly in between moments that all families share.

What is your favorite Boston area location to shoot and why?

One of my favorite spots for photos (and to bring my son!) is Stonehurst, the Robert Treat Paine Estate in Waltham. There are endless beautiful parts of the grounds and landscape to feature in photos. The house is an icon of American design, and features a beautiful stone arch and stone wall. There is a giant rock on the property that kids love to climb and a field surrounded by trees. There are also trails in the conservation land surrounding the property to explore. The park has plenty of parking, is dog-friendly, and gets amazing light in the afternoon!

What is the best part about your job?

The best part of my job is having the opportunity to spend time with fantastic kids and grown ups I wouldn’t have otherwise met. I feel honored that they welcome me into their homes, share their lives with me, and entrust me with the important job of recording their family’s story. I may be doing work for them, but they give me the gift of being part of their families for a moment.

Photos by Leah LaRiccia

Elizabeth Clark Photography

What inspires your photography?

Too many things!  A condensed list: indie films, fashion magazine editorials (W Magazine being my favorite), fiction novels, the Instagram rabbit hole, and contemporary fine art photographers.  Subject matter involving families and their inherent beautiful dysfunction is my favorite.  And just pretty places – jaw dropping landscapes, New England-y villages, stylish or shabby interiors.  Ideally my photos combine aesthetic beauty with some deeper meaning, whether about relationships or an individual.  Which brings me back to the movies – that’s what the best ones do.

What is the best tip for someone preparing for a shoot with you?

Plan your wardrobe and tidy up ahead of time.  The worst is scrambling last minute with hungry, crying children demanding your attention.  I also suggest having someone use an i-Phone to photograph you in your outfit beforehand so you can really see how it looks on camera.  I know us moms tend to be most critical of ourselves, so it’s important to primp and prepare appropriately (just don’t go overboard and stray from who you are).

How long have you been a photographer?

Since I was 14.  I asked for a camera for my birthday, begged my friend who was already taking photo class to teach me the darkroom basics, developed a roll of quirky portraits I had taken of us in some abandoned place (this was way before the term “selfie” ever existed), and never looked back.  That was 20 years ago.  She’s still one of my best friends and most photographed subjects.

How would you describe your style?

Expressive, intelligent, editorial, rich, and at times, witty.  I strive to create pieces of art, not just a basic portrait.

What motivates you to continue being a photographer?

The looking.  I’m a visual person and can’t stop myself from making visual interpretations of the world around me.  The looking through my camera, editing the images on my screen (I need to get back to a darkroom soon and see them appear in the trays!), and enjoying the prints years later – I just get so much pleasure and intrigue from all of it. I’m not so sure if this all describes an innate drive more than motivation, but it is what it is.

What is your favorite Boston area location to shoot and why?

People’s homes.  I find a home holds a lot of personal significance to my clients. It also allows them to feel more at ease without onlookers.  Finally, it’s usually a new place for me which piques my interest, holds new challenges, and keeps me on my toes.
In terms of go-to locations –  Beacon Hill/Back Bay for quintessential Bostonian charm, Belmont Habitat for a rustic meadow and woodsy look, and few idyllic hidden gardens in my hometown of Cambridge that I will keep my own secret.

What is the best part about your job?

By far witnessing my clients’ reactions when they see their photos.  It’s really rewarding for a people pleaser like myself.

Photos by Elizabeth Clark

Emily O'Brien Photography

What inspires your photography?

Everything! I try to draw inspiration from the world around me – art, design, nature, writing, fashion, etc. You never know what will spark an idea. For me, the most inspiration comes from artists and locations. Locations are such a huge part of my end result, I am the annoying passenger in the car that must stop if I see a cool wall or field.

What is the best tip for someone preparing for a shoot with you?

Hands down, communication. Consultations are such an important part of the process. I always try to get a sense of my client’s personality and encourage them to bring any ideas to the table beforehand so we are creating a session at a location that suits them. You never know when you’ll have a crazy idea that makes for an amazing session.

How long have you been a photographer?

Since I was 5 years old, snapping photos of my neighbors, paparazzi style, with a disposable camera. Professionally speaking, I just had my 6 year business anniversary this spring!

How would you describe your style?

Modern. I incorporate traditional elements into my style, but I am constantly looking at what’s new, what’s fresh, and how I can evolve my style. My biggest fear is to become an “outdated” photographer, yesterday’s news. I now include video with all of my portrait sessions, and so far clients have been loving it.

What motivates you to continue being a photographer?

As cliché as it sounds, my clients. All said and done, I spend a lot of time with every client. I honestly get to work with the best families, and that’s what keeps me going. I LOVE when I get to photograph a family with kids every year, and watch them grow and change… I get attached to my families!

What is your favorite Boston area location to shoot and why?

That’s tough because I am always on the hunt for new locations. I live in Back Bay, so maybe I am biased, but I just can’t get enough of all the tones and textures this area of the city has to offer. I could shoot in this neighborhood a million times without getting bored.

7) What is the best part about your job?
When moms cry happy tears. I know that sounds weird, but every once in a while I used to get down on myself because I’m not in a career that “makes a difference” I’m not healing people, or changing the world. Then I had my first client cry when she watched her slideshow of images. She told me how she didn’t have any photos of her and her dad when he had passed, and how grateful she was to have created these photos, these memories with her family. Every session I have, I try to keep in mind how truly IMPORTANT these photos are to each family. My clients feel something when they look at their photos, and creating that emotion is the most satisfying part of my job.

Photos by Emily O’Brien

Beth Ann Fricker Photography

What inspires your photography?

Light is an important and inspirational part of photography. I’m interested in using light to tell my clients’ and my
own photographic stories.  Light sets the mood, helping to create something joyful, soothing, or dramatic.  In
client sessions, I’m also inspired by the people I’m documenting and I’ll try to incorporate their stories and
idiosyncrasies into the session.  For newborn sessions, it might be something as simple as incorporating an
area of the home which a parent gravitates towards while taking care of the baby, while for a family session it
might be singing the child’s favorite song to elicit a coy smile.

What is the best tip for someone preparing for a shoot with you?

I think it is important for families to relax and trust the process. We have had family photos taken so I know how
hard it can be to coordinate the outfits and rush out the door to be on time only to have a child misbehave during the photo shoot.  At sessions, I’ll spend time getting to know everyone and if the children have lots of energy, we will use that energy in the session.  There is no reason the session needs to be static, and I’ve found allowing adults and children to move around is more enjoyable, leading to natural smiles.

How long have you been a photographer?

Growing up I’ve always had an interest in photography. Six years ago I started second shooting at weddings with other photographers, but it wasn’t until several months after having my son that I became serious about pursuing photography.  I took classes, upgraded my equipment and practiced a lot. This past June, I celebrated being in business for 4 years.  More information about my journey in photography has been chronicled on the Clickin Moms’ blog.

How would you describe your style?

My style is authentic, natural, and emotive.  I want my work to be timeless so when people look back years later at their photographs, they will feel nostalgic, remembering the feeling of holding their baby during the first week of life or the huge grin their baby had taking their first steps.

What motivates you to continue being a photographer?

My motivation is internal.  Currently, I’m two years into a 365 project. I take photos every day but select one photo that then goes into my yearly album.  There is something special about looking back on those images and seeing the physical changes in my children and also their changing interests.  The project pushes me to practice my craft every day and to experiment with light and photographic technique that I can then use in client sessions. It is really rewarding to visualize an idea and have it come through in a photograph.

What is your favorite Boston area location to shoot and why?

For newborn sessions, I love capturing new families in their home.  There is an intimacy about bringing hom a newborn baby and capturing parents in their favorite resting spot, or where they feed the baby, or the way they hold a baby.  Not being familiar with the home before the session challenges me as a photographer to quickly understand the light in the house but also to create a unique and personalized image for each family.

There is an outdoor field in Belmont, MA that I love for family sessions.  The background is simple and the light around sunset is divine, which allows me to focus on capturing beautiful imagery centered on a family’s relationships.

What is the best part about your job?

The best part of my job is the people I meet.  All of my clients are genuinely nice and down-to- earth.  Over the last few years some have even become close friends.  Seeing clients year after year and watching their newborns turn into toddlers and then kids, and realizing that I am able to create a lasting memory of this time in their life is very satisfying.

Photos by Emily O’Brien

Whitney G Photography

What inspires your photography?

The perfect, tiny, new babies that I get to photograph are all the inspiration I need. They change so quickly, and I am honored to capture them when their so tiny and new! Their long eyelashes, wrinkly feet, tiny fingernails, puckered lips–its so amazing that I get to document these features and their adorable personalities. They look so peaceful all curled up, snuggled in a wrap and soundly sleeping, I just feel so lucky that I get to meet them in their first few days of life and create beautiful portraits for Mom and Dad.

What is the best tip for someone preparing for a shoot with you?

For newborn shoots, the best tip is to keep the baby up for as long as you can before hand. Our goal is to get sleepy baby shots, so I always tell parents to give the baby a bath, tickle their feet, do whatever you can to keep them awake for about 2 hours before the session. The last thing I ask parents to do is feed baby right before they leave for my studio, and put them in a zip up outfit that won’t go over their head. After the car ride to my studio, they’re usually zonked and ready to go.

How long have you been a photographer?

I started taking photos with my dad’s old Canon AE-1 when I was in high school, and majored in photography in college! I learned how to shoot with film manually, process film, and print images in a darkroom. After school, I did weddings for a few years, but it was never my thing. I really fell back in love with photography when I started photographing newborns, bringing my obsession with babies together with my love of photography.

How would you describe your style?

My style is natural and clean. I like very simple props and backdrops, usually with neutral colors like tans, whites, and grays, and I try to keep babies in simple and natural poses. I want parents to be able to display these timeless images in their home, regardless of their room decor, and not feel like they are dated or overly styled.

What motivates you to continue being a photographer?

I love babies! Who wouldn’t want to snuggle with a week old baby all day!?

What is your favorite Boston area location to shoot and why?

While my main business is working with newborns, I also love photographing kiddos as the grow up. I love doing family sessions as Larz Anderson park in Brookline. There are tons of background options, and parking! You can basically find me there every weekend night in September/October chasing golden hour and a toddler.

What is the best part about your job?

Photographing newborns is definitely hard work. Sometimes they just just want to be held, their tummy’s hurt, or they just don’t want to go to sleep. But when they finally pass out, they’re laying perfectly in a basket with their tiny fingers all in line, the light falling down their face in the most perfect way, and you hit the shutter just in time for a smile, it is the best moment ever. Knowing you can capture that for parents, is truly the best part of this job!

Photos by Whitney Goldstein

Nicole VonDette Photography

What inspires your photography?

Family is the most important thing to me and as the years pass by, I realize how important it is to capture the precious moments together.  The newborn stage is one that goes by so quickly and is so easily forgotten.    I draw my inspiration from the happiness I am able to bring to my clients and the joy I see on their faces when presenting their portraits to them.

What is the best tip for someone preparing for a shoot with you?

My best tip is to relax.  After working with hundreds of newborns, I have seen it all and can deal with most situations. As a newborn photographer, I have lots of tips and tricks that I use to help sooth and calm your baby.

How long have you been a photographer?

After receiving my first SLR camera 20 years ago, I fell in love with photography.  I have been in business for over 5 years.

How would you describe your style?

My style of photography is timeless, elegant, and fun!  I use simple wraps, hand made outfits, dainty headbands, and vintage props to all add interest  to my photography without taking focus away from the baby.  I love incorporating colors and special family photos from my client’s home.

What motivates you to continue being a photographer?

Photography makes my happy.  I meet the most amazing families that truly appreciate my work and come back year after year.  I am always striving to learn and grow my craft so that my client’s are always receiving my best I can offer.

What is your favorite Boston area location to shoot and why?

I love shooting In Beacon Hill for a great urban vibe.  The cobble stone streets and pops of color all add visual interest to my sessions.  I also love working at the Arnold Arboretum for a country feel within Boston.

What is the best part about your job?

That is easy!  I get to cuddle newborns all day and meet the most amazing people!

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