2016 Mother's Day Giveaway

2016 Mother's Day GiveawayMother’s Day is right around the corner and it’s time to celebrate motherhood in all the ways it unfolds. Being a mom is work; but it’s also so much fun, joy, and it comes with tons of blessings. Most of time time, we don’t take the time to properly embrace how beautiful being a mom is, which is why we need a special day like Mother’s Day. It forces us to take that time out to say thank you to our own Mom’s and Grandmas, and to look back at all we’ve accomplished and do on a daily basis.

I have the opportunity to meet a lot of mommas in my line of work and I see first hand how hard each one works. Everyone has their own ways, styles, and special qualities. This is why I wanted to celebrate motherhood with you by hosting a special 2016 Mother’s Day Giveaway. It’s an opportunity for me to tip my hat at all the fabulous mom’s I have had the privilege to meet over the years and hopefully, brighten someone’s day.

This year, I’m giving away a FREE 20 minute mini-session to one lucky Mom and her kiddos — PLUS a free 8×10 inch print of their favorite image. It’s my way of offering my services in honor of the hardest working profession out there.

HERE’S HOW TO ENTER:

 

• Nominate yourself or another DC-area supermom in the comment section below

• Sign up for my newsletter updates so you can stay tuned to more great photo opportunities and insights: http://eepurl.com/tMSJL

That’s all there is to it.

Winner will be announced on my Facebook Page, Monday, May 9th!

See Terms & Conditions here: http://gvwy.io/xreb8dq

I’d love for you to enter in, and share this blog/contest details with your hard-working DC momma friends and relatives. Good luck!

 


Julie Kubal family portraits Washington D.C.

About the Author:

Julie Kubal is a child and family portrait artist and photographer serving Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. She is passionate about creating warm and meaningful artwork through modern portraits and lifestyle photography at a location of your choice!

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One of the great photography joys I’ve had over the years is capturing a number of twins on film. It occurred to me a while ago that I’ve photographed them all: identical twins, fraternal twins; newborn twins and twins who are older. What never ceases to amaze me is no matter how similar they may look, each child’s personality is all their own, even at a very young age. I’m also very impressed with the often laid back and easy-going temperament of the parents of twins. You’d think they’d be frazzled, but they never show it. I suppose you’d have to learn to go with the flow when you have two little ones vying for your attention from day one.

In honor of all the beautiful, fun, and amazing twins I’ve photographed over the years, I’d like to take a moment to reflect and honor this special relationship. Here are just a few of the wonderful twins I’ve photographed over the years. I’m so proud and privileged to be part of their lives and have the opportunity to tell their personal story through my pictures.

Mea and Parrish Poole – In 2010, Mea and Parrish were my 4th set of twins born within a year, and my first set of newborn twins. It’s hard to believe this adorable fraternal duo is already going to be turning 6 in a few days’ time.

 child portrait by Julie Kubal Twin Photography


Sonia and Eve Erikson – I started photographing these lovely ladies in 2009 and have continued almost every year since. I love to look back at how much they’ve changed and grown over the years.

E_twins_03 Washington DC child and family photography Twin Photography


Juniper and Dylan Kelly – I’ve only had the opportunity to photograph these adorable girls once so far, but I’m very excited for future sessions so we can document how they change and grow.

Twin Photography


Olivia and Alexis Quinn – 2010 was a year of twins galore. These little darlings were my 3rd set of twins that year, and they were such a joy to photograph.

Twin Photography


Ben and Caroline Wilding – I had the opportunity to photograph these two last year thanks to the yearly Temple Sinai Nursery School auction. They are both adorable and so much fun to work with.

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Ben and Sam Dowling – These two are very near and dear to my heart, as they were the very first set of twins I’d photographed. Their mom and I met at the Breastfeeding Center when her boys and my son were just a couple of months old.


Marin and Elie Strisik – These beautiful girls are the twin daughters of my friend Rachel. I’ve had the opportunity to photograph them not only for family photos, but for Rachel’s growing business, Rachel & Company.

Twin Photography


Jake and Ryan Kube – Last year, I had the opportunity to photograph these two beautiful boys as a special giveaway I offered last year for Mother’s Day.

Twins Photography


Julie Kubal family portraits Washington D.C.

About the Author:

Julie Kubal is a child and family portrait artist and photographer serving Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. She is passionate about creating warm and meaningful artwork through modern portraits and lifestyle photography at a location of your choice!

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I recently had the opportunity to photograph Elana Konstant of Konstant Change Coaching. Elana does a lot of speaking engagements and helps a variety of people looking to find clarity in their career choices. When she came to me, she was in need of some updated headshots for her marketing materials, and I was thrilled to take on the challenge. This was Elana’s first session with me, but fortunately, she and I know a lot of people in common, which is why she asked me to help her out.

We originally met at Her Corner, a community of women business owners who want to support and grow our fellow women’s businesses here in the DC area. Her Corner has introduced me to many fantastic women entrepreneurs and is an invaluable resource, if you ask me.

For the session, we met at her home so we could utilize different settings within her house. She also had a couple of outfits to change into so she could have multiple looks to work with as she develops her 2016 brand.
While Elana looks great in each of the outfits she chose, my favorite is the one she’s ultimately used on her website – the series with her blue blazer. To me, it signifies a certain level of professionalism, while being approachable and confident. It also brings out the intensity in her eyes, which works really well with how she’s connecting to her audience.

Photographing headshots for Elana was a nice change of pace from what I usually do. The challenge of getting her images to resonate for her audience was definitely different from the challenge of capturing a toddler’s authentic smile, but I loved it just as much. Thank you Elana for being a part of the Julie Kubal Photography family and trusting me with these images.

Elana Konstant Elana Konstant
Elana Konstant
Elana Konstant

 


Julie Kubal family portraits Washington D.C.

About the Author:

Julie Kubal is a child and family portrait artist and photographer serving Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. She is passionate about creating warm and meaningful artwork through modern portraits and lifestyle photography at a location of your choice!

Tags: , , ,

Lighting is one of the single most important aspects that should be considered when it comes to taking a really stellar photo. This applies to everything from still-life, to landscapes, to portraits. Awesome lighting has the ability to make or break a photo’s composition.

When I teach my Snap Happy class, lighting is one of the things I spend a fair amount of time on Washington-DC-family-photographer_04before we delve into anything else. This is because lighting is by far one of the best ways to set the tone for your photos. The improper use of lighting can make your photos dark, blurry, or even uninteresting despite their amazing subject piece. If you’re going to pay a photographer to document you and your family, trust me, you want them to obsess over the lighting options available. You’ll get the best results this way.

Some of the variations a great photographer will consider when setting up a shot include:

  • The temperature, tone, or even color that suits the subject(s)
  • The light’s intensity
  • The light’s source and direction
  • The type of contrast the light creates

If you’re taking photos for yourself and your family, here are some tips I give my students during a photo of boy on an orange chair

Snap Happy class.

See the Light

  • Diffused Light – The nicest light for portraits is right at the edge of the shadow in the area called the penumbra. This is where the subject would still be in the shadow, but in a spot where the light from outside the shadow is still illuminating them (like in the first photo). This includes photos taken under overhangs, doorways, inside a garage, under a tree overhang, and even beside a window. Shooting a subject from the front when the light is diffused softens it enough to take great photos; where if you used full frontal light (like the sun), it would be far too harsh.
  • Side Light – This lighting includes diffused or direct light that hits the subject from one side or the other. With natural light, this happens best at dawn and dusk. The second photo shown here is a great example of diffused light coming from a window at the side of the little boy. The side of his Photographers Obsessface closer to the window is more illuminated than the side that is further from the window.
  • Back Light – By having the light source directly behind your subject, you can create a very specific mood by creating a dark silhouette of who (or what) you’re photographing. I love this type of lighting when accenting a pregnancy bump, for instance, like in the third photo. You can achieve particularly dramatic backlit images at sunset.
  • Front Light – By shining the light directly on your subject, you will create a strong contrast in details. While this can be good in certain circumstances, you’ll often find there’s a squinting effect happening to your subjects as they try to shield their eyes from the light. Generally speaking, this is a less flattering form of light when used on people, so it’s not one I tend to use very often (and why don’t have any examples to share with readers).

I encourage all of you, the next time you’re setting up a photo, take a beat to consider your lighting. If you’re trying to capture a moment with your kids, look for opportunities to use natural diffused light for the best results. Overall, have fun learning about how light affects the photographs you or your photographer take.

 


Julie Kubal family portraits Washington D.C.

About the Author:

Julie Kubal is a child and family portrait artist and photographer serving Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. She is passionate about creating warm and meaningful artwork through modern portraits and lifestyle photography at a location of your choice!

Tags: , , ,

It isn’t often I’m given the opportunity to photograph large groups, but when Nadira asked me to help commemorate her Aunt Selma’s 95th birthday, I was thrilled. Large group photos can often be a fun challenge and this was, of course, a worthy occasion.

We were able to get together over the Thanksgiving holiday last year, when much of the extended family was already gathered together. One of the things I love about holidays is that they can be a rare opportunity to rally the troops for large group photo sessions like this one. The holiday provides an excellent reason to document the occasion and commit it to more than simply memory.

Nadira has worked with me in the past, so she was able to offer some advice to her family on creating a cohesive look with their clothing choices before the shoot. I think they all did an excellent job, don’t you? I love the pops of red throughout the blacks and cream color choices. It was fun to see all the joy and laughter come through the photos with Aunt Selma, as well. You can clearly see just how much this beautiful woman is loved.

Unfortunately, the weather was not very cooperative. It was overcast and had been drizzling on and off all day, making for not-very-pleasant picture weather. Since various members of the family would be departing the DC area shortly after Thanksgiving, we couldn’t postpone to a different day, so we knew we’d have to push through. Thankfully, it wasn’t cold though, and the drizzle held off until we were almost completely finished with the shoot. Overall, I think the images turned out spectacularly. Nadira ended up with a beautiful holiday card photo of her immediate family and some wonderful gifts for her Aunt Selma and other family members.

Large Group Photos

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Julie Kubal family portraits Washington D.C.

About the Author:

Julie Kubal is a child and family portrait artist and photographer serving Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. She is passionate about creating warm and meaningful artwork through modern portraits and lifestyle photography at a location of your choice!

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Family photography takes on many faces, and many locations. One of the things I get asked frequently is: Where are your favorite DC photo spots? While there are many spectacular settings in and around the Washington DC area, here are some of my favorite springtime spots.

  1. Bishop’s Garden at the National Cathedral: I’ve said it before, this is one of my favorite spots. It’s an ideal setting for family photos, regardless of the season. There’s plenty of room for kids to explore and lots of potential hidden in it’s grounds. The grounds have a beautiful balance between being manicured and natural providing a gorgeous backdrop for all of your family photos.Washington-DC-family-photographer_01
  2. Montrose Park in Georgetown: This publicly owned park is in a beautiful location between Dumbarton Oaks Park, and Oak Hill Cemetery. It has lots to offer kids with the large play area in the back of the park, and exquisite photo location options on the foot paths and trails leading into Rock Creek Park.
  3. Mitchell Park: This local city park is the perfect size; not too large and not too small. You can easily take advantage of all the different features it has to offer. I love the large trees, wide open field, and brick works all around. There are plenty of wonderful places to capture that special photograph.custom family photos by Julie Kubal
  4. Meridian Hill Park: Not only is this a great spot for photographs, you can also keep your kids entertained for hours at this beautiful park. There’s something to explore in just about every corner in this Italian aristocrat inspired park. Complete with over a dozen giant stone water fountains, pools, and gorgeous architecture.Spring Shoot Locations
  5. Around Your Neighborhood: In all honesty, I love doing this the most. There’s something truly special about finding interesting nooks around a client’s home. Sometimes this can be in your own backyard, or by simply taking a walk around the block. Being on home turf can help first time families feel more comfortable, too. Trust me, a comfortable kiddo makes for a more photogenic kiddo. 😉Washington DC child and kid photography by Julie Kubal

Do you have other favorite spots to add to my list? Leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

 


Julie Kubal family portraits Washington D.C.

About the Author:

Julie Kubal is a child and family portrait artist and photographer serving Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. She is passionate about creating warm and meaningful artwork through modern portraits and lifestyle photography at a location of your choice!

Tags: , , , ,

Despite some bitterly cold wind and uncomfortable weather for this photo shoot, the Wasylak family managed to take some truly beautiful photos at Fort McHenry in Baltimore. The fort is right on the Baltimore Harbor and isn’t overly protected from the wind coming off the Patapsco River.  Luckily, we did have clear, sunny skies and the two kids did an amazing job in spite of the wind. They stuck it out like little troopers without much fuss until the photo shoot was finished. I’d like to think our awesome relationship over the years may have something to do with it. 😉

I’ve been photographing both of these adorable kids since they were both just months old, respectively. I did a First Year Series for both Tyler and his younger sister Maddie, and have had the privilege of continuing on with capturing their changes on film as they grow. Because of this, both are very comfortable working with me and I absolutely cherish our relationship and look forward to our time together.

As some of you who read my blog may know, the Wasylak family used to live in DC, but ended up moving to Baltimore. Though I don’t typically work with clients up there, since we have such a great ongoing relationship and I didn’t want it to end. Because of this, I’m willing to travel to continue documenting them.

Some of my favorite shots from this session include Angie and Greg alone together and in each other’s embrace. The picture suits them so well! Of course, I also love the image below it, where the whole family has clamored together (possibly to keep warm!). I love the way Tyler’s holding each of his parent’s hands; being the big man he is. Maddie looks adorable as always, even with her coat on for added warmth.

Since we were at the harbor, their dog Molly didn’t have the opportunity to participate this time around, though I’ve enjoyed including her throughout the years.

With this session, we’ve added to the Wasylak’s wall of gorgeous metal prints of sibling photos, another album to their collection of all the shoots we’ve done over the years, and a beautiful holiday card, as well. I look forward to each and every one of these additions to their collection and I’m so privileged to be a part of their lives.

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Julie Kubal family portraits Washington D.C.

About the Author:

Julie Kubal is a child and family portrait artist and photographer serving Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. She is passionate about creating warm and meaningful artwork through modern portraits and lifestyle photography at a location of your choice!

Tags: , , ,

Home Photo ShootIt’s easy to get overwhelmed with things do to before your family photo shoot, and some might say it can be more-so when you’ve opted to have your photographer come to your own home. Preparing for your home photo shoot doesn’t have to instill panic and fear if you can take a couple of deep breaths and consider some simple advice.

  1. Declutter. This may seem obvious, but main thing I tell clients to focus on is decluttering the areas of the home you’d like to be in the shots. A good rule of thumb is to concentrate on the areas in the home with the best natural light. I also recommend to clients to have a laundry basket nearby so we can quickly put loose odds and ends into it and shove them out of the room, if need be. As long as the clutter is behind the camera, it won’t affect the quality of your photos.
  2. Outside. Clean up the yard of any obvious attention distractions – meaning, garbage, toys, or other objects not meant for the photos as props. Put them away in the garage, or trash can. Don’t worry so much about making sure the yard is perfect because even if a bit overgrown, it will look great as a backdrop.
  3. Home Photo ShootClothing. As with any other photo shoot, it’s best to keep your wardrobes simple; free from logos, and anything that might detract from your faces. Solid colors work best, but we can incorporate patterns as well, especially if there are a few of you in the family. When you work with me, we’ll chat about what works best and I can give you some specific recommendations based on your family’s size and personality, if you’d like.
  4. Eat. With all of the running around to prepare the house and family, make sure you don’t forget to eat. All of you should have full bellies before the photo shoot. This will ensure you all have the attention spans to last the duration without getting cranky. That being said, having some snacks at the ready is always a smart go-to trick in case the kiddos get a bit unruly!
  5. Relax! Once the shoot is under way, the best thing I can recommend is to kick back, relax, and have some fun! The hard part is over and now you can move on to enjoying the time we have together. Plus, your laid back and relaxed attitude will translate to film, making for outstanding pictures.

 


Julie Kubal family portraits Washington D.C.

About the Author:

Julie Kubal is a child and family portrait artist and photographer serving Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. She is passionate about creating warm and meaningful artwork through modern portraits and lifestyle photography at a location of your choice!

Tags: , ,

I can hardly believe I’ve had twelve wonderful sessions with this beautiful family! This session happened last year for their annual holiday photo shoot, but I’m excited to share it with you today. The previous session before this one celebrated the eldest Vivienne’s 5th birthday. Today it’s August’s 4th birthday and little Eleanore’s 2nd birthday was just a couple of days ago. It’s birthdays all over the place! With this in mind, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the two youngest Price kids! <3

Sometimes, the most unlikely of locations can become a wonderful backdrop for a family photo shoot. For this particular session, we were in the alleyway behind my house and in my own yard. At the time, it was a bit overgrown, but you’d never know it by examining the pictures. Instead, it simply looks like lush greenery and fall foliage. It goes to show you that to the untrained eye a location may not necessarily look fantastic from the start, but can still produce amazing results.

Margot’s life has gotten hectic these past couple of years, with three young, active kids. She jokingly said to me, “I have no priorities [for this photo session], my bar is very low.” Of course, this doesn’t change my standards. If anything, I’d like to think I rise to the challenge of making the photo session amazing, all while going with the flow of the family. Luckily, Margot and Adam always bring along another adult to help corral the kids, just in case. This helps us focus on those in the current photos – particularly when I’m trying to capture images of the parents with individual children. I cannot tell you how nice it is to not have the parents distracted, feeling like they need to keep an eye on the other two.

One of the things I love about Margot is she always does and AMAZING job selecting outfits for the family. I love her bold choice of colors. The girls’ outfits come from Well Dressed Wolf, which is a clothing line Margot has raved about and it’s easy to see why. The dresses are simple and elegant, and the color is so much fun! August’s bright plaid shirt subtly ties the golden color from the girls’ dresses and helps him stand out as the big man he is.

The family recently moved into a new home, so I’ll be helping them design new displays for their photos – including those from this session. Once they’re all settled, it will be fun to start capturing memories in their new abode.

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Julie Kubal family portraits Washington D.C.

About the Author:

Julie Kubal is a child and family portrait artist and photographer serving Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. She is passionate about creating warm and meaningful artwork through modern portraits and lifestyle photography at a location of your choice!

Tags: , , ,

maternity photosWhen you’re expecting a new baby in your life, and in your house, sometimes documenting the pregnancy is the last thing on your mind. However, I’ve found most women are either extremely glad they have mementos to look back on, or really wish they’d taken the time to have maternity photos taken when they had the chance.

Some women may feel self-conscious during this time and may be unsure whether or not taking maternity photos is right for them. This shouldn’t be a worry at all. A great photographer will know how to showcase your natural glowing beauty with the right lighting, gentle poses, and artful composition.

Here are some of the most compelling reasons I can think of as to why maternity photos are a must:

  1. Announcing the pregnancy. Whether this is a first time, or you’re an old hat – announcing a pregnancy with professional photos is one of the more artful ways to break the news. You can be as simple, or as creative as you’d like and with the support of a professional, you can trust your shots will be done right.
  2. A record for later. I guarantee you, when your new baby is about five or six, they’ll want to start seeing photos of them when they were little. Maybe because you’re having another baby, maybe because they’re simply curious. They’ll want to know more about the time before they arrived, so having photos to show them is a great way to reminisce with them.
  3. Comparing pregnancies. We always think we’ll remember each pregnancy, but as more children enter our lives, it becomes harder to remember which pregnancy was which. When you have photos to look back on, you’re not only documenting the changes your body goes through, but granting yourself the ability tomaternity photos compare those photos later on.
  4. Partner (and children! And pets!) involvement. Sometimes it can be difficult for our partners, kids, and pets to be involved with the pregnancy process. When you’re working with a photographer, they can all beinvolved to show their love, support, and appreciation.
  5. Breaking stereotypes. There was a time, not all that long ago, when pregnancy was considered something to mask over or hide. By embracing your changing body and the miracle growing inside, you’re helping break down the walls of these stereotypes so that hopefully, one day, our daughters and granddaughters have no idea they even existed in the first place.

 

Tips for getting the most from your session:


  1. Announcement photos: If you plan on those announcement photos, aim to schedule them Washington-DC-family-photographer_01-5between 15-20 weeks. You’ll be barely showing, past the scare of miscarriage, and full into the pregnancy glow.
  2. 3rd Trimester: If you want to take late pregnancy photos, aim to schedule them between 32-36 weeks for the best results. You’ll be beautifully pregnant, but not so uncomfortable you can’t enjoy the process.
  3. Loose clothes. Much like with newborn sessions, if you’d like photos with more skin, it’s important to not have lines from fabric and elastic. Wear loose, flowing clothing an hour or more before your session for the best effect.
  4. Pamper yourself. Professional hair and makeup is a great way of not only enhancing the beauty everyone is already seeing in you, but it can also boost confidence in a soon-to-be-mom. Schedule that mani-pedi, get your hair and makeup done and come in for some gorgeous photos.
  5. Relax and have fun. Maternity photos should be fun. A great photographer will know how to setsilhouette photo of pregnant woman the mood, helping you relax and have a good time. Your job is simply to be present and enjoy the moment. It will go fast.

Maternity photos are meant to be a fun, engaging way to celebrate the new life you’re creating both inside you and together with your family. Taking time to embrace the changes and enjoy the moment so you can look back at this time fondly in years to come may turn out to be one of the best things you did for yourself and your little one.

 


Julie Kubal family portraits Washington D.C.

About the Author:

Julie Kubal is a child and family portrait artist and photographer serving Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. She is passionate about creating warm and meaningful artwork through modern portraits and lifestyle photography at a location of your choice!

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