We have some birthday wishes to doll out today! Not only is this a session summary, it’s also a special birthday post! Today Quinn and Ada turn 7! So before we even get started, HAPPY BIRTHDAY girls! Hope you have a tremendous day!

Twin girls lay side by side for family photos and birthday wishes

How We Met

Both girls go to my son’s school, so I’ve seen them and their parents from time to time. Their father, Tom, had contacted me a while back, inquiring about doing a session. Originally, he and his wife Jordan were looking for a session to accomplish their annual photos for Christmas cards. But ultimately, they wanted to find a photographer who they’re all comfortable with so they could continue to document their family through the years.

Busy lives and schedules got in the way for a bit, but we were in touch on and off throughout the year. We finally made a point to get a session planned on the calendar this past fall.

Family of four hangs out at a fence for family photos and birthday wishesMom and daughter share a special moment for family photos and birthday wishes

The Session

I met the Fitzgerald-Frankiewicz family at Rock Creek Park. It was the day immediately after another family session in the same location, so it was nice going back to the same spot with a second family. I was able to take my experiences from the previous day to inform where and how to approach this session. The family wanted to have nice photos taken of the four of them, plus a few of just the kids, as well as a few of just the parents. Over all, they were going for natural photos (nothing too staged) that really captured the kids’ spirit.

The day turned out to be another beautiful fall day, though far less windy than the previous day. The whole session was fun, from start to finish. You can see in the photos how much joy and exuberance the twins bring into the mix. Their energy and enthusiasm is infectious, I have to admit. The family interacted so nicely together that photographing them really was a breeze. I was able to snap so many nice moments between them all. I love the big squeeze and kiss on the cheek Ada gives her dad, as an example. It’s so indicative of her personality and the joy she brought to her dad in that moment.Father and daughter cuddle in a field for family photos and birthday wishesFamily of four stand together for family photos and birthday wishes

The Selection

In addition to the holiday cards the family wanted, Jordan and Tom chose an album, and three large gallery wraps to showcase their gorgeous images. We’re already planning to do another session next year and I can’t wait to see how much everyone has changed and grown.  

Little girl stands near a field of tall dried grass for family photos and birthday wishesFather and daughter stand next to each other at fence for family photos and birthday wishesTwin girls laugh while sitting on a log in the woods for family photos and birthday wishesLittle girl leans against tree for family photos and birthday wishes


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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For first time clients, it’s always fun to gather together for our planning consultation. It’s even more exciting to discover we already know each other. Such was the case with mom, Sarah Remes. 

Family of four together Fall Family Photos

How We Met

We’d never worked together before our fall family photo session. But as it turns out, Sarah and I had recently met each other, though not by name, at Temple Micah, where we’re both members. It was such a pleasure to walk into Sarah’s home, to recognize each other and discover we already had this connection, which was unbeknownst to either of us when we first chatted on the phone. Sarah had heard about me from some other families at her kids’ school, Lafayette Elementary, and decided to contact me. She’d started a tradition several years ago of having the children, Miriam and Isaac, photographed every three years. Her motivation was to document the kids as they grow with enough time in between to show noticeable change.

Brother and sister sitting on a fence together for Fall Family Photos

The Session

As you can tell from the photographs, the day of the session was a beautiful fall day here in Washington D.C. We met at Rock Creek Park and took photos all around the area; in and around a field, a wild meadow, and in the forest. Sarah brought bubbles, which was a fun way to keep the kids moving and engaged. Miriam was behind the bubble wand, while Isaac chased the bubbles with abandon. The weather was quite windy, carrying the bubbles in every direction. While it kept Miriam in one spot, Isaac the Bubble Chaser was constantly on the move. When I could keep up with him no longer ;-), we switched things up by exploring the different areas of the park so they could climb and play. You’ll notice in the photos I’m sharing here, we found some great spots with logs for balancing, not to mention plenty of sticks for battling and playing.

Mom and son sitting on a log for Fall Family Photos

Little girl having fun on a log for Fall Family Photos The Selection

The family already has an extensive wall display from the two previous photo sessions. For this session, we designed a new layout for the current artwork so it would fit well in the prominent space the family currently displays the older photos. I advised Sarah on ways she could rearrange and make sense for the older photos. This way, they can fit them in other areas of the house as artwork inevitably accumulates through the years.

Father and daughter sitting together for Fall Family Photos Little girl sitting on a log for Fall Family Photos Little boy sitting on a fence for Fall Family Photos

 


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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Happy New Year, Everyone!

As we approach 2017, I want to take a few moments to express my gratitude to all of the amazing individuals and families I’ve had the opportunity to work with this year. I’ve photographed an astounding 80+ kids and their families this year. Some of you may be returning clients. Others may be brand new. However, I consider each and every one of you to be part of my JKP family. Being a part of your lives for our brief photography interludes to capture your memories each year is truly a joy for me. It’s the reason I do what I do.

It would be impossible to share all my favorite photos from the year but here’s a small selection that make me smile.

 

Thank you for sharing your families and time with me this year and in years past. I wish you all a very Happy New Year and look forward to seeing you all again in 2017. May there be many Snap Happy times and memories to share between now and then.

Warm wishes,  

Julie Kubal Signature

 

 

 

 

 


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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Getting together with my long-term clients always challenges and inspires me. It’s so much fun to watch the children blossom. Not to mention, keeping in touch with all the new things happening in their lives throughout the year. This year was one of new experiences for the Erikson family.

How We Met

I’ve been photographing the Erikson family for many years now. In fact, since just before the girls’ (Sonia and Eve) first birthday! We’ve been getting together for the past several years to document the girls as they grow up. And my, have they grown!

Sonia and Eve used to attend the same school as my son. I used to run into them frequently and still see them around the neighborhood every so often.

The Session

This year, the family moved into a new home. So we spent our time together at their new abode and at a nearby field in Rock Creek Park.

With the exception of the very first session, the family has always done mini-sessions with me. However, as they’ve settled into their new home, we all agreed it was the perfect time to do a longer, full session. This way, we could focus on creating some beautiful new artwork to adorn their walls.

In addition to the new home, they also have a brand new puppy that the girls adore. Of course, they wanted to include the newest member of the family in their photos.

The girls always keep me on my toes. I’ve noticed an interesting pattern when I’m challenged with keeping up with active kids. Being creative to keep them engaged throughout the session can result in fantastic images. This session was no exception.

The Selection

The family and I selected a series of four striking images to be displayed going up the stairs. One of each girl alone, one of the girls together, and one of the whole family together.

These images are some of my favorites of the whole year, and I hope you love them, too.

Father and Daughter standing together behind hedge for photographing new adventures Family of four together with their new puppy for photographing new adventures Family of four together with their new puppy for photographing new adventures Mother and daughter stand together for photographing new adventures Little girl sits in a field for photographing new adventures Sisters hug in a field for photographing new adventures Little girl stands in a field for photographing new adventures Father and daughters embrace for photographing new adventures     

 


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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It’s not every day I get to experience taking photos of a family while we represent their family heritage in the images. For the Carnithan-Choi family’s debut session, we honored their Korean heritage by allowing it to take center stage as their backdrop. Read on to find out how.

How We Met

Jennifer and Michael’s two daughters, Stella and Maggie both attend school with my son, Sasha. This year, they were the winning bidders on the photo session package I donated for the school auction. The couple had professional photos taken when the girls were both younger. However, it had been a while ago—which is why they bid on the package.

The Session

We met at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, with the intent of setting the scene within the traditional Korean Bell Garden. Developed in 2007, it’s the first Korean Bell Garden in a public garden within the US. That’s a pretty significant feat, I’d say. 

The day of the session was an absolutely gorgeous fall day. The weather was perfect and the garden was filled with visitors (and even other photographers!) all taking advantage of the last few temperate days of fall. It certainly made for a lovely afternoon, wandering around the grounds and gave us the chance to explore several different backgrounds to capture in the images.

For those of you who haven’t been there, the Korean Bell Garden is an open space without much shade. Luckily, we were able to find a nice spot in a nearby meadow from which you could see the bell in the distance. It made a terrific part of the landscape in the background, with the girls in the foreground. I love how we incorporated it into the picture without being in the harsh direct light. Don’t you?

The Selection

The family chose the beautiful image of the girls embracing, which truly signifies the special bond they share together. It will be showcased in a large gallery wrap that’s going to be a statement piece in their family room.

I’m so pleased they’ll have a lasting record of the unique relationships they’ve built with each other at this moment in their lives, as well as embracing their Korean descent in the images.

Family of four sit together for Korean Heritage Honored Little girl holding onto a tree for Korean heritage honored family photos Father and daughters stand in front of Korean Bell for Korean Heritage Honored in family photos Sisters sit together on sidewalk for Korean Heritage Honored Little girl stands by flower bush for Korean Heritage Honored Sisters hug for Korean Heritage Honored Father and daughter hug for Korean Heritage Honored Mother and daughter hug for Korean Heritage Honored


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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There’s nothing better than happy family photos that turn out beautifully. This was certainly the case with the latest Best-Bellemore family session. Take a gander through the photos and I know you’ll agree.

How We Met

I’ve known the Best-Bellemore family for a number of years now. Each time we get together I can’t describe what a joy their little girl Margot is. She’s like a little sprite, full of joyful energy and happiness that shines through in every picture.

The Session

This time, we got together at the National Cathedral grounds, including my favorite spots in Bishop’s Garden. I photographed Margot and her parents in a nice variety of locations and backdrops. We spent the morning together enjoying the beautiful weather, with Margot frolicking around the garden in bare feet. I love her adorable, infectious smile in each of the photos. It’s so hard to choose a favorite. Do you have one?

The Selection

The family selected some beautiful framed prints for their home, along with gift prints, and holiday cards that will be sent out this year. As always, it was a joy to work with them and can’t wait until next time.

Little girl walking down steps for happy family photos Little girl playing behind pillars for happy family photos Family of three walking on an outdoor path for happy family photos Mother and daughter together for happy family photos Father and daughter together for happy family photos Little girl walking along a stone path for happy family photos Little girl leaning on gazebo window ledge for happy family photos

 


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 love having the opportunity to meet new clients and photograph their family for the first time. It’s always a new adventure that presents so many fun challenges as we hunt for photo shoot locations and get to know one another.

How We Met

In the case of the Casey-Fassbach family, they were a brand-new client who had been referred to me by a colleague, Karen Leonard (thank you Karen!). Carolyn and Scott wanted to have updated photos taken of their family in honor of their son John’s first birthday.

The Session

Originally, Carolyn had contacted me during the summer. She was interested in doing photos out on the eastern shore of Maryland. Unfortunately, the timing didn’t work out, so we ended up postponing until they returned to their DC home at the end of summer. In an unfortunate turn of bad luck, Casey and Scott’s daughter Liza had an accident on the playground the day before our photoshoot. The poor adventurous little girl wound up with a black eye and we had to postpone until the bruise had fully healed.

Luckily, when we were finally able to get together at the end of September, we had beautiful weather and Liza’s portraits turned out great. We got together at the family’s gorgeous home in DC, which worked out well because we could incorporate the family dogs, Sissy Girl and Willy Dog. (Aren’t they beautiful?) Carolyn is an animal lover and has a special bond with her fur babies. Their grounds are extremely photogenic, as well as the inside of the home. My favorite is the outdoor portrait with the kids together on the bench. I love the loving smile on Liza’s face and the “we got this” chin of little John. So cute!

The Selection

Carolyn and Scott planned a lovely wall display featuring variety of the images we took. They also chose some special holiday gifts, holiday cards, and one of my signature coffee table albums for display in their home. I enjoyed meeting everyone and having the opportunity to photograph this beautiful family. I’m very much looking forward to getting together again in the future.

Father and son for Family Photo Session Mother and Daughter for Family Photo Session Family of four with their dogs for a family photo session Mother and son for family photo session Little boy crawling on grass for family photo session Father and Daughter cuddled up on a chair for family photo session Little girl cuddling stuffed animals for family photo session Sister and brother sitting on a park bench cuddling for family photo session

 


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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Photo-centric gifts are a great way to spread the love of your beautiful family with those you love. I don’t know many people who dislike personalized gifts. Do you?

Here are my favorite photo gifts sure to please everyone on your holiday list this year:

  1. Calendars

    I’ve talked about these before, but it simply makes sense. That’s why it’s listed first. What other gift can showcase all the beautiful family photos you’ve taken throughout the year, and still allows you to switch it up each month?
    Little boy and girl on city steps for photo-centric gifts

  2. Ornaments

    For those looking for holiday mementos that are taken out of their special boxes each year, this is the one for you. Family members (like Grandma and Grandpa), close family friends, or even your significant other will love getting a personalized photo ornament. Wouldn’t you?

  3. Canvas Photos

    Simple? Perhaps. But certainly a classic. If you’re thinking about how to gift a favorite family photo, but a frame just doesn’t cut it, canvas prints can take things up a notch. There are plenty of sizes to choose from, and wonderful vendors too.
    Family of four sitting on a hillside for photo-centric gifts

  4. Mugs 

    Let’s face it, guys can be hard to buy for. But what dad or grandpa doesn’t drink their morning coffee from a mug? Spread a little bit of family love by getting them a personalized photo mug this year. You never know, they might just thank you for it. 😉

  5. Phone Cases

    Teenagers, they can almost be as hard to buy for as men. But do they ever put their phones down? Not likely. Give them a photo case (stylish, of course), to match their latest phone. This is also a great one for Moms. (Eh-hem, all you dads out there. HA!)
    Little girl cuddles with blanket for photo-centric gifts

  6. Puzzles 

    Do your kids need a little mystery? Little kids and older ones alike will love getting a special family photo puzzle to put together.

  7. Woven Photo Blankets

    Have a kid away at college who isn’t able to make it home for the holidays? Or perhaps grandma and grandma live in another state (or country!) Give them a special family cuddle with a woven photo blanket.
    Family of four surrounded by greenery for photo-centric gifts

  8. Throw Pillows

    For those who feel blankets are a bit much, but would love a few accent pillows, I say why not? The printing for both blankets and pillows have come a long way over the years. Brighten up Grandma’s couch (or your own) with these great gifts.

  9. Candles 

    Want a special way to illuminate your family photos? Try a printed glass candle holder. Then, every time you light the candle, all those beautiful smiling faces will be even brighter.

Couple embracing outside for photo-centric gifts


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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It’s been a little while since I last got together to photograph the adorable Poole twins, Mea and Parish. Since they were born, we’ve been getting together every other year to document the way they’ve changed and grown.

How We Met

The first time I photographed this photogenic duo, they were brand new and I fell completely in love. They were the first set of newborn twins I had the privilege of photographing. So not only are they a joy to work with, they’re a special memory of mine! When we get together, I’m always amazed at how much they’ve changed. As far as twins go, they couldn’t look more different–but you can always see just how much they love each other.

The Session

This year, we got together at my home where we took photos in my yard, on the porch, and in the alley. The twins had been sick on the original day we planned for the shoot. So we rescheduled for a weekday afterschool. Luckily, the weather was gorgeous and the kids were both in great spirits. I had a wonderful time showing them all my new “secret” photography spots, which were different than the last time we got together. It was funny, because though I know the public alleyway looks a bit unkempt, it always performs well in photos. Reassured mom that she’d be pleasantly surprised with how they turned out, and I wasn’t wrong! When she saw the images, she said, “I LOVE them. Wow –you’re not kidding. Your alley photographs very well.” That it certainly does. 😉

The Selection

The photos the family selected are going to be used as holiday gifts and cards, going out to friends and family this year.

 

Young boy, leaning against a porch railing for Secret Photography Spots A young girl stands by a brick wall in Washington DC for Secret Photography Spots Fraternal twins stand in an alleyway for Secret Photography Spots Fraternal twins stand in an alleyway for Secret Photography Spots

 


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: , , ,

The holiday season is a magical time for everyone. Finding the best ways to practice holiday season photography can be a little less so. Especially when you want to participate in the festivities, and be present for your family and friends. Trying to fumble through settings blindly or think of clever ways to engage everyone for a quick pic is the last thing you want to do. Why not try going in prepared?

Here are 8 tips to try out for stellar holiday season photography this year:

  1. Candid Holiday Moments

    The holiday season brings out some of the best candid moments of the year. To get your creative juices flowing in the right direction, here are some of my favorites:

    • Christmas Tree Lot. Or getting the tree ready, if you don’t have a living tree. There is so much joy and wonderment hidden in the faces of children during this event. Not to mention, nostalgia for those of us who’ve been around for a few of these.
    • Opening Gifts. Wrapping paper. Footie pajamas. Bed-head hair. What’s not to love?
    • Getting Santa’s Cookies Ready. Or lighting the menorah with your kids. Pick a holiday tradition your family celebrates to capture for years of memories. Even if you don’t do it every single year, you’ll always have a few good ones to reminisce on later.
    • Playing in the Snow. Snow doesn’t last long in DC, so sneaking out and getting great pics of your family having fun in it is something to cherish.
      winter photos
  2. Shoot a Story

    Instagram and SnapChat are definitely on to something. Think outside a single shot. Sometimes, telling a story with your photos can be just the thing to take your holiday shots to the next level.

  3. Capture Christmas Lights

    Much like snapping great shots of fireworks, getting the right balance for your holiday lights is key. Here are some important setting and tips to consider when shooting Christmas lights this season:

    • Shutter Speed – To capture great images of holiday lights, often a slower shutter speed is necessary. Somewhere between 1 to 2 seconds is perfect. Avoid blurring due to camera shake by carrying along a tripod to do the heavy lifting.
    • Aperture – To create beautiful bokeh images with holiday lights, drop your aperture speeds down. If you can, try to stay at f2.8 or lower for maximum effect. If you’re looking for more twinkle in your lights, use smaller apertures and long exposures to diffract the light and create starbursts.
    • ISO – With holiday lights, a good rule of thumb is to decrease your ISO and work with a lower setting to start. If the exposure isn’t quite where you need it to be, up it incrementally until you find your sweet spot.
    • White Balance – If you have a camera with automatic white balance, shut it off so you’re not toning down the rich, beautiful colors of the holiday lights.
    • Consider Timing – If taking outdoor light photos is a goal of yours, the best exposures generally happen right at the twilight hour. Not only will you get the beautiful lights, but it will also allow you to maintain some details in the shadows.
    • Ditch the Flash – There’s a time and a place for your flash, but it’s not while taking pictures of holiday lights. Shut it off and trust your settings.

      Holiday Season Photography - christmas lights

      ©Shaun Fisher with Creative Commons

  4. Fill Your Frame

    All too often, amateur photographers forget they can fill the frame with the important details. Taking a macro approach can drop out extraneous details unnecessary to the story of the image. Move in close and get the details that really count.

  5. Use Natural Light When Possible

    If you really want to capture the mood of the moment, foregoing the flash for a natural scene can do just that. Allowing the ambient light from the tree, or a fireplace to flood the scene is a beautiful way to take a warm, natural holiday photo.

  6. Holiday Props (are cute)

    Not all of your holiday photos have to be candid, in the moment fun. Some can be all about the gorgeous décor and holiday props you’ve decorated with. Pick a single object for the focal point and test out your canvas with creative macro shots.
    Little baby sitting next to Christmas Tree for Photography Myths

  7. The Festive Stage

    Go full spectrum with your setting, too. Capture your living room decorations, table settings, everything. Be sure to get those festive lights both inside and out.

  8. Have Fun

    Whatever the case might be, remember to have fun. Both planned and staged. If your family loves silly photos for holidays, try a photo booth decked out with a simple holiday backdrop and take turns getting photos taken. Remember, regardless of the fun images you work towards, don’t get too hung up on the perfect shot. Sometimes they work out and sometimes they don’t. The important thing is being there to enjoy the moment however it unfolds.

BONUS TIP: Don’t forget to charge your batteries the night before! You’d be surprised how often the best laid plans go to waste because you can’t even get the camera turned on. 😉

 


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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