children playing on a fence in a kids summer photo ideaCapturing your family’s summer fun on film is not only a great for remembering the good times together, but it also helps you to be more engaged with your kids in the present moment. This especially true when we slow down and cherish the little, everyday summer fun children have. There are literally thousands of kids summer photo ideas that could be captured in a single day, let alone all summer. Here are some of my favorites:

  1. Secret Photo Ops – Wonder and amazement run rampant during summer vacation—particularly when kids get to see things they’ve never seen before. If you’re headed off to the zoo, aquarium, museum, or festival, capture your kids in the midst of amazement. Take a photo of them from behind while they’re tiptoed and looking over a railing at a new animal. Move off to the side while they play with the juggler at the fair. It’s okay to be a little sneaky in every day moments, too. There’s something really beautiful about capturing your kids in their natural state, enjoying the everyday pleasures in their world right now.
  2. While they Play – Playtime is a great time to snap up some adorable shots. Whether it’s at child playing with a ball in kids summer photo ideaa lake, a water park, playing at the park, or throwing a water balloon—take a few moments to let your kids do their thing. Then you do yours! Let them get comfortable playing before you take any pictures, so you get their most authentic selves as they play.
  3. Little Explorers – Whether you’re hiking, picking flowers, or searching for beautiful rocks, nothing could be more delightful than capturing these moments of your kiddos being the little explorers they are. Every day there are new things to figure out with their senses, so luckily for you, every day opens up a world of possibilities for your camera.
  4. In Locomotion – Running, skipping, jumping, biking; this is the time to capture all of the fun ways your kids are on the move. As they get older, your kids will want to remember all of those times they got away from electronics to enjoy the summer sun and move their bodies. Trust me, you’ll want to remember it too!
  5. In the Dirt and at the Beach – Getting messy and wet is all part of the summer allure. Kids love playing in the dirt, building sand castles at the beach, and splashing in the water. There are little boy at the beach wearing goggles and swimming in the ocean with thousands of photo opportunities up for grabs while they get down and dirty, or wet and wild. Don’t forget – sunset is a unique opportunity to take photos while they play. The back lighting from the sun, mixed with the colors of the sky will make those little silhouettes really stand out.

Remember, it’s okay to get involved and have someone else take a photo, too. Snap one of Dad, then hand him the camera. Or ask someone nearby if they wouldn’t mind clicking a couple. The main thing to remember is to slow down, enjoy the time you have together, and look for some of the simple moments you can photograph so the memories last forever. Every day is boundless with kids summer photo ideas, so if you miss one, don’t worry–there will be more tomorrow.

 


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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This was the first time I had the pleasure of photographing the Islinger family, and it’s all thanks to my wonderful client Teresa Bernstein who invited the Islingers along with a 3rd family, Elizabeth Betta and her son Leo, (whose photos I’ll be publishing soon as well) to join her for my new Mini-Session Mixer offering. As with the Bernsteins, the Islinger photo shoot on took place on the grounds of the Washington National Cathedral.

Nicole wanted a great family photo, plus nice ones of the kids on their own. Before we got together, she thought getting photos of the whole family would be a complicated affair. Sometimes it can be a challenge when you have three little ones four years old and under. Luckily, the process went smoothly and she said she’d definitely want to do it again.

In all honesty, the Islingers made things very easy for me. Mom and dad helped keep the kids relaxed and engaged throughout our time together. On top of being super easy to photograph, I loved the casual, yet polished look of the clothing, along with color combinations they chose. Their outfits were a great example of a very simple approach to coordinating outfits without overthinking it. It totally worked!

For their full family photo, I was excited to try out the location in front of the stone wall at the Cathedral, and it turned out so well. The cascading ivy, combined with the fantastic outfits and their outgoing personalities make the composition really jive. I know it will be a favorite for them to have hanging on their wall. I also love the couple photo of Nicole and Eric together. There’s something so sweet in the way they embraced for that special little kiss.

The Islinger’s are moving soon, and Nicole mentioned they’d be interested in custom artwork to adorn their walls once they’re settled. I’m really looking forward to revisiting these images with them when the time comes. I was so pleased that the overall process was as great for them as it was fun for me. 😀

If you and your friends want to get together for a similar fun gathering, contact me about setting up your very own Mini-Session Mixer!

Mini-Session Mixer

Mini-Session Mixer Mini-Session Mixer Mini-Session Mixer


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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Snap Happy Family Photography Workshop Julie Kubal Photography Washington DC

Become YOUR Family’s Photographer
With a 90-minute PRIVATE Snap Happy Photography Workshop

 

My Private Snap Happy – Photography 101 Class is designed for busy moms and dads who want to take better pictures of their children and family. Maybe you blame your camera or smartphone for subpar photos. Or you’re sick of settling for blurry, unflattering images. Or perhaps you’re busy, but still want to capture all the fun. I get it, a lot of life happens when I’m not around. This workshop is designed to help you become YOUR family’s photographer and capture the moments you don’t want to forget in stunning snapshots.

My students learn some pretty amazing tips during my Snap Happy Classes. Because of this, it’s my pleasure to announce I’ll be available for these same terrific session in a more private setting – your own home! 


What you and your friends will learn:

  • Photography fundamentals to break free from pre-set shooting modes
  • Five simple strategies for setting up the perfect shot
  • How to work with all lighting levels
  • Key components of beautiful composition
  • How to organize and preserve your memories for headache free enjoyment

Host a Private Snap Happy Class!

It’s easy to host a Private Snap Happy Class! All you have to do is contact me to get the ball rolling. Here’s the details of what a Snap Happy Class will entail:

  • Sign up to be a host

    By hosting the event at your house, you’re opting in for some great tips and in return, your registration fee is complimentary. Sounds great, right?

  • Pick a day

    Decide on a day that works for you and your friends, then connect with me to coordinate.

  • Invite your friends*

    You create the guest list, I’ll bring my knowledge. Everyone will walk away with great tips and fun takeaways for taking better photos.

  • Registration fee

    Friends can snag their spots for just $60.

  • Have fun

    Once the day arrives, sit back and have a fun afternoon or evening with friends chatting, sharing, & learning about something you all love! You’ll never look at taking photos of your family the same way.

    Snap happy registration button-01

 

* A minimum of 6 students (including host) needed to hold a Private Snap Happy Class.

 

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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Show Your KidsA lot has changed since the last time I got together with this family. I originally met Tori (Mom) when my son and her daughter Colette were both just a few months old. We had joined a playgroup of moms and babies who lived in the neighborhood and she even became one of my very first clients. In fact, I have beautiful photos of Colette before she was even crawling yet. One of my favorites is this one of Colette with the tiny red heart pillow on a sheepskin run.

The Fishers now live in Virginia Beach, but Tori and I have kept in touch a bit over the years. Last year, Tori had another beautiful daughter, Alexandra (Lexi), and she got in touch wanting to do a photo shoot with the new baby and big sister. The session itself had a deeper meaning, too. Tori’s husband, Mike, is a Navy pilot and is slated to be stationed overseas for a year on an unaccompanied tour (which means, unfortunately, the family can’t go with him). As a special birthday present, Tori wanted to make sure they had photos of the whole family that Mike could take with him. In an interesting side note, Mike and I are both graduates of the US Naval Academy and I used to be a Naval aviator, too. It was cool to be able to relate with him on this and I’m thrilled he’ll be able to go away having these gorgeous photos of his daughter and step-daughter while he’s away.

Even though Tori comes up to Washington DC often for work, it’s no small feat to bring the two young girls with her. The couple owns a second home in Arlington, which is actually the location of this shoot, and it’s a huge compliment and honor that they choose to come out this way so they could work with me. Tori and the girls plan to move out to the Arlington house while Mike is stationed overseas and right now, the home is a blank slate. I’m looking forward to helping them plan out how to show off their precious photos and make the most out of their wall space.

The grounds of the Arlington home were absolutely gorgeous as a backdrop, as you can tell. After some winter-esque days, spring finally emerged from its slumber just days before the photo shoot. The temperature was warm enough to enjoy being outdoors amongst all the blooming flowers and plants. I love the photo of the sisters together in front of the bright splash of pink, As a funny side note, the couple had no idea when they bought the Arlington property, just how beautiful the grounds were. They’d bought it in winter, so all the blooms were a pleasant surprise and perfect for photographing the family around the property.

Little Lexi was a joy to work with as well as her big sister. As you can tell, both have those beautiful, big blue eyes that sparkle with joy and curiosity. You can see all the love and happiness seeping out of them in these images. Of the ones inside, Lexi shows off just how cute she is with her Mommy and Daddy by her side–and I know all of the images are ones Mike will treasure not only while he’s away, but for years to come. In the meantime, mom and I will be consulting soon on where to put the artwork when Tori and the girls move to Arlington this summer.

 

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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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After a cold, rainy April, we lucked out with a spring-like day to take photos of the Bernstein family. I originally met Teresa when her son Walt and my son were at Temple Sinai Nursery School together. Teresa booked me to take family photos when Arabella was just a few months old. We really hit it off and have stayed in touch over the years. When she was pregnant with her 3rd child, Bode, she consulted me about doing a newborn photo shoot and in the end, we crafted some beautiful newborn memories for her family to cherish.

In the past, I’ve worked very closely with Teresa to design artwork from their photo sessions. Recently, the Bernstein’s have built an addition on to their house and everything got rearranged into new spaces. We went back to Bode’s newborn session to add an additional gallery wrap to complete the new arrangement. At that time, Teresa started talking to me about wanting updated family photos now that Bode is a toddler and running around. I had just announced my new Mini-Session Mixer offering, where friends can get together and have a photo session at the same time. It sounded like the perfect way for us to accomplish getting the updated family images she envisioned. Teresa invited two friends and their families to partake in the mixer and all three families booked the session together.

For this session, all three families and I got together on the grounds of the Washington National Cathedral. While the 3pm sun in Washington DC isn’t always an ideal time for taking portraits, there was plenty of beautiful shady areas around the Cathedral grounds to make use of. I had even scouted out the grounds the day before and found a new spot to use as our backdrop, since it had plenty of shade to make up for the position of the sun at that time of day.

It can be hard to get toddlers to sit still long enough to be photographed, which was certainly the case this time. However, we managed to get some cute pics of Bode with his older brother and sister and Teresa’s choice of clothing worked fantastically together. Wouldn’t you say? I love the blues and the pop of green that Arabella brings to the mix.

I’m looking forward to our continued relationship and adding to the beautiful collection of family photos that Teresa has affectionately dubbed, “The Julie Kubal Wall.” 😀

Washington DC Mini Session Washington DC Mini Session Washington DC Mini Session Washington DC Mini Session Washington DC Mini 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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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!

Tags: , , ,

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!

Tags: , , , ,

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