With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the Erikson family has the adorable style to set the tone for celebration. Twins Sonia and Eve are always dressed in bright, fun clothing and this photo shoot was no exception.

I’ve been photographing this beautiful family for many years now. In fact, my first visit with them was just before Sonia and Eve’s 1st birthday, back in 2010. I’ve been so lucky to have the Eriksons come to see me for the past several years to document the girls as they grow into beautiful young ladies. This process has turned into lovely holiday cards, gifts, and other keepsakes for everyone to enjoy for years to come.

Sonia and Eve used to attend the same school as my son, so I would run into them frequently. Now that they’ve moved on, I still see them around the neighborhood every so often and I’m always amazed at how much they’ve grown since our last visit.

Before this session, I was thinking about the progression of family photos we’ve done over the years, which helps me come up with new ideas. This time around, we explored snapping shots of the family at my home, in the alleyway, the backyard, and even the sidewalk. It was a fun challenge to use the limited space I have to find new ways to photograph them, while still keeping the photos fresh and interesting. I love that I never have to worry about how to get the girls to smile, because Dad always helps me out with silly jokes to get the girls to laugh. (Thanks, Dan!)

Soon the Eriksons will be moving to a new home near Rock Creek Park and I’m already looking forward to finding new spots around their home and/or near the park to document this momentous new stage in 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!

 

 

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You know, this was a really hard one for me. How do you narrow down your entire young child’s life into only five moments on film (or pixels)? Especially when there are so many fantastic ones to choose from? In fact, it was so hard I had to narrow the topic from your child’s whole life, down to your young child’s life. Otherwise, we’d have to include the obvious ones of learning to drive, prom, and graduation into the mix.

For young kids, there are some really glorious moments, even magical ones you won’t want to miss capturing for your child and nostalgia’s sake. Sometimes we miss them in our sleep deprived, and going-through-the-motions mindset. Luckily for you, I’m here to make sure you don’t miss these special moments.

  1. Before they arrive.

    As a mom, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the impending arrival of a little one, all the while forgetting they’re growing inside you. Taking photos of the way your body changes, the moments proceeding baby’s arrival, can be absolutely stunning when done right. I know a lot of moms can be self-conscious during this time, but trust me; this is one of those moments you won’t want to forget. This is a time to cherish with images of you bringing life into this world.

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  2. First week at home.

    Memories you won’t want to miss happen in the hazy moments of the very first week home from the hospital. Tiny hands, tiny toes, and little bottoms. Newborn babies change so dramatically in the first couple of weeks. If you miss this one, your newborn son or daughter will be almost a totally different baby by the time you get around to it. I know you’re tired, and your routine hasn’t been established yet, but you’ll look back in the years to follow and be so thankful you took the time.

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  3. Meeting the siblings.

    There is something magical in watching your older children meet their new sibling for the very first time. You witness a sense of wonder and astonishment as they get a sense –perhaps for the first time- just how miraculous life can be. You won’t want to miss the looks on their faces as they ask you if “they were ever this little” or when they take their new sibling’s tiny hands in their own. This moment between siblings is priceless.

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  4. Learning to walk.

    Is there anything more adorable than the swagger of a newbie walker? It’s so much fun to witness the look of determination, excitement, and even a little hint of mischief in your child’s face as they go mobile for the first time. This is such a momentous occasion, as your baby transitions from an infant to a full-blown toddler. You certainly don’t want to miss it!

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  5. First birthday.

    Here it is! The first big birthday of many to come! This adorable memory is so much fun from the moment it begins. Not only does your little one have a ton of personality by this point, but there are so many fantastic ways to capture it on film. From the party decorations, the guests who come to celebrate, the smashing of their first birthday cake, to being covered in it, and crashing after the sugar rush – this day is one of non-stop adorableness in the making.

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Now you have my top picks you don’t want to miss, but there are so many more! What photo memories do you make sure to capture of your young child’s life? Are there any you’d add to my list?


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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Over the course of a typical family photo session, I sometimes have the opportunity to take a few photographs of mom and dad alone without the kids, but it’s rare that I get to spend an entire photo session focusing on an adult couple. The shoot with this wonderful duo was an exception to the rule. Celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary, Ed Jenkins and Nancy Silva are dear friends of my longtime clients, Adam and Margot Price. Because of this, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Ed and Nancy once or twice over the many years I’ve worked with the Prices. In fact, I even photographed the Prices with their eldest daughter Vivienne at Ed and Nancy’s home a few years ago.

With their milestone anniversary coming up, Nancy was eager to enlist my portrait photography services knowing that she could entrust me for this special occasion. The couple already has photographs commemorating other anniversaries and wanted to continue this beautiful tradition to celebrate their many years together.

One benefit of working with adults is their cooperation and ability to follow instructions. 😉 Though I love photographing kids, it was a nice change of pace to work with this pair. We met at the couple’s home in Falls Church, and captured some lovely photos. Nancy had even consulted me about clothing choices ahead of time, and picked elegant attire. She looked smashing with her hair and makeup done professionally, too. Wouldn’t you say?

An interesting challenge was finding poses to accommodate for the height difference between Nancy and Ed, since Ed is quite a bit taller. It’s not dissimilar to the challenge of posing families that include parents and small children. The key is finding positions that look natural where the difference is not so pronounced, such as having the taller subject seated or seating the couple together.

They’ll be adding to their special collection of commemorative photos from previous anniversary photo shoots with some lovely framed prints, as well as a small album of the rest of their favorites from our session together.

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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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Snap Happy Family Photography Workshop Julie Kubal Photography Washington DC

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

Blaming your digital camera for sub-par pictures?

Sick of settling for blurry, dim, unflattering images that make you cringe?

Know you need to read your camera’s manual but can’t make it past page 2?

Here’s the secret: it’s not about your equipment, it’s about being EQUIPPED with simple know-how. Documenting your life’s story and capturing precious moments from your children’s childhood goes beyond buying a digital camera, it requires knowing what to look for to set up a great shot at a moment’s notice. My clients hire me for family photo sessions and newborn portraits, but 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 in stunning snapshots. The Snap Happy Workshop provides practical tips that immediate improve your family snapshots.

What is Snap Happy: Photography 101?

This 90-minute hands-on workshop is designed to equip moms and dads with the photography fundamentals that capture spontaneous childhood moments with polish and prowess. The workshop translates theory into simple tricks that you can quickly apply to each family snapshot, regardless of what camera model you’re working with. Professional photographer Julie Kubal will teach you the skills and together you’ll put them into practice alongside other local parents.

Who should sign up for Snap Happy:

Snap Happy – Photography 101 is designed for busy moms and dads who want to take better pictures of their children and family. These parents have digital cameras and a desire for beautiful portraits, but struggle to find the right settings and strategies to create quality photographs.

Most parents take LOTS of photos of their kids, most of which aren’t worthy of sticking up on the fridge – movement is out of focus, kids are out of frame, and you can’t help but feel that something was lost in translation. Rather than snapping thousands of images and hoping one or two are worthy, Julie will teach you how to hone your focus, apply the same technique used by the professionals, and snap happy.

What you 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

Breast feeding center for greater washingtonWorkshop Details:

  • Time: 1 PM to 3 PM (90 minutes class with extra time for practice and Q&A)
  • Date: Saturday, Feb 13, 2016
  • Price: $60
    50% of your registration fee will be donated back to the Breast Feeding Center!
  • What to bring
    In order to participate in the Snap Happy workshop all you need is a camera (a DSLR is NOT required) and a positive attitude.

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Can’t make it to this Snap Happy Workshop, but dying to come to the next one? If so, sign up to receive announcements about upcoming events, photography specials, and photography tips straight from a pro! 

 


Professional Washington DC Photographer Julie KubalAbout Julie Kubal
Professional Washington DC Photographer

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! Learn more about Julie’s background in her recent interview with Contrario Collective!

I recently met with Matt and Elizabeth Howsare and their newborn daughter Abby for the first time, thanks to a friend’s referral. Elizabeth discovered my work through her friend Caroline Bonaviri when I photographed her newborn son Reed in September.

Matt and Elizabeth chose to capture their daughter Abby’s first year of life by booking a First Year Package and I’m privileged to be doing a series of photo sessions with them over the next several months; the next will be around six months old, and again at one-year-old. The whole year of photos will culminate in a beautiful heirloom album they’ll be able to enjoy in the years to come.

I met the Howsare family in their lovely home in Bethesda for our first shoot just after the new year. All the Christmas decorations still adorned the house to mark the time of year adding an extra special touch to the backdrop of many of the photos. Everything went very smoothly and Abby slept through nearly the entire session – making it a breeze to capture her with her parents, alone, and in several different settings. I was especially pleased to capture images of Abby’s nursery, which her parents so lovingly decorated. Nursery décor is quick to change as a baby grows, so it’s nice to have the beginnings documented. I was even able to get a couple of shots of the family feline, Spice. It’s near impossible to get a cat to cooperate during a photo shoot, since they like to do their own thing, but it helps when they’re caught unawares in the background. 😉

Once again, special thanks to the Bonaviri Family for referring the Howsare’s to Julie Kubal Photography!
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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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Hello, Everyone! I’m so excited to be back, sharing photos and great tips with you this year. You may have noticed my absence these past few months, but it was for good reason. This last holiday season was my absolute busiest on record since I started in 2008. Which is fabulous news of course, but it also meant I had to put my blog and newsletter on hold for a bit. Now that it’s over, I’m ready and focused to bring you some terrific tips and share some gorgeous photos with you.

Early this fall, I had the pleasure of meeting the wonderful Kelly Family. It was my pleasure to capture the essence of their family at their home in Dupont Circle before they moved on to bigger and better things. This gorgeous family of six includes Jessica and Matt Kelly, and their four children, Hank, Gus, Juniper, and Dylan.

I originally met Jessica when we partnered to do an event together at Gymboree Play and Music. At the time, Jessica was the Washington DC Community Manager for Urban Sitter. Thanks to her, Urban Sitter provided complimentary childcare to all of the attendees who joined in with my Snap Happy Class, hosted by Gymboree. It was a great environment for the kids to have fun playing at Gymboree, while their parents learned tips and tricks on how to take better pictures of their little ones.

After the addition of twins, Juniper and Dylan last year, Jessica and her family have been very busy. Not only had the twins not had any professional photos yet, but the family has been planning to move. They’re in the midst of having their new home constructed, but when they realized it may take longer to build than they anticipated, the Kelly family decided they needed to find an interim home that could accommodate their growing family.

As luck would have it, they found a place to rent on short notice, and suddenly their plans to move became a reality. Jessica realized they needed to capture memories of the home where their children first lived before it was too late, as well as taking pictures of the twins before they turned one. I’m so pleased she called on a whim to see if I was available to preserve this special memory for them.

One of the exciting things for me, was the challenge of photographing a family with four children. It was fun capturing everyone together and alone in the short time we had, and I’m very pleased with the results.

It’s still going to be a little while before the Kelly family moves into their permanent home, but they’ll be able to look back at these photos with fond memories.

 

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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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When my son Sasha was a toddler, I took him to Amy Despres’s Miss Amy’s Music Makers classes in Washington D.C. Sasha loved those classes, and the memories I have of the two of us there together are so special.

A while back Amy heard I was a child and family photographer, and she contacted me to set up a shoot. Amy wanted to have photos taken of her leading a class to display on her website. When a colleague of hers, Silvia Ferro, saw the photos, she also reached out to me. Silvia was looking to have similar photos taken of her leading a Music Together class. 

I sat in on a class with Silvia, and was instantly reminded of the Miss Amy I had such fond memories of. Silvia’s love of music was infectious, and her enthusiasm for teaching was undeniable. While sitting in the class, it was apparent how much the kids and parents enjoyed her, and I was thrilled to see how well that enjoyment translated onto the photographs here. 

Silvia recently moved to Southern France, where she plans to start a Music Together program. She plans to use the photos from our shoot to launch her own website. 

I wish you all the success in the world, Silvia! I have no doubt that your music program will be a success, and I look forward to seeing your website up and running. 

 


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!

I often speak about my gratitude for being able to work as a newborn photographer. Capturing the earliest stage of a little human’s life is a special and unique circumstance, and I am always grateful to the families I work with that I am able to share in that fleeting time with them.

Newborn photos, similar to newborns themselves, are inherently unique. No matter what pose you hope to capture, prop you wish to include, or setting you aim to shoot with, the baby’s unique characteristics often shape the result, and the outcome is a photograph that demonstrates the beginnings of your little one’s burgeoning personality.

However, as their tiny bodies rapidly change, many parents wish to preserve this early stage with a variety of uses for their newborn portraits. There is no shortage of ways to use newborn photographs, and in the time I have spent working with parents, I have come across a variety of unique and creative ideas.

  1. Birth announcements. There is no better way to announce the arrival of your little one then with birth announcements. Now as fashionable, diverse, and traditional as holiday photos, using newborn photos in birth announcements is a perfect way to personalize the card, and introduce your new baby.
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  2. Album or baby book. The best way to remember baby’s growth and development is to capture it with photographs. An album is a great way to record his or her progress, and to make a keepsake collection of photographs. As your newborn grows, you can continue to add baby photos and family photography, creating a special family tradition you can share with your child as he or she gets older.
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  3. A gallery wall. This fashionable trend is a great way to showcase your baby while partaking in a method of home decor. Photography as a wall art has always been popular, however using a series of photos to create a gallery space is a great way to keep your wall feeling cohesive without appearing overdone.Wesley_Hurt - Room - Screen Grab
  4. Holiday cards. Holiday cards are a great opportunity to share these special photos with friends and family. If your baby is still relatively new around the holiday season, cards are a great way to share an update, and if baby is a bit older, using the newborn shots is a great opportunity to reminisce those early days.
  5. Wasylak_card_outside_finalWasylak_card_inside_final Give them as gifts. While it may not work for everyone on your list, family and close friends will love a gift that includes a photograph of your new baby. Framing their favorite photo is a great way to make a special photo a unique and personalized gift.

11x14 mat with 8x10 print

How did you use your baby’s newborn photographs? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

 


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!

Bonaviri Newborn Photography

At the end of September Caroline and Micah introduced me to their brand new son, Reed Alexander, born less than a week before our photo session. The Bonaviri’s had selected a First Year Series package, and this shoot is the first of three different sessions we will complete over the next year.

It didn’t take much time around Caroline and Micah to see the beautiful relationship these two share, and their wonderment towards baby Reed. Looking back through the photos, their love for each other and excitement towards being new parents truly shines.

Two weeks after the session, I met with Caroline and Micah for the viewing session. The couple were amazed how tiny Reed looked in the photos, and couldn’t believe how much he had grown in such a short time.

These changes are one of the many reasons I love newborn photography and working together with families on a photographic series throughout the first year. There is nothing like being able to witness the development of a tiny little human, and the remarkable transformations they experience over the first year of life. The changes that Caroline and Micah see after just two weeks will only continue to become more pronounced, and being able to capture this time is nothing short of rewarding.

As a huge Red Sox fan, it seemed only natural that Micah would gear Reed up in his first Red Sox hat. This special photo, along with another from our session of Reed donned in the hat, will be framed and hung in the family room of the Bonaviri family’s new home.  The remaining photos, along with images from two more sessions still to come in the first year of Reed’s life, will be compiled in an heirloom album, something the couple is looking forward to having.

Special thanks to Daisy Baby, a darling store in Bethesda, Maryland, that referred the Bonaviri’s to Julie Kubal 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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