Me and the boyWelcome to my blog! This is where I’ll post news about Julie Kubal Photography including sneak peeks of recent photo shoots, information about special deals for clients, and photo-related musings. Feel free to leave comments and shoot me questions.

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Monday, May 23, 2011 by Julie | Permalink

Little Madeline turned one year old back in August (you may have even seen my post wishing her a happy birthday). Her parents, Angie and Greg, and big brother, Tyler, have been long-time clients for almost 5 years now. We met for the first time when Tyler was just 6 months old and the family was living in the Washington, DC area. Their move the Baltimore didn’t end our relationship and luckily is close enough that I can continue documenting their family. We conducted her “official” one-year photo shoot in early September and it’s hard for me to believe that a whole year has passed since I first travelled up to their new digs for her newborn photography session.

They say time flies when you’re having fun, but I’d say it flies even faster when you’re the one behind the camera! Not to mention the amazing growth and change that takes place in the first years of life – thank goodness aging slows down for those of us on the adult side of the spectrum! The last time I saw Madeline during her 6 month photo shoot she was just starting to sit up on her own and now she is running around, constantly on the move – a bundle of energy and joy that barely keeps from busting at the seams.

As all moms know, babies can be exhausting. But a little one who is just learning to walk and discovering the miracle of mobility – that’s hard to keep up with! They want to explore everything and don’t yet understand the concept of staying put when there is so much to see and do.  That was the case for little Madeline until it was clear she needed to take a little break before I was done taking pictures.

While Maddie was taking a cat nap, I was able to sneak some time with Tyler to capture these images of him and surprise his parents at our viewing session last weekend. It was so gratifying to see their reaction when I shared the images with them!

I would be remiss to leave out the beloved K9 family member, Molly, who got in on the action after nap time.  Even when Madeline lunged toward her to grab onto a big floppy ear, Molly remained calm, with her soft brown eyes staring at the tiny little girl. Then with one fell swoop she planted a BIG doggie smooch right on Madeline’s lips.

Everyone who knows this family knows what big Disney fans they are. So for the last part of the child photo session, we did a final outfit change into her Alice costume, which she had worn for her Alice in Wonderland themed b’day party.

One of the biggest joys of conducting a child photo session is building long-lasting relationships with clients and seeing them again each year, watching as they grow and change, and capturing on film life’s special moments. So, before any more time flies by, I’m so glad to wish this wonderful girl a very, very Happy Birthday!

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As a Washington DC newborn photographer, I’m never quite sure where my next photo shoot will take me. With my latest newborn photo session, the commute could have involved nothing more than a short walk down the street to meet my neighbors Katie and Tom who had just welcomed their new baby girl Abby home, but I admit I had to drive just to transport all the photography gear needed for the shoot.

On what was a particularly hot summer day, I could not have been more thankful to have been indoors. Together the four of us reveled in the air conditioned house, and played a game of pass the baby: from mom’s soft embrace to dad’s loving touch to a mini-nap atop a vine-patterned bedspread. As we shuffled from room to room, wrapping blankets and arms around her, Abby hardly stirred. From time to time her eyes would flutter open, only to drift closed once more. Abby was at peace wherever we placed her.

Having run through a variety of poses, this newborn photo shoot came down to one final task: capturing a portrait of little Abby with beloved dog, Cocoa.  And while Abby is the firstborn baby, it’s already evident that she is in excellent company: two adoring parents to keep her loved and a gentle watch dog to keep her safe.

It was a pleasure discovering my new neighbors, Katie and Tom, and spending an afternoon with the very newest addition to their growing family, Abigail. Until our next shoot together, I’m leaving it up to Cocoa to keep her eyes wide open as this little girl makes her way in the world.

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Notice something different??
It’s true.  This is not my usual blog post, because I’m hoping to provide new kinds of useful content and this is just the first of many new articles that I will be rolling out in the upcoming months.
Tell me what you think in the comments section below! 


Staring down the barrel of a photographer’s lens is enough to make anyone  a little body conscious. Having worked in Washington DC family photography for more than 6 years, I can confidently say that the only subjects who are never camera shy are the newborns who hardly even know I’m there. Moms in particular can be especially hard on themselves, which is why part of my job is to put them at ease and guide them to the best poses.

Thankfully, there are a number of ways to accentuate your beauty – and none of them involve squeezing into a pair of Spanx or crash dieting for weeks in advance. My experience has also taught me a few slick tricks for finding the most flattering poses and I’m here to share them now with you. If you’ve been a client or taken one of my Snap Happy Class, then you will have heard some of these tips before. Try a few out during your next family portrait session and let me know how they work for you!

 

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Start with good posture

A common command in yoga class is to breath out as you press your shoulders back and down.  Do this right before your photo and you’ll achieve nearly perfect posture. (Okay, maybe this isn’t a fair example, because the subject is actually doing yoga.)

Keep your legs together

Yes, your mom was right – you have got to keep your legs together! A wide stance can make it look as though you’re a linebacker ready to charge the camera, but by keeping your feet close together – even crossed at the ankles – you’ll achieve a very feminine look.

 

 

 

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Work the angles

Slightly tilting your head to the side can make a world of difference in a finished family portrait. Facing the camera front-on runs the risk of producing a rather unpleasant mug shot effect. Try angling your body 45 degrees from the camera and tipping your head to show a ⅔ view of your face. Then from the hips, turn your chest back toward the camera. Facing the camera head-on always shows your widest view, but turning at as little as a 45 degree angle will slim you from your face to your waist and all the way down.

Lean in

Fight your natural tendency to pull away and instead force yourself to hinge slightly at the hips and lean in towards the camera. This will stretch out your body and will add a sense of curvature and motion to the posture.

 

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Fight the Double Chin

Any woman over the age of 20 knows the horror of the unintentional double chin, particularly when it is captured in a family portrait. Simply lift your chin up and out slightly. You’ll find that this simple trick elongates your neck and defines your jawline, eliminating the threat of the double chin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

portrait of Washington DC family by Julie Kubal

Dress for Success

When you’re wearing clothes you love, your body emanates comfort and confidence. Waist lines should let you breath, shirts  should not be straight jackets, and hemlines should hide all family secrets…if you know what I mean. Check out my wardrobe tips for family portraits for more style savviness.


 

Julie Kubal family portraits Washington D.C.

 

About the Author:

Julie Kubal is a child and family 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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Now that school is back in session and Sasha, my 6-year-old son, is back in the classroom I have some time to catch up on the photo sessions that took place over the summer. Because baby Grace’s parents, Greg and Christina, announced that they were embarking on a social media fast throughout August, I held back this post until now. So, without further ado – I present my latest newborn photography Washington D.C. and the beautiful Grace Tindale.

Julie Kubal newborn photography washington D.C.

I have known Greg and Christina for many years – long before tiny Grace ever discovered her tiny toes. As our realtors, the Tindales have lent their expertise and compassion to help numerous members of my family buy and sell homes over the years.

But it was never only just realestate between us. While my husband learned improv from Greg at the Washington Improv Theater, I joined Christina in her small business networking group and became inspired by how the Tindale realtor duo approached building their business. For the Tindale Team, business was all about building relationships and nurturing them throughout the years, and they inspired me to construct my company on the same foundation.

Though business took them away from the Washington D.C. area, the two moved back just in time for me to photograph their new baby girl, Grace. Only four months old and Grace already has the world at her feet, one glance with those stunning saucer eyes and the whole world seems to come to a hault.

Whether Grace was wrapped up in mama’s arms, or rolling around in her crib, she never took her big brown eyes off of me. And when mom and dad shared a kiss on the couch, Grace was completely scandalized – eyebrows raised, mouth open, and eye’s demanding, “are they allowed to do that!?”

I will have the pleasure of photographing Grace two more times this year, documenting her growing up and capturing her eyes and legs and hands as they begin to explore the world even more. And Greg and Christina and I will be working together once again, but this time to create some special artwork for them to display their newborn photography Washington D.C. in their new home.

Until then, congratulations to the Tindales for surviving their social media fast, which ended just in time to share these adorable photos with their friends and family!

Julie Kubal newborn photography washington D.C.

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Julie Kubal newborn photography washington D.C. Julie Kubal newborn photography washington D.C.


 

Julie Kubal family portraits Washington D.C.

 

About the Author: 

Julie Kubal is a child and family photographer serving Washington D.C., 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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Notice something different??
It’s true.  This is not my usual blog post, because I’m hoping to provide new kinds of useful content and this is just the first of many new articles that I will be rolling out in the upcoming months.
Tell me what you think in the comments section below! 


 

As a mom, I know that getting everyone dressed and out the door can be the struggle of a lifetime, even on a normal day.  So when it comes time to take family portraits it can be a scramble to find and choose the right ensembles to get everyone looking just right.

To avoid the nerve-wracking stress of deciding what to wear for your family portrait, I recommend planning one week in advance.  This gives you plenty of time to wash, iron, and purchase the pieces you’ll use. When every family member is wearing an outfit that him or her feel great, suddenly the smiles comes a little more naturally, shoulders loosen up, and everything comes together in a way you never thought possible.

Thankfully, after working with hundreds of families over the years, I’ve picked up on a few simple tips for dressing your crew. Keep them in mind when you’re preparing for this year’s family portraits!

 

5 Styling Tips for Family Portraits:

 

Washington DC family photography Julie Kubal - Dressing for Your Family Portrait Session

Tip #1 – Do a little scheming.

Choosing a color palette to coordinate your family is an excellent way to keep a cohesive look, while resisting the urge to be too matchy-matchy. Find color scheme inspiration on Pinterest or Design Seeds and then translate your palette into everyone’s wardrobe. Try to include some bold colors on top and some on the bottom, which will help the photo achieve a sense of balance. Also consider echoing tones through bold necklaces, shoes, shorts, and barrettes.

 

 

 

 

Washington DC family photography Julie Kubal - Dressing for Your Family Portrait SessionTip # 2 – Aim for 3D.

Layers and accessories add dimension to family portraits, but also give you the flexibility to incorporate a variety of color tones and fabric textures. Aim to have everyone’s outfit incorporate a minimum of 3 elements, which could be a skirt-cardigan-belt, or a jean-shirt-vest combo, for example.  An ensemble made of 3 elements always looks just a little bit more complete, while allowing each family member to have their own slightly unique look.

 

 

 

 

Washington DC family photography Julie Kubal - Dressing for Your Family Portrait SessionTip # 3 – Strike out beyond the Sunday best.

Looking dapper is great, but if your kids (or you!) are terrified of wrinkles in newly pressed pants, chances are their (and your) discomfort will ring through in the photos. If your children have a favorite piece of clothing, jewelry, or family heirloom consider working that touch of uniqueness into the photo. Looking back years from now, remembering their favorite pair of pink converse will be sweeter than even the slickest suit and tie. If you have a special piece in mind, make it the priority and coordinate other colors around it.

 

 

 

 

Washington DC family photography Julie Kubal - Dressing for Your Family Portrait SessionTip #4 – Know where your family portraits will hang out.

Making your photo session worth the investment means getting your images out of some forgotten computer file, and onto the wall where they can be enjoyed and admired. If your family portraits are destined for the wall or mantel, consider what how your outfits will work with the interior decorating. If walls are cream, mocha, or beige, consider some vibrant lively tones to make the images truly pop.

 

 

 

 

 

Washington DC family photography Julie Kubal - Dressing for Your Family Portrait Session

Tip #5 – Do a trial run & bring a backup.

Once you’ve narrowed down your looks, lay them out on the floor and snap a picture to see how you like the overall effect of your handiwork. You might notice that you’ve accidentally put everyone in solid colors, or that all the kids are wearing the same navy blue pants. Don’t panic. Just rearrange, adjust accessories, or send me a snapshot of your clothes so I can help! Either way, always come with at least one backup to the family portrait session – just in case you fall out of love with fuchsia at the last minute.

 

 


 

Julie Kubal family portraits Washington D.C.

 

About the Author: 

Julie Kubal is a child and family photographer serving Washington D.C., 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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Ada and I first crossed paths when she participated in my Snap Happy Workshop several months back, so when her husband Terry’s birthday rolled around she came to me with a creative way to mark the occasion with a family portrait session in nearby Rock Creek Park.

But in order for the family portrait to earn a place on the mantel, everyone needed to look their best.  Choosing the perfect outfit for a portrait session can be a challenge for anyone, but I find that moms in particular bear the brunt of the pressure. After all, not only does she have to find a flattering ensemble for herself, but she also has to dress and press the rest of the family.  If Ada was feeling the pressure however, she did an excellent job of keeping her cool. Prior to the shoot she consulted with me about clothing choices by sending me some quick snapshots taken on her cell phone.  Two points for cleverness?  I’d say so.

Ada’s preparation proved to be well worth the effort.  She chose a cohesive color palette that encompassed everyone: from the plaid pattern in Avi’s shorts, to Maya’s sunhat, to the necklace & earring set mom wore so well.  Not to mention that the vibrant colors that Ada selected played beautifully against the lush green backdrop of the scenic Peirce Mill in Rock Creek Park.

Mid springtime in Washington D.C. is an idyllic time to shoot a family portrait outdoors as nature does most of the work of providing the perfect backdrop.  Generally in these few final hours before sunset, the sky glows with a kind of peach colored light that adds a special warmth to every shot.  Yet, no matter how much we willed it to be otherwise, the weather had other plans for us.

Slowly but surely gray clouds cloaked the sky and the rumbling tones of thunderstorms loomed in the distance.  It can be a risky business partnering with Mother Nature on a photo shoot, but she kept herself in check long enough for us to capture some beautiful images of Avi and Maya with mom and dad.

Finding the perfect gift for a husband and father can be a very difficult.  After having spent an afternoon in the park with this beautiful family, I would say that Ada (and the kids) hit a home run and gave dad the perfect birthday present – the making of a memory.

Family Portait and Birthday Surprise

Family Portait and Birthday Surprise

Family Portait and Birthday Surprise

Family Portait and Birthday Surprise

Family Portait and Birthday Surprise

Family Portait and Birthday Surprise

Family Portait and Birthday Surprise

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Happy Birthday Madeline!

This tiny person just turned one yesterday! I cannot wait to see her in a couple of weeks to help mark the occasion with some photos. I wonder how much she’s grown since I last saw her in back in February. Happy birthday sweet girl!

Washington DC newborn photographerBaltimore baby photography by Julie Kubal

Sumona and I first met when she signed up for my Snap Happy Class several months ago.  During the one-day workshop together, we reviewed some practical techniques that she could apply to her everyday photography.  Since then she’s been working to spruce up the snapshots that she captures of her growing family.  Even though she’s finding her stride behind the camera, there still comes a time when it’s best to nestle up against your family on the front stoop and let someone else worry about the lighting, angles, and composition.  So when Sumona told me she wanted to capture some new family portraits with everyone together, I was more than happy to spend an afternoon at her Georgetown home.

Sumona and her husband Christopher were naturals, scooping their girls up into warm embraces and holding still just long enough for me to click and capture a piece of their world.  That is the beauty of shooting family portraits right at home.  The poses arise organically and the smiles portray nothing but love and warmth.

Not to mention that we couldn’t have been graced with a more perfect day.  It was one of those luscious spring evenings when the sun itself seems to collaborate in the shoot by dousing us in gorgeous golden light.  And while those precious short hours are a photographer’s dream, they also present a challenge when it comes to working with young children whose bedtime is fast approaching.

After a little song and dance behind the camera, everyone stayed cued in to the end of the shoot. Little Usha, age 1, was content to jingle and jangle away at a keychain – save for a few tired gazes, and big sister Uma, age 5, stayed engaged long enough for me to capture her deep brown eyes and tender smile.

As I sat down to edit this collection, flipping through every image impressed upon me just how wonderfully natural this family is in each other’s arms.   The strong bond between them is just as evident in the pixels as it was in the moment.

It was a pleasure to share these few golden hours with Sumona, Christopher, and to take part in a personal moment during our family portrait session together.

Family Portraits in Georgetown

Family Portraits in Georgetown

Family Portraits in GeorgetownFamily Portraits in Georgetown

 

Family Portraits in Georgetown

Family Portraits in Georgetown

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Thinking of June today on her fourth birthday and remembering this joyful photo of her playing on her backyard swing.  Happy birthday June!

child photography in Chevy Chase, MD by Julie Kubal

Sophia Turns Four!

Another one of my favorite little girls who I’ve photographed over the years is having a birthday today. Wishing Sophia a very happy birthday!

Below is fun progression of images showing how she’s growing up from just before her first birthday, then at age two, and then at age three. What I love about these pictures is the glint of excitement and mischief you can see in her eyes, even from when she was a baby. Can’t wait to see her again this year!

 

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photo of family in Old Town, Alexandria

 

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