Asher {Newborn}

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There is something special when first time clients become second, third, and hopefully life time clients. I met the Lainharts for the first time at their mini session this past fall when Nicole rocked some incredible high heels for their family and also mini maternity session. I knew I was going to like this family immediately, especially when their sweet girl Nyla started warming up to me. Finally Asher came into the world and boy was the entire family smitten.

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Nyla for sure will be an incredible big sister. She was so attentive to her brothers needs and made sure that he was comfortable for his session.

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This little family looked a bit more complete and cozy with this new addition.

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Both mom and dad enjoyed a few uninterrupted cuddles with Asher – well as uninterrupted life with an excited big sister can be!

My favorite moment of the session was when Nyla went to her room to grab her camera. She brought it into the room and started to “help” me pose and guide the session. If I’m not available for your next session – I would recommend this sweet little lady!

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Cherish your sweet moments with your little man.

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Jack is 6! {birthday}

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Every so often, I get a last minute request – followed up with a “I trust you, as you are the creative.” And this session was truly a creative sweet spot – especially when the location fits the love of the sweet little guy who just turned 6!

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While jack loved this triceratops, the real dino that intrigued him was the T-rex!

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While, dinosaurs might be Jack’s interest, his real love is his Momma. And this woman is one of the best boy moms around!

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Jack, I wish you the happiest of birthdays and hope you continue to view the world with binoculars!

Gunter {Family} . Jewel Box

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Once in a while you get stunning light, mixed with  bright fun outfits, and add a dash of giggles. A photographer can only smile and beam with the joy when that perfect recipe is created.

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Those sweet smiles that are exchanged between a husband and wife who actually have a second to embrace are the most real and relaxed moments they might have all day.

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But the star of the show is this sweet girl. She rocked her 4 year old session. Each expression she shared was filled with joy, kindness, and a bit of sass. Which is everything that makes up a little girl.

You can tell that she loves being the sole attention of each of her parents.

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Happy sweet 4 years, dear girl. I wish many more years of family snuggles and joy filled laughter.

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The Crain {Family} 2016 + 2017

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One of the greatest joys in being a photographer is seeing families grow. Photographing engagements, then weddings, and then babies (and sometimes multiple babies). I had the honor of photographing the Crains last year and then again this past December. However, there were some major changes in a year… and I believe you will love the change. I’ll give you a hint : he is a 10 lbs, adorable, and cuddly. Keep on scrolling to see!

2016:

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2018 (and the big change):

Stunning Emily and strong Stephen became PARENTS! I loved that they continued the plaid trend and I even got a few baby snuggles in = Big Win!

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One thing I adore about these two is the ability to look so natural as a couple in front of a camera. I told them to go be cute, and this is what I got. Perfection.

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And this little guy is the big surprise…

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I was thankful to steal a few snuggles from this happy guy at our session. Seriously, babies are the best. Can I get an Amen?

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St. Louis Christmas To Do List {Personal}

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Christmas is probably one of the most magical times of the year. I am mesmerized by the lights around the neighborhood. The kindness that is offered by complete strangers. And thankfulness of the hope and faith of the season.

I know that the season can also get busy, but if you are new to the area, or just want to get reacquainted to all the fun the city of St. Louis holds, here is a list of my favorite St. Louis Christmas activities!

  • Garden Glow – Missouri Botanical Gardens
    While it might be a little costly for a family, the views are stunning. It is truly magical. I would suggest it might be best for a date night- and if so make sure you pick up a hot beverage before you enjoy the lights!
  • Santa Parade – Main Street St. Charles
    This event that happens every weekend during the holidays is basically a kiddo’s dream. I appreciate the historical nature of the Santa’s in their costumes and the street is decorated beautifully. This is a free event but give yourself time to travel as parking can be difficult.
  • Christmas Tea Party – London Tea Room or La Patisserie Chouquette
    Both locations have a fabulous formal tea that you need to register ahead for, but if you just want to enjoy a pot of tea (or their scrumptious desserts) with a friend that is encouraged as well!
  • Brewery Lights – Anhueser Busch Brewery
    AB does a great job incorporating adult beverages in all of their events and tours and the Brewery Lights aren’t any different. While there are children activities, I would recommend for a date night as well. The walking tour with a few samples is free – so double win! 
  • Ice Skating in Forest Park – Steinberg Skating Rink
    While I do not ice skate- seriously I am miserable on the ice and miserable to watch- others thoroughly enjoy this winter activity. It is a great way to burn some calories- or energy from your kiddos who are couped inside. They are cash only- so that is nice to remember.
  • Winter Wonderland Lights – Tilles Park
    This is a tradition for many families in St. Louis. I know as a kid I was packed in a vehicle and oooo’d and ahhhh’d as we went through the park. If you want to up your game you can also schedule a horse drawn carriage ride through the park. 
  • The Polar Express – Union Station
    Make the magic of the book come to life through this actual train ride. While this is an expensive trip for your littles it is full of fun for all!
  • Wild Lights – St. Louis Zoo
    The St. Louis Zoo + the magic of Christmas lights = instant fun! If you are looking for a fun event for your kids that burns off some energy and isn’t too expensive this might be the perfect option.

 

 

Do you have any other fun suggestions? If so leave them in the comments below!

Family Session vs Mini Session {Tips}

 

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The decision to specialize in families (and High School Seniors) is always made more apparent when I get into Mini Session season (aka get your lovely holiday photo taken!). I love seeing my returning clients families get bigger and older. It is a joy to hear their big accomplishments of the year.

Often, though, I get asked if a family should choose a mini session or an hour family session and perhaps this post will help guide you.


  • Are you looking for a photo just to put on your holiday card? Mini Session
  • Are you wanting to bring a pet? Family Session (sometimes I can accommodate pets in minis but it can make the session feel a bit more rushed.)
  • Do you have a larger family (6+)? Family Session
  • Do you have younger children that have a shorter attention span? Mini Session – that 25 minute time span is perfect for them!
  • Do you want a specialized and unique experience? Family Session
  • Do you want to pick your own location? Family Session
  • Do you want props that focus on Christmas? Mini Session
  • Do you want to change outfits? Family Session

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Mini Sessions are 25 minute sessions that are typically one after another for a few hours. Each family typically gets 20-25 edited photos on an online gallery. The session is in one location that typically doesn’t have much variety.

Family Sessions are an hour long and is focused just on your family. Each family can pick any location in a 15 mile radius of St. Louis. Families can bring props and an outfit changed if they want. Each Family gets 50-60 edited photos on an online gallery.

My goal is to serve every family with a fun photography experience!

2017 Fall Mini Sessions . Forest Park

2017 Fall mini save the date

I love frolicking around in beautiful leaves and crisp weather (all while enjoying hot apple cider or a pumpkin spice latte). What I love even more is photographing my favorite families during this season.

Details:
October 22 + November 18
25 minutes || sessions in the morning and afternoon
20 Digital Prints with an online gallery
Print release
$100

The sessions will take place in Forest Park, St. Louis which boasts of a variety of views and beautiful autumn trees. To view some of last year’s minis – 1 , 2 , 3 .

To book your session: Email sweetsarahmariephotography@gmail.com
The October date is almost completely booked and November is filling up quickly!

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SSMP + Pinterest {business}

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Life is busy and often clients feel the expectation to have “perfect” photos – this can all be so overwhelming.

My goal is to make the preparation for photos to go incredibly smoothly! In order to do so, I like to share with my clients some of our pinterest boards so that they can breathe easy when planning outfits and deciding how to use their photos in their home.

Here are links to some of our Pinterest boards!

If you have any ideas of topics that I can add pins on, please let me know. My goal is always to make the session and prep as seamless and fun as possible!

2017 Fall Mini Session {Save The Date}

2017 Fall mini save the date

There are few things I enjoy more than back to back to back sessions of some of the cutest families ever- especially when they are returning clients that I have seen grow over the past three years.

I am so excited to announce the dates for my 2017 Fall Mini Sessions. I’m still working on location but inquire to reserve your date and time today!

To inquire : email sweetsarahmariephotography@gmail.com

Creve Coeur Camera Photopalooza {Workshop Recap}

Over the past few years I have been amazed at the way incredible photographers come around others and share their gift and knowledge. I’ve seen this through the Rising Tide Society (2016 Styled Shoot) and recently through Creve Coeur Camera’s Photopalooza. I was honored to sit in on the sessions with Stephanie Cotta and Trent Broglin.

Bridal Posing with Trent Broglin

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Trent’s Tips for posing:

  • When you ask your bride to laugh- laugh with her!
  • You can do every pose without making the bride move her feet.
  • Always elongate your bride. Be mindful of her body and her angles.

Our model was gorgeous (as they always are) and she was a brave woman as it was hot! Did I mention it was 107 degrees this day? She rocked that dress.

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Outdoor Child Photography with Stephanie Cotta

Now this was a session I was looking for, however I’ve mostly seen her name around Newborn Photography. While she might specialize in newborn, but she wowed us in child photography as well. And if I could be BFF with anyone it might be Stephanie. She is super down to earth and answers questions with honesty, humility, and with a laugh.

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Stephanie’s Tips for Child Photography Posing:

  • Bribery always works – bring smarties!
  • Also bring a few key props- something with movement and a seat (bench/chair/etc.).
  • Get in a pose and then add a simple movement to it.
  • Little kids need to be guided on where to put their hands. Pockets are great for boys and girls can hold on to their dress or parents hand.

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If you attended photopalooza this year, tell me your favorite session in the comments. Some suggestions for people who attend it next year:

  • Make sure you sign up for the sessions early!
  • Go with a friend. You will meet a ton of wonderful photographers but it is nice to go with someone you know. I would encourage you to go to different sessions and compare notes during breaks.
  • Plan food options. There are a ton of local restaurants to check out.
  • Take advantage of the great discounts that day. Go in with a list of items you are looking to buy and price things out while you are there. You might get a really great deal.
  • Talk to the vendors there. Want to know what new products Nikon is putting out? More than likely a representative might be there to chat up.
  • Bring a notebook. These sessions are top notch and you will take in so much, so bring something to write down all of the tips they share.
  • Network with your session leaders and other attendees. St. Louis is smaller than you think so go meet your fellow photographers and remember that #communityovercompetition is key!