Let's Talk TICKS {insert itching} | Batavia, N.Y. Family Photographer


As you all know I love me some unpolished foliage. Give me a field full of overgrown beautifulness and I am happy as a clam! Unfortunately, that also comes at a price. Winter is generally “off-season” for family photographers in Western, N.Y. simply because it just becomes too challenging to keep the little ones happy in the colder temps, so that means that everyone who is looking to update their family photos are typically having them done between the months of March and, at the latest, November. As you all know ticks are basically demons that live earth side and can cause some serious health issues. It is, as a mother and family photographer, incredibly important to me that I do everything in my power to protect the families who entrust me with the safety of their precious littles, and so I have decided to compile a list of things to do before and after your family photo session with your Batavia, N.Y. family photographer in attempts to prevent tick bites.


-Treat the clothing you will be wearing for your session with a repellant containing Permethrin. This product is typically good for up to 7 washes.

-(From the CDC website) Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellentsExternal containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone.

  • Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old.

  • Do not use products containing OLE or PMD on children under 3 years old.


-Take a lint roller (sticky kind) and run in all over yourself and your child(ren).

-Change your clothing asap!

-While I do suggest a constant check during your session, it is incredibly important to do a full body check right after your session. This means both yourself and your child(ren). In addition to the main areas of your body, be sure to check under your arms, in your hair, private region, and belly button. I would also suggest showering up to 2 hours post session as to remove any unattached ticks and to run your body check.

Also note: The transmission of Lyme Disease only occurs if the tick has been attached for 36-48 hours, so it is paramount you do an immediate check to prevent the spread of Lyme disease.

Now that I am all itchy just thinking about this, I hope that this post offers some valuable information for you and your family before, during, and after your next outdoor family photo session.

Why Your Batavia, N.Y. Family Photographer is so NOSEY!

Hilchey Family - Oakfield, N.Y. Family Portrait Session

Western NY Family Photographer

Many of times I get inquiries for sessions that look like this-

“Hi there! How much for a session?”

Listen! I’m not “Portrait Innovations” or “The Picture People”. One price does not fit all. There are many elements involved to decide what price your specific session would be. When you book with me you are booking a CUSTOM portrait experience. Now, what does that mean exactly?

Well, for starters I am not selling you this pose and that setup. I am creating images that are unique to you and your family. That includes, but is not limited to, clothing, location, “props”, desired images, etc…. You will find that when booking with me I ask A LOT of questions. Not just before booking but even during the planning process. Even more-so if I’ve never met you before. Every family has different needs and expectations for their session. That said, not everyone knows what to expect from a session. It is my job to educate you on what experience I offer and vice versa- to find out what experience you are looking for. I don’t do in-person, pre-consultations and so it is very important for me, and I hope my clients value this part of my service as well, that I learn as much about your family as I can so that I can capture genuine and unique images that tell your story. Simply put, it’s like commissioning an artist or even an interior designer. It’s important that you are specific about what you are looking for so that they can see your vision and produce the product.

This photo is a great example- Had mom never mentioned that her husband wanted a photo done at his fire department, I would have never thought to incorporate it into their session. As the daughter of a service woman (veteran/EMT), I know the impact that images like this can have. God forbid anything were to happen to him during a call they now have this photo to remember his dedication to the department and to the community.

So, if you book a family photo session with your Batavia, NY Family Photographer, aka- ME, please be extra transparent with your specific needs/wants. These images are special, but let’s make them a little extra special just for you!

Why Your Color Photograph Doesn't Look as good in B&W | Batavia NY Family Photographer

Do you love Black & White photographs?

I know I do! There are times when I get special requests to convert a color photo to black and white. You see, when I edit my photos, I give every family their gallery in all color edits with the exception of a few that I will convert to Black & White, but only if I think the photo can handle the conversion. So, because of the way I edit and the requests I’ve received, I decided to do a little write up about my “why” I don’t convert all of my images to Black & White.

To start, we need to define Dynamic Range- Dynamic Range has to do with, but is not limited to, the light being captured in a photograph. Simply put, an image created with a lot of light and a lot of shadow would be considered an image with a great deal of dynamic range (high contrast). These types of images covert to Black & White beautifully!

If you look below I have shown 2 examples. One has great dynamic range while the other, even though it’s a great shot, is 1000% better in color!

With that said, I will do a Black & White conversion if requested but, if you truly love Black & Whites and want them in your gallery, please let your photographer know this before your family portrait session. This way they can be fully prepared to photograph your family for the Black & White conversion.

Black & Whites are created in camera with the light and the location.

Currier Family | Batavia Family Photographers

Batavia, N.Y. Baker has a secret to share!

I had the pleasure of meeting Kirsten from KMC Cakes a few months back. She asked if I could photograph some display cakes for her shop.  She has some real talent, this one! Not only are her cakes super yummy, but the detail and design of her cakes are so intricate it's almost hard to believe they're edible! She made my son a Ninjago, Lego cake for his birthday and his face when he saw that thing is something I'll never forget.  She is worth every. single. cent!  She is based in Batavia, N.Y. but she works with families and wedding couples all over Western, N.Y. 

Now back to our regularly scheduled program......

Kirsten had mentioned to me that she wanted to have some family photos done, so we scheduled a date, and planned their family portrait session. Being a family photographer in Batavia, N.Y. this worked out splendidly.  Low and behold, she had a surprise for me! We had to re-planned their family session, and had SO MUCH FUN!

Sure, the bugs ate us alive at the beginning, but you'd never guess by their beautiful family photos.  I should also mention that their little 3 year old daughter was a riot.  She was so ready to show off her dance moves, running skills and bug catching.   See Kirsten's "secret recipe" below (along with all their adorable family photos). 

Pietrzykowski Family | Batavia Family Photographers

Check out this adorable little family!

Mom contacted me, get this....BY PHONE! What a concept. Nobody ever calls me anymore, lol. Anyways, I was super excited to chat with her about their session.  She was super open to just about any ideas I had and just wanted some photos of them as a family.  When we finally had the opportunity to meet (the day of their session), mom mentioned to me that her and her spouse are not very photogenic.  To me, love is always photogenic.  I eased her concern with my shooting style and it was going to be more natural and playful rather than super posey.  I don't know about you, but I think they ROCKED their family session! 

There was also a little pressure since I knew that this little family had driven a loooooooong way to be photographed.  See, dad just graduated from school to be a State Trooper.  They currently reside in the Adirondacks with hopes that they will soon be able to re-locate back home. Home being here near Batavia, N.Y.  

I was so relieved when mom sent me an email after they viewed their gallery that read, "Hello! First off, I just wanted to say thank you again for capturing memories of our family. You are hands down the most enjoyable photographer that we've worked with."

That made my day!

Scroll down to see their family photos that they selected as their favorites!

McLaughlin Family | Batavia Family Photographer

McLaughlin Family

This is Amy and her son. Amy is a devoted client, but more importantly, a friend.  I was so excited to offer these mommy and me sessions.  I originally didn't want to follow the 'trend' of mommy and me sessions, but as I was assembling my family album from all the photos we took in the year 2016, I noticed something. I was in very few images. NOT GOOD!  This then solidified the importance of having portraits done of just mom and her children.  Sure, when I do family sessions I take photos of just mom and her children, but how often do you usually update your family photos? Generally speaking, once a year if you remember to schedule a session with your photographer.  Typically families rely on snapshots from holidays, family gatherings, and birthdays to keep their growing families documented. Think about it, though. Who's usually missing from most of those images? MOM! It's not that she's not there. It's that she's playing photographer and by the time she realizes she would like an image with her in it, the children are pretty much done and ready to move on.

Amy understood my purpose and once she found out I was offering these sessions, she was on board 100%! Amy has shared her trials and tribulations of motherhood, as well as, her victories and accomplishments. She not only works hard in her business and community, she is devoted to this little boy of hers and would jump through fire just to see him smile.  Currently Amy and her husband are trying to grow their family and have had some really trying times in the process.  As a friend, it's really hard to watch the roller coaster of emotions that she is dealing with, but to see her face light up when things are going great, is a really fantastic experience; she's like a little kid on Christmas morning.  

I am so glad Amy decided to take some time for herself and her son to come out and document their love for one another with me as a photographer in Batavia, N.Y. She loves this little boy with all her heart and you can see that he is pretty smitten with her, too! Have a look at a few of the images that mom hand selected to share and display in their home.  I threw in a couple of my favorite as well.