The Importance of Family Portraits–New Canaan, CT


I remember standing in the lobby of a rustic lodge in Freycinet National Park, (in Tasmania, Australia), desperately trying to get a signal to send an email. One of my 2013 wedding clients had contacted me with an awesome request–would I be willing to do a family photo shoot (when I was back in the U.S.A) of her extended family, in honor of their grandmother’s 90th birthday? The only hitch was that her surprise birthday party was soon, and they needed a gift certificate to present to her. Finally, the email went through and I assured her that the minute that returned to Sydney, I would send along a gift card for Eleanor’s 90th birthday. I think there is no greater gift than a family photo session!

Fast forward a few months, and we finally found a date in early April that worked for everyone to meet, which involved gathering the troops from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and various parts of Connecticut. It’s not easy to coordinate something like this (we photographed their party of 14, ages ranging from 3-90!) but they made it happen. I wrote more about their photo session last week, you can check it out here.

I asked Meghan, whose beautiful Boston wedding I had the honor of photographing a year ago, to write a bit about why they chose a family portrait as her gift–I knew Eleanor valued photography–but what Meghan wrote blew me away. I had chills as I was reading it. It only emphasizes how rewarding it is for me to record these moments, and how photographs can hold significant importance and meaning, especially over time.

“As you know the Houle Family is very close, and Eleanor, age 90, is the pillar of the group. Her life is her family–daughters, grandsons, and great-grand kids. When you walk into the Houle house, you immediately see that every part of their lives is captured through pictures. They have photo albums, collages, old photographs, wedding pictures–from everyone. Eleanor’s room is a walk down memory lane in every aspect of her life–pictures surround her on all 4 walls, as well as on dressers and tucked into mirrors. Her husband passed away at a young age, (Mike and his brothers never met their Grandfather) so you can see the love they shared through her wedding photos that hang on her wall.

Eleanor turned 90 this year, and for a women who has it all, we struggled to brainstorm the perfect gift idea for her. Mike and I were just newlyweds and everyone was talking about and ordering our wedding photos. I mentioned to the family that since pictures are such a big part of Eleanor’s life, we should update the Houle Family photo. The last full family photo they had taken still hangs, yet it was taken 7 years ago and is missing 3 grandchildren and me. It was time to update! We rallied together to present the gift certificate for a photo session at her surprise 90th birthday party, and planned a date to get all 14 of us to create new and special moments for Eleanor to cherish for many years to come. We are now working on a huge family collage of photos from our session with Sarah (although there is not much wall space left!) to hang in Eleanor’s room.”

Thank you to Meghan and the entire Houle family for sharing your story, for motivating 14 of you fit a family photo session into your busy weekend of birthday parties and Palm Sunday mass, and for really understanding the value and true meaning of photographs. It was an honor to add to your storybook walls!

The Houle Family–New Canaan, CT


I first met the fabulous Houle clan last spring when photographing Meghan and Michael’s gorgeous Boston wedding, and this year they bestowed me with the honor of photographing their group of 14, ranging in age from 3-90 and representing four generations! The Houles are not only fun and easy to work with, but they also understand the importance of recording moments in time, of printing those memories, and filling their home with photographs. I was struck by how much bigger the four children were since the wedding last April and it reminded me how quickly time can sail by. The photo session was a 90th birthday gift to their mother/grandmother/great-grandmother, Eleanor. I’ll be blogging later this week about the wonderful meaning of this gift.

Family members traveled from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and various parts of Connecticut to our photo session at the beautiful Waveny Park in New Canaan. We found a perfect secret garden on the property–full of pathways, benches, gazebos, and brick walls. They fit the photo session into a weekend already packed with a 3rd birthday party and Palm Sunday mass. It wasn’t easy to get everyone motivated, dressed (in beautiful color coordination of navy and coral), and to the park on time, but they did it!  I was impressed. Houle family, I loved seeing you all again–you have a wonderful spirit and camaraderie and I’m so happy that Eleanor loved her gift.

 

Nantucket Portrait Sessions–Nantucket, MA

ACK! ACK! ACK! I can’t wait to get back out there and get my toes in the sand. This year I’m making it a bit of a working vacation, so contact me to book a portrait session–whether celebrating an engagement, a baby bump, or a new addition to your family.

I will be on island from June 26th -July 6th (stay tuned for August dates). I hold only 2 sessions a day, one in the morning and one in the early evening to take advantage of soft summer light. The island’s beach stairs, sea grass, lighthouses, and weathered wood are the best settings for your summer photographs! Call me to book and we’ll discuss the perfect location for your session in gorgeous summer light.

I’m offering a special deal for first time clients and throwing in some extras in the spirit of summer fun…Happy Summer!!

Thanks to the Dads–Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads out there. Dads are pretty great–they usually get to the be the fun ones who say YES all the time and who act like kids themselves while playing with their little ones! They are the best hand holders, shoulder-carriers, chasers, cheerleaders, luggage luggers, bike leaders, river crossers, wave jumpers, tickle monsters, and more! I can’t believe it’s been two years since my husband celebrated his first father’s day, and my dad is celebrating his 40th (and 34 years of putting up with all four of his kids–I’m impressed!)

To DG–It’s been a year of adventure for all of us, and of accomplishment for you–and it’s been a joy to share both. Witnessing what a great dad you are with our daughter makes me feel very lucky…I can’t wait to see how we handle the chaos of two little ones this fall! Happy Father’s Day! xo

Announcing…Summer Sessions!!


June is in full swing! I can’t wait for warm toes in the sand, gentle sea breezes, incredible light, and SUMMER PORTRAIT SESSIONS-my fave! I’ll be on the road a bunch this summer and will be holding portrait and engagement sessions along the way at three of my favorite locations.

DATES:

Nantucket, MA–June 26th–July 6th, August dates TBA
Madison, CT –July 7th–July 10th
Watch Hill, RI– July 24th–August 2nd

TIME:
I hold only 2 sessions a day, one in the morning and one in the early evening to take advantage of soft summer light.
PLACE:
Any location can be accommodated…a beach, your yard, a lighthouse, farm, beach club, golf club, or on a boat– you name it!

DETAILS:
All portrait sessions last 1-2 hours and you can expect about 50 custom edited images. This is a lifestyle session–I want to capture your children’s and family’s personality in a natural way. I try to let kids be kids and avoid a lot of formally posed photographs. I aim for real smiles and fun!

NOTES:
Session times are limited and fill quickly. I’m offering a special deal for first time clients and throwing in some extras in the spirit of summer fun!

Call 646.770.5905 or email sarah@sarahgreig.com for complete pricing and booking details. I look forward to seeing you this summer!