Posts tagged lehigh valley family photographer
Fine Art Product Offerings | Lehigh Valley Photographer

I am going to be honest with you- we have 8 years of pictures stored on my hard drives, and for many years I was not great about making albums and printing prints for the kids to have when my hard drives have long since crashed and something happens to my cloud storage. I honestly don't even know where the pictures are stored from when my oldest was a baby. From family photo sessions, all I really have are the few prints from each session. And you know what has held me back all this time? It takes time, a lot of time, to create albums and think about wall galleries. Before you know it they've grown and we're on to the next best stage, and all the while I still never made that album from our trip to Disney 2 years ago. Maybe you have this problem too.  

As much as I love digital files to share with friends online, I feel my art is truly purposeful when printed. I can tell you that when I have prints around the house, or DO make a photo album of a vacation or a special time in their lives, the kids feel famous. They love showing the albums to everyone who comes to visit, and retelling the memories triggered by the prints on my giant bulletin board in my office.   

Because I feel like most of us loose track of time and have enough other projects on our never-ending to-do lists, I'm really passionate about every client leaving our session with SOMETHING tangible. Something that is done for you, and done quickly after your session before the images are forgotten on a USB drive. I want you to have at least some printed products from a lab that my work is calibrated with, whose products are of such high quality that you can't just order for yourself from any online retailer.  I've spent all winter ordering new products, testing out various fine art papers and finishes, and comparing labs. Did you know the color reproduction varies significantly between even PRO labs? I've spent hours selecting new products to offer my clients that feel truly special. I will no longer be offering traditional lustre prints as I always have. At this time I am only offering fine art papers in my product offerings because I want you to have something unique and luxurious to display in your home. 

If we create a beautiful gallery of images, and they never make it past your hard drive, why did we even bother?

Have a look below at some of the sample products that are now in the shop. Bordered matte prints, mounted fine art prints, torn edge prints, and gorgeous leather or linen albums. Which would you love to see in your home?

sunday morning extended family session | Lehigh Valley PA family photographer

When most people think of extended family sessions, they think of white shirts and denim and lots of stress to organize rows of family members and attempts to get all 12 people to say cheese. Maybe that's why families only do these like once in their lives ever?! 

Documentary family photography means everyone can just BE themselves, come as they are, hang out, wear whatever they usually wear, and you come away with a collection of images that tell the story of your family in this season of life. Part crazy, chaotic, part quiet and connected. We have time to capture the children in their rooms, surrounded by their beloved stuffies or pile of Legos, along with the meaningful relationships between extended family members. 

The Garcia family is a fabulous bunch that starts with 5 brothers who all are grown and have their own families and mostly live local. About monthly they get together for family brunch. They mix up some pancakes and eggs, brew some coffee, and hangout. They share a meal, light saber fight, tickles, play music and games together, draw or color with the kids. I was so touched by the loving way this family connected. The kids are so lucky to have all these aunts and uncles in their lives. I hope you love this story of a Sunday morning with the Garcia crew as much as I do!

3 reasons to book a sunset session | Bucks County PA Family Photographer

Do you worry that a sunset session would be past your child's normal bedtime?

It's normal to worry about your children's normal routine when planning a portrait session. After all, who wants a cranky toddler for picture day? I appreciate the investment, time, and effort involved in planning for family portraits so I wouldn't ever suggest something that would be uncomfortable for one of my family's. BUT- 

There are a few reasons I suggest booking a sunset session, and in my experience both as a photographer and as a parent, I find that most little ones do just fine! Let me explain why I always prefer to shoot as close to sunset as possible :)  

1. Sunset timing allows me to work in the most flattering light. You might think that 10am on a Saturday is the best time for your family to have pictures taken (post-coffee, breakfast, time for the family to get dressed at a leisurely pace- I get it!!), but I assure you we wouldn't get the quality of work that I am known for if we shot at that time. We can choose to shoot in a fully shaded spot during the hours of high sun, but that type of light is not as interesting or beautiful to me. It is also rather limiting to have to encourage children to stay in the shade instead of running out into the bright sun. 

2. Squinty eyes and raccoon shadows in full sun. Need I say more??

3. Not only is sunset light more flattering, it adds depth to the images and creates a mood we just can't replicate during full sun.  (Of course I love shooting in full sun in certain situations- it can be fun to play with deep shadows and colors pop in a whole different way- but to me it's not as pleasing for portrait work.)

So what do you think? If I've convinced you about the quality of light, what about the bedtime routine??

What I've found after many years photographing families is that when little ones are outside enjoying the fresh air, getting all those extra snuggles and attention from their family, they usually are so content they don't even notice it's close to their normal bedtime. In fact, older toddlers and children feel excited like they are doing something special to be out a little later. 

I still have a few more dates open for sunset sessions. With all the colors of autumn it will be splendid!

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I just love the light and the peace at Lake Nockamixon. This sweet family from Buck's County PA wanted a relaxed family portrait session to celebrate their baby boy's first birthday. Most children just love being close to the water, and are so happy to be outside on a warm night splashing in the lake, skipping rocks (or trying to put them in their mouths as with this sweet one-year-old boy!) If you'd like to book a session at the lake please contact me to get on my calendar!

What's the difference between Lifestyle Photography and Documentary Photography? | |Montgomery County PA Documentary Photographer

You might see me posting a lot about these "Life Story" sessions lately. I'm going to explain a bit about how a Life Story documentary session is different than my traditional lifestyle sessions as we prepare to enter into the fall busy season and people are choosing what kind of portrait experience is best for them. If you are interested in booking a fall family portrait session, either lifestyle or documentary in Montgomery County, PA or the surrounding area, please reach out soon as my calendar is almost booked! There are only so many fall sunsets available so grab a spot now!

What is a "Lifestyle" session?

Most families have had some sort of "lifestyle" photography session done over the years. A "lifestyle" session is more modern than traditional posed portraits with props, and more traditional than a documentary session. It's kind of a comfortable middle ground. In a lifestyle session, I will gently pose your family and lead you into opportunities to connect with each other through touch or movement, in the most beautiful light available to us at an outdoor location- usually a park or a field. You can see a beautiful lifestyle motherhood session on the blog. I help coordinate your clothing and choose a beautiful location. We will do a few poses of everyone looking at me, and then use the rest of our time to connect with your family. These sessions are really beautiful and show connection, emotion and light without the use of any props. 

AnneMarieHamantPhotography_www.annemariehamant.com-LehighValleyPA-_1454.jpg

How is a Life Story Documentary Session different from a lifestyle session?

A Life Story session is different than a lifestyle session because it is photojournalistic in nature. Your story, my lens. The session will take place at your home usually, or another location that is essential to the family story. We spend a few hours together and your family goes about the normal routine while I document your family life via my artistic voice. The kids are going to go about their regular play, potty training, bathtime, snacks, etc. Our goal is to give you an artistic representation of your daily life.  We are shooting for an album, to create a picture-story of this little slice of your daily world. 

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What kind of session is right for you?

When this sweet Montgomery County PA family contacted me about booking an end-of-summer session, at first mom had planned on doing a traditional lifestyle session at home. But as we talked more about what she wanted on her walls, and about the family dynamics and children's personalities, she decided that a Life Story documentary session would be more fun for the kids and would capture the authentic, beautiful chaos of life with 3 small children. I was super excited to tell their story.

We spent a little over 2 hours together than evening as the family wrapped up dinner and moved outside to spend quality time together playing water balloons, picking tomatoes, weeding the garden, and eating ice cream. When it was time for bath, I followed everyone in and concluded our story with that bedtime routine. 

Thank you so much, D Family, for inviting me into your beautiful family life. It's been such a joy to capture these moments for you. 

When I asked mom why they wanted to tell their story with a Life Story session, she responded, "The kids are growing up and Tessa is likely the last baby. I'd like to capture what it is really like having such a young family and how much fun and chaos it can be so I have fond memories to look back on and remember."

What story do you want to tell this fall? 

If you are interested in a Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Bucks County or Lehigh Valley Lifestyle or Life Story Documentary family session this fall, please book now. My October calendar is 99% full. September and November have limited availability. 

Life Stories Documentary Session: Summer Living | Lehigh Valley Family Photographer

Introducing Life Stories Sessions. 

Lehigh Valley Photographer

your life.

my lens. 

Often times my clients comment that they love they way I capture my family's everyday chaos, the tiny moments throughout our day. How do I make such simple things look so magical? 

I want to create more client work that mirrors my personal work.

My heart is truly devoted to capturing your authentic life stories. As much as I love lifestyle sessions that take are gently posed in parks and in the most beautiful sunset light, I love at-home storytelling sessions because children are in their element and the stories feel most authentic. 

What are Life Stories Sessions? 

Think of them as photo-journalistic short stories of your daily life. A snippet of your family together at home.

Unposed. Real. Candid. 

I spent the most amazing summer evening with this sweet family the other night. I love their reflections about our session to complete their photo story. I can't wait to see these images in a coffee-table album for the kids to look back on!


What kind of life story would you like us to tell during our session?

AnneMarie Hamant Portraits and Stories Lehigh Valley Family Photographer

Daily life after daddy gets home. Trying to squeeze in those extra daylight hours and soak up summer. Dinner, dessert, playtime and garden chores. 

AnneMarie Hamant Portraits and Stories Lehigh Valley Photographer

Why is it important to you to document this particular life story? What do these images of your everyday family life mean to you?

AnneMarie Hamant Portraits and Stories Lehigh Valley Photographer

Documenting the real life "raw-ness" is important because we live it every day. It is really never reflected in picture format because we are almost always behind the lens.

AnneMarie Hamant Portraits and Stories Lehigh Valley Photographer

Imagine you are looking at a picture album of your Life Story Session years from now. What types of moments do you hope to see in it? What do you hope to remember about this time in your family's life when you look back in 10 years?

AnneMarie Hamant Portraits and Stories Lehigh Valley Photographer

LOVE! And chaos of course. Chaos is par for the course at this stage in our lives. Life with small children is magical for them and often for us as well, but in between those moments, moments of chaos exist. Those moments, although hard at times while in the thick of it, are the moments I know I will yearn for as they grow older. Most importantly I want to know that my children felt loved and a genuine connection between us as a family.

AnneMarie Hamant Portraits and Stories Lehigh Valley Photographer
AnneMarie Hamant Portraits and Stories Lehigh Valley Photographer
AnneMarie Hamant Portraits and Stories Lehigh Valley Photographer

Where does this story take place? Why is that place important to you?

AnneMarie Hamant Portraits and Stories Lehigh Valley Photographer

Home... because as cliche as it sounds ... that is where the heart is and always has been in our family. We love our home and spend a lot of time here. 

AnneMarie Hamant Portraits and Stories Lehigh Valley Photographer

In this home a baby was born, a first breath into the new world.

AnneMarie Hamant Portraits and Stories Lehigh Valley Photographer

Our dog also took his last breaths here.

AnneMarie Hamant Portraits and Stories Lehigh Valley Photographer
AnneMarie Hamant Portraits and Stories Lehigh Valley Photographer

Really, our home is a sanctuary for us. A safe place to just be who we are.

AnneMarie Hamant Portraits and Stories Lehigh Valley Photographer

Most importantly I want to know that my children felt loved and a genuine connection between us as a family.

If you would love an everyday family life story photographed with my vision of the magic of childhood and simple beauty, please contact me to book a session! My heart bursts in photographing client stories as I do my own family's. Best of all, these sessions don't require loads of outfit planning and effort. We just plan out what part of your daily life you'd like to remember most, and you guys get to hang out at home while I create a beautiful record of your life. 

A Sunset Legacy Session | Lehigh Valley + Bucks County PA Grandparent Photography

Grandparents are a legacy. My Legacy Sessions capture the unique bond between grandparents and grandchildren. My Legacy Sessions can also be booked to honor an aging or ill family member and document a piece of their life story. 

When my client contacted me soon after her Spring family session to book a Legacy Session for her girls and her parents, I was ecstatic. Grandparents play such an important role in our children's lives but if you are like me, there are very few pictures documenting that special bond. What better way to honor their care and connection with your children than a fun and relaxed portrait session documenting the kids snuggling, swinging, and playing with their grandparents. 

If you'd like to book a Legacy Session for a family member, please get in touch! I'd love to talk with you about how we can honor your family. 

A girl and her puppy | Frenchtown NJ Family Photographer

My client contacted me about a childhood session in Frenchtown NJ with her 5-year old girl and asked if it would be ok to include her french bulldog puppy, I was super excited. I love the documenting the connection between children and their pets, their lovies, and their families, so including her new best friend was a fabulous idea! Penny + Mae made for the cutest duo ever! We walked the canal trail together, picked wildflowers, and then walked over to the creek and played on the playground. Such a fun and relaxed Sunday morning child session in Frenchtown. I can't wait to go back to explore that adorable town!

Amongst the Wildflowers of Early Spring
AnneMarie Hamant Portraits and Stories- Lehigh Valley Family Photographer

This beautiful mama and daughter spent a cloudy spring evening with me last week enjoying this delicious golden yellow field. I just adore little Natalie's pigtails and her dark hair amidst all the bright flowers. So much tender connection between the two of them as they wait in anticipation of baby brother's birth this summer. I am so excited for my motherhood session marathon coming up this weekend! I can't wait to capture your children's spontaneous affection for you :) 

Featured Artist at Snap Love Grow | Lehigh Valley + Bucks County PA Family Photographer

I was so honored to have been invited to be the featured artist over on the Snap Love Grow Photography blog last week. Have a peek over at their blog to learn more about me and my work!

http://www.snaplovegrow.com/single-post/2017/02/09/Spotlight-Featured-Artist-AnneMarie-Hamant-Photography

Sunshine in January | Lehigh Valley + Bucks County PA Child Photographer

SUN! At long last! My kids acted like it was summer. My boys came home from our errands and put on shorts and t-shirts even though it was only 50 degrees. They ran for hours at the park while Josephine did her best to ride the giant hand-me-down scooter that she's been dying to learn to ride. I chatted with one of my besties and we made pictures because who could resist that light after weeks of fog and clouds. 

Do you love my work? I am now booking storytelling sessions to capture the beauty of your family's day-to-day. I'd love to plan a session with you! 

365 Project Week 2 | Lehigh Valley + Bucks County PA Documentary Family Photographer

We are all feeling a little cooped up with the winter right about now, so even though I am longing to shoot outdoors and in beautiful dreamy backlit fields, this season forces me to turn inward, shoot in less-than-perfect locations and light, accept some grain and high ISOs, and find new nooks of light in my home. We're hanging in there!

If you love my work and would like your family story documented as art, please contact me to schedule an in-home storytelling session. I'd love to find the light and capture the love in your home. 

Favorite personal images from 2016 + 10 tips for a successful 365 project

This year I saw my work grow more than during any of the previous 8 years of shooting primarily due to my commitment to a 365 Project. A 365 Project is a personal project to shoot daily. If you define a successful 365 by having a folder of exactly 365 beautiful images shot in perfect light in the perfect clothes and in a totally clean home, then I failed miserably. I have thousands of images from this year in monthly folders, a folder designated "365 project" with a few handfuls of favorites, and lots of images of our messy and imperfect life. Not all (probably not many!) of the pictures are jaw-dropping works of art yet still this work was worthy. I look at them and see the beauty and wonder of the world around me. It changed the way I shoot, the way I see and use the light, and the way I tell my family's story. 

If you are a photographer and want to push yourself to a new level of artistry, shoot daily. Here are 10 tips for having fun with a 365 project without making it an impossible or overwhelming feat. 

1. Don't stress yourself out over missing a day.  I made a mental effort to shoot daily, and did so mostly, but without stressing myself out if I didn't feel inspired or feel like it.

2. Don't stress yourself out about getting "THE" most perfect shot for the day. I would have given up entirely if I had been so focused on getting something totally post-worthy every single day. 

3. Don't worry if your kids are dressed in mis-matched PJs or are half-naked and haven't brushed their hair in days. 

4. Don't stress about your messy house, or having magazine-worthy backdrops. Shoot your real life. Not every moment is of your kids frolicking in sun-kissed fields. 

5. Don't stress your kids out about it either. Respect them enough that if they don't feel like being in pictures that day, find something else worthy of your artistic vision. 

6. Edit daily. Upload your card every day, and pick a few favorites. Usually I knew which image was "the" one from that day. Rename the file with the date and export that favorite image into a folder designated "365 Project 2017". Back that baby up! I sadly did lose 2 months of my personal work this year and gratefully had at least the 365 images on a back-up drive.

7. Don't feel like you have to share every single image you create. I started out by focusing on "Day 12/365" for example, and soon lost track of which day I was on, and found it too much hassle. Once I freed myself from these burdens, I just had fun shooting daily and sharing when I felt like it. 

8. Print from your 365 Project folder often. I bought a giant cork board from Hobby Lobby and had my hubby hang it in my office to tack up favorites that I had printed from this year's project. It's fun to see, and my kids love reliving these memories of our year together. 

9. Explore new light and new angles. Shoot in nooks of your home you haven't tried before. If you live in a dark home, find new window or artificial light sources that you haven't relied on before. 

10. Don't worry so much if you have to shoot in less-than-ideal light. As much as it's about creating beautiful art, it's also about documenting your real life, which doesn't always happen in perfectly photogenic light sources and settings. 

Finally, have FUN and relax! I didn't join a group for support because sometimes comparison is the thief of our joy, but I know a lot of people find it helpful to be a part of a 365 online community. I also didn't use prompts for daily shooting because for me, that is just another thing to stress me out and make me feel like a failure when I don't meet the expectations. But for some people, having new ideas of what to shoot is really helpful!