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a subtle, lovely design handmade to compliment your photography.C l e a n ,R u s t i cTwig & pine is

Family portraits for the wall

Thirteen years between portrait sessions means a lot of changes in a family!  If this has happened to you, it may be time to update your family portraits for the wall. This is exactly what this mom of two concluded this year. With a new house, and two children who are growing way too fast, it was the perfect time to create the family wall art she’s dreamed of.

We began first by visiting their home to review and select wardrobe options for their session. In choosing their wardrobe, we considered the family’s personal style, home decor and the colors already used in their home. Since wall art was a top priority for this family, we had to be sure that the results worked seamlessly with their home’s style and color scheme. We also made sure to choose both formal attire, and more casual and relaxed attire as well. We knew that milestones over the next few years (job changes, college applications etc) may require good headshots, and that grandparents and extended family would enjoy portraits as gifts as well. All of these factors led to the need for variety.

During our Design Consultation, we also measured and photographed each space in their home that was suitable for portraits. Our software allows us to merge our session’s portraits with YOUR walls to show you exactly what your new art will look like, before you make your purchase. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have this tool for buying jeans online?

Our session together began with our makeup artist, Melissa Collazo, pampering the ladies and helping them feel polished and camera-ready. Completing make-up for the camera is very different than for our everyday wear. Certain brands and formulas are just not suitable for how the camera “sees” our features. Our professional make-up artists have the training and experience to help achieve the look you want for the camera. (And who doesn’t want a little pampering?)

During our session together wee took as much time as we needed to achieve all our goals, including a little extra time for everyone to warm up and be comfortable. It’s not every day that we’re treated like celebrities with cameras, studio and lights around us!

After our session we met for our Art Consultation to choose favorite poses, Keepsakes and wall art finishes. The results, as you can see, are gorgeous!

 


Kat Forder Photography is a team of studio and on-location photographers in Catonsville Maryland focusing on full-service newborn photography and child photography.  We work most often in Baltimore County, Columbia Maryland, Silver Spring, Annapolis, Howard County, Montgomery County.  Contact us today to reserve your Spring cake smash with your Elkridge child photographer, or explore behind the scenes on Instagram and follow us on Facebook for promotions and previews

Photographer’s Guide to Cherry Blossoms 2019

It’s that time of year that photographers love and dread in equal measure – cherry blossom season.

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In 1912, the people of Japan sent 3,020 cherry trees to the United States as a gift of friendship and today in DC approximately 3,750 cherry trees bloom in and around the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. Each year we celebrate with the National Cherry Blossom Festival  which is now one of DC’s most iconic, colorful and most requested backdrop for spring themed portrait sessions.

The 2014 Cherry Blossom Festival runs from March 20 – April 13, which is three weeks and four weekends of events promoting “traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty, and community spirit.” This year’s Festival marks the 102nd anniversary of the gift of the cherry blossom trees. You can click here for the latest updates, and here for a full list of Festival events.

Given the significance of this Festival, it’s no wonder that it’s almost a requirement to have pictures made with cherry blossoms at least once during your time in the DC area!  Attendance estimates are well over 1.5 million people so photography sessions done during this time of year can present some special challenges!  (If you do the math 1.5 million people, 3,750 trees… chances are that each individual tree will have a dozen people around it at any point during the Festival!)

Before planning your session though, there are a few things to consider!

TIPS FOR CHERRY BLOSSOM PORTRAIT SESSIONS

  • Be sure to ask your favorite photographer about Cherry Blossom Portrait Sessions well before April. Many photographers offer just one or two of these types of sessions because of the large expense, permits and big logistical and safety hassle that it can present for photographers.
  • Apply for your photography permit three weeks or more in advance of the bloom period (see below for links to the permit locations!). Permits range from $50-$300 (and fines for not having a permit for your professional photographer can reach $5,000 or more!). NPS will sometimes add more staff to help process permits more quickly during this time, but it is not guranteed! A 2 week permit processing time is their standard minimum turn around time.
  • Understand that you will likely have to get up before dawn in order to arrive at sunrise to the Tidal Basin in order to make images before the crowds get there. The best time for sessions is near dawn because of the lighting conditions, parking situation, and less people
  • Parking will be a huge challenge in and around the Tidal Basin and every year the local news cautions visitors to avoid driving at all
  • Be prepared for very long walks (make sure you have comfortable shoes!)
  • During peak bloom there will be more people than you can imagine packed in so tightly.
  • Be prepared to pay your professional photographer extra for a Cherry Blossom Session!  They will likely need to spend twice as much time on one session in the Tidal Basin area because of the logistics and then twice as much time in post production to remove extra people. For the safety and security they may also need to hire extra staff to help with your safety and theirs (not to mention their expensive equipment too!)

LOCATIONS FOR CHERRY BLOSSOM PORTRAITS

The Tidal Basin is the first choice that most couples and families think of immediately, but the Tidal Basin (click here for map) is also the least ideal place for a session! Between the crowds, the lack of parking, the long distances to restroom facilities, and the difficulty in carrying professional photography gear around safely it might be worth considering some other locations.  Get creative and look in and around your local neighborhood parks.  Check out some of these recommendations below too!

THE NATIONAL ARBORETUM

The National Arboretum is a sprawling parkland within Washington DC. It’s not walkable from the National Mall, and once you’re there, a car or bicycles will help a lot (it’s a large area). There’s a huge variety of flora here, including many other flowering trees and plants.  This location requires a $320 permit 

 HAINS POINT

There are hundreds of cherry trees around the waterfront of Hains Point. Most people use Hains Point as a parking lot, but it’s a great place to find some beautiful cherry trees all to yourself if you go very early in the morning. And there’s plenty of room to sit and enjoy the view of the river too. This is National Park Service land so a  permit required from NPS

THE NATIONAL MALL

There’s a grove of cherry trees on the edge of the National Mall between the Washington Monument and the Tidal Basin. If you’re looking to take a photo with the top of the Washington Monument in the shot this is a good bet. This is National Park Service land so a $50 permit required from NPS

CAPITOL GROUNDS

According to one photographer on April 8th: “I applied for a permit to shoot on the Capitol Grounds and have talked with one of the Capitol Police Officers several times this morning. He said that any commercial shoot is restricted to area #15 (west side of the Capitol) and when I explained it was just a portrait session for the family’s personal use (not bringing tripod or lighting), he said it didn’t matter. They define commercial as any money being exchanged at all.”  This document here does specify on page 2 that photography is permitted, but only for private use (ie businesses are not permitted to conduct sessions on the grounds)

UPPER AND LOWER SENATE PARK (CAPITOL GROUNDS)

Upper and Lower Senate Park is located between Constitution Avenue, NW, and D Street, NE, and 1st Street and Louisiana Ave, NW. The park is divided into two distinct sections. The lower section contains a shallow rectangular reflecting pool flanked by wide pathways and fountains, and is bounded by two sets of steps, while the upper section is centered on a large fountain and plaza and a tree-lined lawn panel connecting to the Senate and Capitol grounds.  The space has several bunches of cherry trees, very little “green” with views of the Capitol dome in the distance. See above for permit links.

SCOTT CIRCLE PARK

This small park in northwest DC is pretty tiny, but it does have a number of pretty trees!  There are no lines of sight to monuments or other typical “DC” like tourist sites… which can be a good thing sometimes!  Scott Circle Park is a National Park Service managed park so the

DUPONT CIRCLE

This small park in the historic district is a pretty popular place to sit by a fountain and enjoy the outdoors, and it does have a number of pretty flowering trees, but only a couple cherry blossom trees.  There are some nice stone chess tables and some historic DC architecture around the park as well.   Dupont Circle Park is a National Park Service managed park so a $50 permit and occasional headaches apply.

DUMBARTON OAKS

Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown has a marvelous orchard of cherries and there is an $8 admission fee that goes to support the gardens. However professional photography is not permitted  at all!

BEN BRENMAN PARK

Located in Alexandria, this small park also has some cherry blossom trees, and no permit fee required. Local amenities include plenty of parking an children’s playground.

MOUNT VERNON

There are a few trees located in and around Mt Vernon (Mount Vernon Virginia). Availability for portrait sessions varies widely, and permits are required at certain times of the year. Contact them directly.

MEADOWLARK GARDENS

Located near Tyson’s Corner in Virginia, this park has a $25 permit fee. Apply in advance for several days to ensure you don’t have to wait for your permit (processing times vary widely). This location also has forsythia and magnolias for color long after the cherry blossoms are done.

KENWOOD, BETHESDA

The Bethesda neighborhood of Kenwood for their stunning display. Because of abuse of this location in the past, photographers are no longer encouraged to use this location.

Brookside Gardens

This Bethesda area park requires a permit, but processing times are usually very prompt. Permit fees range from $45 to $425

GLENVIEW MANSION

Located in Rockville, this location is a popular wedding location. Portrait sessions are not permitted during weddings and events, but the property does have some cherry trees that tend to bloom a little later than the ones on the National Mall because of the distance from the water. They have been undergoing renovations on the grounds, so contact them to ensure they are open and verify their permit fee (they have approved a portrait session permit fee, but no news yet on when it will be implemented)

BROOKSIDE GARDENS

Brookside Gardens also has beautiful cherry blossom trees and many other flowering trees like plum, apricot, magnolias, and quince in bloom.  This location does require a permit in advance

STANTON PARK IN CAPITOL HILL

This park has a slightly European  and is located at the intersection of Maryland Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Northeast, Washington, D.C. A large statue, small playground and city benches dominate the view. Typical city park space. This is National Park Service land so a minimum $50 permit required from NPS.

ANACOSTIA PARK

Grab some cupcakes  at the newly opened Olivia’s at 2318 Minnesota Ave., SE, then head back toward the river where you can picnic without people in matching T-shirts asking your for directions. (Park entrances are close to several Metro stops.) This is National Park Service land so a $50 permit required from NPS.

DRUID HILL PARK

Located in downtown Baltimore this lovely park has plenty of spring blossoms!  There does not appear to be a need for photography permits in this location, provided you do not have props/ stands or structures with you.

 

FOXHALL VILLAGE

Foxhall and Reservoir Rds, NW. Washington, DC. The neighborhood near Georgetown has cherry blossom-lined streets that are known as the best-kept secret among locals.  Be sure you don’t stray into Dumbarton Oaks as photography is strictly prohibited there.

This is three

We’ve had the privilege of seeing this family back in the studio this year, and watching little Miss A grow and expand her interests. We first met this family before this little Miss arrived, for portraits of mom and dad  we celebrated Miss A’s arrival with a newborn session, and her first year with a first year cake smash, and her second year with both sets of her grandparents too. This year, for her third birthday we thought we’d include some more formal family group portraits. At a big three years old, it’s so much easier to stay still long enough for a portrait, so this is the right age to consider starting this type of portraiture.

One of my favorite things about working with a family year after year, is the small changes we can document as a child’s interests change and grow. This year Miss A loves everything related to cars and trucks, so we had to include some of her most favorite things, of course.  Her trusty stuffed kitty, Mimi is still a cherished companion and she finds a place in the family portraits again this year.

Regardless of the changes from one year to the next, some things remain constant: this little girl is the life of the party and lights up the room wherever she goes.

 

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Kat Forder Photography is a team of studio and on-location photographers in Catonsville Maryland focusing on full-service newborn photography and child photography.  We work most often in Baltimore County, Columbia Maryland, Silver Spring, Annapolis, Howard County, Montgomery County.  Contact us today to reserve your Spring cake smash with your Elkridge child photographer, or explore behind the scenes on Instagram and follow us on Facebook for promotions and previews.

Puppy Portraits

These babies helped us test out our new studio sets for our Spring Florals promotion. These five week old Beagle mix babies will be looking for new families right about the time that we switch from Winter to Spring sets in the studio!  Until then these pups are cared for by Adoption Option Rescue here in Maryland. Based on mom’s size, they are expected to grow to about 30lbs each, making them an ideal size for families in townhomes or with little ones!

Puppy Portraits

Newborn style portraits for puppies are best done as early as possible, while puppies are still sleepy. We recommend ages five to nine weeks in order to capture them while they are small and sleepy. After this developmental stage, they are inclined to want to RUN for the next year, until they learn their basic commands. Of course, Your new puppy can also join your family for your family portraits both in-studio or outdoors. Our team has completed behavior training classes for dogs, and has worked in the pet industry in various capacities for several years

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Because pets are family too, your pet’s portraits may be created in our Catonsville, Maryland, studio by appointment. We  also create wonderful portraits on location at one of the many beautiful areas available to us. Located between Washington DC and Baltimore, MD, Kat Forder Photography is convenient for families of all sizes.  We are a full-service maternity, newborn, and child portrait studio with a team of photographers, each with their own specialty. Read more about when to schedule your portrait sessions, or explore behind the scenes on Instagram and follow us on Facebook for promotions and previews.  Contact us today to reserve your session!

Baby Charlotte

We were so thrilled to have this family join us in the studio again, this time with their newest addition, Baby Charlotte. Big brother has an Unbound Album with mom and dad’s favorite portraits from his first year, and now baby sister will have one of her own too!

Your children likely won’t be using Facebook, or “the cloud” when they’re older.  Strange to think about, isn’t it?  We can’t predict what they will be using, but we do know that tangible keepsakes stand the test of time. Prints and products have endured since the start of portrait photography. Like any good story, they linger for generations, passed on as our mark in the world for our children.

We make it easy for you. We have the training, software and experience to advise you with your purchases, and you can feel good knowing that you have one more item checked off your to-do list, (and bonus you can boost your children’s self-esteem and sense of belonging with family portraits too!)

Let’s get your images off your computer, out of your drawer and into your every day lives. Let’s make this the month that your mom stops hounding you for new pictures of the grand kids, and lets make this the year you fall in love with your home decor, over and over again. Your portraits and your loved ones deserve to be shared and enjoyed.  This is your family. This is their story. And that’s a compelling reason to have tangible keepsakes in your home.

Choose from one of our three main product lines. All our Keepsakes come with matching digital images so you can enjoy your new art in multiple formats.

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Just look at how sweet little Charlotte is nestled with her big brother. Your newborn photographer, is located Catonsville, Maryland, between Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD making Kat Forder Photography convenient for families of all sizes.  We are a full-service newborn and child portrait studio with a team of photographers, each with their own specialty.  On location we work most often in Baltimore County, Columbia, Maryland, Catonsville, Maple Lawn, Annapolis, Howard County, Montgomery County, and of course we work in-studio as well. Read more about when to schedule your portrait sessions, or explore behind the scenes on Instagram and follow us on Facebook for promotions and previews.  Contact us today to reserve your session!

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