Hula hoops, rusted old toy fire trucks, dripping popsicles, sprinklers...I love to capture the messy, fun freedom of being a kid. For some kids, we pull out my trunk of vintage clothes and toys, for others, I am chasing after little ones with band-aid knees, toddlers waddling along in their diapers. Some of my most fun shoots have been around a plastic wading pool with beach balls, slides, model sailboats. These shoots all are a dream come true for me. But, I'm happy also to work with families that prefer a more polished portrait. When we plan the session, we discuss the "look" and decide which toys would interest your children, including their own. In talking, we often discover something distinctive to your family-- dads have loved it when I've used their vintage car in the shoot as a prop for the kids to play around, for another family into gardening we pulled out the wheelbarrow, hoe, shovel and watering can.
The natural light studio is located in my 150-year old Victorian home-- with high ceilings, two massive barn doors made from salvaged wood and three floor-to-ceiling windows to flood the room with light. This space is ideal for newborn sessions, for young children when it's too cold outside, for vintage dress-up or a session with your favorite pet. I have had lizards, dogs and bunnies visit my studio. I love how children relax interacting with their pets. From Victorian tea parties with special guests including your child's favorite teddy and dolls to a cake-smashing party, my studio has seen it all.
Farm sessions take place at the bucolic Soule Homestead Education Center in Middleboro, MA. Soule Homestead Education Center and I have been working together for a great cause for over seven years. “Alyssa and I partnered up a number of years ago at Weir River Farm in Hingham. Alyssa wanted to use her photography as a way to raise funds for children to attend our Farm Camp. This relationship has continued now to Soule Homestead. Due to Alyssa’s hard work and generosity, thousands of dollars have been raised allowing so many children a farm experience that their families thought was out of reach. All children can be free to learn and explore at the farm and for many it’s a life changing place.” -Meg Riley
Soule Homestead Education Center is a non-profit agricultural education center that has been in operation for 27 years. The farm welcomes thousands of children and families and has become a beloved community resource. Each spring and fall we schedule sessions on the farm where children get to interact with chicks, chickens, lambs, bunnies, goats and much more. It's a memorable experience for the children and one of my favorite locations for sessions. For each session booked, $100 is donated to the farm specifically for scholarships to defray costs for children to attend camp programs. I love so much about this location. As you drive the winding back roads past farms, forests and cranberry bogs, all the stress of life in our big city of Hingham disappears! The location, a former dairy, is home to a 200 year old house and barn. Waiting at the farm are vintage tools, garden plots and a massive tree complete with a rope swing. As the kids explore around the farm and interact with the animals I capture the real moments of children at play. Many clients have told me that years after the session their children are still talking about the experience.
Beach sessions offer so much more than postcard-pretty sand and sea...I scout beach locations with great craggy, textured rocks, rustic piers, vintage life saving boats. These features add visual interest to create a more distinctive, fine art portrait. Beach locations work well year-round, always at sunset when the light is softer. You will find me there starting in early spring and throughout the summer. There is also something charming about a fall or winter session at the beach with everyone bundled up in hats and coats against the coastal New England backdrop. Out-of-town clients schedule sessions when they are in New England for vacation. These images are such a special memory of their time here! For South Shore boat-loving families, sessions on the water are a great way to get everyone, husbands and teens included, on board with the shoot. Sometimes husbands have been more enthusiastic about capturing the boat than their children! Being out on the water at sunset with your family will be a memory to cherish long after your children have grown.
I am always scouting new locations- recent finds include a fabulous Federal-style abandoned home in Newton, an atmospheric old stone church located about an hour west of Boston, and the Crane Estate in Ispwich. Every spring I hold a few days of mini sessions at Nona's homemade ice cream parlor. These ice cream shoots are where I began my career as a portraitist on the South Shore—it is hard to match the moments I capture of children eating ice cream—the absolute definition of cute. Both locations of Nona’s, in Hingham and Scituate- have their walls filled with my portraits of kids at their happiest—eating ice cream!
Clients have asked me to travel throughout New England, including Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, to Florida and the West Coast to photograph them at their vacation homes. I try to capture the essence/character/spirit of what makes these locations special to my clients. Whatever it takes to get the winning shot, I will do-- standing in lakes and oceans, chasing a jeep full of cousins heading down a dirt road to town or balancing on the edge of a sailboat to get that perfect angle. For Sara, a mother of three rambunctious boys, we wanted an active shoot, capturing something her boys loved to do. We decided on a bull frog hunt at a local pond and discussed beforehand what would be natural looking outfits, and collected nets and buckets for the adventure. At one point during the shoot, little Charlie fell in the mud trying to get his frog, which only added to the charm of the images [ I captured]. Vacation shoots allow me to capture families at their happiest and most relaxed!