I Just Gave Birth, Don't Take My Picture!||Boston Newborn Photography

95% of the time I talk to pregnant or brand-new mommas about their little one's newborn session, they say something to me like, "But I don't have to be in the photos, right?"mom and newborn smiling at each otherNo. Of course you don't. But I am 100% sure that despite how exhausted, and physically not photogenic you may feel, I will be able to capture your beauty following the most miraculous thing your body has ever done: grow a brand new person!set of two photos moms looking at newbornsTruly, I have been photographing newborns for more than five years now, and there is never a photo session during which at some point I am not blown away by the sheer amazingness of what our bodies can do. So you may feel depleted, or like a giant balloon version of yourself. You may be unable to form sentences, let alone brush your hair, but I know that you are amazing, and I see how beautiful you are. And I'm going to show you - I promise.mom-kissing-sleeping-newborns-noseAnd if, -IF- I can't convince you to see you as I see you, you will never have to look at that photo again. But I'm willing to bet it will be one of your most treasured photos of the session. Mommas are beautiful, even if we can't feel it or believe it at times. Love,

Ceilidh

Postscript for you all:

Do you have a little person arriving soon? I suggest booking ahead of your due date to ensure session availability. It’s never too early to contact me about a future session – I generally schedule a few months out – 617-480-0387 or cwy@willowbabystudios.com 

Also, for more cuteness, please jump on over to Instagram and follow me there for babies and other loveliness every day!  #willowbabydaily

I’d be honored to capture lovely photos of your favorite people soon. 

Willow Baby Studios specializes in newborn, toddler, child and family lifestyle photography for Boston area families – including Arlington, Cambridge, Somerville, Charlestown, Boston Proper, Back Bay, Beacon Hill, the South End, Newton, Wellesley, Burlington, Bedford, Winchester, Wakefield, Reading, Lexington, Belmont, Weston, and more. 

Owner & photographer Ceilidh (“k-lee”) Willow Yurenka, is trained as a fine art photographer, and received her BFA in photography from MassArt in 2007. A momma herself, she loves to be silly with your kiddos or adoring and gentle with your newborn- while capturing the beautiful chaos that is family life. 

 

 

Finding Light||Boston Family Photography

Where do I even begin when writing about this session? I'm not sure, so.... I'll start with this photo instead. mom, dad and 2 kids laughing outside, boston family photoSo.

This Momma and I met a few months ago, following tragedy: she witnessed the accident that took the life of Amanda, one of the baristas at my favorite coffee shop.

Backstory: For the past few years, I have spent anywhere from 30- 75 hours a week at this coffee shop, working away on computer related tasks for my business. I joke about it being "my office" but in truth it is really one of the places that I feel home. And so, even though I only knew Amanda peripherally - we'd exchanged a few short conversations here and there - her accident pulled at me hard. She was young - just 27, and she was extraordinarily kind. She was in nursing school, and she was biking in a helmet, and in a very short amount of time, she was no longer alive. This Momma saw it.

I couldn't stop thinking about the accident - how it abruptly ended one life, and irreversibly altered the lives of so many others - her beloved partner, her co-workers, friends, family, fellow nursing students, and a large extended community of others. Spending time at the coffee shop following her death was extraordinarily painful. Her co-workers carried on, but most were crying, or walking around in daze, or hugging, or quiet. The grief was so big inside there, in this place I'd come to think of as a home, and feeling the sadness of so many people around me felt extremely heavy.

I thought of this Momma, of how it might be to witness something like this. I thought of how hard parenting two young children while processing this might be.

When I met her at the vigil, I tried to think of what to say. It was all so horrific and devastating. And I thought of the words I heard from a dear friend of mine after other tragedies: "When you don't know what to do, do what you do know how to do". I realized that I did have something I could give - I could capture her young family in their vibrance and alive-ness, and give her some beauty to hold onto anytime she was overwhelmed by sadness or needing a reminder of the goodness of life.

And so, her she is, with her stunning group of loves.boston momma reading to her two young children outsideThe light that evening was perfect.two photos - one closeup of little boy, one of mom hugging daughter and getting a big kiss on her cheekset of two photos - toddler showing her dad a toy camera and son kissing his mom on the cheektwo photos: mom and dad, toddler girl grinning-cambridge family photosBlack and white photo of big brother hugging littles sister in Cambridge

Thank you, Amanda, for your light. We honor you.

With love

Ceilidh

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Gettin' Social||Boston Family Photographer

goofy-boston-family-photographer Hey Friends!

Did you know:

  1. I'm a huge dork and frequently haven't heard of ___(fill in most anything) reference in pop culture?
  2. That I love organizing things?
  3. That I will make a decent fool of myself in the name of laughter?

So! How do these things tie together? Well, for one, it's my excuse for only recently catching a ride on the instagram train. Which I did earlier this year in earnest, but lately I've been displeased by how my feed looks as a whole.  Following some research came the realization: OH! there are ways to make everything look more cohesive. So my organizing and visual mind is super excited to present an updated feed that I'm hoping looks gorgeous as a whole and gives you some extra loveliness in your day.

So, I imagine that the first thing on this blog gave you any necessary visual proof of my self-proclamation (yes, I was clearly playing super heroes with Finn, and we happened to lose track of time, and yes, the property manager stopped by and I opened the door looking like that - well, minus the duck face), but if you're still wanting more...

boston-lifestyle-photo-mom-kid-sunglasseslittle boy and I taking selfies.... clearly I found TJ Maxx's finest....

Being a parent has helped me to embrace my dorkiness, partially because lack of self-consciousness makes parenting more fun and partially cause I'm often just too tired to care. Have you had any standout dorky moments lately?  Please share - I'll laugh with you, I'll laugh at you, you'll laugh at me, and the whole thing will be absurd and hilarious :-)

Love,

Ceilidh

Postscript for you all: 

Want to find out how dorky I will be to get a genuine smile or laugh in the name of a great photo? Let's take photos of your family this summer!  It’s never too early to contact me about a future session – I often schedule a few months out – 617-480-0387 or cwy@willowbabystudios.com  

And, to check out the new and improved feed officially starting tomorrow, please jump on over to Instagram and follow me there to see  #willowbabydaily

 

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Happy Momma's Day!!!||Family Photography Boston MA

Hi there, dearest Mommas, I almost didn't get this blog post done in time because I kept nit-picking the size and order of the photos in the grids, and fretting about a momma having only one of her kids represented and one dad sneaking in because there were none with just the momma alone.mothers-day-02In other words, I was obsessing over perfection and neatness. And if there's ANYTHING I've learned as a momma myself, it's that life - especially parenting- is so very far from either of those things. Like, miles and continents away.

So. I'm here, embracing imperfection in my work life in order to share with you something very important to me:

THANK YOU.

I am so amazingly grateful to all of you mommas who invited me in and showed up. You are all superstars and I wouldn't be in business without you ladies. I love that I arrive at your homes for newborn photos, and you are often looking stunning and fresh and made up, but you're worrying that you look too tired, or too big or your home is too messy for the photos. And then, I feel it's an honor to show you that everything - in all it's imperfect glory - is absolutely beautiful. Not one newborn session passes where I don't feel an immense awe at what you've just accomplished.....

YOU GREW A PERSON!

Over and over again, it blows my mind and brings me such joy.mothers-day-01And you, mommas with multiple kiddos or bigger kids: wow! Are you in the midst of doing some amazingly hard work! Babies are hard. Toddlers are hard. Bigger kids are hard. And oh, man! Do siblings look amazingly hard....  It's all so hard, and yet you come before me with your adorable and wild bunch, and you laugh during the session. There is so much joy when you snuggle your kiddos. So thank you again. Thank you for choosing me as your photographer and letting me document your miracles. It is an amazing honor.mothers-day-03Happiest Mother's Day to all the beautiful mommas that I've photographed in the past year and a half or so. You are very celebrated.

Love,

Ceilidh

Postscript for any mommas reading this that haven't yet had a photo session...

Babies and kiddos are always at a wonderful age for family photos - and I bet there are many of you that haven't seen just how beautiful you are when you gaze at your littles. So please give me a call soon - I often schedule a few months out – 617-480-0387 or cwy@willowbabystudios.com   

Also, for more cuteness, please jump on over to Instagram and follow me there for new adorable-ness every day!  #willowbabydaily

 

 

 

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Who I photograph when I'm not hanging with the babies

That which is striking and beautiful is not always good,but that which is good is always beautiful. - Ninon de L'Enclos

I absolutely LOVE working with the babies and littles I usually spend time with, but that doesn't mean I don't also take photos of grown up people as well! I've taken on a decent amount of headshot sessions, and I'm excited to share a smattering of them with you below. Arlington_MA_headshot_photography-01Photographing adults is such a different experience.... It's true that they are certainly more cooperative than my smaller subjects, but they also tend to be varying degrees of self-conscious in front of the camera. I include myself in this: holy inappropriate expletive! - I am the *worst* at getting my photo taken - I talk awkwardly and make weird faces and just generally have a hard time feeling accepting of the whole process. It's a trust thing, I think, and it feels like a big deal to pay someone to take photos of you - ones you feel like actually look like you, and that you can not just tolerate, but really like.

Arlington_MA_headshot_photography-03I can't tell you how many people tell me before I photograph them - "Good luck, it's impossible to get a good photo of me." And then, well, we end up with some amazing photos. I think it's partially because I have never photographed someone without being hit at some point during our session by how incredibly beautiful they are.  somerville_ma_headshot_photography-01Looking at my subjects so intently through my lens, trying to truly see them, and capture their best self, I never fail to feel astounded by how beautiful people are - I know this word tends to be thought of as a more feminine adjective, but I feel it about my male subjects too. lexington_MA_headshot_photography-01lexington_MA_headshot_photography-02

Arlington_MA_headshot_photography-05

Arlington_MA_headshot_photography-02

You know what?  Even though I can't see you, I know that you're beautiful too. I have absolutely no doubt that you're stunning person, and I hope your day is filled with peace and laughter.

Love,

Ceilidh

Postscript for you all: 

Are you looking for an updated headshot? Or amazing family photographs? I would love to help you out with that!  It’s never too early to contact me about a future session – I'm already 1/2 booked for September!  Please call 617-480-0387 or email me at cwy@willowbabystudios.com  to schedule your session.

Also,  for extra cuteness in your life, please jump on over to Instagram and follow me there to see a little darling every day!  #willowbabydaily

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My Birthday Boy||Child and Family Photography

yours is the light by which my spirit’s born...   you are my sun,my moon,and all my stars

- e.e. cummings

I am a momma.

After six years of this being an irrefutable fact, I still have moments where I pause in awe that this is my truth. 

I feel so very lucky to be a momma. 

So I present this post to you, my sweet boy. Happy happy birthday.1_1st hour!_march 2010I think the photo above was the second one ever taken of Finn. I didn't take it (I was busy getting, um, reconstructed) but the alert look and slight smirk has always struck me as uncharacteristic to a person only minutes out here in the world. And, as you may have guessed, this was only the beginning of awestruck moments with this tiny human that grew inside me for 36.5 weeks.

How wonderful life is now you’re in the world - Elton Johnpersonal_photos_1st year_02I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart) – e.e. cummingspersonal_photos_1st_year_04newton_ma_photography_of_3_year_oldsAnd I’d choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I’d find you and I’d choose you.  -Kiersten White, The Chaos of Stars boston_ma_photography_of_4_year_olds_02Sometimes, you exasperate me to no end. Sometimes I feel like if I step on one more lego, I will throw them all out the window. Sometimes, I'm already fantasizing about a glass of wine or maybe even a stiff drink by 8:30 in the morning. But good gracious, child, I do love you so very very much. weston_ma_child_photography-02I'm in awe of you. Your cleverness at constructing jokes and lego creations, your (sometimes elusive) sweetness, your humor. You are sensitive and goofy, tough and determined, and a pretty gifted shot with those nerf darts. weston_ma_child_photography-01Being your momma has pushed me beyond capabilities I couldn't have even dreamed I had. It has deepened my sense of gratitude thousand-fold, motivated me to push forward as a business lady (me! your artist momma!), led me to more exhaustion than I thought was really survivable, and brought me so much joy.  somerville_ma_child_photographer-01Thank you, my darling boy, for giving me the job of being your momma. I celebrate you. cambridge_ma_child_photographer-01

Love always, Momma

Postscript for you all: 
I'd love to bring the joy I feel when looking at photos of my son to you and yours. I truly think it is the best present you can give yourself, as a momma, to get beautiful, professional photos of your kiddos as they grow!  It’s never too early to contact me about a future session – I often schedule a few months out – 617-480-0387 or cwy@willowbabystudios.com.  Also,  for extra cuteness in your life, please jump on over to Instagram and follow me there to see a little darling every day!  #willowbabydaily

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The Fur Siblings||Boston, MA Baby and Pet Photography

Oh, the pups! I do adore my tiny human subjects, but I have a special spot for their older (fur) siblings. It's so important not to let first borns feel ignored when a new baby arrives, so I always love to include them in our family photo sessions. And so, this post is in honor of the first babies of many families....

My sunshine doesn't come from the skies/It comes from the love in my dog's eyes.

-Unknown Poet

No one will invent and no one ever did/A happier pair than a dog and a kid. 
-Berton Fraley

The dog was created specially for children. He is the god of frolic.   - Henry Ward

When Finn was about three, he and I borrowed (okay, dog-sat) the remarkably sweet Walter-dog for a week, and it was pretty awesome to see them enjoying naps together. And amazing how they slept with their legs mimicking one another almost perfectly.... 
The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants.― Johnny Depp

The photo below with two pups looking right at me nothing less than a hard-earned miracle!

Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog;
but you're never friendless ever, 
if you have a dog.  
-
Douglas Mallock

To all the families with big, brave hearts that choose to parent a pup and a babe, what an impressive and lovely feat!  Thank you for the honor of photographing all your babies, the human and the furry alike!

Love,

Ceilidh

Postscript for you all: 

Do you need beautiful photos of your small people with their fur siblings? I would love to take them!  
It's never too early to contact me about a future session - I often schedule a few months out - 617-480-0387 or cwy@willowbabystudios.com 

Also,  for extra cuteness in your life, please jump on over to Instagram and follow me there to see a little darling every day!  #willowbabydaily

Pilfering the Crayons, or, Decluttering with Children

“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” - Socrates cwy_minimalism3Ah hahahahah! What a concept to introduce to my little guy, who eagerly accepts every sticker, lollipop and flimsy prize toy offered. And I don't blame him - new stuff is exciting! Treats are awesome! Prizes are validating! (and then getting rid of those things, well, the quote I've seen floating around the internet in various places - "I smuggle out broken bits of crayons like a drug lord" - rings pretty true. I've certainly hidden old coloring pages in between cereal boxes in the recycle bin.) But oh, how I love me a good empty bit of space, and how restful and joyous my mind feels when the clutter isn't around.

I remember the first time I realized I had way too much stuff. The last year of college - on a humid Boston day in late August- I was moving into a forth floor walk-up, and I hadn't suckered enough friends into helping me carry my boxes up the stairs. So I felt every. Single. Ounce.

I'd accumulated so much, and it sucked. It was literally heavy, but also emotionally so heavy - hanging on to so many things was weighing me down, bumming me out, and taking up energy that would be much better used elsewhere. cwy_minimalism2I came to understand that the more stuff I had, the more I was responsible for: for lugging from one apartment to the next. For ensuring it stayed in good shape, was taken care of, was respected.

Years later, I became a mom. And we parents all know that tiny babies born in the US should come with their own storage unit, plus a spare attic or two for all the new items they come with!

At some point last year I stumbled upon a blog called Nourishing Minimalism. The writer of the blog, Rachel, discusses the difficulties of decluttering or embracing minimalism with kiddos around. She has some great ideas on how to get the children on board and Finn and I started the 2016 in 2016 challenge - can we get rid of 2,016 items this year? We're on our way!

cwy_minimalism1I hope that these ideas make sense to Finn, so he spends less of his life and energy dealing with objects - wanting, buying, and collecting them - and so he never has to know the aggravation of carrying 8 million boxes up four flights of stairs on a disgustingly humid summer day in Boston.

Love,

Ceilidh

Postscript for you all: 

A material object that I do highly prize? Amazing family photographs. Truly some of my favorite possessions in my home. Do you feel similarly, but it's been dreadfully long since the whole of your family has all been in the same shot? I would love to help you out with that!  It's never too early to contact me about a future session - I often schedule a few months out - 617-480-0387 or cwy@willowbabystudios.com  

Also,  for extra cuteness in your life, please jump on over to Instagram and follow me there to see a little darling every day!  #willowbabydaily

 

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Finn the Photographer||Boston, MA Family Photography

On Saturday, little boy and I decided it was time for his first-ish* official photography lesson. boston-family-photographer-personal-06

I set him up with one of my old cameras, and we talked about the importance of using the camera strap, how to change the battery, how to take the lens cap on and off, and how to review a shot. We also went over pressing the shutter button down 1/2 way to focus. I left him alone for a bit to experiment, and a few minutes later he ran in to show me his first few shots: photos of his favorite page from last winter's lego catalog. "Okay, so, I took this photo of my booklip" (what he calls catalogs, magazines or instruction manuals) "and then I took this other photo of it, because I thought it would look better without my feet." Be still my heart! As a photographer, I agree that getting your feet out of the shot is a great idea, but as a momma, I prefer the first one because, well, adorable little boy feet. I showed him how to use the zoom on the lens, and he proudly wrapped up the booklip's session right after that, quite satisfied with his results. by_finn-11-wmI told him about the magical light of golden hour (the hour before sunrise or sunset) and he excitedly said we should make sure to go outside that very afternoon.

Here's what we got on our first photo walk together..... boston-family-photographer-personal-03proud momma says: he is remarkably good at keeping his horizons level!

boston-family-photographer-personal-02I'm totally digging his composition in this shot!

boston-family-photographer-personal-04slightly soft-focus, but he took this photo for me after I pointed out how pretty the golden light looked hitting the needles. Awwww....

boston-family-photographer-personal-08boston-family-photographer-personal-09 boston-family-photographer-personal-05role reversal.... now I have my own little documenter! (and look how cute my outfit looks from the back - love that coat!)

boston-family-photographer-personal-010boston-family-photographer-personal-01Oh, my little boy! Thank you for requesting this lesson. Such a wonderful afternoon indeed!

Love,

Ceilidh

Postscript for you all: 

Do you need beautiful photos of your small people? I would love to take them!  It's never too early to contact me about a future session - I often schedule a few months out - 617-480-0387 or cwy@willowbabystudios.com  

Also,  for extra cuteness in your life, please jump on over to Instagram and follow me there to see a little darling every day!  #willowbabydaily

*okay. The first time I let him use one of my old cameras was about 3 years ago. Slightly less involved lesson back then.....age 3_2013

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