Embracing the Snow in the Wintertime | Boston Family Photographer

Every year, the first snowfall takes me by surprise. When we got several inches of snow this past November, I kept saying, “But it was warm until January last year!” Then my niece reminded me that we had hard ice last Thanksgiving.

We got several inches in the middle of November this year, and I had expected it to melt before this family session but it was just too cold for that. Luckily, these three were happy to roll with the punches and we had a grand time playing in the white stuff!


Photographing dogs in the snow is one of my favorite things to do. This golden wasn’t the least bit chilly—after all, she had her coat on. She loved munching on the snow and walking around with her sweet boy.


I always bring my waterproof blanket, so we put that down on the ground and had a little snow “picnic”.


Whenever we do outdoor sessions in the cold, I always suggest bundling your kids up. This cutie pie was completely prepared, with multiple layers, a couple of hats, and a very jaunty pair of striped mittens.


And those rosy cheeks. Could anything be better?

Looking forward to capturing more snowy photos this winter!

Ready to have this much fun with your own family photos?

What's an Extended Family Session? | Boston Extended Family Photographer

Usually, when someone contacts me for an extended family session it’s because they want to buy it as a gift for grandma and grandpa, or because grandma and grandpa have requested one. These are often multigenerational sessions, including grandparents, their children, and their grandchildren, and it’s such an honor for me to capture these larger groups together.

Extended family sessions last a little longer because we have so much to capture, so you should plan on being with me for about 75-90 minutes.


I like to begin extended family sessions with the whole group first. It takes a little longer to get this shot because there are usually 8+ people in the photo and someone is always blinking! So we’ll spend a few minutes getting it right so that we know we’ve got one where everyone looks good.

After that, we go through every possible combination: grandparents and their children, grandparents and grandchildren, each family gets their own portraits, cousins, etc.


In this way, it’s a little bit like each family has their own mini session, with the added bonus of shots with other family members!


We also make time for plenty of candids, because so many funny, sweet moments happen when the whole family is together.


This family came together for Thanksgiving from all over the world, and it was such a pleasure to capture these sweet moments together.

For information on upcoming promotions and events:

The Benefits of Studio Photography for Family Photos | Greater Boston Family Photographer

For the last several years, winter has arrived on the later side. Not this year! The snow arrived with a bang this November and has yet to melt away as of the writing of this blog post.

Even though I’m not usually a fan of winter, I’m excited about all of the cozy studio sessions I’ll be doing over the next few months!

While I love outdoor and in-home sessions, studio sessions have a few distinct advantages.

No weather worries


Weather in New England can be all over the place. From snow to sleet to (freezing) rain, we have it all. And while many of us love having four seasons, it can make it very tricky to schedule with a busy photography business.

Studio sessions eliminate all of that stress about the weather. We set a date and a time, and barring a blizzard, we’ll stick to the schedule! It’s always warm and cozy in my studio. I have tea and hot chocolate at the ready. And we can play fun music to get everyone in a cheerful mood!

Wear whatever you want


My studio is always kept between 70-75 degrees, so you can wear whatever you want for your photos! Feel like getting cozy on the bed in pajamas? Do it! Want to wear a short sleeved dress in January? Why not! Feel like being barefoot? Go for it!

You’re free to choose the clothes that you really want to wear without having to worry about whether the day of your session will accommodate your outfits.

No clean up


For in-home sessions, you do need to pick up a little and do some cleaning, which can feel like a lot on top of getting your family’s outfits together, making sure everyone’s hair is behaving, trying to get everyone in a good mood, etc.

One of the biggest benefits of an in-studio session is that you come into a photo-ready space, get your photos taken, and leave the mess behind!

Beautiful light


I’m a natural light photographer, and oftentimes when we shoot in bedrooms for newborn sessions, there just isn’t a lot of light. That means we have to stand really close to the windows or move to other parts of the house.

The lovely thing about my studio is that it’s filled with beautiful, soft natural light. So when we take cozy photos, we can focus on your connection rather than on getting everyone near a window.

I can’t wait to see you in the studio!

Joy Uyeno
Why Golden Hour?

When I’m able to photograph families outside, I typically do it in the last couple of hours of daylight. Photographers call this Golden Hour because, when the sun is out, everything is awash in golden light.


Not only does Golden Hour give the landscape a lovely, warm glow, but it also gives the photos a magical, romantic quality. (Some people call it “magic hour” for that reason.)


On top of that, at the end of the day when the light is gentler you aren’t dealing with harsh shadows. The soft, even lighting makes everyone look their best, whether it’s clear or cloudy.


When the sun is directly overhead as it is toward the middle of the day, you’re subject to shadows under your eyes and nose. If you’re taking pictures during that time of day with your phone, you can avoid the shadows by finding a shady spot. But for your family pictures, you probably want to be out in nature, so sunset sessions give us that freedom.


Evening golden hour is my absolute favorite time of day, no matter what time of year it is! Which is pretty early in the wintertime, and pretty late in the summertime, here in New England.


In fact, I’m so obsessed with golden hour that when there’s a particularly good sunset and I’m not taking pictures, I think, “Rats! A missed photo session opportunity!”

And then I have to remind myself that golden hour should be enjoyed and appreciated, photos or not photos.

(But we all know that it’s better with photos!)

For information on upcoming promotions and events:

Joy Uyeno
Preparing For Your In-Home Newborn Session | Sudbury, Massachusetts Newborn Photographer

Newborn sessions usually take place in your home or in my studio in Stow, Massachusetts. One of the biggest benefits to doing a newborn photo session in your home is that you’re already there! No need to get everyone in the car and drive somewhere. Everyone’s already comfortable in the space (especially big brothers and sisters). And, above all else, snacks and changes of clothes are at the ready!

Here are just a few tips that will help you to get ready for your in-home newborn session.


Find the Light

Lighting can be tricky in our New England homes, especially when the weather isn’t cooperating. We’ll turn off the overhead lights during your session in order to invite cleaner, natural light into your photos.

So one of the first things to think about when preparing for your in-home newborn session is which of your rooms gets the best light. This family has a living room with a huge wall of windows, which created lovely light even though the day was overcast.


Have a Couple of Outfits Handy

All newborn clothing is so adorable, but you probably have a favorite outfit for your little one. Let’s start with that one! But definitely have one or two other outfits handy, both for variety and for, well, when nature calls. Blankets and wraps also work as outfits! (If only we could do the same as adults, right?)

Here’s some really good newborn fashion:


Do Some Light Cleaning

One of the benefits to having your newborn session in the studio is that you don’t have to worry about sippy cups in the background or dust on your side tables! When we shoot in your home, it doesn’t have to look perfect by any means, but a quick wiping down of surfaces in the rooms you think we’ll be in will do a world of wonders.


Let’s face it: you have PLENTY going on with a newborn. You might not remember any of this! And that’s totally fine. We will figure it out as we go. But if you do have a chance to think about these things, your session will go even more smoothly and we’ll be able to focus on your connection first and foremost.

Family Beach Photos in New England | Boston Family Photographer

I have to admit that I haven’t been to the beach in New England very much, despite living here for over a decade, so I was pretty excited when my friend Rachel proposed a beach session for her family photos this year!

Since Rachel and I originally met in Hawaii when she was my sister’s roommate wayyyyyyy back, the beach seemed especially perfect. We took advantage of the sun and the warmth on this September Sunday, and everything seemed to glow just for us.


Little Paige had a great time splashing around in the water, but I also got to capture some of her quieter moments. She gave us a glimpse into the young lady she’s growing into.


One of the things I love most about family photo sessions is that it’s dedicated time for families to connect. No screens, no obligations, just space to love on each other and truly connect. This family is so great at being present with one another. I loved capturing it on camera.


And, oh, that pink sunset! Be still, my beating heart.


I’m now obsessed with taking family photos at the beach and can’t wait to do more! Thank you, Rachel and Dave, for letting me capture these sweet moments with your family.

Joy Uyeno
More Than Just a Holiday Card | Metrowest Boston Family Photographer

It’s fall, and around this time of year my schedule becomes very, very busy with families who want photos for their holiday cards. And while I always get several photos that I know will work for your holiday cards, I also get a bunch of those in-between moments where you’re being you, and your kids are being completely themselves, and those are the ones that I think you wind up treasuring the most.

My clients’ galleries usually contain dozens of images, and this raises the question: what should we do with our photos after we download them? First things first: I highly encourage you to store them in the cloud somewhere (like Dropbox) so that you’ll have them, always. But what next?

It’s easy for all of those sweet memories to stay locked up in the cloud forever, but I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to take a lot of time or effort to get them in real, tangible formats! Here are my favorite resources:


Some of your family members will want prints they can hold, and maybe you want to order some for a slip-in album. My recommendation is always to print through Mpix, which offers high-quality prints at incredibly reasonable prices. I’d stay away from your corner store photo labs because the quality can be iffy. It takes an extra couple of days but you’ll be much happier with your prints if you order them through Mpix. I’m not affiliated with them at all, I just think they’re the greatest!



If you’re anything like me, you have every intention of getting your favorite images framed…and then months go by. Maybe even years! I think the problem is that it’s a multi-step process of choosing, printing, finding a frame, and then getting your print into the frame. That’s why I’m a big fan of Framebridge, where you can simply upload your favorite images, choose a frame, and get the whole thing shipped to your house. I’ll warn you that it’s so convenient and fun that you might want to frame every photo you take, ever.



One of the best things about this age of lifestyle photography is that you’ll get a lot of sweet images, but you’ll easily forget about them if you leave them in digital form. Everyone loves an album but not everyone wants to spend time designing one. In fact, despite their best intentions I’ve found that basically no one does it because something that’s done at any time is done at no time! That’s why I’ve begun offering albums as the sole print product in my packages. They’re beautiful clothbound albums with archival quality paper. Once you order one, I’ll design it, send it off to my printer, and have it delivered straight to your doorstep. Lots of people buy these for grandparents or in-laws because it’s an incredibly thoughtful gift—and no one needs to know that you didn’t have to spend hours selecting the images, choosing exactly the right format and flow for them, and getting them printed. Call it a win-win-win. Or a holiday hack!

I hope that this post inspires you to get your family photos printed, so that each day you have these little reminders of how much love is in your home.

Joy Uyeno
Get The Whole Family Excited About Your Family Photo Session | Greater Boston Family Photographer

What's the secret to having a stellar family photo session? 

It starts long before the session even happens, and it really isn't about the session itself. Here are the steps to getting everyone on board with the family photo session this year:

Introduce me to your kids


It can be weird to meet a new grown up for the first time, so it helps if you can tell them a little bit about me before the big day. Do they like travel and geography? You can tell them about how I'm from Hawaii. Do they love dogs? Show them my Instagram profile, which has plenty of pictures of my dogs Kona and Louie. Some parents explain that I'm a friend of the family, and that we're going to have a fun time together in which their kids get to be the stars of the show—which is entirely true!

Have your own pre-party

I can't say enough about how helpful it is to plan something fun to do before and after your photo session. My suggestion is that you plan something fun but relatively low-key before your session so that your kiddos still have energy by the time they arrive. It can be as simple as flying a kite in the same location as your shoot, to visiting a nearby museum or attraction, to going for a special snack at a cafe. 

Have a car karaoke jam session

Everyone loves James Cordon's "Carpool Karaoke" and for good reason: because it's so much fun to sing in the car! As you're on your way around town and to your session, turn up the music and rock out to your kids' favorite songs. It's really hard to be grouchy when your favorite music is playing, and music can totally change the tone of the day. You might even create a playlist and begin your car karaoke jam sessions in the weeks leading up to your session, so you'll be total pros by the time the big day arrives! 

Plan a reward (for everyone)


Plan on doing something fun after your family photo session is over. In the summer months, that sometimes means a trip to the local ice cream stand. In the fall, it might be apple cider donuts or hot apple cider from the farm stands. Some families go to a favorite restaurant for dinner, or to a bookstore or toy store to pick out a prize for good behavior. And don't forget to plan a reward for yourself, as well! Documenting your family's memories is such an important part of your history, but it also takes planning on your part. While your beautiful photos will be a reward down the road, give yourself an immediate treat. You deserve it!