The age-old question – mini session or full session? Both are great for different reasons; however, I wanted to share some pros and cons with you. You might think you are leaning towards one, but you might change your mind after reading this!
If you really just need a nice family photo for a Christmas card or other reason, mini sessions are handy. We still have a lot of fun, and clients love what we can come up with in 15 minutes!
You might want a mini session if you…
Just need that Christmas Card Photo
Are flexible with location and date
Are fine doing all the prep on your own
Quick – Mini Sessions are usually about 15 minutes, and we move fast! You’ll be surprised at how many photos I can take during a mini session.
Smaller Session Fee – Typically, a smaller session fee. To keep the fee smaller, mini sessions are usually held on a specific day and location.
Get The Christmas Card Photo – Usually, the goal of this session is to capture your family portrait, which is great if you just want that Christmas card photo.
Focus is on the Family Shot – While the focus is to get the family portrait, you may miss out on capturing those precious candids or sibling shots.
Warming Up – Usually, it’s okay, but if you’re worried about your kids warming up to the camera, 15 minutes might not be enough time!
No Wardrobe Guidance – Mini sessions don’t normally include wardrobe guidance or session location choices.
Pros and Cons of a Full Session
Full sessions are how you document and display your family’s story for generations to come. We still capture that full family portrait during the session, but we capture everything in between as well. Your family will laugh and play together while I photograph every smile, laugh, and giggle.
You might want a full session if you….
Are looking to capture your family
Want all the planning and dress off your plate
Dream of seeing your beautiful family portraits every day
Family Can Warm Up to Photographer – Your family has a dedicated session with the photographer, so there is plenty of time to warm everyone up for photos!
Candid Family Portraits – With the full session, the goal is to document your family’s love and personality. We’ll get a full family portrait as well as sibling portraits, children’s portraits, and so much more!
Pre-Session Support – I’m with you every step of the way throughout planning your full session. I’m there to offer wardrobe guidance (Client Wardrobe), tips and tricks, and anything else that you need before, during, and after your session.
Different Session Fee – Yes, the session fee is higher, but now you can see why! Clients love my full-service experience.
Your Full-Service Photographer in Newburyport, MA
There’s a place in my heart for mini sessions and full sessions, but there’s nothing like the magic of a full-service session! That’s where I get to take everything off your plate and deliver stunning portrait artwork you can treasure forever. If you’re interested in booking a full session with me, please send me a message here.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, we have the best fall right here in the Seacoast! There is so much to see and do in our area. As a mom of three, I know that fall can quickly get busy with school, sports, and other extracurricular activities. But, I try to find fall family fun activities that my growing family can do together. As I was brainstorming activities, I realized that this would be helpful for you!
Your Fall Bucket List
I broke down my fall bucket list by category so that you can look for your family’s favorites. I also recommend trying something new if you’re up for it! There’s so much to explore. I hope you and your family have a great fall!
Fall Hiking in the Seacoast
A great way to see the beautiful fall colors is by hiking! Here are three parks that I highly recommend for a scenic hike.
Stratham Hill Fire Tower | Stratham, NH – This Stratham Hill Fire Tower offers one of the best views of the fall colors in our area! You can enjoy some trails around the tower and then make the trek up to enjoy the view. Visit their website here.
Pawtuckaway State Park | Nottingham, NH – We’re so lucky to have this wonderful state park close by. With lots of trails and beautiful views of the water, there’s something for everyone at this park. Visit their website here.
Winnie the Pooh Trail | Barrington, NH – Yes! You can take a stroll through the 100 Acre Wood right here in the Seacoast. This adorable trail was created with inspiration from the beloved classic children’s book by AA Milne. The trail is less than a mile, but your kids will love exploring all of the fun spots along the way. Visit their website here.
Fall Biking in the Seacoast
Of course, the second best way is to go for a bike ride to admire the fall colors! This trail is perfect for a family ride through the countryside.
Rockingham Recreational Rail Trail | Portsmouth NH – This bike trail meanders through the Seacoast with views of historic buildings, beautiful nature, and so much more! The trail is 28 miles, but you can definitely hop on and off to your ability. Visit their website here.
Seacoast Farms to Visit this Fall
Picturesque farm with delicious fresh food? Sign me up! We’re lucky to have several farms in our area to stop by and enjoy an afternoon of fall fun.
Applecrest Farm | Hampton Falls, NH – Apple picking, anyone? Applecrest Farms is one of the largest and oldest orchards in the Seacoast. You can pick your own apples or pick some up. They also have events this fall, including Harvest Fest. Visit their website here.
Cider Hill Farm | Amesbury, MA – Cider Hill Farm is another beautiful, local farm with options to pick your own apples or their farm store. They have a great calendar of events with options for everyone in your family. Visit their website here.
Coppal House Farm | Lee, NH – The Coppal House Farm’s Corn maze is SO COOL! Your kids will love it (and be busy for a while). They have a festival in mid-September that I’ve heard is a lot of fun. Visit their website here.
Fall Camping and Glamping
If you really want to get outdoors and soak in the Seacoast fall, you can’t beat camping or even glamping. We have a great campground nearby with options to suit all campers.
White Lake State Park | White Lake, NH – While White Lake State Park is known for its great swimming, it’s probably going to be too cold for swimming in the fall. However, if you’re looking for camping, this is the perfect place! I looked at the calendar, and there are a few reservations open with October 10th as the last weekend of camping. Check it out!
Museums and Libraries
If you need to find something to do that’s indoors, check out our local museums or visit the local library for a pass to these top Boston attractions.
Children’s Museum of New Hampshire | Dover, NH – This children’s museum is so much fun and will keep your kids busy and happy for a long time! They have lots of fun events for kids. There is an especially cute Halloween event called Not-So-Spooky Halloween with fun activities for kids of all ages. Visit their website for more information.
Visit Boston’s Top Attractions | Boston, MA – If you’re looking to plan a day trip to the city, don’t forget to stop by your local library to grab a pass! YES, you can save $$$ by using your local library. You can visit Boston’s top attractions such as the Boston Aquarium and the Science Museum for FREE.
Take Fall Family Portraits
The last thing on your fall bucket list is to take fall family portraits. Nothing captures the beauty of our fall more than with your family in the frame. Check out my guide with the four best fall session locations here. Once you have the perfect location in mind, plan out your family’s outfits with my guide on what to wear for fall family photos. I have limited spots available, so reach out soon to schedule your session!
I may be biased, but I think we have the most beautiful fall here in the Seacoast. So, whenever a maternity client contacts me and needs her session in the fall, I’m SUPER excited! I have this resource on when to schedule your maternity and newborn sessions if you’re currently in the research phase.
It’s no secret that maternity portraits are some of my favorites to capture. I love documenting such a special time for you and helping my clients plan this session. I’m here to help you with all the planning, including wardrobe and location. We have so many beautiful spots in our area, but I’ve rounded up my top five favorite maternity session locations.
The Top Five Maternity Session Locations
Wagon Hill in Durham, NH – This farm is a beautiful location that features tall fields and deep and rich fall colors for your portrait backdrop. Many locals also love the iconic wooden wagon on the farm for that country feel. See more about this location on their website.
Town Landing in Durham, NH – This picturesque location is stunning in the fall, with lush fall colors overlooking the water and boats. This location also has a beautiful waterfall that’s perfect for photos. Plus, it’s perfect for an expecting mama with convenient parking next to Three Chimney’s Inn. See more about this location here.
Fort Foster, Kittery, Maine – There’s so much to love about this location! This is perfect if you love the sea and want photos with the beautiful pier and lighthouse. Sunset sessions are always a fav for me. Did I mention that it’s dog friendly!? See more on the website.
Vernon Family Farm – Of course, Vernon Family Farm makes the list! This beautiful farm features a stunning wildflowers field and fall foliage that is perfect for a maternity session. In fact, every year, I’m able to offer Wildflower Mini Sessions that book up quickly. If you haven’t heard of Vernon Family Farm, check out my blog feature with one of the owners.
Hampton Beach State Park, NH – This location is perfect if you’re dreaming of a white sand beach backdrop. The beautiful seagrass makes a pretty background too. This beach tends to have fewer crowds which is nice for a maternity session. For tips on a beach maternity session, check out my blog here.
At-Home Maternity Session
Maybe you’re dreaming of something a little cozier. An at-home maternity session may be perfect for you. At home, we can capture you and your family where you are most comfortable. It also offers an opportunity to capture boudoir maternity photos to show how beautiful you are!
Seacoast Maternity Photographer
You really can’t go wrong with any of these locations for fall maternity photos. If you’re unsure or have questions, please send me a message here. I’m always happy to help a mama out. Did you know I have an online community for Seacoast moms? Join The Village for Seacoast Moms by White Wave Photography on Facebook. We’d love to have you!
If you’ve followed me for a while, you probably have heard of Vernon Family Farm. Not only am I an avid supporter of their mission, but I love being able to photograph clients on this picturesque, working farm.
This amazing farm is run by Nicole and Jeremiah Vernon, along with their adorable kids. Nicole was gracious enough to allow me to interview her for my blog, and I’m so excited to share that with you below. I have a special partnership with Vernon Family Farm and am so proud of all they’ve accomplished over the last ten years. If you’re local to Newfields, NH, I highly recommend you stop by the farm.
Here is my interview with Nicole! Some responses were edited for clarity.
Can You Share Your Business Name, What You Do and Where You’re Located?
My name is Nicole Vernon and I am co-owner of Vernon Family Farm which is a family farm that
was started by my husband Jeremiah and me approximately a decade ago, 8 years ago to be exact. We are located in Newfields, New Hampshire. We are a pastured livestock farm that focuses on non-GMO pasture-raised chickens.
As we continue to grow, we are diversifying and raising different crops and animals on pasture. For example, we are expanding our sheep operation and raising beef cattle. We are also in the beginning stages of growing some veggies again—garlic this year! Our niche is non-GMO pasture-raised chicken. We have a farm store on the property, what used to be an old blacksmith shop, that my husband renovated and restored to its current state. We are open daily, year-round. Our goal is to make local food as easy and accessible to the public as possible. That’s one of the main reasons we are open every day of the week so people can shop the way they are in the habit of shopping.
What is the Mission and Vision of Vernon Family Farm?
Our mission statement is a two-part mission statement: thriving pasture, thriving community. First, there’s “thriving pasture”—we aim to preserve open space while improving the environmental health of our pastures. We try to do that in harmony with our farm’s needs. If the pasture is in good health, the land will provide, and if the land can provide, the community will thrive. In part, a thriving community is attainable when there is understanding, transparency, and appreciation between the consumer and the farming community.
We encourage people to directly interact with local food, know your farmer, shop and connect with the people responsible for your food. In our opinion, the two ideas are so incredibly interconnected.
Do You Have Some Popular Items at The Farm Store?
Chicken! Vernon Family Farm has really created a name for itself regarding chicken. We saw an opportunity when we first started working at the farmer’s markets. We noticed that chicken, for being the number one consumed protein in the United States, just wasn’t available the way it needed to be. No one had chicken cuts, boneless breasts, drumsticks, or wings. You know, the cuts of chicken you purchase at a grocery store? Nobody had these popular cuts we love and have all the time in our freezers. Jeremiah wanted to do chicken the way people wanted chicken. By doing so, we also made sure we maximized what was raised and continued to use the whole/entire animal—not letting anything go to waste.
When you walk into our store and come to our farm events, chicken is the most popular item both on the menu at Vernon Kitchen and in The Farm Store. Boneless breast and tenders are super popular and we also have value-added products made by our sister
company Vernon Kitchen. The value-added products that are popular are our varieties of broth, chicken pot pie, soup, rotisserie chicken mac and cheese, and rotisserie chicken. We have all the cuts of chicken available. We also have feet, organ meat like liver, heart, necks, and once in a while have bones available to purchase. Besides the feathers and beaks, we use the entire animal.
Most people know us as a pasture live-stock farm and chicken is number one on the list. Other meat tends to be next, beef, pork, lamb, bison, elk, etc. We like to offer a one-stop shop for locals. We work with 30-40 other local vendors and small farmers in our area. We don’t grow every single item in our farm store, but we do work with an incredible network of farmers and growers that allow us to be so diverse in our offerings. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. It’s a team effort.
Do You Have Any Signature Events?
We have a concert music series that begins at the end of May and goes through October. Our events feature our chicken on the menu and live music at The Farm. It’s an opportunity for people to connect to local food in a way that is maybe more comfortable for them? Our events are inviting and are a wonderful way to get new people to The Farm. You get to see the animals roaming in the pasture, and you get to interact with the local community in a way you might not have at a typical venue. Plus, you get the sights, sounds, and smells of a local farm. We market it as a truly authentic experience.
Our events focus on local food (every chicken dish is made with our chicken) and local, live music in an outdoor setting. We have our fried chicken events which are our signature events that happen on the 2nd Saturday of the month and the 4th Friday of the month. Another really fun event we have is an event that happens in October called Fire and Ice. It’s a Vernon Family Farm tradition. We have a fire spinner that comes and does a fire show in addition to live music and good wholesome local eats. Courtney, our fire spinner, has been coming to the farm for years to perform. The “ice” portion of this event was when we used to make farm-inspired popsicles, super popular but currently on pause. We do hope to bring those back. It’s really an event geared toward kids but all are welcome and everyone has a blast.
Can You Share About the Wildflower Sessions?
Jennie is a friend and also a photographer who first approached us about photographing her clients with the signature hale bales in the background. People love getting their pictures in a field with the sunset and with hay bales behind them. She invites a lot of new customers to the farm that wouldn’t have known who Vernon is and it’s a win/win situation on many levels.
About two years ago, we received a wonderful grant to install a half-acre wildflower meadow with the purpose of encouraging pollinators and naive pollinizers. The blooms start in early May and last all throughout our event season through the end of October. Every month the wildflower meadow changes because there are new flowers in bloom.
Jennie has really cultivated this beautiful awareness of this space through her photography and photo sessions. Jarrod Fowler helped us install this wildflower meadow. He is an expert in this field. He is a pollinator conservationist and entomologist who was instrumental in the architectural design, installation, and cooperative maintenance of the wildflower meadow.
How Can Readers Support Vernon Family Farm Farm?
If readers are local, they can come shop at Vernon Family Farm located at 301 Piscassic Road
Newfields, NH 03856. Maybe look at your grocery list and see what you can buy at The Farm versus the grocery store. Additionally, if readers aren’t local, they can share our content online. We are on Instagram and Facebook.
Family Photography at Vernon Family Farm
Honestly, I’m always excited when my clients have their session at Vernon Family Farm! It’s a beautiful location with lots to offer, plus, I love getting to show my clients around. Not only can you schedule your family photography session with me at Vernon Family Farm, but I offer limited Wildflower Sessions every year. Click here to see the next Wildflower session date.
If you’re an expecting mama, you’re probably in the midst of planning all the things for your new baby! From researching baby monitors to decorating the nursery and choosing a name, there’s a LOT that needs to get done to welcome such a tiny person into your family.
One of the things you’re probably thinking about is when to have your maternity and newborn photos taken? I’m here to answer those questions and provide you with insight into why.
When Should You Schedule Maternity Photo Shoot
So, when is the best time to schedule your maternity photoshoot? I recommend having your photos taken between 31-35 weeks of pregnancy. This way, your bump is perfect for photographing, but you aren’t quite at the over-it stage of pregnancy! Of course, please let me know if you have a special circumstance such as multiples or any other situation. I totally understand and am happy to work with you! Your photos will still be gorgeous.
The answer to when to actually contact a photographer and schedule your maternity photo shoot is as soon as possible! This way, you can be on my calendar well before you reach 35 weeks, and we don’t have to worry about fitting you in! For tips on how to have your best maternity session, look here.
My best piece of advice is not to wait until your baby is born. To be able to provide a full-service newborn session experience for clients and ensure my availability around their due date, I can only take on a certain number of newborn sessions. If you contact me after your baby is born, I might not have availability.
I highly recommend scheduling your newborn session as soon as you can, and, preferably, you can schedule your maternity and newborn sessions at the same time. This way, you’re all ready to go and don’t have to worry about finding a photographer while you’re navigating life with a newborn.
Special Circumstances in Newborn Photography
Just like with maternity photos, there are special circumstances that I want to address. If you need more time to recover from birth or your baby had to spend time in the NICU, it’s okay to take newborn photos later. Please reach out and let me know how I can help you.