Boston Baby Photos Blog » photos by Jessica McDaniel

Monthly Archives: June 2013

The 10 Year Anniversary: Phase 1, The Jimmy Fund Benefit Party

Truth – it’s actually September 2013, and my kids are back in school, so I now have time to do a few things that I’ve let fall through the cracks.  One fun one is to blog about the Jimmy Fund Benefit party Evan and I threw to celebrate BBP’s 10 year anniversary back in June.  So I’m backdating this post to put it into my blogging timeline in approximately the right place.  The party was a fundraiser – I hung the 100 photos from the 10th Anniversary Show in the back room at Steel & Rye (see more about how I hung the show itself and more detailed photos of the way it looked at this link).  The show itself was designed to hang in the Milton Public Library (and it did, later in the summer, for the whole month of August), but I wanted to host a gallery opening to raise money for the Jimmy Fund, and Steel & Rye was a great place to do it. Tons and tons of friends and clients joined us, and we raised over $3,500 for the Jimmy Fund.

But here’s the thing – when you’re a photographer, and you daydream about doing that thing… that crowning jewel on the top of a decade of photography, and it involves getting tons of friends gathered in the same room… and it’s just so exciting and amazing and you can’t believe it’s happening… and you’re so excited about the show, the people, the venue, the food, the drinks, you know intellectually that you should document that event… you (at least I) totally don’t plan for it.

And that’s where wonderful friends come in.  I reached out to an old friend from college, Elizabeth Horne (who takes gorgeous photos on the cape if you’re ever looking) just a few days before the event to see if maybe she could help me out by using my camera and snapping a few photos at the party, she did me one better. (I thought I could simplify her life by having her shoot on my camera, cut out the editing step for her…) But then she not only showed up with her own camera and proceeded to document the whole incredible party.

So here’s to friends. The ones who joined me for the party, and especially to Elizabeth. Thanks so much. The party was every dream come true.

Here’s a slideshow of about 40 photos from that evening:

What’s the difference between a minishoot and a full shoot?

People ask me this question ALL the time – and these guys are a great example of the difference. I met these three that really hot first weekend in June at the Boston Public Garden for a full photoshoot. Their parents were there, in the background, but they asked that we do pictures of just the kids. So this is a great example of a full, kids-only photoshoot in the same location where I normally do minis (see lots of examples of minishoots in the Public Garden at this link), so you can really get a sense of the differences.

For me, minishoots are 20 minutes, and full shoots are between 45 minutes and an hour. So obviously the difference is primarily time. But what does time equate to, in terms of my photography? There are a few ways to answer the question, but really it comes down to variety, spontaneity and flexibility. When we have the full 45-60 minutes to work with, we can do things like…

Get that good old fashioned great shot of all three looking in the same direction and smiling (of course)…

But we can also take our shoes off and show off our dirty toes…

We can explore parts of the Boston Public Garden that we can’t get to when we just have 20 minutes in a minishoot…

We can strangle sisters on the Make Way for Ducklings statues (with minis we’re usually rushing away from these statues – with a full shoot we have more time to play and be silly)…

And get overheated, so mom has to dump her water bottle on our heads…

And get annoyed when mom dumps water on big brother’s head instead…

Take the time to play, and just generally do all the fun, different stuff that the kids want to do…
And just be all wet and crazy – who cares?

We can even wander around holding sticks:

So I guess what it comes down to is, by necessity my minishoots are spent working to get those standard shots parents like to have – the kids together, the kids alone, the kids with each parent… but with a full shoot we have time to be creative and just play.  Not to knock minishoots – they’re perfect for what they are – but they’re less expensive than my full shoots for a reason.

Does that help explain the difference?


The 10 Year Anniversary: Phase 1, the Steel & Rye Gallery Show, Setup edition

As you might know from hearing me mention it before, Boston Baby Photos has now been in existence for ten, count em, 10 years. As this anniversary has been coming up, I wondered what I could do to celebrate, and how I could give back in some way, to somehow thank the community of Boston families who’ve allowed me to do this all these years. I settled on the Jimmy Fund as my charity of choice, and began (back in March) planning the 10 Year Celebration.

Over time, it has become a celebration in three phases, and this past Sunday, at the gorgeous Steel & Rye restaurant in Milton, my husband Evan and I hosted the first phase. Before I get into describing it in detail, I’ll outline the three phases for you.

Phase 1: A Cocktail Party Benefit for The Jimmy Fund/Steel & Rye Gallery Show, Celebrating 10 Years of Boston Baby Photos. We hung 100 photos from the past decade in Steel & Rye’s private back room. We had fabulous hors d’oeuvres, wonderfully generous guests, and we raised $3,435 for the Jimmy Fund that night. Here’s the pretty invitation that helped raise all that moolah:

And after that comes…

Phase 2: The Facebook Contests: 10 Summer Contests to Celebrate 10 Years of Boston Baby Photos. The contests are launching this weekend – you’ll hear lots more from me about them on Facebook. Like the Boston Baby Photos Facebook page to keep in the loop on these — someone’s going to win a gift certificate for an in-home photoshoot plus the digital JPG files.

And then, last but not least, we have…

Phase 3: The Gallery Show, Celebrating 10 Years of Boston Baby Photos. I’ll explain this part in detail now because I realize it might be nice for this show to live on in other locations this year. It has one home – it will live in the Milton Public Library for August 6th – 29th. Here’s the poster about the Library Opening on August 6th – I hope you’ll join me:

Now if anyone knows of another library or other space that’d be interested in hosting this show later this fall or sometime in 2014, please let me know.  The show features one hundred black and white photos of children and families, divided into ten thematic categories.  These are the same 100 8″x8″ mounted photos we hung at Steel & Rye for the Cocktail Party Jimmy Fund Benefit (see photos below). The show is designed to be hung without being adhered to the wall at all – it hangs from 8 foot tall thin white boards, which are wired to S hooks at the top of the board which keep the boards secured to a picture rail or something similar, and the boards just lean against the walls.

OK, enough of that. Let’s get to the fun part — the pictures from Steel & Rye last weekend. So this blog post will just be to show pictures of Phase 1, the Steel & Rye Gallery Show, and this is just the first half of the photos – I’m only showing photos here from setup, so you can see what the show looked like as we hung it. I have some pictures of the event itself coming, but those will be posted another day.

So here’s the outside of Steel & Rye, our wonderful hosts for the evening. They opened in November 2012, and they’ve been buzzing ever since.  Fantastic food, wonderful open space – you must try it if you haven’t already.

As our guests entered the gorgeous restaurant, they saw a bit of the show – we hung three of our ten groups of photos in the main bar area. The entrance to the private room where we were is on the left side of this photo:

Here’s a closer view of those first three categories that were out in the main bar area, as my assistant Meghan straightened them before the party. Each mounted 8″x8″ photo hangs with a piece of black ribbon over a nail on the white 8′ board. Yes, that’s my 4 year old Sadie in the corner – she stopped by to see the show before the grownups arrived for the party.

Here’s a closeup of the door the guests entered to get into the private room in the back:

Then in the private room as guests looked left, there were three categories of photos hanging – thanks to Evan, Meghan, John Charles and my dad, we got them all hung in less than 2 hours. It was epic, and I was nervous – I will admit. Go team :)

This one gives you a more straight-on version of that wall to the left as guests walked into the private room:

You can see in this next picture how the photos are hung – they’re mounted on Masonite with a white matte and a black border, and they’re relatively thin and light.  They’re strong, though — Masonite is a wood-based product.

Then as guests looked right (towards the long gorgeous bar along the right wall), they saw three more categories of photos (and here’s my dad straightening a bit):

And just one category hung on the back wall:

And last but not least, I hung these two photos separately because I wanted to highlight them. The top one says “Let me introduce my muse, the now nearly teenage Emma. She is the adorable daughter of our friends Ken & Teresa, and I took this picture of her in the summer of 2001. She was the first baby I ever photographed, and even then it was still years before I decided to make this hobby a real job. Thanks, guys, for letting me point a camera at your munchkin. I’ll say again what I’ve said before: her chubby arms made me want to do this forever.”

And then the bottom one says “And here’s my first real client, the now 10 year old Nate. My friend and co-worker Alanna welcomed me into her home on May 25, 2003, for my first professional photoshoot of her little five week old Nate. This photo of Nate was featured in Plum Magazine’s photo essay The Birth of a Mother the following year. To all my friends who’ve become clients and clients who’ve become friends over the last decade, I really, truly thank you.”

So there’s the first installment of what I’m sure will be many posts this summer about the 10 Year Celebration. Thanks for reading, and thanks for a wonderful decade.

Bob Hartle - June 13, 2013 - 3:58 pm

Fabulous! Wish we had been there, but this has been a great experience. Too bad we have no babes for you to shoot — our youngest was 31 yesterday.Congratulations on your tenth! Ann joins in sending you fond regards, Bob.

Joanne Martin - June 16, 2013 - 4:27 pm

What a fun loving, spontaneous, gentle collection of portraits–full of life ad love! And the same spirit seems clear in the charity-centered way you structured your anniversary celebration. Congratulations all the way from Hawaii. We just wish we could have been there. Joanne

Spring Public Garden Minishoot #22

We’re getting there, guys – almost done with the Public Garden minishoots from this spring. Just three more to edit next week. But for now I have this stylish mama and her family (my clients all inspire me so much, style-wise… and this mama always gets me and makes me need to shop. It’s fantastic for my personal style, but painful for the wallet…)

Great to see you guys, as always!

Spring Public Garden Minishoot #20

I had such a great time playing in the Public Garden with these guys. Every time they book a shoot I’m just thrilled because it means I get to hang out with them. They are just wonderfully fun.  They had the 1pm shoot on my 5/18 minishoot day, and they came ready to jump around and play. And they did :)

Adventures with a cutie

He was born 6 weeks early, but as his mama put it: in these last nine months he’s been making up for lost time! He loves his yummy soft foods (how perfect are those light eyes caught by the light coming in the window?)  And the one where his parents are blowing in his face to get him to laugh? I love his expression :) I think the one where his mama is kissing his cheek might be my favorite, though.

What a fun photoshoot – thanks so much for inviting me out!

Welcome sweet boy

With a four year old big brother and a 22 month old big sister, little new 2 week old N is getting lots of love. They really are extraordinary with him – just so loving. I really like the crazy family pictures from this shoot – just a little slice of what life is really like these days :)