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The Holidays are officially here at Portrait Simple!

We are so excited to officially be in the throws of another holiday season. While this is certainly our craziest time of year, its also the time of year that we get to see so many of our loyal clients–and meet so many new ones! With the opening of our new location in Burlington last month, we have been so busy capturing this years holiday memories. Here are just a few of our images shot so far! Give us a call now to set up your holiday portrait session!

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weekly picks wednesday

This is it! The last home stretch for holiday portraits. Thank you to everyone who joined the Portrait Simple family this year, and to those who were already members and visited again for the family portrait tradition. We wish you all a very happy holiday week and much love, peace, good health and good fortune in the new year :) As always, enjoy the weekly picks!

Boys in blue captured by Eric at the Atrium

Big brother, little sister captured by Jodi in Rockingham

New year, new baby! Captured by Jenn S at Trumbull

White Christmas captured by Marie at Rockingham

A beautiful bunch captured by Kayte at the Atrium

Cozy baby captured by Marisa at the Atrium


weekly picks wednesday

As you know, we’ve been selecting our favorite released images taken each week and sharing them with you here. The busier we get, the harder it is to pick just a few great images in each studio! Please excuse the number of images; we hope it’s worth the load time :)

Brand new baby captured by Dawn at Eastview

Who would think of shorts for holiday pictures? But these came out ADORABLE! Cute little trend-setters captured by Cassie in South Shore

Brother, sister, and best friend captured by Tess at the Atrium

Holiday spirit captured by Sara Z at Westfarms

Raining presents captured by Vanessa in Warwick

Silly sisters captured by Samantha in Natick

Happy family captured by Jaime in Trumbull

A princess and her puppy captured by Dawn at Eastview

Pretty in pink captured by Jessica at Emerald Square

Love birds captured by Thomas at the Atrium

Ho ho ho! Captured by Rebecca at Rockingham

Elf baby captured by Meghanne at Emerald (hat provided by Portrait Simple)
It’s not too late for holiday cards! Orders arrive in-home about 7 business days after you order them (sometimes quicker, depending on what day of the week the cards are ordered). If you haven’t made your appointment, call tonight!


Winter Getup Guide 2011

The time for holiday portraits is here! As our phones ring more and more for holiday appointments, one of the most common questions we get on a daily basis is: “what should my kids wear?” Last year we decided to offer an online guide to holiday portrait wardrobe selection. This year, I added to those looks and updated the existing ones, creating an “idea board” for each style, and following up with examples of how our real clients executed those outfits in the past few weeks. So, here you have it– 11 different looks for this year’s holiday portraits. There’s something for everyone and I hope you find it useful in putting together the look that best suits your family. Enjoy!
1. Cute N’ Casual
Comfortable is always in. Some Moms have the philosophy that if it’s not the kind of thing worn every day, you don’t need to include a dressy outfit in your family memories.

Above: (a) baby raccoon outfit from Gymboree, (b) oxford shirt dress from Janie and Jack, (c) “think sweet thoughts” from Gymboree, (d) “petite chic” set from Carter’s, (e) lumberjack outfit from Carter’s
How our members are doing it…

Get the look: women’s cable knit cowlneck top, man’s plaid shirt, and girl’s cardigan from Macy’s; boy’s plaid flannel from Gymboree

Get the look: layered tops from Catimini

Get the look: Striped maternity top from Motherhood, thermal pullover hoodie by Ralph Lauren

Get the look: boys striped shirt from The Children’s Place, boys black corduroy pants and baby girl gray jumper from Janie and Jack
2. Perfectly Preppy
These “preppy” looks are portrait staples! Simple and clean, they are easy to match, and add a touch of formal.

Above: (a) “check him out” set from The Children’s place, (b) stripe whirl dress from Crewcuts, (c) sweater vest set from Saks Fifth Ave, (d) button tab bubble jumper from Janie and Jack, “velvet girl” outfit from The Children’s Place, (f) tweed girl’s set from Janie and Jack, (g) rugby shirt and jeans from Carter’s
How our members are doing it..

Above: baby oxford shirt by Ralph Lauren, pull-on denim cargo pants from Crazy 8

Get the look: black cardigan from American Apparel, ruffled blouse from Macy’s, metallic leather flats from Zappos

Get the look: Argyle vest and plaid shirt from Dillard’s
3. Santa Baby
If you celebrate Christmas, the holiday season makes you think of Santa. And when you have small children, or a baby especially, you still have 100% control over their wardrobe–they won’t protest because they still don’t know any better. So during this opportune time, there are no limits when it comes to a themed wardrobe! Here are several ways to involve a little Santa magic in your baby portraits.

Above: (a) Santa dress from Target, (b) “I ♥ Santa” bodysuit from Carter’s, (c) personalized snowman long johns from Red Envelope, (d) red ribbon tutu from Gymboree, boy’s santa suit from Target
How our members are doing it..

Get the look: “Santa’s favorite” onesie from Target

Get the look: Faux fur velour dress, striped leggings, and ruffled red socks from Gymboree; striped santa hat from Oriental Trading

Get the look: Bonnie Jean Santa dresses from Macy’s (red Santa hats available in the studios)

Get the look: Penguin apparel from Crazy 8

Get the look: personalized baby long johns from Personal Creations
4. Pajama Party
The ultimate combination of cute and comfort, this “Christmas morning” theme is sure to be a big hit with the little ones!

Above: (a) Santa’s helper Gymmies from Gymboree, (b)gingerbred Gymmies from Gymboree, (c) bear sleep set from Gap, (d) Christmas sleep & play from Carter’s, (e) smocked plaid pajama set from Janie and Jack, (f) snowman pajama set from Janie and Jack, (g) fair isle fleece one-piece from Gap, graphic fleece sleeper from Old Navy
How our members are doing it…

Get the look: striped long johns from Hannah Andersson

Get the look: personalized pajamas from Red Envelope

Get the look: Santa sleeper from Old Navy

Get the look: Plaid pajama set from Lord & Taylor

Get the look: girls and boys pajama sets from Old Navy
5. Autumn Adventure
Maybe you’re looking for a hint of whimsy, a wink of weather, or you want layered looks that you can use again in the spring. Here they are! This is a great way to mix girls and boys looks that go together but aren’t identical.

Above: (a) flight school and (b) “go furry” from the Gap, (c) utility parka from the Children’s Place, (d) “fly boy”, (d) “ice princess”, and (e) bear one-piece all from–you guessed it–the Gap!
How our members are doing it…

Get the look: faux fur sweater hoodie from Gymboree

Get the look: girl’s cherokee dalysha boots and boy’s suede moccassins from Target

Get the look: flannel shirt and puffer vest from Gymboree, converse sneakers from shoes.com (earflap hat available for use in the studio)
6. Rosy Cheeks
We’re getting warmer! If you’re all-out ready for a white Christmas, here are some looks that are cute, cozy, and warm.

Above: (a) “cuddle up” set from the Gap, (b) “winter cabin” set , (c) pom pom sweater jumper, (d) “wild & cozy” set, (e) “snow ready” set, and (f) candy ear muffs from Gymboree; (g) dog hat from the Children’s Place, (h) fuzzy rainbow slipper boots from Carter’s, and (i) pom pom boots from Gymboree
How our members are doing it..

Get the look: hooded puffer vest by Gymboree, thermal graphic top from the Children’s Place, polka dot hat from Gymboree

Get the look: faux fur hooded vest and fur boots from Gymboree

Get the look: puffer vest from Gymboree and orange hoodie from Old Navy

Get the look: cableknit sweaters from the Gap
7. Hip Holiday
Were your kids the first among their friends to sport silly bandz? Do they go to school in jeggings? Do they Skype regularly? Do they play Angry Birds in between Skypes? If your answer was “yes” to any of these questions, this is what they might want to wear for their holiday portraits. Then again, they might not. These are the “coolest” looks we could find (but we wouldn’t take the risk of calling them that in the company of your kids).

Above: (a) “fancy free” outfit from the Gap, (b) “rollin’ in style” set from Crazy 8, (c) “knitty pretty” outfit from the Children’s Place, (d) blue puffer outfit from Crazy 8, (e) “passing notes” from the Gap, (f) “prepped for fun” from Crazy 8
How our members are doing it…

Get the look: sweater dress and fringe boots from Hanna Andersson

Get the look: Gray cardigan from Brooks Brothers, striped shirt from Nordstrom

Get the look: furry vest and courtyard tile dress from the Tea Collection, floral tights from Hanna Andersson.. or, try this tunic and legging set from Neiman Marcus

Get the look: faux fur trapper hat from the Gap, twill print cap from Crazy 8
8. Rock & Revelry
Does your bedtime lullaby repertoire include “Dream On” or “Sweet Child of Mine,”? Was your family KISS for Halloween? If so, you might be more inclined to go bold and wear a funkier look. Don’t be afraid to let the “true colors” of your family shine. The holidays can rock too!

Above: (a) boys’ party outfit from H&M, (b) leopard jacket and matching items from the Children’s Place, (c) “sequins are a hoot!” outfit from the Gap, (d) Skull crew sweater from the Gap, (e) skull socks from Babylegs, (f) panda tutu set from Target, (g) rainbow leg warmers from Babylegs
How are members are doing it..

Get the look: “moo” tutu and cowprint headband from Etsy, cow onesie from Awesome Graphics, Red Converse Chucks from Dillards

Get the look: star top and tulle skirt from the Gap, Converse all-stars from Zappos

Get the look: sock monkey hat from Amazon, skull graphic tee from Old Navy

Get the look: Skull sweater from the Gap

Get the look: bubble knit striped dress from Janie and Jack
9. Winter Ball 1921
Finally, we’re into the classic formal styles. There’s a reason these looks have been around for almost a century.

Above: (a) toddler boys’ 4 piece set from Target, (b) “finely plaid” wool blazer suit and (c) brocade bubble dress from Janie and Jack, (d) drop waist sweater dress from the Children’s Place, (e) pink tulle dress from Crewcuts
How our members are doing it…

Get the look: glitter tutu dress from Khol’s, black newsboy cap from Little Lids

Get the look: chiffon ruffle dress from Old Navy, metallic bow shoes from Janie and Jack, plaid duppiono dress from Gymboree, bucket hat from Janie and Jack

Get the look: Tiered ruffle dress from the Gap

Get the look: Fluttered tiered dress from the Gap
10. Winter Ball 1941
As we travel in time, we come to this glamorous era that is now coming back in style. These looks will make cousins, aunts, and grandmothers alike swoon.

Above: (a) peggy and (b) joliette dresses from Crewcuts, (c) boys black suit from Target, (d) “A+ look” from the Children’s Place, (e) rose dot dress from Janie and Jack, (f) bowtie bodysuit from H&M, (g) blue bow dress from Gymboree
How our members are doing it..

Get the look: diamond sweater vest and pleated red dress from Gymboree

Get the look: boys plaid fedora from Zappos

Get the look: Plaid dress and bow headband from Gymboree
11. Winter Ball 2011
Last, but not least, here are some beautiful special-occasion looks from today. Festive and fun, these styles mark a holiday season to remember.

Above: (a) velvet vest and (b) polka dot sequin dress from the Children’s Place, (c) sweater vest set from Nordstrom, (d) rosalie and (e) blue sequin dresses from Crewcuts, (f) nautica four-piece suit from Lord & Taylor, (g) ombre ruffled tulle dress from the Gap, (h) burberry blazer suit from Saks Fifth Ave
How our members are doing it..

Get the look: black top party dress from H&M, gold party dress from the Gap

Get the look: black sequin dress from the Gap

Get the look: Rose dress from Nordstrom

Get the look: boys pinstripe vest set from Lord & Taylor
Now it’s up to you! Have fun selecting your holiday outfits, and don’t forget you can also select your holiday cards ahead of time by visiting our online greeting card gallery. Happy shopping and we hope to see you soon!


Tis the season…

We can’t believe it either, but it’s already that time of year….. time to unpack the sweaters, turn on the heat, help with homework, and start thinking about holiday gifts. If you’re a Rewards Member, it’s smart to start thinking about portraits too, because we offer BIG savings on greeting cards for the early birds! Get them done in October, save 25%. Get them done THIS MONTH, save 40%. The earlier the better. And yes, our studios are already geared up with seasonal props!

Check out our new selection of greeting cards for 2011 below, and call today- appointments are going quick!


Winter Getup Guide: 10 Holiday Looks for your Kids

Sometimes it seems like the most common question we get over the phone is, “What do you suggest they wear?”

So we started asking other Moms (who recently had their portrait sessions & holiday cards done) about their favorite places to shop for outfits, and came up with 10 whole looks created by real moms, from real Portrait Simple sessions–from princess to pajamas–that are sure to inspire and get you pumped for this year’s Christmas card!


1. All Dolled Up

Nothing turns heads like a little Princess–or two, or three, or four…. The classic holiday dress never fails to provoke “oohs” and “ahh”s. A bow for the hair is the cherry on top!

Get the look: Holiday Dress by Sophie Rose at Khol’s

Get the look: Pink plaid dress from Gymboree
Blue Silk Tulle dress from Janie and Jack

Get the look: Dress by Bonnie Jean at JCPenney
(available online here)


2. Dapper Dudes

Boys can get dressed up too! These spiffy looks are sure to make Grandma swoon.

Get the look: Steve Harvey Boy’s Vest Set from JCPenney

Get the look: Argyle sweater, stripe shirt & twill cap at Gymboree

Get the look: Argyle vest & plaid shirt at Dillard’s

Get the look: Plaid blazer at Saige Nicole’s


3. Kickin’ It in Kindergarden

Casual is cute! These simple, relaxed looks are more laid back but still adorable in portraits.

Get the look: Color plaid shirts at Quicksilver, classic Chuck’s by Converse

Get the look: Pink sweater dress from Marshall’s
Gray sweater dress from GapKids

Get the look: Boys striped shirt at The Children’s Place

Get the look: argyle sweater dress at Gymboree (available online here)


4. Baby, it’s Cold Outside

A lot of people don’t even consider outerwear for portraits, but what better way to represent the season than dressing up for winter? These looks are fun and comfy for your little snow angels.

Get the look: Knit earflap hat from Polyvore or AE at Kaboodle

Get the look: Fair Isle Sweater Dress and matching hat at Gymboree

Get the look: Winter vest by Gymboree (available online here)
White fur boots by Old Navy

Get the look: Lime green puffer vest & orange jacket by Gymboree (available online here & here)


5. Comfy & Cozy

The “Christmas morning” look is always a big crowd-pleaser, and it makes for a fun and relaxed holiday portrait session.

Get the look: Santa pajamas by Carter’s (available online here)

Get the look: Pajamas by GapKids

Get the look: Plaid pajama set by Calvin Klein Kids at Macy’s, Santa Hat and shaving cream provided by the studio

Get the look: Hooded Cocoon Cardigan by BabyGap (available online here)

Get the look: Custom baby Long-Johns by Personal Creations



6. Disco Darling

You can tone it down, but still bring the holiday magic with outfits that are simple yet sparkly like these.

Get the look: Black sequin dress by Gap (available online here)

Get the look: I Heart SantaTee & Chloe Skort at Neiman Marcus


7. Second Grade Stunna
If you’re feeling funky and you want your card to be the talk of the season, try one of these fun looks!

Get the look: tank top at Hanes, Wool Newsboy cap at Janie and Jack, gold chain and bracelet at any jewelry store

Get the look: Faux leather jacket at Target


8. Tutu Too Cute
It’s never a bad time for tutus, and our huge collection of holiday card designs will go with any outfit.. so if you want to go girly, might as well go all out!

Get the look: We have baby tutus available in the studio, but to get your own, try My Baby Rocks, PrettyTutu.com, shabbybebe, or etsy. Use that pearl necklace in your jewelry box or costume jewelry from Claire’s.


9. Baby BoHo

The folky look has been around for a while, and it looks like it’s here to stay!

Get the look: Smocked baby top from Old Navy, leather boots at Baby Gap

Get the look: blue robe from The Tea Collection

Get the look: Denim dress by Gap (exact dress available online here), pink floral top at Carter’s

Get the look: White pintuck top at Ralph Lauren, kid’s cowboy boots at Zappos.com


10. Santa-Style

..and we make a full circle, coming back to the most holiday-themed look of all: Santa’s Helpers!

Get the look: Santa Dress by Bonnie Jean at Macy’s

Get the look: Baby Santa Suit at Target


Coordinating your Cuties
You may be thinking, “These are adorable, but how can I get all my kids to match?” Here are a few ideas:

Simple Solids: Solid colors are always safe in portraits, and you can find matching items easily. You don’t necessarily have to match tops with tops–as seen above, matching one top with the other’s bottom can look dynamic and still unified.

One word: jeans. It’s just as easy as it sounds, and denim seems to go with everything: black/white tops (as shown above), colored polos, plaid shirts, sweaters…you name it!

Toying with texture: It’s okay to mix textures (and even patterns), if you stay within in the same color family and general style.

Personal props: Finally, if you have older kids and you’re looking for something different, personal items can be a cute portrait accent and bring out their personalities.

Now you’ve got plenty of options, so enjoy putting together your family’s look of the year. Most of all, don’t stress! The best thing they can wear is a smile. The more relaxed you are, the more your kids will be when it comes time for their portraits.

Don’t forget: Non-holiday attire can still be dressed up for the season by adding our selection of photo accents–each studio supplies Santa Hats, scarves, gift boxes, snowflakes, and other fun items to add more variety to your portraits. Examples can be seen in in our holiday gallery at our main website: www.portraitsimple.com.

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• tips for great holiday portraits

T minus 2 days til Black Friday!

Let’s face it: Many of you dread bringing in the family/kids for holiday portraits. Traffic is everywhere, noses start running, and even as bellies become empty and diapers become full, the kids have to be at their best and those outfits must be perfect!

Well, it doesn’t have to be a stressful time. We understand how hard it is to get it all together, which is why we strive to offer a relaxed environment, exceptional service, and a fun experience. Yes–that’s right–FUN!

Even after the photo shoot (when your kids are running out of juice), we offer water bottles, toys, coloring, and lollipops to keep them happy and occupied while you make your selections.

Lots of Moms ask us what they can do to prepare for their holiday portrait session. So, we put together 10 tips for a great photo shoot. Enjoy!

1. Get your kids excited! During the weeks and days leading up to the big day, give your photography session a positive connotation. Talk about how they get to see themselves on the screen, or the special prize that they get if they do a good job. If you think about the event with anxiety and horror, so will they. Yes, there is a very important goal in mind–to get that perfect shot–but it’s also time you spend together as a family. It should be fun. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed they are.. and relaxed kids are excellent models!

2. Avoid naptime. When you’re booking an appointment that involves toddlers, it’s worth it to avoid that time of day when you enter the twilight zone and your toddler morphs from the sweet little munchkin your raised into that wild-eyed tantrum-beast you don’t recognize. Most of the time, you just can’t mess with nature.. and your session will go a lot smoother if the kids are awake and alert.

3. Set your clock ahead 10-15 minutes. Well, ok–you don’t have to go to that extreme, but always plan to be early. During the holidays, remember Murphy’s law–there will be traffic, you won’t be able to find parking, and the elevator will be broken. If you’re running early, there’s no reason to stress over those silly things…. and you’ll have plenty of time to change your kids before the photo shoot!

4. Don’t be afraid of the camera. You may not have expected to be in any of the portraits.. but we don’t charge extra for additional poses, so while you’re here.. why not? You’ve made the effort to come in, so make the best of your portrait session. It doesn’t affect your sitting fee! Or, maybe you DID plan on being in the pictures but you’re worried about your hair, the drool stain on your sweater, or the big scratch mark on your baby’s nose.. Again: the less you worry, the happier you look, and the glow of a happy moment can overcome any imperfect detail in a picture. Plus, we do a magical little thing called retouching!

5. Take off the shoes and stay awhile! As adorable as they are in that holiday-cheer-from-head-to-toe outfit, sometimes your child or toddler will be sitting down for a pose or two.. and chances are, the bottoms of their feet will be facing the camera. Bare piggies look so much cuter than the bottoms of shoes (which can be distracting and, well, unsightly). On a similar note, babies up to 9 or even 12 months old look adorable in just their their birthday suits. Try a few poses in their diaper or a diaper cover. They have great skin, and most babies are more comfortable that way anyhow!

6. Call as early as possible! Most of our studios are completely booked solid this time of year.. often a week in advance, sometimes 2 or 3 weeks! It’s never too early. Get it out of the way now. We’ll call you 2 days prior to the appointment as a reminder, and if you need to cancel or reschedule, of course you can (at no charge). Also, take into consideration that our holiday cards take between 1 and 2 weeks to produce, depending on the style.

7. Bring the survival kit. Here are some things I would include in my portrait survival kit:
-Extra clothes
-Personal items (like a favorite blankie or toy) you may want in the pictures
-Tissues or wet wipes (for boogers & drool)
-A comb
-Lint roller (if you don’t have any, we usually do)
-Diaper bag
-Bleach pen (for stains–they really work! I use the one from Clorox)

Of course, you can customize the list for your individual family’s needs.

8. Express yourself. If you have a particular idea in mind, voice it! Our photographers are ready and willing to listen, and do all they can to create what you want. Also, tell them anything else they should know–one of your kids is a little shy at first, they don’t like the “tickle stick,” or you’re really hoping to show off that outfit because it was a gift from Grandma.

9. Pick out your cards before you come in. If you really don’t like making decisions in the studio, we now post our entire selection of holiday cards on our website, in the card and border gallery! This way, you can check out our selection in the comfort and quiet of your own home. The cards have the same name on the website as they do in the studio, so ordering can be as quick and easy as you want. If you’re looking for more detailed pricing, send us a message or give us a call and we’d be happy to fill you in.

10. Personalize. Maybe your toddler has a favorite song, or your kids have a favorite game.. or your teenager can quote any scene from High School Musical. All of these things can break the ice and make the difference between a pouty portrait and a fun one that truly represents your personality as a family.. and that’s what portraits are all about!

We look forward to seeing you soon.

I’ll close with a few more testimonials from this past week…. hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!

“It was a wonderful experience for us and especially my daughter. The photographer was amazing. The best experience by far. She was wonderful, kind, patient and an excellent photographer. I wish I could have purchased all of the pictures. I had already exceeded my budget but it was well worth it. Overall, it was a wonderful experience and am looking forward to going back. The photographer was Kim Travers – what a wonderful person!!! She was excellent. “ -Ghislaine C. (Warwick) 11/15/09

“We had Jenna as a Photographer and she was so great with my kids and so patient afterwards with me while trying to choose a photo. She was a pro with the photo software and I have already recommended her to friends and will defi nately ask for her in the future!! She was awesome!”
-Marilou K. (Natick) 11/16/09

“This was my first studio experience with my 3-yr old and 5-mo old. It went so well and we’re in love with our pictures. I’m so happy that we bought the year membership, as we’ll be back often.” -Christy L. (Eastview) 11/17/09

“Meghanne did an excellent job – working with me by allowing extra time that was available when I had to pause the shoot to nurse my baby. That was GREAT customer service.” -Jennifer W. (South Shore) 11/18/09

“The experience was everything I wanted it to be and more. My kids were talking the next day about how much fun they had at your studio!” -Mara T. (Atrium) 11/18/09

“My children were getting a little out of hand at the end of the viewing process, and Lauren didn’t bat an eyelash…she was completely professional and never seemed to get annoyed with us! She was great, and more importantly, an amazing photographer!!!!” -Amanda H. (Atrium) 11/19/09

“I had Jenn as a photographer and she was wonderful! I didn’t think there was any way a photographer could get my 4 year old twins and 16 month old son to smile all at the same time. Not only did she do it, but I had a hard time choosing because there were so many where they were all smiling. I ordered Christmas cards with the family picture and it is stunning. Thanks!” -Kate K. (Westfarms) 11/21/09

“Kathryn was FANTASTIC! Lovely, professional, patient! Especially given the amount of energy required to photograph our family! Thank you for a great experience! We will certainly come back for our family photos. Thank you!” -Lauri B. (Natick) 11/21/09

“Loved that the photographer was quick and efficient while shooting the kids. My children are 12 and 10 and were not thrilled at the prospect of having their pictures taken. It was over before they knew it and the photog was able to get some great shots.” -Michelle F. (Rockingham) 11/22/09

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