March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day. What is Down Syndrome? Most people have 23 pairs of chromosomes, people with Down syndrome have a third copy of the 21st chromosome. Which is why 3/21 is recognized as World Down Syndrome Day. This past Saturday was the third annual “I EXTRA Love You” portrait exhibit. This portrait project is a labor of love between myself and dear friend, Daniela Roeder. Daniela’s younger brother, Alex has Down Syndrome. This year it was important to both Daniela and I to showcase the special relationship/bond between siblings. Daniela, being very close to her brother and an advocate for him and all individuals with Down Syndrome really wanted to show the love that is there. Myself as the photographer was always so interested in watching the dynamic between siblings when they would come into the studio for the actual “I EXTRA Love You” portrait day. The sibling always seemed to stand in the shadow of the one with Down Syndrome. So it was really exciting when Daniela and I met to discuss this year’s event and we both wanted to add a new feature and photograph the sibling groups together.
On Saturday, 55 gorgeous individual portraits were on display at Gallery 2014, as well as 19 sibling portraits, as a part of Downtown Hollywood’s Art Walk celebrating World Down Syndrome Day.
One of the many options I offer portrait clients is the 8×8 Session Album. 30 of your favorite images from your custom portrait session carefully printed, custom bound and finished by hand in the style of traditional bookmakers. With true silver halide printing on Fuji portrait grade paper to guarantee the best color reproduction and delivery of the finest details, the flush mount design and mounted pages create stability and durability. The Session Album is truly an heirloom.
I love how the family recreated a classic family photo from years past for their cover photo.
Mother’s Day is just around the corner…..hint hint
The 3rd Annual “i EXTRA Love You” portrait event took place on Saturday, February 11. “i EXTRA Love You” is a portrait exhibit that celebrates all that is EXTRA special about individuals with Down Syndrome. 55 amazing people came through the studio doors on Saturday to sit for their portrait. A huge increase from the 25 people that participated 2 years ago in our first event back in 2015.
“i EXTRA Love You” is truly a passion project shared with my good friend Daniela Roeder. Daniela’s brother, Alex has Down Syndrome and she’s been an advocate and voice for the community since the day he was born. Daniela came to me with an “idea” for a portrait project, and I was immediately on board and look forward to what’s to come.
It has been an incredible fall season here. It’s been amazing to reconnect with past clients and meet so many new. I’m loving all the creative collaborations, and together we’re creating priceless pieces of artwork.
I am currently taking commissions for 2017. Your family portrait is the perfect thing to put on your resolutions list.
One of the main questions I get asked by moms when they book their custom portrait session is, “What should we wear?” I have very few quidelines….#1-don’t all wear the same thing. If you wouldn’t go out to dinner in matching jeans and white shirts, then I don’t think it’s appropriate for your portraits. #2-Color Coordinating is nice. #3-Mama’s you are the most important person in your photo session. Make the session all about YOU. Take those extra steps to make the entire experience positive. Get your hair and makeup done. I can only speak for myself, but I know that when I do those things before a special occasion, I feel much more confident and can walk into an event or portrait session feeling fabulous. And walking into your portrait session already feeling fabulous and attractive lends itself to a much more positive experience. You are going to love the portraits of your kids….they’re your kids….they’re cute…they’re yours. But pictures of ourselves is a whole other animal. As a woman and a photographer that has been capturing families and moms for 9 years, I can tell you this from experience. If you are not happy with the way you look or what you’re wearing, you’re not going to love your family portraits. And isn’t that the point? To love your family portraits?! To love yourself in your family portraits?! Moms, you get so stressed in making sure your kids are adorable in the cutest trendiest fashions, that many times you don’t spend the time on yourself. And as I answer the “What should we wear?” question to moms my #1 answer is this, “You are the most important person in your session. As long as you feel fabulous and attractive everything else will fall in line.”
I have been wanting to create an actual “What to Wear” guide for moms for years. Give moms the actual fashion advice that they ask me for. So hear it is.
The Courtney Studios 2016 Fall Fashion guide.
I’ve been collaborating with the girls at Pretty Please Couture, a woman’s boutique located in Ft. Lauderdale. Not only do Natasha and Kelli have amazing fashion sense, I admire their mompreneur spirit. Pretty Please Couture is a successful business that works around them and their families. According to Natasha and Kelli at Pretty Please Couture here are some of the latest trends for fall that would look GREAT for your fall custom family portrait session.
Shop in their boutique or order from their instagram account. Live locally in Ft. Lauderdale? The girls are known for delivering “Porch Presents”. Personally chosen items for you delivered directly to your door. Only keep what you love.
Stackable bracelets, statement rings…….
I love me a good statement necklace
I tend to love maxi dresses. They are flattering on every body type and height and are perfect for portraits in our Florida Fall. This black dress with gold accents is gorgeous with just enough “edge” and paired with the arm candy you’ll definitely steel the show in your family portraits.
This pattern, color, and fit work all year long here in Florida.
Off the Shoulder
Shoulders are sexy and seem to be all the rage this season. From completely off the shoulder to shoulder cut outs
Well fitting jeans (with or without holes) and a pop of color shoe is always a nice touch.
Lightweight jackets make a great accessory. Patches are very on trend this fall along with a more conservative bomber style, and of course you can never go wrong with classic denim. (again with the statement heel)
Ankle booties are a perfect shoe with all types of outfits in our warmer Florida fall weather.
Helen is graduating from high school and has some HUGE college plans and she came to the studio for her senior portraits. Senior year of high school is such a fun and exciting time in a young person’s life. Definitely worth capturing and treasuring forever. I’ll keep you updated on the final product.
It’s unfortunate that I don’t take the time to really photograph my own kids anymore. 9 years ago, when I first started my portrait business, I was obsessed with it. My youngest, she’s 4, never gives up an opportunity to tell me that she isn’t fairly represented in the house. And she’s right. So I should’ve taken her to the studio the other day, but instead, Stella and I stole away to the studio for a few hours on a Sunday. To photograph my daughter really opens up a creative side of me. It’s freeing. It’s creativity and collaboration at it’s finest between mother and daughter. Stella is my middle one. I think it’s easy for her to get lost between her older brother and crazy baby sister. She got to be the complete center of attention.
We’re going to print one on canvas for her room. Next, it’ll be Charlotte’s turn.
Noah came to visit me for his 6 month portraits. He was actually closer to 7 months, but finally sitting unassisted. After the newborn portrait session I always advise my clients to wait till the babies are sitting without support. His super adorable, big brother Adam, couldn’t help but get in the action. And can you blame him? Both boys are super handsome. Mom and I are meeting next week to create and design their final portrait display. I’ll keep you updated on the final fine art portrait installation.
We are entering our busy fall season. If you haven’t scheduled your family portrait session, the time is now! I’m taking appointments for guaranteed holiday delivery from now until Thanksgiving, both at the Downtown Hollywood studio and at locations of your choice. I am closed to new clients starting December 1-January 8. As I will be running around like a chicken without a head getting all the holiday cards, portraits, framed prints and all the other studio goodies out to my patient clients.
There will be one last mini session offer between now and the end of the year and will be for ONE DAY ONLY. Stay tuned, as info will be released shortly.
Lots of information on the website is being updated. Check back often for the latest and greatest.
“Her work is distinct and holds a special place in our home.”- Marcy Hirsch -
“Courtney's photographs had a huge impact on NCLR and helped us raise over $1 million in December 2014. Her work is beautiful and engaging and shows the central goal of the fight for marriage equality -love."”- Ace Portis, Major Gifts Officer, NCLR -
“Courtney truly captured the uniqueness of our family and created beautiful, original works of art that we will treasure always.”- Darlene Giol -