THE HUSTLE {cleveland family photographer}

I remember back around 2013 asking some business friends if they thought a Facebook page was something I ought to set up. Really large businesses had set up “friend” pages and FB had begun cracking down on those “friend” pages, but also Zuck must have seen the kind of connection businesses had with their customers, and that engagement was something to use to sell ads on FB!

The answer was a yes, so, off I set to build my Facebook page and because my friends are wonderful, a solid majority of them found ways to “like” that page. They invited their friends, I invited clients, and before long I had a nice little social media site to share some of my favorite photos.
I shared photos, but not all. And only usually 1-2 photos a day because the algorithm would “screw up” if you shared more photos. Or more often. Or not enough….

Then came the flood to Instagram. And yes, I’m there too (though since I shoot a lot of portraiture, my images don’t fit as well on Ye Olde IG). I worked to share across platforms and that oftentimes meant resizing images a second time to fit IG’s frame preference. But, social media was a huge way to reach your clients, potential clients, and of course to share what you love. For a while, things were fine. I shared my photos, I had good engagement (seriously thank you for every like and share). Growth and stability was great! Clearly this is the perfect time to introduce shadowbanning– shadowbanning is when a hashtag you use is “banned” from… too much use! Like, come the frick on. You never knew what hashtag was banned, all you knew was that your post isn’t showing up in feeds. You HAVE to use hashtags in your posts, because- you guessed it- algorithm. So, ok, change up hashtagging, keep posting frequently, but not TOO frequently, make sure to post on FB and IG.

What the heck, let’s throw in REELS! If you’re a small business and you want to be seen, you gotta create that REEL content. Video. Video behind the scenes. Video working, Video yourself dancing and pointing at nothing. Video video video…. right on the heels of reels came explosive TikTok. More video, more dancing, more ‘let’s go viral”. More algorithm, more content, more video, more.. more… more.

I haven’t got any more. I just don’t. I’m a photographer. I engage with real people, I love real people. I photograph real people. I’m not going to pause a spontaneous game of parachute to set up my cell phone and take video. I’m too busy PHOTOGRAPHING the actual moment. I’m not going to set my iphone in a tripod while I hold and settle your newborn- I’m going to focus ON YOUR NEWBORN. I’m not going to video myself dancing to a Miley Cyrus song in order to sell my Galentine’s Day sessions- and I freaking love music and to dance.
All this to say, if you’ve noticed my socials are slower than in times past- this is why. I just want to photograph realness. I am a photographer, I’m not a videographer. I’m a photographer, not a content creator. We all know that SEO is king, but so many of us creative types have loved sharing our joy on social platforms, and yet now. I guess video killed more than the radio star.

If you’re hoping for a real photography session in the Cleveland area, I’m your photographer. If you don’t care about being the most viral TT sensation, hey, hi. I’m the ‘tog it’s me. If you want your photographer to be hands on, at all times with your newborn in the comfort of your own home ->this guy<- wendy@wboycephotos.com

With love, and lesser social media πŸ˜‰

Wendy

The pressure of the “perfect photo”

(trigger warning, a bit sweary because I am an adult who swears)


I keep seeing things like this and as a professional photographer, I gotta say, if organizing for photos makes you question life choices, rely on your photographer more. It’s literally our job to find locations, help with outfits, keep sessions moving so you’re not shooting for two hours.


We take on SO much- and that’s just something we as moms are expected to suck up but you don’t have to go it alone. If you’ve booked with me and you’re feeling stress, let me know. I will help. I can literally send you outfit links, color schemes, and honestly- you don’t need all that. AS a heads up, I do NOT provide planning services until the session is booked with a signed contract and paid non-refundable retainer. I’m a nice person, but I’m not going to spend time working to shoulder some of a client’s burden so someone else can be paid to take the photos. πŸ˜‰

My regular family sessions are up to 45 minutes in length, and that is specifically because there are times that kids need to take a break and be silly for a minute, or the baby needs a diaper change, or a special need must be met. I promise, it is better to book a full session and take the time needed rather than try to force smiles, force perfection, force the false narrative of the “perfect photo”. Nine times out of ten, we don’t need the full 45 minutes, and we can be done with a lovely full gallery in 25-30 minutes. If you want to speak with previous clients about their experience, say the word!

I know how it goes- you see the sunflower photos with the sunset, you see the fall leaves, you see your friends in their perfect navy and mustard and their photos and you want that, too. You want to be able to share YOUR perfect everything. I get it; there were times when I wished I had the “perfect” fill in the blank. I’m a photographer, why couldn’t I get that?! It’s the Keeping up with the Joneses syndrome. It’s totally, 100% preventable.

If you’re taking the photos FOR social media, you’re part of the problem.


I share my work, because it’s important for potential clients to SEE what my shoot style is, my editing, and to know what they can expect. I share not only those posed shots, but silly ones where we had genuine laughter. I share my personal film photos when I have fresh film developed. They are mostly lifestyle, shots without the “pressure” to make sure everyone is posed perfectly, everyone is facing the lens, everyone’s outfits coordinate… I’m not kidding, see below.

This photo cost me $3. And I love it because it’s my little nerds doing nerd stuff.

We need to let go of the idea, that our photos showcase a perfect circle. It’s OK if your son has a serious face, it’s ok if your toddler is constantly chewing on his fingers. It’s OK if your ten year old wears black knee socks and slides with his shorts. It’s OK if your daughter puts on her dad’s giant hoodie and hugs a tree… like my daughter is wearing and hugging above.

Our expectations of the perfect photos versus the reality of our lives really need to come into alignment. This year, I intentionally added playtime into family sessions and in almost every case, those unposed photos were the ones the client selected.

Please, if you’re feeling like ‘we are not one of those perfect posed families, and I am not about to waste money on pics of that’ EMAIL ME. Girlfriend, I have GOT YOU. Will I help you into an initial position? Sure thing. Will it be ok if you want to read a story to your toddler rather than try to get him to hyper focus on a stranger? You betcha.

Email me, let’s start talking.

wendy@wboycephotos.com

Welcome 2023 {cleveland family photographer}

Pregnant person poses with their hands around their belly, photo is taken outdoors

This new year has been a busy one already! I currently have approximately FIVE dates left open for booking into April of 2023. I would love love LOVE to fill these dates with maternity sessions, cake smashes, newborns. Don’t forget, I can come to you (here are the best reasons to book your in-home session)! My Sagamore Hills home studio can be available as well if you prefer. I do still have to restrict my home studio to one child + one adult, but for a small additional fee I am able to rent studio space in Northfield, if you’d like to include more than one child, ha πŸ˜‰

toddler in mickey mouse pyjamas smiles in front of a Christmas backdrop
She’s so darling!

The above holiday PJ session was done in my client’s home!

baby photographer, spring photographer, mini session cleveland ohio
So spingy!!

This gorgeous spring image was taken in my home studio. There are lots of options.

Book one of my five remaining spaces by emailing wendy@wboycephotos.com

Fall came out swingin’ {cleveland family photographer}

Holy wow… how lucky have we been the last four weeks? The weather has been cool, then super perfect in the 60s and 70s! All of my clients have been so awesome, and man alive does that do a world of good!

Let me share a few fun ones from all, thus far. If you’re more of a winter person, or you are expecting a winter person in January, February, or March πŸ˜‰ please check out my website!

MAN do I love black and white photos…
Missing tooth? CHECK!
awwww

Just a super quick sample of the fun we’re having this fall! My daughter has come with me on my longer days to help carry things- my shoulder injury has left me at about 80-90% strength, but my gear and things can get quite heavy after several hours. I’m so glad so many of you have gotten to meet a little piece of my family, while sharing yours with me!

I am currently scheduling 2023 sessions- including Class of ’24 seniors! I cannot even believe it… if you want to get yours booked and ready to roll, email wendy@wendybphotos.com

3 reasons to book an in-home newborn session {cleveland newborn photographer}

There is nothing more exciting and exhausting than “bringing home baby”… If you’re like me, and brought home more than one baby at a time the thought of packing those new people up, driving out to a studio, praying for no diaper blow-outs or car sickness (from mom or baby) is panic inducing. Luckily, I offer simple in-home newborn photography!

So why should you consider an in-home newborn session, versus traveling for a studio session? Let me count the ways:

Three reasons to book an in-home newborn session with Wendy B Photos

  1. No stress. You’re recently home with a new baby. You’re tired, your house may not be as tidy as you prefer. I know all these things, because these were my thoughts too when I brought home twins, which is why I am a judgement free zone. You do not need to worry about the house being messy, your older children getting bored or entertaining your three year old during our time together in your home. The very first photos we will take are family photos. We will select a space to get those photos- some clients want to use their living room, some their bedroom. Where ever that space is, I’ll help shift anything unwanted out of frame. Additionally, you do not need to stress over packing a bag full of diapers, wipes, bottles, burp rags, changes of clothes for you and baby. Nor do you need to remember all the extras- “did I bring my breast pads?” “oh no these are the wrong pacifiers!” “Oh no, we forgot to bring the special elephant my mom made!” Everything you need, is there at your home. Including me.
  2. Personalized sessions for YOUR family

When I come to you, your session takes place in YOUR space- there is no other nursery like yours, there is no comfy snuggly couch like yours. There aren’t quilts made by special friends in studios. Sure, you can haul a bunch of stuff with you to a studio somewhere, but honestly do you *want* to? Do you want to see a baby on your photographer’s social media and wonder, “wait, did we do that set up, is that my baby?” Or do you want to see your baby, on the couch where you first felt him moving inside you, held by his big brother?

Does this mean you won’t get some of those adorable posed photos of your baby? Not at all. My studio is mobile, and I absolutely offer gentle, light posing. When I come to you, you truly get the best of both worlds.

3. Helpers are welcome!

When you travel to a studio, space can be limited and it’s often asked that someone else be available to take any older children home as soon as your first few family photos are complete (if family and sibling photos are even included with your session). I know a fair number of Mimis, Grannies, Grandmas, and Nonnas who would love nothing more to be part of the magic that is newborn photography. When I’m working at your home having those extra hands is a blessing! Older kids have someone they know and love to play with, Moms have someone who can bring them a big jug of water, both parents can enjoy a few minutes of calm help.
Look at this sweet little MiMi Magic moment I was able to photograph! Little Sam was a bit upset, and his momma was taking a quick break. Mimi stepped in, gave some sweet shushs, and some gentle rocking and precious Sam settled right back down. I am 1000% comfortable soothing an upset baby, but when my hands are busy, I can’t be taking photos. With Mimi there, I was able to hold this moment still. Grandparents are special, and it means to much to them to be able to be part of work like this.

I am currently scheduling DECEMBER newborns and can fit ONE more newborn family on my December calendar! There are two spaces open for January 2023 as well! Begin your newborn photography journey HERE! You can easily bundle maternity photos along with your newborn session or add a Fresh48 session!
Questions? email wendy@wendybphotos

Wendy

Baby, baby, baby… oooh <3

Have you heard the amazing news?????? With cases slowing down, hospitals in the area are opening a little more, and allowing more guests! So…. I can officially offer Fresh48 newborn sessions again!

Fresh48 is unique in that it allows us to grab those very first moments- the things that might have already changed by the time we do your newborn session, even if your newborns are in the first week after birth! I was able to visit Mr S when he was just a little over a day old. Check out that ridge! When I shot his newborn photos, when he was six days old, his ridge had already decreased significantly. I am so glad I was able to hold this moment in his very early life still- those skull plates being soft like that allowed this big guy to be born safely! They are important ❀


The isolet. The anklets. The brand new person-ness…. It’s irreplaceable time.

The first time they hold your hand, imagine missing this…

The pink and blue blankets (and hats!)… they’re a silent welcome to the MotherHood ❀

New life, new year, new start….

How do you book your Fresh48? Follow this link, and select your due date, or the date nearest your due date. I’ll reach out and finalize all your details! And YES!! You can 100% have a Fresh48 even if you have a home birth!

What a season… {cleveland family photographer}

Well, 2021 came and went in a weird fashion! We had a very slow fall color change, and a very WET October here in Cleveland. I accepted a second “day” job this summer in Macedonia which meant my available hours were far less than have been in years passed. I was not able to take the usual 30-45 fall sessions and also be able to guarantee I would have time to edit and turn around sessions in time. I know there were families who weren’t able to book this year, and I very much hope I see you next year! I am booking 2022 dates NOW; due dates through June, all milestones, and of course these family moments.

Still, I got to see a lot of parachute game- with precious pup Sadie wanting to get in on this action!


I was serenaded by the best arm-farting band in the Land.

We had quiet moments counting flowers…

…fleeting though they may have been…

I got to meet brand new people from Stow, Twinsburg, Aurora, Brunswick… Newborns will always be my favorite sessions. You can book your 2022 newborn HERE!

It’s ok if your baby isn’t sleepy at first… look at those eyes!

There was color, and hugs, and hibiscus…

There were traditions and families I get to see year after year

after year (in sunshine and snow, at the same time)

after year…

And so much more. This hasn’t been an easy year for anyone, but your support, referrals, and the knowledge that my loyal client base will help me carry on and keep working gives me hope for 2022.
Thank you all, for allowing me the privilege of precious time with your families.

Wendy

What time is it? FALL SALE TIME!

Fall Sale is open! As I have taken a second job, dates in October are very limited. Peak fall color will likely begin October 9th and luckily, there is a space left on that date! If you’d like to book a morning session, or fall session not listed on the given dates, contact me ASAP. We can set up a private session, not included in the sale, but at whatever location is best for YOU. This has been a really rough year, more so than last which is shocking. I can’t say enough how much every person who has trusted me with their annual photos means to me. I am so glad to be able to provide quality, professional photos for you amazing folks ❀

Want to book your mini session for NOVEMBER? EMAIL ME wendy@wboycephotos.com

Family photos… on film? {cleveland film photographer}

I love shooting with film. Don’t get me wrong, the digital film world is pretty cool, and it’s great for when you need something turned around quickly but for me there is nothing like film. I’ve talked before about how digital sessions seem to fly by, and photographers have the ability to “spray and pray” which means we can fire off 100 frames in one minute and hope that one of them comes out- handy when you’re shooting something very fast moving for example. There are people who are all about the latest, newest, “greatest” technology and I am not kidding when I say- I am not that guy. Are you? Let’s talk about who is a great candidate for the way *I* shoot film photos.

Over the last four-ish years of shooting film primarily for myself, but also for some clients, I have learned so much. Slower doesn’t mean less valuable. Being thoughtful in the moment rather than hurried in the posing makes a photo more meaningful. Grain is gorgeous. A softer focus point isn’t the end of the world.

My daughter, her eye lashes ilford HP

I love when clients and prospective clients ask about having their session shot on film, and what the differences might be, if any.

The truth is, I shoot film very differently from the way I shoot digitally. My digital sessions are about 45 minutes long, though often times we get “done” much more quickly. I feel like, when I’m shooting digital my clients expect that perfect sit-stay-smile photo. I do a lot of posing and directing with my sessions typically, so that I can provide what my client is expecting, or more correctly, what I assume my client is expecting.

But.

When I shoot film, I am not interested in that. You would be a GREAT fit, for film if you’re looking for MOMENTS. Playing at home, reading outside at a picnic, the way your baby holds that bit of your hair while he’s nursing, finding something interesting at the creek…

If you are relatively comfortable “unposed”, you are happy with photos where not everyone is looking directly at the camera, where hair isn’t perfectly laying flat, where the small details matter, you’re going to be really thrilled with my film photos. If you are comfortable with a little more creativity, like this double exposure, you are a good candidate for film. Since we live in a digital world, you will still receive digital scans of the images- but they are scanned from the film negatives. We still get that timeless, classic soft film look.

I find myself shooting a lot more lifestyle, unposed film- taking in the little things. The sunstar my kitty is laying in, fall wind through my girl’s hair, and the leaves my daughter collected and shared with me…

film photography, cleveland, fall, film

That’s not to say that we CAN’T pose a bit here and there… we absolutely can! Film means moments to me, and not every minute is a moment. When digital image making became readily available and instant, we lost sight of “moments” and making it count.

Winter on Film

I think that’s something really important we’ve let go of; making the moment. We view the world through the lens of our cell phones, firing away thousands of pics of the meal we made, every step of our visit to the zoo, hundreds of photos of that picnic we attended (that potato salad Aunt Jan makes gets its own photo)… Not every minute, is a moment. Film forces us to slow down, and remember that. Not only are we limited with the capacity of our film rolls, but film can be very costly to develop. Film has taught me to look for the moment, not just the minute.

If you’re interested in holding moments, please email me wendy@wboycephotos.com I will walk you through everything from what to wear, to how to plan. Fill your home with moments.

Brothers turn 13! {cleveland milestone photographer}

Being an identical twin cannot be easy. As a mother to identical girls, we have been asked every question under the sun, and at the one and only TwinsFest we attended we were asked for DNA swabs, to allow strangers to touch and hold the girls (who were two!), and a woman asked, “are those twins?” -_- Luckily for my girls, they were one of SEVEN sets of multiples in their grade so at school they were less of a “freak show”.

Twins get lumped into one unit all the time. “How are the twins sleeping? Did the twins take their math test? Are the twins playing soccer this year?” It’s very hard for multiples, especially identical multiples to be seen as individuals, so when Jenny said she wanted to book two sessions, on two different days, so each of her sons could have the full attention aspect my heart grew 10x.

First up, Mr Corbin. Corbin is softspoken with an artistic eye. He was recently gifted a massive lot of 35mm cameras (EEE!!! Starting on film!!!) and is working on photography at his school! I told Jenny to make sure Corbin brings at least one of his cameras with him. Corbin brought a really cool rangefinder but forgot Rule #1– make sure you have film. We went over to Squire’s Castle and spent sometime talking basics. Good times!

Teenager photographer at Squire Castle in Cleveland Ohio.

A week later, I got to hang out with Spencer. Spencer said he had also been interested in photography, but he’s been studying vintage portraits. Pretty cool, right?

I promise, these are two special, individual young men! People used to tell us that my daughters are IDENTICAL identicals and I thought it was silly because they are so very different– and when I see Corbin and Spencer I’m like, “oooh yea, IDENTICAL identicals!” haha! They’re both such great kids, who have an awesome big sister and access to a candy shop. Their family operates Brandt’s Candies on Lost Nation road in Willoughby!

Happy thirteenth birthday, Corbin! Happy thirteenth birthday, Spencer!!

Updates and rebuilds {cleveland family photographer}

I updated and rebuilt my website this winter! I had great help from my friend Kelli, who got the ball rolling for me. You’ll find clickable scheduling links, a simple, straightforward design, and easy to follow pages. More changes are coming, but I’m proud of the progress I was able to make with the help and input of friends ❀

Check out the new page at Wendy B Photos

Additionally in the winter months, I focus on in-studio newborns and in-home newborns. This season, however, I’m only offering in-home. I wear a mask the entire time, and it’s up to the families if they want to mask up while I am there. If you are interested in a Bitty Baby session which would typically be held in studio, I can bring my studio to you for the time being. I’m currently booking February and later newborn dates. T
he Bitty Baby Sessions are *baby only*- no siblings or family photos. They’re shorter in time, and great for families who just want sweet photos of their new little person. Email wendy@wboycephotos.com to get your booking started– it’s never too soon to get your newborn scheduled. I have payment plans available, and even have a year long Watch Me Grow plans where you can schedule a full year’s worth of milestone photos!

affordable newborn photography reasonable newborn photography cleveland
affordable newborn photography cleveland reasonable newborn photography cleveland affordable newborn studio photography

Film Year in Review {cleveland film photographer}

Should I be blogging a bunch of catch up sessions from fall? Yep.

Am I going to blog a bunch of catch up sessions from fall? Outlook not good.

Instead, I spent the last three days (t h r e e D A Y S) building collages for end of year reviews! This is going to be a little sweary, in case you’re new to me πŸ˜‰
Cleveland had its ups and downs, like everywhere else this year. I didn’t think I’d use as much film as I do in “normal” times- which is about a roll a week, and more or less that was true. I didn’t hardly shoot any personal work in November at all- I think I took four pictures. But having my kids home from school (we do online school right now) gives me a few more opportunities to photograph them. My personal film work this year heavily features my daughters and my cats. We added two kittens to our family bringing the cat total to four and while you might think, “Oh kittens! How fun!” it’s pretty much been hell on earth, because my little orange cat Beep haaaates the kittens. Like, physically attacking, climbing walls, shredding doors in order to break into their safe space. We’re finally after five months making VERY small steps toward a cease fire but it’s still really, really awful to see my sweet Beep kitty so upset. If I had a time machine and knew what I know now, I would not have adopted the kittens. They’re adorable and would have been adopted elsewhere, I’m sure though Hannah had some long term health issues that make her a bit more complicated…

Whoa, I think I blacked out there- was I just going on about the cats? Oy. I do that a lot lately. Anyway, onto the pictures!

These were in chronological order, but it got really freaking hard to keep it that way so we’re going to roll backwards through time. This batch is fall through end of year. The cool red film is a speciality film called DubbleFilm: Solar. It shot really cool, but the red was SUPER overpowering in a lot of the images. The rainbow film is DubbleFilm: Jelly. I keep calling it the wrong name but it is JELLY. The color film in this batch is Kodak Portra 400. I shoot Portra at 200 instead of the 400 speed.

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Here we go with a bit of early fall, and late summer. Beep is the first picture, first row. We spent a day at my family’s farm in September (I think for my birthday) and had a grape fight in the vineyards, I got to visit a really cool place called Umbrella Alley, and I took eleventy kajillion photos of my daughters. I have been practicing my double exposures which you can see below.

affordable newborn photography cleveland reasonable newborn photography cleveland affordable newborn studio photography

More summer, more speciality Jelly film, softball when it was safe to be outside, my girls, sunlight., my mom, and cats. Did I mention, I have cats? This film is pretty much June-early August.

affordable newborn photography cleveland reasonable newborn photography cleveland affordable newborn studio photography affordable family photography film photography

Ah springtime, when everything had shit the bed and we were trying to get used to lockdown. Beep and Olive my adult cats make cameos. I also used a specialty film called DubbleFilm:BubbleGum but wasn’t super impressed with it. Some of this is Bubblegum, but most is my mystery film. I shot the last roll of mystery film in August! It lasted about a year, and out of all 30 odd rolls, only one was damaged. It was all over 20 years old, having expired in 1998.

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And this takes us from the first of 2020 through March. All the black and white film is Ilford Delta 400, that I shot at 200. I freaking love BW film- it’s so classic and pretty and you cannot f- it up. The color film shots are one of my first attempts with portra 400. I rated it at 200 as well. Film can handle a bit of over exposure, where digital canNOT handle over exposure. The latitude and forgiving nature of film is probably my favorite. If you’re techy, I only use the camera’s own meter for all of this. When I do client work, I use my hand held Sekonic, but I 100% trust my Nikon F100’s meter. I started taking photos of out Christmas Tree all blurry and out of focus- because that’s what it looks like when I take my glasses off. Even though I can’t make out the shapes, the color melts all into itself and looks really cool. (My rX is pretty bad, I’m a -10.25 and a -9.75 now, so when I say I can’t see, I mean I really can’t see). I took some newborns on film, though I wish I had used my good fabric backdrop. Lessons learned πŸ˜€ How hopeful we were at the start of 2020. What a kick in the teeth this bitch turned out to be.

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I am looking forward to 2021, with caution because if you know anything about the Luck of the Irish you know we don’t count our chickens before they’re hatched. I am excited to see what science does with additional vaccines, and how much more we can learn about preventing other mass outbreaks and hopefully another 350,000 people don’t have to die preventable deaths. I look forward to being able to open my studio again and being able to have families come by for newborn sessions, milestones… all the cute goodies. I can’t wait to shoot more snow sessions, to get back into working in Spring (watch for those Mommy and Me limited sessions in spring if things are OK!).
I want to look forward to the days where all four of my cats can be freely moving through the house, but I’m not sure that day will ever come. I look forward to not worrying about whether or not my RN sister can find childcare while she is forced to work overnight shifts because her co-workers are falling sick and/or quitting because they are so overworked. I look forward to being able to see my family in PA again, and hugging my dad; maybe I’ll even be able to work in PA for a weekend! I look forward to seeing my nephew Caleb in the hat he doesn’t go anywhere without, and my nephews Colin and Jameson even though they totally love UncleDosh more than Mean Aunt Wenny. Thanks for coming with me on this long, rambling personal film retrospective πŸ˜‰