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  • Writer's pictureShana Watkins


Updated: Jul 20, 2020

It’s hard to believe it’s already September! I love this time of year because I am able to catch up with so many of my returning clients and see how their families are growing up, and in some cases, growing in number! Before you know it, we’ll be smothered with holiday goodness—parties and concerts at the kids’ schools, holiday parties at work, shopping for the perfect gift for everyone on our lists.  While the last two months of the year are usually jam packed with activity, I truly appreciate the opportunity the season provides to reconnect with the people we love. And I always enjoy hearing about what’s new in people’s lives and receiving cards containing family photos. Suddenly the baby isn’t a baby anymore, and the teenager is towering over everyone!

While we can’t make life slow down, family portraits are a great way to freeze this moment in time, not only for us, but also for our children, who may not be able to remember it. Family photography sessions ensure EVERYONE is in the photos – our four-legged family members and especially the shutterbug who’s usually the one behind the camera. And because we all know how quickly schedules fill up during the holidays, now is the best time to book an appointment, whether you want to use the portrait in your holiday cards, send them as gifts, or gift yourself with beautiful artwork for your walls.   It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the idea of getting everyone together on their best behavior and capturing the perfect shot, but I’m here to take the stress out of the entire process. As part of the new services I’m offering, I can help you choose and pull together complementary outfits for a cohesive look, and I will find the perfect location. Whether we photograph at the studio, a local park or at your home, I will make sure it’s a stress-free, enjoyable experience for everyone.  At the ordering appointment after the photoshoot, I can even show you how a portrait will look on your walls before you order it, help you select frames, and have someone hang it for you! I’m here to capture fun, authentic, and meaningful portraits your family will treasure for years to come—without the time, energy, and stress that usually comes with a photo session.  If you’d like to schedule a holiday family portrait session, now is the time to book an appointment! I only have spots for 6 more families before our holiday deadline. Email me at or give me a call at 314-644-1616 to learn more. I’d love to hear from you!  -Shana

P.S. I make sure portrait sessions are fun and enjoyable, but you can rest assured that I take my job very seriously. In fact, I was recently awarded a Master Photographer Degree by the Professional Photographers of America. This honor recognizes photographers who go above and beyond to hone their craft through continuing education, conferences, service, and the production of award-winning photos. As a dedicated professional photographer, I am devoted to creating exquisite images, providing the highest quality of service possible to my clients, and also making the process fun! GET STARTED

SHANA'S FRUSTRATION BUSTERS I go into an organization frenzy. Here’s one way I’ve found to include the kids (from the four-year-old on up to the high schoolers) in my need to streamline. My solution for cleaning out the pantry and getting the kids to be creative or try something new? The Mystery Basket. It’s literally a basket. It comes out on weekends, and it’s a bizarre mix of the box of crackers with only 10 left to the cereal that was shoved to the back, and no one knew it was there. Or, it’s a new protein bar everyone was scared to try. Last chance...going, going, gone! The kids think it’s fun and give themselves bonus points if they can combine something that works well together. And that is no easy task! :)  

MARK YOUR CALENDARS OCTOBER 31 October 31 is the last day to order photos in time for the holidays. 

SNAPSHOT-WORTHY IN ST. LOUIS CLAYTON Go on a photo-worthy outing in Clayton! Enjoy frozen treats at Clementine’s Creamery on DeMun Avenue, take a stroll along the quaint streets, and visit nearby DeMun Park. Not only is the ice cream amazing (and there are boozy flavors for the grown-ups), the ambience at Clementine’s Creamery is adorable. With the look of an old-time ice cream parlor and fantastic window lighting, you will have the perfect shareable pic without even trying. DeMun Park has just gone through a recent renovation and has equipment for all ages – including a bench by the exit so you can survey the whole scene without hovering. It’s also the perfect opportunity to grab some cute pics on the slide, swings, and other playground equipment. Don’t be shy about getting up close. The less you have to crop on your phone, the better the quality. You’ll have tons of great expressions, and you’ll want them to be crystal clear. If you’re visiting with older kids, you can pop by the fun shops on DeMun Avenue and enjoy perfect patio seating at unique restaurants. 

CHARITY SPOTLIGHT FOSTER AND ADOPTIVE CARE COALITION  I’ve been lucky enough to see firsthand the amazing things the Coalition accomplishes. I work with the organization to take portraits of kids who are being featured in various profiles to help them find their forever families. The Coalition has award-winning programs and a staff with the biggest hearts, all focused on supporting the needs of kids in foster care, foster parents, and adoptive families. If you’d like to be a part of supporting the work of the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition, there are a number of ways to help, even if you’re not in a position to foster or adopt. Here are some ideas!Become a birthday buddy for a child in foster careDonate your children’s clothes to the children’s closet and your clothes to ReFresh, a resale store that benefits the coalition. You can also volunteer at ReFresh or grant a “Little Wish” for a child in foster care, such as extracurricular lessons or a trip to Six Flags or Sky Zone. 

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