Boston Baby Photos Blog » photos by Jessica McDaniel

BBP 10 Summer Contests – “Dads” Category

And the winner in the Dads category, with 35 votes is…

But the other nine contestants were pretty fantastic, too… (in no particular order)

Thanks to everyone who voted in the ten summer contests!

Come back and vote between now and September 12, 2013 in the Grand Prize Contest on Facebook.

Cathy Patterson - September 4, 2013 - 9:53 pm

Daddy and Daughter are pretty darn cute!!!

The 10 Year Anniversary: Phase 3, The Gallery Show

Wahoo-eee! I am thrilled to announce that the BBP 10th Anniversary Gallery Show to benefit The Jimmy Fund is officially hung at the Wotiz Gallery in the Milton Public Library. I hope you can swing by for the opening reception on Tuesday, August 6th between 4-6pm. Plan to bring the kids! I’ll have juice and cookies for everybody. Or stop by the library to see the show anytime between now and August 29th.

There are 100 photos in the show, and the show is broken into ten thematic categories. If you’re curious to browse through all 100 of the photos from the show, you can do that by using the 10yrs tag, so all the blog posts related to the 10 Year Anniversary will appear for you.  All 100 photos are posted there.

Interested in reading more about the 10 Year Anniversary bonanza/extravaganza stuff I’ve got going on this summer? Here are links to Phase 1 and Phase 2 details.

Without further ado… here’s the Wotiz Gallery – you can see eight of the ten categories when you enter the room this way:

And then if you turn around and look behind you, the final two categories are here:

Don’t forget, I’m still taking donations for The Jimmy Fund. Envelopes to mail checks made out to the Jimmy Fund are in a pile at the show:

A bit of a closer view of the wall to the left:

And here’s the back left corner:

If you’re curious – here’s how I hung the show – there’s nothing adhered to the wall whatsoever.  I got these tall pieces of white trim at Home Depot and had my nice friends there with the big old table saw cut them to size for me, and then wired these pieces of trim up to the S hooks along the picture rail. Cool, eh?

The photos themselves are mounted on Masonite, with ribbons that hang over small screws in white boards:

And here’s the wall to the right:

And here’s the back right corner:

I really hope you’re able to catch the show!

A colorful summer boy

I know, I know, I always blog my b&w pictures – but I always show everybody all their photos in both color and b&w… and sometimes a photoshoot just blows my mind with its color. Usually it happens with older children, when we’ve been outdoors and running… and this 4 year old dude is no exception. I’ve been taking his pictures since he was mere weeks old – can’t believe he’s FOUR!

I love going where families love to go – these guys live in Scituate by the water, so we were able to start at home, play in the sprinkler and around the yard, and then head over to the beach for some quick lighthouse / beach fun pictures. I don’t consider myself a typical beach photographer – we get different kinds of playing pictures at the beach, not so posey… but the blue sky that day (a week or so ago) just made me so happy. I think it did the same for 4 yr old K and his hermit crab friends. Can’t wait to meet your new little one in a few short months!

A girl and her dog

So I normally don’t go captioning my client’s photos too much – I know my brand of humor might not be everybody’s cup of tea.  I think I’m utterly hilarious, of course, but I recognize that the people who have me take their baby and family photos might have had me come do that to use my skills as a photographer, and less as that of a standup comic ;)

But here I am, editing my gorgeous niece J’s 3 month old photos from last weekend, and I can’t help myself. I know my sister and her husband won’t mind if I go to town on some captions for these… and hey, maybe we can even get a little caption contest going over on Facebook, too.

I’ll post them on Facebook too so you all can try captioning them there. I know you want to.

“Mmm. Boob.”


“Aaaak! I left my phone at the beach!”


“Check me out.

I have the same eyes as the whale on my shirt.

No joke.

Look again.




Yup, I knew you wanted me to do that because I look all “classic baby” here.

I do what I can for you people.”


“These ‘put-me-with-the-bunny-to-show-how-fast-I’m-growing’ pix are starting to get old.

They bore me.



I got nothin. Seriously nothin. This picture kills me.


“Daddy, seriously, if we do this every day I’ll be able to fly like Superman?

Rock on.”


“This is my superspy face. I’m hiding, can’t you tell?”


“Um… ok.

Sure, ya, you can do that.

I had something on my finger anyway.”


Again, I have nothing. But look at the thighs. The knuckle dimples. The toes. The BELLY.  Words fail me.


I am realizing this whole captioning plan is ambitious. I’m not really all that clever.  But doncha like how Jakers (the pup) is standing guard here?___________________________________________________________________________________

Documenting the very first ALMOST roll.  She rolled mere days later. Toldja she would :)

Yup, that was me on the news last night…

If you had the local Channel 5 (WCVB) news on last night around 6pm, you might have seen me on TV. You can click on the image below to go to watch the segment. I’m such a big fat nerd. But it’s pretty cool that it’s getting some publicity – maybe more parents will consider doing something like it.  That’d be cool.

The 10 Year Anniversary: Phase 2, Ten Summer Contests

Hey there! Happy Summer! Here we are, smack dab in the middle of July, and I’m thinking summer is pretty great. Yes, it’s hot, and yes we New Englanders will always gripe about that… but I’ve got to say (as I’ve just spent the past few hours planning my calendar for the fall busy season) that summer is pretty fantastic. Oh, did I mention my kids are both in camp 9am-4pm all week this week? So relaxing.

I realized it’s high time I put together a blog post about Phase 2 of the BBP 10 Year Anniversary bonanza/extravaganza. The 10 Summer Contests launched on Facebook a few weeks ago, and they’re going really well! If you haven’t voted yet, you should really head over to the Boston Baby Photos Facebook page and do some voting – the pictures are really fun.

I’ve told you before about Phase 1, when I hung 100 photos for the gallery show opening at Steel & Rye last month, but now we’re doing…

If you’re interested in a little more detail about the contests, read on.

The contests will be up on on Facebook from June 16th through September 12th. There are two phases: 1) The 10 Summer Contests, which run from June 16, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time (“ET”) and end August 27, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. ET (“Contest Voting Period”); and the 2) Grand Prize Contest, which runs from August 29, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. ET through September 12, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. ET (“Grand Prize Voting Period”).

One category will be highlighted each week this summer until all ten contests end at the same time – on August 27th. Share the contests with your friends – anyone with a Facebook account can vote, they just need to “Like” the Boston Baby Photos Facebook page in order to vote. Photos appear for every voter in random order on the contest page. Each person can place one vote in each contest until midnight on August 27th. On August 28th the ten winners will be notified by email, and the Grand Prize contest will begin on August 29, 2013.

The Grand Prize Contest, a final contest occurring after the Ten Summer Contests are finished, places the winners from the Ten Summer Contests into one final contest.  It will run for two weeks, from August 29th-September 12th, and the winner (the photograph receiving the most votes 8/29-9/12) of the Grand Prize Content will receive a gift certificate for an in-home photoshoot, including all the final digital files (JPG files) from that shoot. The in-home photoshoot must take place within 45 miles of Milton, MA.

In the Grand Prize Contest, all previous votes from the summer contests are cleared, and we count only the votes voted August 29th through September 12th towards the Grand Prize total. The Grand Prize winner will be notified by email on September 13, 2013.

The 100 photos you see in the contest have been mounted and will be hung in the Wotiz Gallery at the Milton Public Library for the month of August. (We’re calling the library show “Phase 3″ of the BBP 10 Year Anniversary bonanza/extravaganza.) A opening/fundraising event was held in early June for this gallery show and contest and we raised $3,435 for the Jimmy Fund. The library show’s opening reception will be on Tuesday, August 6th from 4-6pm, or you can see the show by visiting the Milton Public Library anytime they’re open between 8/6/13 and 8/29/13. Contest winners will receive their mounted, single edition photo after the August gallery show is taken down. The other ninety photos will likely be available for purchase in September to benefit the Jimmy Fund, or the show may travel to a few other libraries and venues before the photos become available for purchase.

Twin lovelies

Yikes, correction! When I first posted these pics I mentioned that these two had been in the NICU in the early days of their life and I was completely wrong. (No excuses allowed! But I realized I had just spoken to another family that same week about their twins being in the NICU and I misremembered the conversation.) I’d mentioned that these two sweet little ladies spent time in the NICU, but their mama just (very kindly) corrected me! So correction: these two spent no time in the NICU – I don’t want to confuse anyone.

These lovely twin ladies were three months old in the middle of June when we took these photos, and they couldn’t be more perfect. I am so in love with all their expressions – especially the ones they give each other :)

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!