Spring is almost here in Alaska. I can feel it. The days are getting longer and the skies are brighter. I am super inspired and stoked to offer my annual Mommy and Me sessions. Those portrait session are dedicated to celebrate motherhood and and connections, bonds with our children.

Ive been thinking, how often do we get photographed with our precious mothers or maybe even grandmothers if we have any left? Sad truth, not that often at all, very seldom…

If you are like me, you love your mother and cherish every moment spent together. I truly believe that we need to make a point and photograph with our closest loved ones as much as we can. Those photographs become priceless, and it is something that your children can look back and appreciate the family history that has been created for them.


When it comes to photographing in-home sessions. I always appreciate good natural light and always encourage my clients to declutter their space as much as they can. The minimal the better and it creates that non distractive minimal space. Another great tip is to plan a session in the first time of the day when the baby is rested and fed that way we can get the most smiles and giggles. Luckily baby Violet was just a happy baby in general.


So here are few tips how to get the most out of your in home portrait session:

  1. Be well rested, wear clean clothes, tidy up the house and be ready to have fun.

  2. Outfits: I suggest more simple, non flashy colored, pastel tones like yellows and pinks work well. Also when you book with Rawsome photography you get an access to styling inspiration on how to color coordinate and create seamless outfits.

  3. As a mother myself, I understand that time is everything when it comes to capturing amazing photographs of super busy little kiddos and babies. Which is why be ready and be on time for your portrait session and I will make sure to take care of you.


3. For an in-home session best time of the day is in when there is full daylight and the baby and everyone is rested, fed and happy.

4. When photographing a baby time is ticking, one of the best ways to keep baby’s attention is to have their favorite toy, keep it positive, smile and laugh, engage with the baby. I keep it simple and fun.

5. And Lastly, this in-home Mommy and Me session lasted around one hour. As you can see in the picture below she was ready for her afternoon nap, which gave me an opportunity to photograph few intimate moments of her mommy Abigail snuggling her.

I love these unexpected moments, less posed, just the way they are unique to each family that I photograph. Those moments are real and raw. I strive to capture emotions, connection, bond, and something truly meaningful for my clients, something that they would value for a lifetime. Being a family photographer is a true calling and a blessing, it’s a gift to be able to meet these families, get to know them and watch them grow. It is so valuable for me as a photographer to nurture those relationships and become lifetime friends!

How to prepare for your engagement portrait session

Congratulations! Now let’s get this thing started and prep for your engagement session. Here are 8 tips to help you prep: 

Grassy fields in Hope Alaska were so photogenic for Letitia’s and Paul’s engagement session

Grassy fields in Hope Alaska were so photogenic for Letitia’s and Paul’s engagement session

1. Get your hair and make up done! This could be your trial for the wedding day. Pamper yourself and feel pretty! The photographer will make sure to capture your beauty🌷

1. Dress appropriately. Choose dressier clothes. Bring a few different outfits. Pick colors that would complement each other. Please, don’t make it too matchy. It looks better if you coordinate the colors. Best colors that photograph are pastels, solid colors with not too many busy patterns or large logos. Depending on your engagement theme you can experiment with bright vibrant and playful colors. 

3. BRING BUG SPRAY! you will thank me later..During summer season the bugs can get really bad…especially at the time we photograph: before sunset, early morning or in general - grassy area, forests, beach…Last year I spend a lot of time photoshopping bug bites off my clients skin and buzzing bugs of the photographs in general. It’s nice to keep them away from your experience. Speaking of great experience. Bring Bear spray, you never know where your adventurous engagement session will take us. It’s best to be safe than sorry.

4. During winter times bring cozy cute warm layers and accessories. Also a hot beverage of your choice. It gets chilly out there. With that in mind, please dress accordingly. No need to wear a summer dress in winter. Think of your best looking outdoors gear with fun winter accessories.

5. Accessorize! bring jewelry, scarfs, hats, bowties, shoes - something that is unique You as a couple. Maybe, a hand me down accessory from grandma when she was getting married, or a unique tie.

6. Also, don’t forget photo props. Think What makes your relationship special and how you can incorporate that in your portrait session. maybe you have something to photograph that is meaningful and special to your relationship?  Something that would describe  you as a couple and reflect your personality: creative color smoke, sparklers, champagne, picnic date props etc. How about something active that you both enjoy doing!

7. Please, be on time. It is important to meet on time with your photographer, as we are trying to get the best light of the day for you. We want to make the most of our time photographing.

8. Last but not least: HAVE FUN! you got your awesome outfits on, your hair and make up looks beautiful! now enjoy each other, relax, be yourselves and play, celebrate your love and friendship. Trust the process and I will capture those most romantic moments for you!

Letitia and Paul got engaged last summer, 2018! they have a wedding on 2020. what an awesome year to elope.

Letitia and Paul got engaged last summer, 2018! they have a wedding on 2020. what an awesome year to elope.

Here is a video summary of how to prepare for your engagement session

Oksana Skolnaja
Five simple tips to prepare for a family portrait session

As we live in Alaska, it is tough at times to prepare properly for family portrait session. We have so many variables to keep in mind. Here are five tips that may help you to prepare best:

  1. DON’T MATCH - COORDINATE COLORS. Meaning, try to coordinate colors and not dress all green or yellow. Pastels, neutral colors of bright and vibrant colors. Keep it simple: solid colors photograph well. Avoid anything with big logos, graphics or busy patterns.

Mother daughter bond. Crista and Ayla.

Mother daughter bond. Crista and Ayla.

2. DRESS COMFORTABLY. It’s Alaska! we have mud, and mosquitoes, it also is breezy and rainy at times. Make sure you have comfortable shoes with you just in case we will take a hike to our location destination.

3. WEAR ACCESSORIES. If you know me already, I love incorporating different accessories into portrait sessions. It is a great way to show more character and make it more fun. Also, perfect for children’s photography, - show off your children’s fun style that’s fitted and comfortable.


4. MAKE UP AND HAIR. Always wear clean hair. For the ladies I recommend wearing some powder to reduce shine in photographs also your favorite lipstick or lipgloss. Most importantly, I want you to feel beautiful and comfortable. For men - clean shaven or well groomed beard is fine.

5. MOST IMPORTANTLY, HAVE FUN and SHOW UP ON TIME. it is important not to be late to your portrait session, as for us photographers we schedule to catch the best light of the day and location for your session. We want you to be relaxed, to have fun, enjoy and trust the process of being photographed.