Portrait Play Dates

September 21, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

In August, my little assistant and I hosted "portrait play dates" in our home. These play dates are something I do for fun but also as a service to my clients and friends.  With a backdrop and lighting set up in our living room, we invite friends with little ones over to make a few portraits with us and then play.  I started this event last February after making a small setup for Valentine’s Day photos to photograph my daughter, Ellamae. When I realized how much work we had put into the setup for just a few photos, I invited friends over to make a portrait too.  I offer one free digital file for them to use however they want. At that time I suggested using the image to create personalized Valentine’s Day Cards. 


This August, with Ellamae home from Mother’s Day Out for the month, I struggled to balance time with her and time spent working on my photography business. To combine work and play I invited some friends with kiddos over to make photos again.  We had five photo sessions/play dates and they were a blast! We captured some fun images of the kids and then spent time playing and chatting.


The first date was with Micah. He is a busy little two year old, but we managed to catch a few good smiles. He really liked our tiny rocking chair! After photographing, we went outside and chased some bubbles. 

Micah Thomas-2Micah Thomas-2 Micah Thomas Final-4 editMicah Thomas Final-4 edit


Next we had the Castillo family over. It was the day of Jacob’s 8th birthday so we got to make fun birthday themed photos with him and his sister Jonah! Their mom took my suggestion to bring fun props along for the photos and had several different options to make fun and interesting portraits! They brought playdough and Ellamae got hers out. These two are a photographer’s dream and so great at making portraits! I would love to photograph them every day. Castillo Playdate-1Castillo Playdate-1 Castillo Playdate-2Castillo Playdate-2 Castillo Playdate-6Castillo Playdate-6 Castillo Playdate-13Castillo Playdate-13 Castillo Playdate-14Castillo Playdate-14 Castillo Playdate-18Castillo Playdate-18 Castillo Playdate-19Castillo Playdate-19 Castillo Playdate-24Castillo Playdate-24 Castillo Playdate-26Castillo Playdate-26


Miles and Levi are regular photography clients and a little older than our other play date guests but we had fun with them too! They brought Ellamae a fairy garden and after our photo session we went outside and planted flowers in it. I loved the way the boys showed Ellamae each step and helped her to complete the project.

Robinson Playdate-9Robinson Playdate-9 Robinson Playdate-5Robinson Playdate-5 Robinson Playdate-12Robinson Playdate-12 Robinson Playdate-15Robinson Playdate-15 Robinson Playdate-16Robinson Playdate-16


Edith brought her newborn, Julian, and seven year old, Nicole, over Thursday afternoon. Nicole immediately told me when she walked in the door that she did “not want to take pictures!” She had fallen asleep in the car on the way over and was less than happy when she arrived. However, after hanging out, chatting and seeing Ellamae for a bit she joined her mom and brother for a few sweet photos. I was honored to preserve a few precious moments during this delicate time that passes so quickly. Lonigro Playdate Final-5Lonigro Playdate Final-5 Lonigro Playdate Final-7Lonigro Playdate Final-7 Lonigro Playdate Final-11Lonigro Playdate Final-11 Lonigro Playdate Final-12Lonigro Playdate Final-12 Lonigro Playdate Final-15Lonigro Playdate Final-15


Last, we had Andrew come to visit. Andrew was nearing his first birthday so we tried out a few themed props that I had around the house. Then we got some shots with his favorite toys so his family could look back and remember this precious phase of his life. Always smiling, Andrew exudes joy and always keeps me grinning!

Andrew Playdate-1Andrew Playdate-1 Andrew Playdate-7Andrew Playdate-7 Andrew Playdate-4Andrew Playdate-4 Andrew Playdate-10Andrew Playdate-10


Portrait Play Dates allow me to practice my trade, see some of my adult friends, and our kiddos get to play together. I can’t think of a better way to spend a week!  

If this sounds like fun to you and you might want to host portrait play dates at your house, please let me know. As a play date host, you will receive 10 digital portraits for free. This is a good excuse for your friends to get photos made of their little ones in a laid back atmosphere, play with friends and have some adult bonding time too.


Oh yeah....and a few portraits of my own kiddo....



No comments posted.

Welcome to the blog of Crackerjack Photography and photographer, Jamie Kirschner.  Here I share my life travels and photographic adventures through words and pictures hoping to inspire you to make a trip or a portrait!



January February March (1) April (1) May June (1) July (1) August September (1) October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September (1) October November December
January (1) February March (1) April May (1) June July August September October November (1) December
January February March April May June July August September October November December