How to Prepare Your Kids For A Photo Session

I didn’t realize how stressful getting ready for family photos were until my little man entered our family.  The leading up the session can be overwhelming! Deciding on the outfits, worrying about having happy baby/kids, and stressing about getting that “perfect” photo and if everything will fall into place!  I am here to help!

I am a lifestyle photographer.  Although I will try to grab the camera aware photo you are likely drawn to my work because of the real moments you have seen captured.  So the MOST important thing is don’t just focus on the final product; enjoy the experience!

I know photo shoots can be stressful, especially for mom, but instead of worrying if the resulting photos will be perfect, embrace that life IS NOT perfect.  Just have fun and the photos will reflect your life and THAT IS PERFECT.  If your child won’t stop running around, or the baby cries or won’t stop drooling, or the dog won’t sit still – that is OKAY because that chaos is your life, and your life is BEAUTIFUL.  Enjoy the session as a time to fully embrace how crazy, fun, and wonderful family life can be and trust me you will love it.

But to help relieve some stress I am here to help you prepare for the session with these 6 tips!

Babies Cry- if your baby doe, its okay! How cute is this photo to show at her 16th or 21st birthday!? ❤


1. Prepare your kids, but not too much!

Let your kids know about the session in advance.  Start talking to your them about it a week in advance to get them comfortable with the idea, and remind them a little each day but don’t let them worry about getting their photos done.  You can let them know your expectations of their behavior, but more importantly talk it up to make it sound like a fun and special occasion for the family…because it is! Try not to make it seem so important. Children just want to have fun, and so does your photographer! 🙂

2.  Full tummies and well rested!

Make sure everyone is happily fed, parents too.  Every parent knows the importance of having snacks on hand for the kids.  Have a well rested child/children. You should NEVER schedule a photo shoot near nap time.

3.  What to bring to comfort your child

Bring your child’s favorite toy, blankie or doll.  We may choose to use it in a few photos (which is a great memory for later years) and it will go a long way in comforting your child.  Just don’t bring it out unless necessary or if we definitely want to incorporate it!  4.  What to wear?

Dress for the weather and comfort, this is especially important for the kids!  If y’all look great but are freezing it will make the session less enjoyable Of course we want the children dressed cute, but it is more important that they are warm and comfortable. Sometime it takes kids a little bit to get used to new clothes so if you buy a special outfit for the shoot, make sure to break it in at least once.

Avoid clothing with busy patterns, bold design & stripes

Strong patterns are pretty in real life. However, they are not flattering in a photo. Clothing should not compete for attention with your family/child. The eyes should be drawn y’all, not the clothing. Solid colors work best but subdued patterns would do the job just as well. Stay away from clothing with logos, shiny, sparkly or reflective fabric.  If were photographing the family or more than one child try to not clash patterns.

Love how Lauren (Mom) has chosen a favorite dress then compliments Dad and her daughters clothes with solid colors from her dress.

Two solids and one pattern, love the different textures here and the neutral colors.Colors

Pastels and neutrals photograph great . Avoid black, as it tends to disappear in photos. Try to stay away from neon/bright colors, especially on sunny days.

Rules can always be broken (shown below) That’s why I recommend sharing your outfit ideas with me, I love helping with the planning! 🙂

This sweetie is wearing very bright colors but we were lucky to have a cloudy day!  If it was sunny we would have found a shaded area to avoid a lot of reflection on her skin as these colors were the theme for her cake smash 🙂

This cutie has a strong pattern, but again it went with the theme of her cake smash, and with that smile there is no competition 🙂 


5. Don’t coach your child/children to smile!

Don’t do it before the photo-shoot, don’t do it during the photo-shoot. Telling your child to say CHEESE or smile likely will result in a cheesy smile and that is not what you want. Children are very good at expressing emotion and they will smile on their own. It’s our job as adults to be funny and help the child feel relaxed. One shot capturing a pure, genuine smile is more valuable than a hundred grins. If the child is having fun, he/she will smile!

6. Let your kid(s) have fun!

The beautiful moments will come on their own. Constantly reminding the kid that someone is taking pictures will NOT help.  If we want your child to look at the camera, getting behind the photographer and do something you know would cause a reaction, but don’t abuse this technique as he/she will start to ignore you!

To sum everything up; come ready to have fun, let your children have fun, let us help with outfits if you are having difficulty, and trust your photographer and we will document your family, your PERFECT family, the way you are! Let your kids be themselves! ❤ How beautiful is this moment?  Pure, real, THEM! So don’t worry about the camera aware, perfect, smiling photo. THIS. IS. LIFE ❤

Thank you for visiting! 😀

Cylinda B ❤

How to Prepare For Your Engagement Session!

Not only do I absolutely love engagement sessions because I get to know my couples better, I feel they are so important in preparing for the BIG day.   Also it is a great way for me to get to know you two-how you are together, for y’all to get to know me, and it helps y’all get comfortable with how I work so there are no SURPRISES on your wedding day! It’s so helpful to have a great engagement session before the big day so that you know what to expect. My couples that have an engagement session are PROS by the wedding day and it shows in their photos! This is why we cover the sitting fee in all our wedding collections and may have told you its kind of a mandatory step in being a CBP couple 🙂

When you’re prepping for your engagement session, there are a few things to keep in mind. This is supposed to be FUN! This is the shoot with no pressure, so don’t stress! On the wedding day we’ll be crunched for time, and there won’t be time to chat and get to know one another.

Let’s dive in!
syracuse wedding photographer, cylinda b photography, country engagementSyracuse Wedding Photographer, Cylinda B Photography, Engagement Session, Beaver Lake, Syracuse

1.When & what time should I book our engagement session?

After you book with your photographer, whether its me or someone else you need to think of when you would like your portraits done.  Some couples like to choose a time of year opposite from when their wedding day is keeping in mind your photographers availability.  ie. if you are having a Spring wedding, it might be nice to have a fall E-sesh! We book about 2 months out depending on the time of year and only photograph sessions Monday through Thursday, typically 2 hours before sunset or 2 hours after sunrise. Syracuse Wedding Photographer, Cylinda B Photography, Engagement Session, Beaver Lake, SyracuseSyracuse Wedding Photographer, Cylinda B Photography, Engagement Session, Tree Farm, SyracuseSyracuse Wedding Photographer, Cylinda B Photography, The Farm, Engagement Session, Syracuse2. Outfits- What to Wear to Your Engagement Session!?

First and foremost, be comfortable, BE YOU!  This is a chance to have beautiful casual photos with your fiancé to hang on your wall and gift your family.  Secondly, try to coordinate your outfits instead of matching.  Look for colors that are soft and muted or go with neutral colors- ie. something white, off-white, or blush. Tiny, repetitive patterns and flashy colors can drag the eye away from focusing on the intimacy of you and your soon-to-be spouse.  Also, bold jewelry, scarves, and colored shoes photograph really well! Check out our PINTEREST wardrobe board for color pallets and ideas!  Press wrinkly clothes, hang them, and put them on when arriving to your session.

3. Location & Time!?

As I mentioned the best time of day is typically 2 hours before sunset or 2 hours after sunrise.  This can be applied to any time of year.  When it comes to picking a location we have a few favorite places that we suggest.  We help pick one based on your answers to a questionnaire we send to you!  The main thing to keep in mind is y’all are the focus, everything else is background.  Syracuse Wedding Photographer, Cylinda B Photography, Gillie Lake, Engagement Session, SyracuseSyracuse Wedding Photographer, Cylinda B Photography, The Farm, Engagement Session, SyracuseSyracuse Wedding Photographer, Cylinda B Photography, The Farm, Engagement Session, Syracuse4. Prepare Your Groom!

This is the part that all of you brides need to pay attention to! You know your groom best so only you can help prepare him for this shoot. If your fiance’ is completely unaware of this style of photography, he is going to think it’s really strange when I tell you two to “Nuzzle” or “almost kiss”.  He’s may be expecting a few pictures smiling at the camera, showing off the ring and that’s it! So it’s your job to explain to him why you love this style of photography and help him know what to expect! I suggest sitting down with him and showing him a few of your favorite engagement sessions  that I’ve shot to give him an idea of what he’s about to experience! 🙂

Syracuse Wedding Photographer, Cylinda B Photography, Gillie Lake, Engagement Session, SyracuseSyracuse Wedding Photographer, Cylinda B Photography, The Farm, Engagement Session, Syracuse Syracuse Wedding Photographer, Cylinda B Photography, The Farm, Engagement Session, Syracuse5. Use Today to Get Dolled Up! Hair, Makeup, nails!

Its not every day you get professional photos done together so use today to get all dolled up!  If brides have their make-up artist booked they may use today to have their trial done so they can see what it will look like in photos on the wedding day.  Although not necessary, I highly recommend this! Its always fun when a bride gets her hair and makeup done before the shoot, it helps make them feel more confident going into the session!  If you do your own makeup I do recommend going a little heavier than normal on the eye make-up. Hands and rings may be in the photos so having your ring and nails looking perrrty is a plus!

Syracuse Wedding Photographer, Cylinda B Photography, The Farm, Engagement Session, SyracuseSyracuse Wedding Photographer, Cylinda B Photography, Engagement Session, Beaver Lake, Syracuse Syracuse Wedding Photographer, Cylinda B Photography, The Farm, Engagement Session, Syracuse6. Relax, Have FUN! Trust Your Photographer

As you are preparing for your session remember it is normal to feel nervous going into the session, and remember we don’t expect y’all to be pros at this!   The first 20 minutes is the warm up period, just remember, this is a time when you two are simply spending time together.  Be yourselves and enjoy the moment, we have you covered!

Syracuse Wedding Photographer, Cylinda B Photography, The Farm, Engagement Session, Syracuse Syracuse Wedding Photographer, Cylinda B Photography, The Farm, Engagement Session, Syracuse Syracuse Wedding Photographer, Cylinda B Photography, The Farm, Engagement Session, Syracuse7. Can We Bring Our FurBaby?

YES!!! I love fur babies! We will start the session with your pet then move on with the session! We recommend walking/running your pup before the session so they are a little more relaxed for the session!

Syracuse Wedding Photographer, Cylinda B Photography, The Farm, Engagement Session, Syracuse Syracuse Wedding Photographer, Cylinda B Photography, The Farm, Engagement Session, Syracuse8. Should We Bring Anything?

As you know, our style of photography has a natural, lifestyle feel so we don’t recommend “props”.  However we love incorporating things that fit your personality as a couple, things you like to do together, blankets, etc. The questionnaire we send out helps us plan this as well!  Here are a few examples!

Lexi & Cody are fun & playful and what better way to incorporate balloons! Balloons make everything fun!! 😀

Syracuse Wedding Photographer, Cylinda B Photography, Beaver Lake, Engagement Session, Syracuse

How adorable are these two!?  Jenelle & Shane are another playful couple, we had so much fun at their e-sesh!! Syracuse Wedding Photographer, Cylinda B Photography, The Farm, Engagement Session, SyracuseLove the romance in this moment between Emilee & Matt.  What I love even more is how personal it is to them, one things they love to do together is being outdoors and four wheeling.Syracuse Wedding Photographer, Cylinda B Photography, The Farm, Engagement Session, Syracuse9. Be On Time

This is really important. What most couples don’t realize is that sessions are 100% dependent on the sun and if their couples show up late, they will lose that amount of time during their session due to the lack of light the session won’t be extended.   Allow time for traffic delays, hair/wardrobe emergency’s, etc. Syracuse Wedding Photographer, Cylinda B Photography, City Engagement, Engagement Session, SyracuseSyracuse Wedding Photographer, Cylinda B Photography, The Farm, Engagement Session, Syracuse syracuse wedding photographer, winter engagement, cylinda b photography Syracuse Wedding Photographer, Cylinda B Photography, The Farm, Engagement Session, SyracuseSyracuse Wedding Photographer, Cylinda B Photography, The Farm, Engagement Session, SyracuseI hope these tips were helpful!! Check out some blogged engagement sessions here for more inspiration!

Here Are a Few Amazing Hair Stylists & Make-up Artists In Syracuse Area for your wedding day and/or engagement session!

Meg loveland- hair & make-up

Green Beauty Bliss – Erica Abdo :

MT Makeup & Beauty- Marcela Tobar:

A-List Makeup Artistry –

Cny Beauty By Danielle –

Syracuse Makeup Artistry-


Cylinda B


A Hayloft on the Arch Wedding | Vernon Center, NY | Pat & Amanda

Although it was five months ago, it feels like yesterday we entered Hayloft on the Arch to a room full of girls excitedly getting ready for Pat & Amanda’s wedding day.  I still remember all the special touches and thoughtful surprises that brought tears to Amanda.  The windmill added to her bouquet in remembrance of her grandmother, the moment she saw people so special to her heart arrived and filled her heart, and the moment she saw her soon to be husband the first time that day- smiles so so big.

Its amazing how it was five months ago but going through the moments captured it feels like yesterday, the power of photography and its ability to evoke the emotions felt at the moment in time it was captured.

Enjoy the moments captured! Thanks for visiting ❤ Cylinda

I am obsessed with the first look!! Being married, I wish we did this, it is truly the most amount of one on one time you get with your groom on your wedding day! I always joke that I barely saw my husband on our wedding day (but its so true!) with the craziness of the day it is hard to stop and really spend time with one another!

Also you get a true reaction of seeing each other for the first time without worrying about everyone else around you and your reactions are in the same frame in the camera rather than separate photos.  Just love these moments captured during Pat & Amanda’s first look ❤ 

When its raining and your bride is totally on board with sitting down! ❤ #MYKINDOFBRIDE 🙂 hahaha I think someone stepped on his toe! 😀 LOVE kids in weddings! ❤ This outtake is a favorite! In love with the charm of Hayloft on the Arch! Such a gorgeous venue with owners truly committed and passionate about giving each bride  and groom a perfect wedding day.  Was so happy to be back at this venue!  ❤ ❤ ❤  The MOST amazing donuts!!! From Glazed and Confused ! We have never seen a line so long for deserts 🙂 

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Hayloft on the Arch

Hair & Make-Up: Ashley Hanson at Beauty Nation

DJ: The Great Music Company

Caterer: Carnegie Catering

Desert: Glazed and Confused

Bridal Gown: USA Bridal

Groomsmen: JC Penney Suits

A Sinclair of Skaneateles Wedding | Kelly & Jon

We had the honor to document so many love stories, high school seniors, children and families this year we wanted to share some moments captured throughout the year this winter with everyone that we didn’t have time to share over the summer!

We absolutely loved the charm of the Sinclair of Skaneateles venue in Skaneateles, NY.  There is so much character at this venue and a bridal suite for getting ready is a photographers dream.  And to top it off a beautiful couple, so happy, so in love, and with wonderful family and friends filled with so many touching moments just made this a perfect day.

The wedding was in June and I still remember the tears that fell when Kelly’s dad choked up trying to toast his daughter and son-in-law.  The moment they saw each other during their first look was so sweet, tears and laughter. The way Jon makes Kelly laugh, and how she makes him smile and the undoubtable love they have for one another.  Well that is enough from me, I will let the moments captured show their story of their wedding day!

Much love and appreciation! Cylinda B

We wish y’all a lifetime of happiness! ❤

Big thank you to everyone that helped make their day so wonderful!

Venue: Sinclair of Skaneateles

Hair: Meg Loveland

Make-up: Morgan Lynk Makeup Artistry

Florist: Flowers by Liane

DJ- Anthony Lana

Photography: Cylinda B Photography

A Colloca Estate Winery Wedding | Sterling, NY | Christie & Jeremy

Christie and Jeremy said I do in Sterling, NY a few weeks ago at the beautiful Colloca Estate Winery!  The weather was absolutely beautiful, and the day was filled with love, laughter, heartfelt speeches, beautiful moments, and awesome dance moves!

Thank you both for choosing us to document your wedding day.  We loved being a part of this journey in your lives and we hope you love this glimpse into your wedding day! xo Love and Appreciation ~Cylinda

I absolutely love first looks!! Why not spend more then 5 minutes with your groom alone on your wedding day?  It gives couples some time alone and to enjoy with each other before the craziness of the day begins.  Christie and Jeremy’s first look was so sweet.  Come on! Look how he looks at her!!! “I love Jeremy’s calm and kindness. He truly makes everyone around him feel important and special.” ~Christie❤ ❤ ❤  “I love Christie’s passion for helping people. No matter what people think about the situation, she will do what’s right” ~ Jeremy Mom’s ❤  I have to say Christie’s reaction when announced husband and wife is one of the best and sweetest we have seen!  SO SO SWEET!   Their fur babies!! ❤ Love all the details Christie and Jeremy made and put into their wedding day.   Christie did a brother sister dance, and we loved how excited he was all day for this moment with his sister! ❤
Remember Ali & Mark’s wedding a few years ago!!  Love seeing happy couples at weddings! haha love it!

We wish y’all a lifetime of love and happiness!

Credit to the creative team who helped make their day special!

Venue: The beautiful Colloca Estate Winery & delicious food 😀
DJ: DJ Mike Mike Howell
Flowers: DeVine Designs Florist
Dress: Stunning dress by Grace and Lace
Videographer: So fun working with Stephanie from Video Network Inc. !
Hair & Make-up: Hair by Jamie Boo

Dominican Republic Wedding | Punta Cana | Jill & Danny

We couldn’t have been more excited to photograph our first destination wedding in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic!!  Everything about Danny & Jill’s wedding was absolutely perfect, their love for one another, all their family and friends that came to be a part of it, a dreamy romantic backdrop for the most beautiful ceremony, and all the details put into their wedding!!

Thank you so much for inviting Steve and I to be a part of your wedding and inviting us in so warmly! We cannot wait for our next play date with ICEBERGS! haha  Hope you love a few of our favorites from your day ❤ Absolutely amazing from 1,749 miles away all the personal touches Jill & Danny put into their wedding day!  Is this not one of the most perfect backdrops for a wedding ceremony?!Jill you are absolutely beautiful!  In love with her hand made bouquet filled with so many beautiful sentimental pieces.  The shells were collected over the years, the pearls were her mothers and Danny’s sisters, jewelry placed on it from her mom, family and friends. And the turtles from her aunt, and flowers from her mothers best friend.  So much love and meaning in one bouquet, it really was so so special. Her Dad, so sweet ❤ Can I get married to my hubby again! ❤ 😀  Absolutely loved this part of the ceremony!  The Chinese philosophy on why the ring is worn on the ring finger.  Each finger represents people in our lives, we can pull apart each finger but your ring finger.  It represents our soulmate.  It really was beautiful!

Congratulations you two!!! Thank you again for having us be a part of your wedding day!! ❤

Baby Boy Cake Smash | Syracuse Child Photographer | Roman

We just had to share some photos from Roman’s cake smash!  His Mom wanted to do a few camping theme photos to fit his birthday party theme and then we swapped over to a backdrop that would go great in their home!  I love planning these cake smash sessions, or in Roman’s case, pie smash ;), and its so fun to see what the babies will do when they get the cake!

Hope this brings some joy to your Tuesday afternoon!