Category: Babies   view all recent posts
November 30, 2013filed in Newborns, Babies, Children, Families


With holidays on the minds of so many, I thought today would be a great day to roundup the 5 professional tips & tricks for creating amazing photo greeting cards that I shared last year on the CHP Facebook page. With preparation and a few simple steps you can create a beautiful card for your family this year. 
Don't be afraid to snuggle up and get close. Getting close allows more natural expressions to shine through and creates a beautiful tight composition to your image.
Get close for a great family photo this holiday season

Pick a spot in your house with lots of indirect natural light from a window or doorway. Using flattering soft light creates gorgeous pictures!
Use indirect natural light at home for a fantastic family portrait

Taking a group photo of the kids can be rather crazy and produce less than great results. Why not take great photos of each one them individually? This not only can be more successful but also shows each child's unique personality.
Make your DIY photo session easier by using individual photos of the kids

One of the most common questions I'm asked is "what should we wear for out photo shoot?" I recommend wearing items that complement each other but don't match exactly. Try to have everyone in the same tonality. I encourage you to have different outfits and textures, but keep within 2 or 3 common colors. Most of all, wear what you love because it shows in your expression! 
Dress everyone in clothes that go together; matching is not necessary

You've gotten all the great family shots that you need for your card, now comes the really fun part: designing and printing. I recommend Minted for those who enjoy choosing a layout themselves and ordering online. Prefer personal service? Adele at The Write Touch will expertly guide you through the process of selecting and printing beautiful custom photo cards. No time to wait for custom-printed cards? See the fine folks at Huron Camera to get professional-quality prints made, then simply pop them into store-purchased holiday cards designed for this purpose (available at most department and stationary stores). Huron Camera prints photo cards too, and is a great option for keeping your printing business local.
Tips for printing your holiday cards with the pros

Voila! Your holiday cards are now ready to go forth and spread holiday cheer to family and friends.
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Posted by Cheryl Hall. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and
October 22, 2013filed in Babies, Children, Families, Travel


This past weekend, my family and I enjoyed our traditional autumn getaway to South Haven, Michigan. Situated on the shore of Lake Michigan just a couple hours west of our home in Dexter, Michigan, South Haven is particularly gorgeous at this time of year. We always look forward to revisiting our favorite spots and discovering new sights along the way. Here are 4 must-visit places that top our list. 
STOP #1: Gene the Pumpkin Man 
A trip to South Haven would not be complete without a stop in Kalamazoo along the way to visit Gene the Pumpkin Man. Gene's 130 acre farm has been in his family since 1885, and according to the eye-catching sign on his barn, he's been in the pumpkin business for 56 years.

Gene is a very kind soul. Over the years he and his family have given freely to others in need by providing food and shelter and looking after people who just needed an extra hand. It's that sort of hospitality and giving spirit that bring customers back year after year. I met someone there that has purchased pumpkins from Gene for the last 42 years! 
Add us to the list of loyal Gene the Pumpkin Man customers. It is such a sweet place!

STOP #2: Crane Orchards 
There is a ton of fall fun to be had on the rambling farm property of Crane Orchards in Fennville, Michigan

Crane's has a huge fruit farm with U-pick apples, a great restaurant with every variety of pie you can imagine, and a wonderful corn maze that we love to wander through.

You can test your knowledge of corn trivia with ten numbered stations throughout the maze. Did you know corn silk makes the perfect material for a DIY mustache disguise?

STOP #3: Fall Festival at Stokes Homestead Farm Market 
New to our autumn weekend tradition this year was the Fall Festival at Stokes Homestead Farm Market in Grand Junction, Michigan. We found lots more fun for the kids there - pumpkin painting, a donut toss competition, mining for jewels, and even a spooky nighttime Halloween hay ride through the apple orchard.

STOP #4: South Haven Farm Market 
This is my favorite farmer's market of them all. At the South Haven Farmers Market, local farmers come together right in downtown South Haven to offer everything from apples to homemade maple syrup. What a treat for the eyes to walk through this market on a chilly fall morning!

Our girls' favorite is Happy Jack's Kettle corn. They enjoy watching him make the irresistibly salty and sweet treat right in front of us. We always stock up on Happy Jack's when we're in town.

Our annual family road trip is something we look forward to each fall. What are your family's must-visit places at this time of year? Please share in the comments!  
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Posted by Cheryl Hall. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and
September 26, 2013filed in Babies, Children, Families


When photographing newborns and babies, I love to find all the small special things about them - long beautiful lashes, a cute curl in the back of the neck, a sweet cowlick in the front. When my first daughter Emma was born, the first things I noticed were her beautiful big dimples and her curly toes. With Lydia it was her large soulful eyes. For Ava, it was the swirl of hair on her forehead. I love these sweet little gifts every little one comes with.

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Posted by Cheryl Hall. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and
May 18, 2013filed in Babies, Children


Earlier this month, I was invited to help raise funds for a wonderful local nonprofit, the Lamaze Family Center Ann Arbor. They hosted a "Mommy and Me Tea" at the center to celebrate Mother's Day. Guests arrived for the event in their best tea-time clothes. What better time to have a little taste of what a complete CHP custom portrait session is all about? I've recently been processing the images from the day and thought I would share a few of them here. Thanks to the happy moms and little ones, the gorgeous spring weather, a well-placed stretch of grass in the center's parking area, and my trusty 70-200 mm lens, capturing these portraits felt like a walk in the park. Such fun!  
Do you see any special faces here? Post a comment and share this post with your friends! 

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Posted by Cheryl Hall. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and
May 13, 2013filed in Babies

Sweet family

Love this sweet family..Such a pleasure to watch their family grow!

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Posted by Cheryl Hall. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and
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