Sunday, June 20, 2010
When fellow twin mom and friend Linsey emailed the SV Moms Group writers inviting us to sign up for a complimentary mini session with photographer Anna Mayer, I couldn't believe my luck. I've admired Anna's work for years, and last year actually had the chance to shove my kids in front of her lens as part of a group underwater photo session. I loved the results, of course, so I snagged a slot on her schedule right away. The fact that The Pea had a ballet recital the night before? And that we had guests scheduled to arrive at our house for lunch an hour and a half after the photo session? Not a problem. When Anna Mayer invites your family to pose for her camera, you say yes, and you find the time. And as you can see from the photos below (and on my other Anna Mayer post), it's totally worth it.
Anna Mayer is a photographer specializing in babies, kids and families. She divides her time between her studios in Silicon Valley, Minnesota and Milwaukee.
I love Anna's dreamy, casual, radiant photos! They're drenched in light and color and when I look at them I get the feeling that when I look at these photos 20 years from now, they won't just remind me what we looked like, they'll also remind us what we were like -- how The Pea was still shy and sweet, how the boys were just bundles of energy (with a hint of cuddliness) and how Alfie and I had grown seamlessly into each other's lives and skins and souls after 10 years of marriage.
Just take a look at the photos:
These days it's almost impossible to get a genuine smile from The Pea when she poses for a photograph, but Anna managed to do it. She took us to a gnarled old tree in the middle of an abandoned field and told the kids climb up and play around, talking to them to keep them at ease. I don't think she ever said, "Say cheese" or "Smile" once.
I love how she captured my boys' impish natures, their inherent competitive spirit, and their lifelong bond.
I asked Anna to snap a couple of photographs of Alfie and me, since it's our 10th wedding anniversary this year. At first we stood and simpered at the camera like one does at those mall studio portrait places, but Anna was having none of that. She chided us for maintaining so much personal space between us, so we goofed around awkwardly for a bit. I didn't think there was any way we'd come up with a decent couples photo, but I was wrong. Anna took photos of us between our fake lovey-dovey poses, so they ended up natural and intimate and affectionate. The love that Alfie and I have for each other really shone through!
You get what you pay for, and Anna's artistry does not come cheap. Custom sessions have a fee of $300-$450 and do not include prints, which start at $48 per photo and $1100 per collection. You can save a little by booking one of her Short and Sweet sessions, but should still expect to shell out $500-$800, in my opinion. That's somewhat out of my family's price range, but not at all out out of line with what other high-end photographers charge -- and judging by the number of rave reviews Anna gets, many many families are happy to pay it.
The Bottom Line
Anna Mayer is a one-of-a-kind artist who captures your family's spirit in her beautiful photos. If you can afford her, please, please, please book her services, she is worth it!
Disclosure: I received a complimentary mini portrait session from Images by Anna and a discount on any prints I purchase from the session. Anna also provided the image files I am using on my blogs. I was not paid to review her service or give my opinions. Product information is provided by the featured company/product and is clearly indicated as such. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.