Remember this was beautiful.


Why I Don’t Want to be your Christmas Card Photographer

I don’t want to be your Christmas Card Photographer.

Here’s the thing.

It’s not that I don’t want to take the photos for your Christmas card.  It’s that I need more.  I want to be more to you and your family.

I want to spend the time it takes to get to know your family.  To win over the babies and the toddlers.  To coax out the silly from the shyest six year old.  To crack the facade of the pre-teens and teens who are pretty sure they’re way too cool.  To show even the most reluctant dads that what we’re doing together is something they’ll treasure when they’re old and gray.   To capture the routines and the relationships and the quirks and imperfections.  To hang out and see what happens.  We’ll get all the expected combinations, of course, but we’ll get so much more than that.

And then, after the session, I don’t want to be done.  I don’t want to just send you a download link and wish you well and then just sit around and wonder if you like the photos or if they’ll ever make it off your hard drive.  I want to make you a slideshow and to come and sit with you and enjoy it together with you.  I want to laugh with you over the funny ones and to point out my personal favorites and to hear about which ones are yours. Then, I want to listen to your vision for how you think you’ll best enjoy the photos going forward, and to help execute that vision.

Ideally, I’d love to come back again and again, as your children grow and change.  Each session getting better as your family members know what to expect from the process and my face and goofy mannerisms become more and more familiar.

This is how I want to do this family photography thing.  I get that it isn’t for everyone.  But doing it this way allows me to get what I need from the process, and so far I’ve been pretty successful at finding my people – the people who want these things, too, and aren’t going to feel satisfied by ‘just’ having me spend ten minutes to take their Christmas Card picture.

So, I don’t want to be “just” your Christmas Card photographer.

But listen.  If I’m the photographer for you — if you want to do the family photography thing this way with me — of course, I’d love to take your Christmas Card picture.  Because you need that, too.

If, when we meet up at one of my annual free LYYP Christmas Card Micro Mini Session events to take your Christmas card picture and one of your kids hops out of the car, runs at me yelling “Jaaaaaaaaye!!!!” and proceeds to jump into my arms and give me a big hug, I’m going to take that as a great affirmation that you and I are a good match and that we’re doing this right together.

Christmas Card Photographer

This year’s LYYP Christmas Card Micro Mini Sessions were a huge success.  Many thanks to Larchmont Nurseries and Lucente Landscaping for allowing us to use their beautiful spaces.  There will be many more shares from the three days of the event to come, as well as highlights from all my fall family lifestyle sessions, which I’ve fallen way behind on blogging due to the chaos of ‘the busy season’.  Do please stop by here through January and February to get yourself caught up.

One more thing.  If you haven’t seen this year’s Thankful video, you’ll definitely want to check it out.  More than anything I can say in words or show through the photos collected in my portfolio, I think this annual tradition speaks best to what I love to do here through LYYP.  And it’ll definitely make you smile.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

Thanks for looking,




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Thankful 2017 | The Life in Your Years Photography

“Wherever time may take you in your life,

remember this was beautiful.

~The Pat McGuire Band


You guuuuuuuuuys! It’s my favorite day of the entire LYYP year!  Whatever you’re doing right now, I KNOW you have four minutes to watch this, and I also know that it will make you smile.  And it will make you go find your kids and husbands and pets and other loved ones and give them a hug.  (Let me know if I’m right!)

Yes, it’s the seventh annual LYYP Thankful Video.   I love putting this together as my season wraps up every year.  I love going through all the images from the year’s sessions, seeing all the cute babies and fun kids and the wonderful parents who make this life possible for me.  Picking out one or two from each session that warm my heart or make me giggle.   Being reminded of how lucky I am.  And how very, very, VERY thankful.

Thank you, LYYP clients – past and present – for allowing me to do this thing I love.  Thank you, LYYP friends and cheerleaders, for stopping in here and giving me a thumbs up or a wave or a pat on the back.  You make a great thing even greater.

As a token of my (immense!) gratitude, I’ve got some treats for those of you who have not yet booked your 2018 session. 🙂

The FIRST TWO people who book a 2018 weekday lifestyle session between January 15 and June 15 will receive a $100 credit toward packages and products at their ordering session; and

The NEXT TWO people who book a weekday lifestyle session between January 15 and June 15, 2018 will receive a $50 credit toward packages and products.

This offer expires on Saturday (hey, small business Saturday!), so don’t wait.  Even if you don’t want to book before June 15, now’s a good time to book, because honestly, the LYYP calendar is filling up ridiculously early this year, and I really hate turning people away.

Enjoy your families this weekend, and know that I’m thinking of all of you with huge gratitude!

Thanks for looking,


P.S.  Last year’s Thankful video is HERE.  You’ve got another four minutes, right? 😉

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Freeze Ray Basics | Beginner Photography Workshops for Parents

Hey, did you year? LYYP is unveiling something brand-spanking new in 2018 – photography workshops for parents!

photography workshops

The idea’s not new.  I’ve thought about offering a ‘learn how to use your fancy camera’ class for years, actually.  The issue has always been that while January-March is the best time, schedule-wise, for me to offer these classes, a winter class would require preparation, marketing and enrollment to take place in the fall.  And fall?  It’s crazy time around here.  But!  This year, I’ve done it!  Yay, me!  If you’ve got a fancy DSLR or mirrorless camera collecting dust or stuck on Auto, you’re gonna love what I’m cooking up.

For much more info and to sign up, just go HERE.

Thanks for looking,



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Thanks for stopping by!

Jaye McLaughlin    |    Family Lifestyle Photography in Westchester, NYC and Southern Connecticut    |    914.636.4413