Cheers To 2016!

What fun my son Michael and I had writing with sparklers on New Year’s Eve and then to create this image.

“To Love in 2016 through Capturing the Joy of Life for others”.


I started my New Year’s Day by sleeping in after watching the ball drop in Times Square…kissing my hubby in celebration while saying farewell to 2015 and hello to 2016 and new beginnings.

I enjoyed a quiet morning in our big comfy chair in the living room sipping on my coffee and reflecting on 2015 while thinking about what may lie ahead for the coming year. I started looking through my my yearly planner and wondered what the days would be filled with. A smile came to my face when I thought about how awesome 2015 was for me with the many wonderful vacations I took to visit family and friends. Then to my business and how it exploded in the fall with so many senior and family sessions.

However, during this past fall as I was trying my best to keep up with all the editing while trying to balance my family obligations. I was beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed and I didn’t want to get burned out. In October, for the first time I had to turn away potential clients because I just did not have enough time to get all the sessions and editing done before year end. On one hand it was a great feeling, on the other hand I was sadden because I never want to say no to capturing special moments for anyone.

I knew I wanted almost all editing done by the second week of December so I could enjoy the holiday season the way it was intended to be celebrated with good tidings of great joy. I did pretty well in keeping with my goal. I even had a few clients tell me to wait until the new year that there was no rush. I was so grateful for these clients and will forever be blessed for what they gave for me…time to myself.

I truly enjoyed my Christmas break with family and friends. We had plans to go skiing as a family right after Christmas but if you live in New England you knew there was no snow. I was sad but not for long because I knew I would get to relax and doing things I have wanted to for months around our home.

Throughout New Years Day  I saw so many Happy New Year celebrations posted all over social media and photographers posting their Best of 2015 with words to cultivate over for the coming year along with their goals. My head started spinning and I was getting anxious to begin my new year but I didn’t want this pressure. I wanted to start 2016 off feeling relaxed and refreshed. I want to give my best back to everyone who looks to me to capture their most important and precious moments in the coming year. I wanted my creativity to be renewed and ready to share new ideas. So I said to myself start slow…one thought…one moment…one day at a time. I’m no different then anyone else in wanting to start the year off perfectly however I wanted it stress free too. Was I asking for too much?

The thought of everything being perfectly lined up was actually causing me a bit of stress and not the way I wanted my new year to start. I have personal and business goals like many others. Things I want to work on this year that didn’t work so well last year. I want to focus even more on my clients this year and make sure they’re receiving everything they are looking for in a professional photographer.

I made a promise to myself to not measure my success by others around me. Each and every one of us have our own special talents and gifts. I am going to be happy for them in their successes and cheer for them while I’m going through my journey. I am blessed to not have to work at my business full time where others chose to. In 2016, I want to continue to have time for the things that matter most to me and my family.

In the coming weeks, I hope to catch up on blogging some of the wonderful seniors I have the opportunity to photograph this past year along with some of my BEST of 2015 images. I am also working on creating an entire new website, marketing and brand. I’m excited to get to work on these things and hoping to be filled with joy not stress throughout the process. Life is to short to be nothing but happy in all aspects of our life.

So cheers to 2016 and success to each and every one of us!


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Bonnie - January 4, 2016 - 9:47 pm

I always look forward to your photographs! And as much as I hate seeing the year come to a close, I love the promise of what a new year has to bring!

Joyful Reflections Photography - January 5, 2016 - 1:02 pm

Thank you Bonnie. I will try to keep up my blogging more this year and share images other then portraits. I do love my still life too. Happy 2016…it’s going to be YOUR year!

CT High School Photographer ~ Senior Model Rep Lizzy Phelps {Ellington High School}

It has been a pure pleasure having Lizzy as my Senior Rep Model for Ellington High School. We have had a very busy summer working together and I feel so bad that I haven’t had a moment to blog. So today I devoted time to share with you all a bit about this wonderful lady.

Lizzy is very involved with school and loves being a cheerleader. I can see why she’s very outgoing and personable. Her smile can warm your day. Some of the things I have learned about Lizzy and her high school years are she has been involved in Ellington High School Rise Above and student council.  Her favorite high school memory so far is Prom. Mr. EHS really makes her laugh (not sure who he is but I would love to meet him).

Lizzy is a big fan of the Yankees and Giants! What…not our Red Sox?!  Lizzy loves shopping at Forever 21 and American Eagle. She loves Florida and spent a good amount of time there this summer. When not cheerleading she can be found spending her weekends working at Ellington Ridge Country Club, shopping, and have a good time with friends.

Lizzy thanks again for representing Joyful Reflections Photography this year and I wish you the BEST in your final year of high school. Continue making wonderful memories.

I will be posting more posts about the amazing seniors I have had the opportunity to photograph in the past few months.

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Claire - September 16, 2015 - 3:37 pm

What a beautiful girl and photos. Your work is truly amazing Catherine.

Kathleen Simmons - September 16, 2015 - 4:04 pm

I am very proud of the lovely young lady Liz has become and proud to be her Great Grandmother.

Joyful Reflections Photography - September 17, 2015 - 3:17 pm

Kathleen, you have so many reasons to be a proud Great Grandmother.

Jessie - September 20, 2015 - 9:01 pm

I like the flag ones!

Joyful Reflections Photography - September 21, 2015 - 9:17 am

Thanks so much Claire and Jessie.

Michelle - September 22, 2015 - 12:34 pm

Beautiful shots. I liked reading the bio!

Joyful Reflections Photography - September 22, 2015 - 3:16 pm

Thanks Michelle, stay tuned to see more seniors and their bio’s. 🙂

Stacie Amanna Maternity Newborn Sessions / Joyful Reflections Photography

“Motherhood is an experience that opens your eyes and your heart to exactly how magnificent and amazing the gift of life is.”  ~ Donna Newman

I was so honored to have the opportunity to photograph Stacie who is one of the most beautiful, gentle and sweet ladies I know. Whenever I am with her I feel a since of calmness and always enjoy our time with one another. I’m thrilled to have captured these very special moments for Stacie as we know life goes by so quickly. Stacie was actually one week overdue when we were photographing and I was praying we would not be calling 911 during her session. I brought her to a very special place where she would be relaxed and be able to hear the sounds of nature all around. She was in love, as was I.

Stacie is also my makeup artist and one of the finest makeup artists in the Hartford area and takes care of my gals for their senior portraits. Stacie works for  Transcendent and you can follow them on Facebook. Stacie was blessed with her precious little daughter Aubrie Grace 48 hours after her maternity session. Now that’s close! I was so excited to be able to hold Aubrie and photograph her as well.

Here are some of my favorite images from our time together. Thank you again Stacie for trusting me to capture this beautiful time in your life.

Enjoy!  xoxo Catherine


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Elizabeth L. - June 23, 2015 - 12:29 pm

Catherine these are truly beautiful. You are truly an amazing photographer.

Kayla Lagan - June 23, 2015 - 12:51 pm

Stacie is not only an amazing makeup artist but a gorgeous mother which is clearly shown in these awesome pictures!! Thanks to her I couldn’t have looked any better in my senior pictures!

Stacie Amanna - June 23, 2015 - 2:34 pm

Thank you dearest Catherine for these amazing images!! They will be treasured forever!! Kayla, you were so fun to work with!! A natural beauty!

Lizzy Phelps - June 23, 2015 - 5:17 pm

These pictures came out amazing! Both Stacie and Aubrie look beautiful! I can’t thank Stacie enough for doing my makeup for my Senior pictures it came out awesome!:)

Laura B. - June 24, 2015 - 7:40 am

In love. Amazing!