MAndalyn Rael Photography | Lifestyle Portrait Photography Blog
Lifestyle Portrait Photographer in NYC telling the beautiful story of everyday life. I create honest, natural, timeless images and specialize in child photography, family photography, lifestyle storytelling photography, senior portrait photography, and more.
I’m totally biased, but celebrating Mother’s Day with a photo session is one of the best gifts a mom can receive. If it’s a new mom and her first Mother’s Day, even better!
That was the case with this mini session in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village. Marisa was gifted a session by her husband and we spent a beautiful spring morning walking the sidewalks in their neighborhood and visiting their home base playground.
There’s something so special about choosing home as the location for a photo session. So many times we think we need to travel across the city to a beautiful park or find a view of the skyline to use as the backdrop. Those spots make for wonderful photographs, but there’s something so meaningful about photos taken at home. That’s where we spend most of our time, anyway, and where most of our memories are made.
At least once, chose home as your location for photos. You won’t be disappointed.
Book your own mini session to celebrate whatever good things your life brings. I offer them year-round now, not just seasonally! and we’ll talk details.
She had a fanclub from day one. What's not to love about two big brothers to keep watch and give hourly kisses?
I spent some time at this sweet family's home when things had settled a bit after Nova's birth. I was offered invisible cups of tea and witnessed a few lion and leopard impersonations between taking photos of Nova in her natural element. She seemed quite at home in the middle of the action!
Not to be ignored: the beautiful details and carefully curated space that Nova and her fanclub call home. Class act, I tell you!
Ro is an Instagram-friend turned real-life friend and it was a distinct honor to photograph her family to memorialize this special time. All the heart eyes for you, Ro!
Love this intimate family session? Home is the perfect place to be yourselves, and I'd love to photograph you in yours. . ♡
I always hesitate to use the word headshots because the word feels so stuffy. Instead, I use phrases like profile photos or professional portraits or just plain portrait photos. I meet a lot of people who feel the same way when they ask me for new headshots – they say things like
"I need a new photo for a big work event coming up! But I don't want a stiff, awkward-looking picture; I want something that's more natural and true to myself while still being professional. Can you do that?"
Why yes, I can.
We're upping the headshots game, one savvy professional at a time. Here's proof:
The city is your oyster, Chinwe! ♡
If you're thinking,
Mandalyn! I need new non-stuffy profile photos like this too!
then you're right – you really do. We've got this covered. .
Emily is a one of those creative souls who helps your own creative soul come to life a little more. I first met her at a retreat we both attended, and was drawn to her friendliness and effortless style right away! When we found out we were both moving to NYC at the same time, we promised to hang out as soon as the dust settled. This little photo shoot at Cafe Henrie and the real talk shared over matcha and coffee was our fulfillment of that promise, and I'm so glad we made it happen.
Emily blogs her creative journey, styling, and photography at emilyweaver.space, and she requested these images for a style post. If you have a minute, go read her words about creativity, finding your niche, and using your gifts. She offers some good wisdom.
You can also find Emily on Instagram @emilyrweaver; tell her I sent you!
Lifestyle Blogger Style Photos taken at Cafe Henrie in the Lower East Side.
Top + Jeans - American Eagle Outfitters / Coat + Boots - Zara / Bag - Baldwin Sample Sale / Necklace + Rings - American Eagle Outfitters / Belt - Thrifted
It's always a joy to step into a home where a new baby has just arrived. Even though the newborn weeks can be a challenging adjustment, there's a sense of wonder and gratefulness that comes with new life and it's almost tangible at times.
That was certainly the case at the home of our dear friends after they welcomed baby Isaiah. He was born early and spent his first weeks at the hospital, so the sense of relief and gratefulness to be in their own home was real! I'm honored to have taken these images during that sweet time, and they're easily some of my favorite newborn photos.
I take a very natural, hands-off approach to newborn sessions. There are certainly times when I direct a pose or arrange a particular image, but I've found that keeping things slow and simple is the best way to keep anxiety at a minimum and to give space for natural, real moments to unfold. Those are my favorite moments, anyway. ♡
Every year it's so hard to believe when it's time to turn the calendar's last page to December. I'm giving one last homage to autumn with this post, though. Our family moved to Brooklyn, NY a month ago, and we're feeling settled enough to enjoy some lovely everyday adventures on the weekends. I was fortunate to capture some of the beauty of autumn in NYC at the peak of color!
You probably remember that these monthly posts are part of my year-long project with fellow photographers across the US. We're keeping each other accountable to document and publish photos of our everyday lives with this blog circle and I'd love for you to follow the links to see their final posts of the year! Start here with my friend and fellow New Yorker, Elizabeth.