My Twist on the #frontporchproject

Behind the Scenes, Blog

It’s corona time and it’s probably the saddest, scariest time ever. The future is uncertain, people are losing jobs, loved ones, even their sanity. It’s rough. I don’t care how many free online courses or dance parties there are out there, the reality of this all is that it’s really rough. And being a small business offering a non-essential service, well, times are getting hard. Weddings postponed, communions, graduations, maternity sessions- postponed.

The Strickland family. There are always rainbows at the end of the storm.


But I’m hanging in there. And as an artist, now’s the time to connect with you all to give you something. Wether it’s a glimmer of hope, a few minutes of distraction, or a simple memory to look back at. When I learned about the #frontporchproject I thought it was such a nice idea. I thought, maybe I should do it. But then this idea that was itching in the back of my mind, that I wasn’t sure if it was appropriate or not, kept nagging at me. “Create me!”

See, when I get a vision, it just does not know how to be quiet. So my vision was to photograph couples and families masked. And I got this inspiration from old photos from the Spanish Flu era. I thought, how cool would it be to create something of the sort that people could look back on and pass on to their grandchildren? I know I surely would want to have such keepsakes in my picture box. And so it began.

Copyright @PhotosbyLillie

A Test

As everyone was being sent to work from home, my husband’s job was all over the place. Unsure of how to handle the situation. The company was unprepared for a pandemic as many others surely were. But then he got a phone call one evening with the sad news that two people were infected. So he was instructed to work from home. Although these two did not work on the same floor as he did, we decided to be safe. We slept and stayed in separate rooms for 14 days. He used the bathroom downstairs, I constantly disinfected everything. It was a bit nerve-racking but thankfully, everyone was ok.

We got a lovely day- maybe 65 degrees- and so I made some face masks and we headed out to the backyard. It had been 14 (or more) days since we even stood next to each other. I set up the shot and had my daughter help us capture it. Then, I posted it to Instagram to see how people would react. Seconds later, people messaged me saying how cool it was and others commented. The feedback was pretty good. So I decided to ask close clients and friends if they wanted to participate. I’ll be publishing these on my Instagram little by little. Here are my first few.


I hope to photograph at least 15 couples and families to add to my collection. If this interests you and you’re local to me, reach out and I’ll send you the details. I cannot wait for this all to pass so that I can work with you all again and help you continue to create memories. But for now, I hope my work inspires you to stay inside, protect your family, and stay #jerseystrong.

i celebrate session

Go Shortie, it’s Your Birthday!

Blog, Planning for Your Session

And what better reason to celebrate? Get dolled up, bring the cake, balloons and booze, we’ll bring the magic! I like to call these sessions, “i-celebrate” sessions. They’re modern, fun and so worth it. Trust me, all your friends will ask.

birthday photo session


Ok, with these type of sessions, I always get the same questions so here they are.

  • Does it have to be a certain number? No! You can celebrate any number. Odds, evens- all ages matter.
  • Where can we shoot this? Anywhere including your home, outdoors, a park setting, downtown setting, indoor studio setting. Wherever you feel comfortable.
  • Can I shoot multiple looks? Yes, there is a $10 fee per outfit change.
  • How long is the session? For a mini-session, 25 minutes. A regular session, 55 minutes.
  • What should I bring? Most clients bring different props but you can go as simple (or all-out) as you like. Some ideas include balloons, a small cake (or cupcake), a tiara, birthday sash, champagne.
  • What should I wear?! My first answer to most questions when it comes to planning for a photo session- whatever makes you comfortable. But also, whatever makes you feel beautiful! If you have a sparkly dress that makes you feel like a rockstar, wear that. Or maybe you’re a classic girl who has a favorite little black dress- wear that. Or maybe you prefer ripped jeans and a tank top. Whatever lets your personality shine and makes you feel good. Wear that.
i celebrate session

Tips for Planning

  • Get your hair & makeup done. If you’re good at these things yourself, save the money but if not- it’s so worth it to have them done.
  • Wear lashes- they open your eyes up and make them pop. Of course, if you don’t feel comfortable, don’t. But if you do, it will add a nice touch of glam.
  • Try your looks on beforehand. There have been a few occasions where a client hasn’t tried on their outfits before the day of the session and the outcome wasn’t so good. Thankfully, I had safety pins in my bag both times!
  • Steam or iron your clothing! Please do not bring a wrinkled dress to wear. If we are shooting outdoors, there will be no steamer to help you out. If indoors, you will be wasting part of your session time to iron. And no, I cannot photoshop the wrinkles out of every photo.
  • Come prepared. Pack a little bag the night before. If you are late, session time is deducted. Remember, I have other sessions planned.
  • Bring hairspray for flyaways. Lipstick or lipgloss for touch ups.

Let’s Celebrate!

I hope these tips/FAQs were helpful. i-celebrate sessions are one of my favorites to shoot. The clients are usually excited, feel pretty and are ready to celebrate!

Remember, book in advance!

Fall Minis: What to Wear

Blog, Planning for Your Session

What should we wear? That’s the common question I get asked by clients before their fall sessions. It’s very common and nothing to be ashamed of asking. Here are some tips to help you plan 🙂

Fall Minis: What to Wear

  • Location- Keep in mind where you are taking the photos. For example, for a fall scene (leaves, woods) plaid works nicely as well as denim and neutral colors. Reds and orange colors pop and navy, grey or brown also photograph nicely. Steer away from black or white if you can or any busy patterns. And no logos, you don’t want your family portraits to look like an ad.
  • Colors- I love when clients color coordinate. It photographs beautifully! Choose a color palette and dress the family accordingly. For example, red, navy and beige or navy, tan and hunter green.. Some families love to wear all white which is ok- but I honestly am not a fan unless it is on the beach.
  • Props- Some of my clients bring props and that’s great because it gives us more to be creative with. Props such as plaid (or fall theme) blankets, thermos and mugs, (Starbucks) coffee cups, Coca Cola classic bottles, hot chocolate or even wine glasses and wine always add character to your session. Candles can be nice for couples, too. And for families, a holiday banner works nicely.

I hope you find these tips useful. I also have a board on Pintrest if you’d like to check that out. Remember, Fall minis and Holiday minis fill up fast, so book soon! Happy planning!

Styled Shoot: Boho Bride

Behind the Scenes, Blog

If there’s one trend in the bridal industry I can’t get enough of it would have to be the boho bride. Being a lover of all things vintage, it just stands out to me. And when I get ideas and visions stuck in my head, I have to obey. So, I got to planning. I got together with other wedding pros and together, we really made it happen.

The hair and make up was done by Viva Glam which is located in Westfield, NJ. They did a beautiful natural bridal look on our model, Nadya Rivera (Miss NJ Belleza Latina 2017). The floral crown and boho style bouquet was created by EH Social Events, located in Linden, NJ. The flowers were the finishing touch our bride needed. They were just stunning! Everyone did such a beautiful job. The location was at my very home- I have a beautiful reserve out back which I often use for shoots. It is really part of what sold me on the house, I must say. And last, the vintage pieces and gown are my own. I have quite the collection.

We started shooting around 1:45 pm. The sun was hitting the woods just perfectly. And the weather was an amazing 65 degrees on a November afternoon! Everything was just perfect. In this post, I am sharing some of my absolute favorite shots. I’m seriously so excited to share this styled boho bride shoot with you all! Let me know your thoughts below!


Holiday Minis are Here!


Holiday Minis are here! And there are limited spots available.

What’s a holiday mini? Well, it’s a mini photo session with a holiday theme. It takes about less than half an hour and you get a few retouched images perfect for gifts or your holiday cards. They can be taken in studio or on location. And the price is usually more than half off of a regular photo session. So, it’s pretty much a really good deal! And I offer them a few times per year depending on the season.

I love minis because not only is it a great way to capture a special moment but it’s also a good “intro” as I like to call it- for new clients. This way, you guys get to try me out and if you like me, you can work with me again in the future 🙂

Many of my clients come see me once a year for the holidays and then for special ocassions such as communions, weddings and more. With minis, there’s never an obligation. If you want to come once a year, that’s fine. If you want to do more, that works, too!

So, what are you waiting for? Book your mini before it’s too late!
Please email or call to reserve your spot.

908.977.6299 /


Beach Minis


It’s been a pretty chilly Spring season loaded with pollen and rain but…beach minis are always a good idea. Now that it’s May, it’s really the best time to head down the shore for some great shots before school is out and the beaches start filling up. Every year, I only have time to do a handful of beach minis but they are always a blast.

The beach makes for the perfect backdrop for nearly every type shoot. Maternity, couples, families, kids or just because- maybe a swimsuit session to show off that bod you’ve been working out all year? Or a trash the dress shoot where you get to rock that gorgeous bridal gown again only you don’t have to be so cautious this time 😉

Here’s a fav from last year. I hosted a giveaway for a beach mini and the winners were a local mom and daughter who have actually been following me from before. Since, I knew them already (family friends), we decided to make it a play date with our girls and head to the shore. Everyone had a fun time. Here are a couple of my personal favorite shots.


Anna is a bright little girl. She’s super sweet and energetic. Her and her mommy love spending time at the beach every summer. This really was the perfect place to capture these two. They felt happy and at ease. And once the beach mini was done, they got to splash around and enjoy the rest of their day.

Photo sessions shouldn’t be stressful. Many times, I see parents trying so hard to get those perfect looks for their family portraits. There’s yelling, stress, anxiety. That’s not a good thing. To me, the best thing is capturing people in their natural, most comfortable state. If you and your family love the beach, the park, the backyard even- choose that location for your session. It may not be special to a stranger but it is to your family and in the end, that’s really all that counts. In ten years, you can look back and say, “hey remember that was our favorite spot! So many great memories there!” Or something like that 😉


Ask about booking a beach mini. Starting at $139+

Cake Smash Fun

Behind the Scenes, Blog

When you can have your cake and eat it too, it makes for an extra fun photo session. The cake smash- one of the messiest but most adorable styled sessions I provide. Cake smash fun is just too cute. In fact, so cute that even adults are requesting to do them for their 30s, 40s and even 50s. But that’s a whole other post !

Last week, I photographed a baby who really really loves cake! She was so excited when from the time she was presented with the cake and savored every moment of that cake during the shoot. Her mom told me she’s actually a foodie and just loves to eat. And well, that makes my job more fun 🙂

I actually photographed baby Jenna’s parents wedding day five years ago. It’s always so nice to see my clients grow, have babies, celebrate milestones and more. Here are a few of my favorite shots below.


Double Bump Session

Behind the Scenes, Blog

I love shooting maternity sessions. For this post, I’ll be sharing a double bump session I did for two women who are close friends at the beach. These two lovely ladies chose the beach and rocked gorgeous maxi dresses. The two are close friends and was definitely one of my favorite maternity sessions. Working at the beach, why not?

_mg_5657preview mona.jpg

There’s something truly special about a mom who is excited to capture her baby bump. Though it may be quite uncomfortable for her, she still gets dolled up and ready for her close up to celebrate that new baby. Moms are just so amazing. Seriously, I think we have super powers. There’s no doubt about that. We can carry a baby for almost a whole year, go through so many changes and emotions and bounce right back- and then move mountains for those little ones.

With maternity sessions, I love to get creative. It’s a beautiful moment and should be captured in a beautiful way. For this session, we moved around the beach and even dipped into the water a little. Check it out below 🙂