Engagement Season is Here!

Hello ASI Readers,


It’s hard to believe next week is the beginning of engagement season!  If you’re not sure exactly what engagement season is, it starts on Thanksgiving and ends on Valentine’s Day.  It’s like the football season of relationships with Valentine’s Day being the Super Bowl.  Think about it, there’s a coveted ring, a celebration, a confetti cannon – well, maybe not a confetti cannon – but at the end of this Relationship Super Bowl both teams are winners.


Many people may wonder what it is about this time of year that makes your significant other think, “Now is the time to propose.”  Maybe it’s being surrounded by family and wanting to start one of your own.  Maybe it’s because of the holidays and everyone just seems to be a little bit more cheerful.  Or maybe it’s because of the sugar from the all those holiday cookies that makes their heart beat a little faster when you walk into the room.


Regardless of the reason, the chances of getting engaged during these 3 ½ months increases significantly.  In fact, 1/3 of all couples decide to get engaged during this time of the year.   So, if you were hoping that the love of your life would pop the question already, keep your fingers crossed because the odds are increasing by the day.  And don’t worry if your proposal comes off-season, sometimes the best things in life happen when we least expect it.


Your ASI Intern,


James and Diana were engaged last year and came to A Storybook Image for their engagement shoot.

James and Diana were engaged last year and came to A Storybook Image for their engagement shoot.


Bribing your children is OK

Hello Friends,

It’s been a while…

With our own Family Photo Shoot event coming up this weekend, we got to thinking about how to make sure everything runs smoothly during the shoot.  Many parents worry about making sure their kids are on their best behavior and that everyone is truly happy in their photos.  After all, these moments are going to be captured on camera, displayed in your home, and given to your family and friends, so you want them to be a happy memory, not one where you look back and wonder what went wrong.  After reading a few articles from other photographers who’ve been doing family photo shoots for years, here are a few tips that we have complied:

  • Don’t surprise your kids with the shoot.  Let them know ahead of time and continually remind them of what’s going to happen and how they are expected to behave.  This will help them to get comfortable with the idea of the shoot.
  • Make sure everyone has eaten before the shoot.  It may seem like a silly thing to remind you of, but a full stomach makes for bigger smiles and better pictures.  Even bring snacks!  You never know when hunger may strike.
  • Dress comfortably.  A lot of people may want to dress in their Sunday best or wear an outfit that doesn’t fit the season.  Doing this will just make you uncomfortable and if your not comfortable you won’t be having fun, which will show in the pictures.  Also be sure to have worn the outfit at least once so you can really see how a new outfit may fit.
  • Put down the iPhone!  Be more than physically there when you’re at your shoot.  The world won’t come to an end because you didn’t check your e-mail every 10 minutes.
  • Photo shoots are also one of those times where it’s OK to bribe your children.  Promise to take them out for ice cream or out for a game of mini golf after the shoot and the kids will definitely be on their A game.
  • Most importantly, have fun!  Yes, you want the photos to be amazing, but enjoy the experience.  Don’t worry about the final result because in the end the camera is going to capture who you are as a family.  Let everyone be themselves and if there are a few behavioral mishaps so be it.  Perfect is boring anyway.



Hope to see many of you on Saturday!  We have one more slot available for the afternoon, so give us a shout if you are interested in more information.


Rachel, Marilyn, and Caitlin

This little guy was a natural at his photo shoot!

This little guy was a natural at his photo shoot!

Rain, Rain…. maybe don’t go away?

Dear Readers,


Today is most definitely a rainy Friday.  It is the type of day where bed seems like the best possible place in the world.  It is the type of day that reminds me of “baking” chocolate chip cookies when I was little.  It is the type of day that reminds me about the simplicity of nature.  I love the sound of rain so much that I have programmed my daughters sounds machine to switch from “Twinkle Twinkle” to the sound of light taping rain every single night.  It sounds so real that I often have to second guess the shadows of light that penetrate through the curtains each morning.  Today was one of those dark mornings where I could have slept,  slept, slept… maybe to wake up for a few minutes to try to distinguish the sound of the sound machine from the sound of the real rain outside.


In reality, there was no possible way to actually sleep the day away in bed.  🙂  Hannah was ready to eat, Chester was ready to get going, and I needed to get myself together for a busy day.  Luckily, my husband was a huge help!  But after everyone had been fed, changed, and settled again… I did have a few moments to focus again on the beauty of “The Rainy Day”.  I really would love to grab my camera and tripod and run down to Lake Mohegan to snap some shots in the attempt to capture that feeling of relaxation and simplicity.  But, life calls and too many prior commitments won’t allow such freedom right at the moment.  Instead, I did what happens more then one billion times a day, a Google search for other peoples ideas.


What I came up with is truly amazing and I do feel as if so many wonderful photographers were able to capture those rainy days in all different types of environments.   Here are a few of my favorites.  After looking at these, I think I need to clear my calendar the next time it rains!

What do rainy days make you think about?  Let me know if you have an image that captures the beauty of rain.

Have a good day… stay dry!

Rachel 🙂

JC Penny vs. A Storybook Image

Hello Readers,

Over the last several months, I have had four or five conversations with friends who had JUST gotten their family portraits done at Sears, JC Penny, or used a different photographer.  They thought we just did weddings.  No hard feelings, but I do want to point out that we are way more then just your average wedding photographer!  And we are WAY better than Sears or JC Penny.

Many of our photographers specialize in pregnancy, newborn, children, pet, and family photography.  We are actually super privileged to have one of the most sought after Connecticut newborn photographers as part of our team.

I recently disguised myself as a “parent looking for family portraits” and called JC Penny to get pricing and information.  After leaving four message (really, I am not exaggerating), I called again and finally spoke to someone.  Although their sitting fee seems like a great deal, once you add in the disc of your images, and several prints… our packages end up being just around the same cost.  So basically, I am confused as to why someone would choose a JC Penny or Sears photographer.  Why would someone pick to have an inexperienced photographer, from what I know, who most likely hasn’t picked up a camera before this job and don’t know anything about Photoshop or the editing process?  Our photographers make a career our of photography.  The turned a passion into a job.  JC Penny photographers… probably not too passionate.

If you choose to use ASI for your family photography, our professional photographer will either shoot at your home, come up with a local location that works for you and your family, or will arrange a studio session to meet your needs.  We always include online viewing and a disc with all of your high resolution.  You will have the rights to use your images in anyway you like… think holiday cards, custom wall paper with your family’s image (kidding), or prints galore.  If you choose to use our printing service, the pricing a super affordable for professional prints.  As JC Penny how much they charge for prints… yup, it’s crazy.

Anyway, I wanted to clear the air and make sure that everyone knows WE DO FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY!  Please contact us for more information.

Here are two favorites from our recent family photo shoot.  🙂

Herm, Hannah, and I

My first baby, Chester Olivera.



Back on Track

Hello Readers,

It’s been quite a while since my last blog.  Things have been just so busy on both a personal and professional level since November, that I will admit blogging became the last thing that I really wanted to do.  Personally, I went through nine months of a not-so-easy pregnancy and gave birth to my most amazing creation, Hannah Marie Olivera, in April 2012.  She is now five months old and I just can’t believe how fast time flies by.  She is now eating her Gerber Stage 1 food once a day, rolls around, sleeps through the night, and is starting to express the most beautiful laugh I’ve ever heard.  It still just amazes me to see a mini-me (and a mini-Herman) look back and smile… of course while sticking her tongue out at the same time.   Mommyhood is awesome… I love it!

Hannah at 5 Months Old

That beautiful smile keeps me going each day!

On another personal note, we also have been trying to buy a house for a good year now.  We have probably seen a good 90 or so houses and it’s a bit painful to watch these houses become sold and then see the new owners move in and make themselves comfortable… all while we are still looking for that place to call “home” for our growing family (and all of our new baby equipment).  A good friend of mine started looking like six months after we started… asked me advice on the process and such… and yeah, she has been in her new home for a good three months now.  I know that the right home will come about when “it’s meant to be”, but I am really getting tired of looking at this point.

Professionally, I am proud to announce that I will be able to work on ASI business just about full time!  I was previously juggling a teaching career all the while managing ASI… and ASI is just way more fun at this point in my life.  I have so much confidence in my photographers,  videographers, Angele (our NY/NJ consultant), and my mom (aka ASI partner) that I just know we will be successful.  And this will allow me to work on promoting ASI while watching Hannah… with some other paying projects on the side.

So, now you may have an idea of why it has just taken me so long to get back to this blog thing.  I am hereby committing myself to at least two blogs per week… I am typing here in black and white.  Feel free to hold me too it.  There is just too much great work to share to keep it all to myself!  I’ll be posting pictures from our recent events, news from the photography world, will discuss how I put on my own wedding on a budget, and I’ll go into the trials, tribulations, and successes of being a business owner/Mom.  Feel free to suggest anything… your comments are what will keep me motivated to keep going!

Have a wonderful afternoon!


Top Connecticut Wedding Reception Sites

Dear Blog Readers,

As a recent bride searching for a wedding reception site, I know that there are hundreds of options out there in Connecticut (we even looked in Westchester).  We’ve seen some amazing shots at a variety of locations, some simple, traditional, extravagant, and unique.  We’d like to come up with a “Best of CT” list of reception sites.  What are your thoughts?  I’m going to have to start the list with my personal favorites… all a bit similar in style.  🙂

1) Waveny Park in New Cannan, CT (as you probably guessed, this is where we had our own wedding in July)

2) Eolia Mansion at Harkness State Park in Waterford, CT

3) The Branford House Mansion in Groton, CT

4) The Webb House Barn at the Webb-Dean-Stevens Museum in Wethersfield, CT

5) Mystic Seaport

6) Hopkins Vineyard in New Preston, CT

7) ?

8) ?


Let the list continue….

Have a good night!


Loss of Brides Connecticut Magazine

Hello Blog Readers,

I hope that you are enjoying your evening!  What a beautiful day in Connecticut!  I wanted to fill you in on some news regarding the Connecticut bridal magazine market.  We just heard from our advertising contact that Brides Connecticut will no longer be published.  Instead, Conde Nast will create regional advertising in their national Brides magazine.  That Brides Connecticut Magazine in your “wedding planning pile” might be a collectable one of these day!  And you will have one less option for wedding research.  😦  We will do our best to keep you updated on this blog site.

Night night!

Rachel 🙂


The end of Brides Connecticut Magazine