How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have twin girls, Sophie and Ruby, who are 21 months old.
How long have you lived in this area? What made you decide to live here?
I was born and raised in Fairfield County and have lived here my whole life (with the exception of the years I lived in San Francisco and Boston for undergrad and grad school) I feel so blessed to be raising my girls in this area with access to wonderful schools, parks, libraries, beaches, etc.
What’s your favorite family activity in Fairfield County?
We love taking walks with our girls, so Mianus River Park in Stamford is a favorite. We also love visiting Ambler Farm in Wilton. It’s such a wonderful place.
What are your must haves when you leave the house with the kids?
Like all moms, I always make sure to pack snacks and toys when we’re on the go. We always keep a blanket in the back seat of our car to have on hand for chilly stroller walks and I always have my camera too!
What’s been your favorite “mommy moment” so far?
I’ve had so many! I would have to say holding our girls together for the first time was my favorite though. Our girls were born very early and had lengthy NICU stays. It wasn’t until the girls were three months old that I was able to hold them at the same time. That was an incredible moment. Seeing my daughter blow her sister a kiss for the first time was another moment I’ll never forget. As far as the day to day moments, I love seeing them laugh and show excitement for things and I love reading to them.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you need some “me time”?
I really love meeting a friend for coffee or a walk. Cafe Nero in Darien is my new favorite coffee spot.
Tell us about your business, Courtney Souza Photography.
I am a natural light photographer with a focus on maternity, newborn, and family sessions. My sessions are casual and relaxed and focus on genuine, candid moments between families. It has been my experience that the best and most beautiful images come from families playing, cuddling, and interacting with one another as I believe those are the moments you will want to look back on. They are the ones that will remind you of that time in your life, exactly as it was. How you tucked your daughter’s hair behind her ear. How your son reached to hold your hand. How your husband swung your children in the air and how you covered them with kisses. Those are the moments worth capturing.
How did you get started?
I have always loved taking photographs but photography took on a much deeper meaning for me when we had our girls. Documenting their childhood and our life as a family became incredibly important to me. I soon realized that I could stay home with our girls by capturing those fleeting moments for other families too. I have incredibly supportive family and friends who allowed me to photograph their families in order to build my portfolio and an incredibly generous friend who offered to build a website for me. It was truly the kindness and generosity of others that allowed me to follow this little dream of mine. I am so grateful to them all.
What do you love about taking photos?
Everything! I just love the process from start to finish, from scouting new locations to the sessions themselves to editing the images afterwards. My favorite though is witnessing the beautiful, genuine moments between families. Preserving those moments for families is incredibly rewarding and I’ve been lucky to meet the most wonderful people as well.
How does it help you connect with other moms in the area?
Photography has allowed me to meet, and in some cases reconnect, with so many amazing moms who have booked sessions with me. Spending time with their families and developing friendships with them has truly been such a gift.
What are your tips for other moms who want to take great photos of their kids?
Every mom is capable of capturing great photographs of her children. I truly believe a DSLR camera is a worthwhile investment for parents. You will never regret having beautiful images of your children and it will always be money well spent. Having said that, whether you are taking photos with a DSLR camera or your iPhone, I recommend photographing your children outside early in the morning or late in the afternoon/evening when lighting isn’t as harsh. Initiate play and be silly to get your children laughing. It will allow you to capture natural smiles. Taking photographs when children are well rested and fed is key too!
Any tips for other small business owners?
I’m relatively new myself but I truly believe bringing creativity, enthusiasm, and gratitude to anything you do in life is key. I also believe in treating your clients well. I am always so humbled when clients choose to invest their time and money (both precious) into sessions with me. It’s something I don’t take lightly so I work very hard to provide a positive experience for them.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another mom?
That no one knows your child/children better than you. That when people offer advice smile politely and be appreciative but ultimately do what you feel is best for your child because you are always the expert when it comes to your children.