welcome to our BloG!

This is where we share random musings and tell sweet stories in prose and portraits.

"you oughta be in pictures!"
Seeing your beautiful family as works of art on your walls everyday is like a big warm hug - for you, for them and for all that visit your home!

more about me...

January 11, 2024

2024 The Year of Family Portraits – week 3

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Familyportrait-1024x805.jpg



This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Familyportrait-1024x805.jpg

Take this advice from a veteran photographer who counts life in decades now. The temptation to put off professional photography is great. The excuses are numerous. But don’t you owe it to your children, no matter their ages, to capture life as it is unfolding? If this portrait didn’t exist it would be a crying shame. Because it does exist, you will never forget how you felt on this day during this photo session and you for certain, won’t forget how beautiful life and your family were at this very moment. The evidence is in the portrait.

I’m Andrea York and I would be honored to be your Professional Photographer.

January 11, 2024

2024 The Year of Family Portraits – week 2

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is AY2_7364-1024x805.jpg



This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is AY2_7364-1024x805.jpg

We believe in posed portraits and we believe in candid shots as well. We capture both during our portrait sessions. Imagine if we missed this moment. Golly, this is an image for the ages, an heirloom portrait that will be loved throughout the history of this beautiful family and of course one to be admired on your wall in a big beautiful frame!

I’m Andrea York and I would be honored to be your Professional Photographer.

January 8, 2024

2024 The Year of Family Portraits



“When you look at your life, the greatest happiness is family happiness.” – Dr. Joyce Brothers

There are literally thousands more reasons to have your family portraits captured by a professional photographer than there are excuses not to. So this year we are sharing 52 compelling reasons why you should make 2024 the year your family portrait dreams come true. And if you don’t already have a family portrait vision in mind, we hope these posts inform, inspire and entice you to dream big!

This video, produced by Professional Photographers of America (of which we’ve been a proud member for over ten years) illustrates the importance of hiring a professional photographer that you know, like and trust and one that invests time in getting to know you and your family dynamic.

Sadly, over the 10+years that we have been in business, we’ve had clients experience unexpected, devastating family loss. We grief those losses deeply. And we take comfort in knowing that the portraits we captured of their loved one will serve to keep their memory alive.

I’m Andrea York and I would be honored to be your Professional Photographer.


September 5, 2023

AYP Proudly Supports the Western MA Charity DanceAthon

Andrea York Photography is a proud sponsor of the Western MA Charity Danceathon (WMCD), a multi-layered 501c3 organization aiming to raise funds for local charities and offering real-world business, charitable and community-rich experiences and opportunities to the youth in our community.

We were inspired to join the WMCD organization due to its youth component. Having had the honor to work with high school seniors for the last decade as well as hiring many young adults in our studio, we are more confident than ever that the future is bright with today’s kids leading the way!

In addition to the hard work that over 100 youth and adults put out over the year leading up to the event, WMCD is the epitome of fun. It’s far more than a dance, it’s an overnight party! The AYP team captured photos and video during all 25 hours of last February’s event and we aren’t afraid to tell you that we had as much fun as the kids! 

Individuals and businesses alike can get involved with WMCD by participating in or donating at fundraisers like dineout events or car washes; sponsoring an event dancer; serving on one of its ten committees; and encouraging high school students to take part in the overnight event. If you are looking for rewarding ‘work’ consider joining in on the fun of WMCD! 

If you have questions you may call the WMCD organization @ 413.562.9875. You may follow the WMCD journey on our website: www.wmcd.org, Facebook: Westesrn MA Charity DanceAthon-WMCD and on Instagram: westernmacharitydanceathon.

Stay tuned for the next overnight extravaganza on March 1st and 2nd, 2024.

June 14, 2023


“A seasoned photographer will engage your family and draw out their individual personalities.”


Regardless of where you live, there are likely hundreds (or more!) of family portrait photographers within a 30 mile radius of you! That’s great news for you! Also good news – Not all photographers are the same. While referrals from someone that you trust are always a good thing, here are some tips to make sure you find the best photographer to work with you to create your perfect family portraits. 

Every photographer has a different style. Is your dream to have portraits where everyone is smiling and looking at the camera or are you interested in a little more life-style, laid back vibe?  Or a mix of both? Look for a photographer who’s portrait-style speaks to you! 

The best photographs are created when you feel comfortable with the photographer. Seek out photographers that do in-person consultations. This will give you a chance to get to know the photographer and they you. Even better if the photographer does in-home consultations. Little ones will see the photographer in their home and feel comfortable and connected to the them on the day of the photoshoot. 

If you are looking for a truly stress-free experience, look for a full service family photographer who provides the level of service and the type of products that you desire. As an example, our studio offers in-home consultations, hair and makeup services, the finest quality wall art, albums and prints and we even provide complimentary wall art installation!

Don’t forget the about actual portrait experience! A seasoned photographer will engage your family and draw out their individual personalities.


Finding the right outfits for your portrait experience needn’t be a source of frustration. Follow these tips to cross this off your worry list.

Don’t be concerned about specific clothing styles. You only need to decide if the portraits you envision will be formal, semi-formal or casual. For a casual portrait it is perfectly acceptable to have some of the family in dresses and some in shorts or casual pants. 

That said, it is very important to select colors that compliment and coordinate. There are several pins on Pinterest that you can reference to guide your wardrobe selection (or to share with other members of your family if you are planning an extended family session.) You can see the Pinterest board- Family Styling- we put together here: https://www.pinterest.com/andreayorkphoto

Start your outfit planning with one person and build around that individual.  Do you have a baby in the family?  They are most likely the star of the show so finding the cutest outfit for them and building the colors around them makes it easy for all. Or if you have a favorite color that you feel confident in, start there and build the rest of the family around that color (after all, you are doing all the planning!).

Have fun with the outfit selection process! You may find what you need in your closet but shopping for new is always fun too! 

Above all – choose clothing which makes you feel comfortable and confident!


Choosing the perfect location for the photoshoot is very important. The location sets the portrait vibe. Does your family have a favorite vacation spot? Are you a hiking family? Is the ocean your favorite playground? Or do you prefer a downtown setting? The options are endless. 

A professional photographer will guide you through this important decision by asking all the right questions and getting to know you better at the consultation. Often, they will have a list of spectacular locations to suggest based your family’s preferences. (Our studio boasts a list of hundreds of location options!). 

Is your favorite location at the beach but it’s 2 hours away? Don’t rule this option out because you don’t think your favorite photographer will travel that far. Many photographers will travel (for a nominal fee) to capture the glorious beach side portraits of your family that you dream about. 


There are many factors in planning what time of day to schedule your portrait experience. Here are some things to consider:

Are your inspiration photo’s taken at sunset? If this is the look you are going for, not only does the time of day factor in but also the time of year. Or does your toddler have a cranky-time of day when napping is a must? Then avoid scheduling the session during that precious time. Those are all things to take in to consideration. 

If you are planning a public park or ocean-side for your family portrait session, avoid scheduling the experience on a weekend to avoid the crowds. There is little more frustrating to a professional photographer than having to wait for the perfect spot/view/location and the hassle of finding parking, paying increased park fees, etc will certainly take away from your stress-free portrait experience. We encourage our clients to schedule a day off of work or if possible, scheduling the session early in the summer to take advantage of the extended daylight hours.


Prepare for all types of weather. Our studio is locate in western Massachusetts. Like many parts of the country, we sometimes experience 2 or more seasons in one day! (Especially if we are going to the shore). Bring layers – just in case. 

Plan time to make sure all the new tags are off clothes, try on the outfits in advance of the session so there are not surprises. If need be do a quick press of extremely wrinkled clothing. 

Bring comfy shoes to change into if your portrait plan calls for walking to different locations. 

Have sunscreen, bug spray, wetnaps, etc in a your just-in-case bag. 

Prepare for all types of weather. Our studio is locate in western Massachusetts. Like many parts of the country, we sometimes experience 2 or more seasons in one day! (Especially if we are going to the shore). Bring layers – just in case. 

Lastly, don’t forget the snacks and drinks to keep the energy and happiness factor strong during your portrait session!

March 15, 2022

POOF! Goes the Senior Instagram Feed!

The Predicament

So a funny/crazy/maddening/frustrating/ridiculous thing happen to our senior Instagram feed. It’s gone. Yep. Gonzo! Buh-bye! Love, peace and hair grease gone! All those beautiful faces have disappeared from our haphazardly curated (oxymoron, we know) instagram feed. 

The saga began with a 24 hour time out / slap-on-the-wrist for violating terms of agreement (which term(s) we may never figure out) to our account being deactivated. We’ve done EVERYTHING we can to appeal the decision but alas, no human being is on the other side of the forms and applications (and photo’s of us holding an inmate-style numbers with both hands visible in a well lit area) that we have submitted numerous times weekly. 

Not JUST Pretty Pictures

The loss of our senior Instagram feed, reels and highlights is enough to make us mourn the thousands of hours we had invested in an authentic labor of love. But we can almost move past all that. What is keeping us awake at night is that we have lost touch with all of our favorite people, most especially our high school seniors, past and present. If you follow us you know we revel in celebrating all of our senior’s successes and staying connected with all of our followers but those beautiful cyber-connections have vanished. That is a level of sad that we can’t quite get over. 

All of this may sound overly-dramatic, especially given world events at this time. We recognize that. But for us, the images that we feature on Instagram aren’t merely stunning portraits of amazing kids. Those images are a ‘snapshot’ (see what we did there?) of some of the most incredible relationships and exciting experiences that we have had the privilege to forge with high school seniors and their families. Are you of the camp that you meet people for a reason? Yep. Us too. 

Plan B. We Need Your Help!

Since it’s been in excess of two months since we’ve lost touch, we figured it is time to move on to plan B. We’ve filled our new feed on our new Instagram site: andreayorkseniors with equally haphazardly curated (consistency is key!) images of many of our senior’s beautiful faces (we still have many more images to fill in, this is a starting point).  We really, really need your help! If you were following us before, we’d be so very grateful if you would follow our new feed and ask 3-5 (or more!!) of your friends to do the same. In our dreams we would be back around 1700 followers by the end of July. We know it’s a big ask but if you’ve had your portraits taken with us, you know we’re all about going big!  

Exciting Times Ahead

Speaking of big, we have such amazing things in the works for this senior and family portrait season! Our class of 2023 bookings are underway now! (fyi – if your thinking beach photos, don’t wait!). Watch here for more information about what we are cooking up for the season.

From the bottom of our ever-expanding hearts, we thank you for the privilege of your support friendship!

Our joy comes from photographing yours! 

Emma Renaud @ Andrea York Photography

February 25, 2022

Pivoting Into Joy

Much has changed in the photography industry and in our own business in the 9 years since we embarked on this photography journey. The circumstances of the past couple of years have allowed us to reflect on what brings us the most joy in life and in business. The conclusion? It was time to slow our roll and pivot solely into, joy-getting, life and business opportunities. 


2019-2020 – We made the decision to cease photographing weddings/events. We miss the love-filled excitement of those big days but we’re grateful to gain back time to devote to life. 

2020 – We moved out of the studio in the Pilgrim Candle Building in Westfield, MA.  The majority of our clients wish to take advantage of scenic Western MA as their portrait backdrop so moving out of the large studio space proved a wise and timely decision.  

2021 – We still needed a small portrait space for formal family portraits and growing our beauty business. So we did what a family of photogs/house flippers would do and converted our garage to a small studio space! Who needs a garage anyway?


Not to worry! We are still located in our beautiful gallery space in the historic Bismarck Building. This is where we welcome our clients for their style and planning sessions and ordering appointments. It is here that we also capture individual and corporate headshots. 

Our creative energy is focused solely on portrait photography: high school seniors, families and headshots. And new this year we are adding beauty portraiture to our studio offerings. We love telling your stories through our lens, one client and one family at a time. 

So here we are. The new website is launched, blogs are written, marketing materials are updated, the new studio is good to go and you are filled in on what’s new in twenty twenty-two! It’s been a dizzying few years but we are super excited about the opportunity to make your portrait dreams come true! 

On behalf of myself and my team, thank you for your support of our business! It means more than you know.

Our joy comes from capturing yours. 

Andrea York Photography Gallery 16 Union Avenue, Suite 1A, Westfield, Massachusetts