You may not know this about me but before I was the photographer documenting memories, I was the model in front of the lens! Crazy to believe, right? It feels like another lifetime ago, but I grew up acting, modeling and spent most of my childhood posing in front of my mom’s camera. Aside from running her portrait business, she loved to take documentary-styled photos of me (and now as a “grown up” I am so grateful to have those pictures to look back on)!  As an actress living in New York City, I would model, (and to this day I still hire photographers to take annual portraits of my husband and me) but what I was most, and still am, psyched for was the moment my edited images arrived in my inbox. My heart would skip a beat, and I would excitedly go through them, save a few and post ‘em to the good ol’ Myspace. Does this sound familiar? I can’t be alone in this, right?

Now, the roles have reversed, and I feel most fulfilled, most empowered and most happy serving you – adventurous, romantic and joyful families. Providing an incredible family portrait experience and gifting these works of art to my families is my greatest passion, but once I hand those images to mom and dad, my job is somewhat over.

After having my original hi-resolution images lost after modeling gigs and witnessing my clients doing the same, I realized how important it was to share with you these archiving tips. Memories fade with time, but we have these treasured images to stick with us, our children and the generations to come. But archiving these images is the most important step to allowing these images to continue on.

Here are my recommended suggestions for the top 4 things to do immediately after your photographer delivers your digital gallery to you.

(Seriously – don’t skip out on these.)

1. Back ’em Up!


Booking a professional family portrait session costs money…and if you want a customized, personal and the best experience, a lot of money. The last thing you want to do after giving your hard-earned time and money to a photographer, is lose your digital photographs. For my clients, I make sure to keep all of their edited images backed up and archived for at least 1 year after their session. However, after that it’s up to the client to make sure their photos stay safe and protected. I highly recommend the first thing you do after receiving your photos is to back them up multiple times on several different devices.

First, back them up on a hard drive

Download and save your images onto hard drive or flash drive #1. You can also opt to save them on the cloud like DropBox, Google Drive, Carbonite or have them automatically uploaded to the cloud without your needing to do it like with Back Blaze.

Back them up onto a second drive

I work with digital images every single day, and after witnessing my own hard drives (and laptop!) crashing, as well as seeing my familie’s drives crashing unexpectedly, only to lose everything, I’ve learned that technology is fickle and one cannot put all their eggs in one basket. By dividing it up and storing your images on several different drives, your memories will be protected in case one of the drives crashes over time. It is better to be safe than sorry with these family memories!

2. Time to Print!


I get it: it’s 2018. I know that in this digital age, it’s so easy to let our photographs live on our screens and Facebook timelines, but the most sacred and precious part of photography is the ability to keep your memories in actual, physical form. To see pictures of your family laughing joyfully, hugging and embracing one another on your living room walls. To see your precious newborn’s first few weeks and your new mommy glow on stunning canvas wraps in the nursery.

Years from now, your children’s children and their children will look back at these custom bound albums of their grandparents and great-grandparents. There is nothing more special than family being united together with a book of love and memories. At least, that is how I personally feel when I look over scrapbooks and photo albums with my family.

3. Respond

Sounds simple, but you would be surprised how easy it can be to forget to let your photographer know what you thought of the finished work! I totally get it, I’ve been there: we get so excited to finally have and share our images after that long wait time, responding back just slips your mind! But lemme tell you: We photographers, or any artist for that matter, get super nervous and excited when we send out galleries. We just finished putting out heart and soul into the editing, culling and retouching process, that when we send off the finished masterpiece – it’s a little scary! And as artists who love working and serving other people, we want you to LOVE them! But when we hear crickets, our automatic assumption is that something is wrong with the images. (Again – we’re artists.)

Well, 99.9% of the time nothing is ever wrong. But just sending a quick note that you got the images and that you adore them makes us want to jump up and down with joy! Trust me on this one!

4. Review Your Photographer

You totally don’t have to do this, but if you loved your portrait experience with your photographer, it would the world to the person documenting your treasured moments for your family. Why do we love it?

Helps Our Business’s Validity and Growth

Reviews help validate our work and service as well as boost our SEO, allowing us to get seen by future families!

Gives Us Feedback For the Future

Aside from the “we loved working with her” comments, I love learning how I can improve serving my families, as well as what they specifically LOVED working with me. Was it the initial meeting? The emails or phone call? The session itself or the in-person session consultation where we looked over prints, wall canvases and photography designs for your home? I love knowing what you loved!

Reviews help me the most. It helps me going forward with my dream/vision for serving and gifting families quality fine art and unique and personalized session experiences. So while you definitely do not need to leave us a review, if you truly enjoyed the entire process of working with your photographer and happened to love the person you were hanging out with on session day, please let them know by reviewing them and we’ll be sending you a huge hug right back!

Did you happen to have an amazing family session experience with me? I’d love it if you would leave a review for me on Facebook or Yelp!  – if you haven’t done so already! 

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4 Things You Should Do After Receiving Your Digital Photos From Your Photographer

October 1, 2018


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I'm Helena! As a creative storyteller, I document magical moments through my lens and my pen. A lover of childhood, fairytales and natural light, I'm inspired to share the light around me. I'm the ultimate Disney nerd, and I'm obsessed with cats and expressing my love for the simple joys of slow, daily life.

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Helena Woods is a destination newborn and family photographer based in France and New England and travels worldwide. She is known for her natural light, modern classic, and emotive photography style.