Donna Young Photography | My TOP TEN Favorite Portraits of 2016

My TOP TEN Favorite Portraits of 2016

December 30, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I love TOP TEN lists and I think most people do. So I wanted to highlight my TOP TEN favorite portraits that I captured this year. In past years I have put them on Facebook, but i thought this would be a great blog post. So here they are...

Let's face it... kids of this age are often very difficult to photograph. You have to do anything and everything to get them to look at the camera and getting a smile out of them is a whole different story. I am willing to do anything I can think of to get a child to look at me and smile... which is why I often leave a session looking like I just wrestled a pig. If I have to roll around on the ground, jump in a creek, drop pebbles and grass in my hair... I'll do it. It's worth it to get a great, memorable shot like Number 10 that parents will treasure forever.  

I love the fall colors in this photo, the setting in the hay, and the perfect natural sun-flare. Of course it doesn't hurt that this was such a wonderful family to work with, which is why I selected this photo for my Number 9.  

While I have lots of props for newborns, I love when families bring something meaningful to incorporate into their newborn session. Military gear (If you are a military member please inquire about a military discount), sports memorabilia, family heirlooms, etc. How cute is Number 8 with some of Dad's military items?

Backdrops like this (and gorgeous models) are hard to find... But while I was in San Francisco visiting a close friend, we happened upon one of the painted stairs in the city and took advantage of it for some impromptu photos. I love the artwork on the steps set against the artwork on her arm... and of course her beautiful smile. This colorful setting fits her personality perfectly! And if you look at the steps closely it says "Educate, Encourage, and Empower Girls." How fitting for my Number 7.

I just love a newborn in a hat! And this one is a great accent to this simple, classic pose. That and the adorable little folds on this cutie's back make this photo my Number 6


While I find photographing newborns very rewarding, it's always nice to make Mom feel special with maternity photos. I've been taking maternity photos for a while, but I just recently splurged on this maternity gown for my Moms. I think it paid off because stunning is all I can say about Number 5.

I had such a great time photographing this family... they had attitude and weren't afraid to show it in their photos. I got lots of great shots of Mom, Dad, and their adult children but this is one of Dad and son is one of my favorites and will surely be cherished by them both. The lighting and setting were ideal for me to do a fun edit for my Number 4 capturing these two showing a little attitude.  


This photo is a composite, and while I've done composites for both newborns and families in the past, I used several photos for this one which made it my most complicated composite to date. I was only able to get one good shot of the baby as Dad held the cocoon at the top and Mom supported the baby at the bottom. The rest of the photos were taken with the help of my husband after the session ended and merged together with the original. It's done this way so baby stays safe (please note - this should only be done by experienced newborn photographers using a composite method... don't try something like this yourself!)  I think it turned out pretty well and I'm proud for it to be my Number 3.


I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how this photo turned out. I really wanted to do something a bit different like this and was so excited when this Mom happily braved the cold to do some tummy shots. Since it was taken in December, it seemed appropriate to add the red ribbon, which I think adds a nice finishing touch. Probably one of my favorite maternity photos ever... Number 2 is a little bit of art.  

I'll admit, I'm biased because this is my daughter, but I love everything about this photo. The setting, the lighting, and of course that little face. This was the first time I had done an urban photo shoot and there were so many great spots within a small radius. The session was at the end of the day and the lighting was fantastic. My daughter had so much fun she didn't want to go home, even when I told her pizza was waiting. This is definitely my Number 1 this year!

Which one is your favorite? Please leave a comment and let me know. I'd love to hear from you! 

Happy New Year!


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