Lake Linganore family photographer

Lakeside Love and a Sunset: Capturing a Momma and Her Kiddos

Marta is an incredible inspiration as a mother -- in 30 minutes time with her and her children, you can see her strength and love. You can feel the joy she brings to her son and daughter. Their laughter rings loud and gleefully whenever they are together.

Marta reached out to me in the midst of a difficult period in her life. She wanted photos that would capture her children and their love to begin this next new chapter of hope.

We explored the beach and esplanade area at Lake Linganore and followed the kiddos as they laughed and played together. They ran, jumped, played with toys and even dug their hands into the sand at the beach. We watched the sun fall onto the water.

I also loved that Marta’s mom and her partner joined us for the session. Their love for one another and for their grandchildren was so beautiful and powerful.

Love comes in so many different ways and is my favorite thing to capture with my camera.

Enjoy this peek into Marta and her family’s day at the beach.

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Capturing a Family in All of Its Realness and Silliness: A Lake Linganore Family Photo Session with Wendy Zook Photography

I know that everyone wants a “perfect” family photo session -- all group hugs and posed moments -- but I really believe there is beauty in the more “imperfect” moments.

I’ve photographed Michelle’s family several times now and I feel luckier and happier each time I do. I have captured her and her daughter playing in the snow and family photos last year and now these fall family photos this year.

Last year, we laughed because little Dean was bribed with M&Ms that became visible during big smiles throughout most of the session. And this time, Skittles were on hand and Mom and Dad actually urged him to give me some smiles with the Skittles showing.

I love families who appreciate the “real” moments and embrace the candid, the silly and the authentic. Dean with the Skittles in his mouth is just one example of this and they were some of Michelle’s favorite photos.

During our session, we let the kids take charge and explore some forested lakeside paths here in Lake Linganore. We still got the posed moments and the group hugs, but we also captured those candy-filled, grins, too. And that’s a complete story, I think.

Enjoy these peeks!

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Oh, boy! Capturing the fun and joy in a family of boys at a lakefront family photo session

Watching repeat clients and their families return to in front of my camera is one of the greatest joys of my business. I first met Brooke and her family last Autumn while her husband was away on a deployment. I loved hanging out with Brooker and her two oldest boys. We explored, ran around and captured some fun moments of them with their mom.

This year, Brooke asked me to capture her, her husband and her boys with their new baby brother. Exploring another Lake Linganore neighborhood area with this now family of five was so special. I loved watching the middle brother love up on his new baby brother and I so enjoyed seeing the eldest brother explore the woods, throwing sticks and collecting rocks.

Brooke is an incredibly positive, upbeat, patient mother to her boys and I love watching her in action with them. Her boys have unique and differing personalities and it’s a privilege to capture each of them individually and as a trio.

Both sessions so far have been full of joy and love -- from a mom and two boys to a family of five. Enjoy these peeks into their most recent family photo session.

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Lakefront Family Memories: A Lake Linganore Photo Session with a Family of Five

This family includes one of my dearest friends in Maryland and her gorgeous family. Rachel and Adam and their kiddos have been an important part of our lives since we moved to Lake Linganore just over two years ago. Their eldest daughter has been in our daughter’s class two of the past three school years and are two-thirds of a self-proclaimed “Pirate Crew.” We go camping together and have enjoyed numerous birthday parties, ladies nights’, playdates, Girl Scout events and more together.

Rachel is a fantastic mother who always only yearns for more and better time with her two girls and one boy. She actually even makes the outfits for her kids for their first day of school and photo sessions -- the dresses you see the girls wearing (and her skirt!) in these photos were all made by Rachel, late at night, in the quiet of her home after bedtime.

We met for our session near a trail by the dam at end of Lake Linganore, right in front of their home. We used the beautiful early-morning light peeking through some mountain haze for photos along the water, the path and even on their dock.

I love the wildness and freeness you feel with this family and in these photos -- joy and exploration and giddy fun.

Enjoy this peek into a day in the life of this important family with perfect details, huge smiles and a lot of love.

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Boys on the Beach: A Lake Linganore Beachfront Family Photo Session

I love supporting my local community and one of the ways I do that is to offer a complimentary photo session a handful of times a year to important causes. This year, one of those events was a race at my kids’ elementary school. I loved supporting their silent auction and couldn’t wait to meet the winners -- an amazing neighborhood family who happens to have a son in my son’s grade! The two boys both knew of one another and yep, a playdate is already in the planning stages!

We met at a nearby beach for an evening session that offered us gentle breezes, gorgeous golden light and a lot of laughs as we explored and adventured both on the beach and on a nearby trail.

The boys are so adoring of one another and of their parents and it made the session a true joy. There were races, dancing, silly faces and a lot of beautiful posed photos in between, too.

I loved their coordinating and classy outfits that screamed summertime happiness and felt so lucky to capture these blonde-haired, blue-eyed boys and their parents.

Enjoy this peek into an incredible family and a heck of a lot of joy!

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Location, Location, Location: Choosing an Ideal Family Photo Session Spot

My repeat family photo clients may already have realized that I don’t always go back to the same spot for photo sessions, even for my regular neighborhood photo session days here in Lake Linganore.

Sometimes, even on back-to-back days, I don’t use the same location as the day before. And, ready for this? Sometimes, my morning sessions will be in a different place in our town than my afternoon and evening sessions.

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There are several things I consider when choosing the ideal photo session location for you and your family here in the Frederick County area. Here’s a few of the reasons:

1. Light!
In my opinion, lighting is one of the most important things I consider when photographing. You can be the most technically-capable photographer, but if you’re outside and aren’t reading your light, your photos won’t be as “wow”-worthy. I hardly ever photograph in midday because the sun and lighting are just way too harsh. Soft lighting, especially softly-diffused lighting through trees or clouds, is just perfection. So a spot that works great in the morning will likely have sunlight streaming through in the opposite direction later in the day and that’s not always as successful.

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2. Safety!
A session with an adult couple or a family with older teens will almost always feature a different locale than an adventure with babies or toddlers and a huge part of that comes down to safety. Some of my favorite lakefront spots for photos are so absolutely beautiful but I would never test fate or put a client’s child at danger for any shot - not even the most perfect one. Edges of cliffs or waterfalls, uneven terrains, walkways without handrails -- these things just aren’t ideal for children -- unless my clients specifically request such a spot and understand my concerns.

3. New vs. Old!
When I have a repeat client, I often times will ask them if they loved their first spot or most recent spot or want to try something new. If they are so sold on the field in my neighborhood or the beachside trails in another that we’ve used before, then that’s where we’ll stay, as long as it works for all the other concerns.

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4. Weather and Foliage!
If it’s recently rained or there’s a chance of precipitation, I try to stay away from places that could have muddy spots -- not many people want muddy shoes or pants in their family photos. Similarly, if we’re going for an authentic fall-foliage look, I am most definitely going to be driving by some of my favorite spots in the days before our session to see where the color is popping out best.

5. Versatility!
My favorite photo session locations are places that offer several different backdrops in a relatively-small area. I love when I can get waterfront images plus a forested path and an interesting building or colorful row of boats all in one photo spot. It’ll make your photos seem extra-interesting and you’ll probably have a lot more of them, too!

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There are a lot of things that go into planning a family photo session behind the scenes. At the end of the day, I want you and your family to be safe, feel comfortable and have a lot of fun.

I can’t wait to photograph you!

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A&K: A Lakefront Childrens’ Birthday Photo Session in Lake Linganore with Wendy Zook Photography

When Mom contacted me about a photo session to hit the pause button on her kids’ rapidly-growing and rapidly-changing childhood fleeting by, she was understandably nervous about a photo session. Photo sessions can be intimidating, especially if your kiddos are energetic and don’t like to slow down. But I welcome this! I love adventuring with young children -- they get to be in charge and we go with the flow and keep them comfortable.

For my photo session with A and K, who are 2 and 4 years old, we met on the beach in our Lake Linganore neighborhood. We first explored down a nearby forested path along the edge of the lake. They ran, twirled, pointed out little animals. We then made our way back to the beach where we let them enjoy time playing in the sand and wading in the shallow water of the lake. It was just pure joy and whimsy.

About halfway through our session, Mom gave me a supreme compliment, saying that she was so comfortable and that I made the experience surprisingly easy for her and the kids. That made my heart so happy to hear. I love that we can make the capturing of memories easy and enjoyable for everyone.

Enjoy this peek into two adorable kiddos adventuring on the beach!

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A family’s first photo shoot: Capturing a Frederick County family of three

When the H family first reached out to me, it was actually the dad who emailed first, which doesn’t happen nearly as often as the momma in the family contacting me to schedule a session does. Dad was excited to take part in the Wendy Zook Photography spring sessions I offered in Lake Linganore along with his wife and their 18-month-old daughter, E.

I was so honored and grateful when I learned that the H family had never actually had photos taken of them as a family of three. I couldn’t wait to explore our neighborhood together on a gorgeous Spring day, letting Miss E take the lead as she checked out forested paths, rocky trails and lakefront views. She was so adorable, really bright and just so much fun to capture.

We chased ducks and shared a lot of laughs and were able to capture some really adorable moments for them to enjoy long after these fun and funny toddler moments are over. This stage is one of my favorites -- slightly clumsy, super curious and really cute! -- and it goes by so quickly.

After I shared their final gallery with them, they were so appreciative of the images and these captured memories. Sessions like this one seriously make me feel like the luckiest photographer in the world because I get to do something I love, something that means so much to my clients and something that turns my clients into familiar faces and friends in the neighborhood.

Enjoy this peek into little Miss E and her parents!

Fall family photo sessions in Lake Linganore are taking place soon! You can grab a spot here.

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An Outdoor Extended Family Photo Session of Generations, Grandkids and Giggles

Some of my favorite photo sessions are the ones that go well beyond the families of four (although those are the ones I do most often!). I really love having even more people of all ages to combine in different groupings and capture in mini reunions that are so special to them and me.

This session took place in my favorite neighborhood location in Lake Linganore -- it’s a spot that offers a great variety of backdrops year-round -- forested paths, meadows, rocks along a small lake.

There were 11 people in three different generations all together. We were able to capture Grandma and Grandpa with their grandkids, the smaller individual families and all of the kiddos together and in solo portraits. Extended family photo sessions take a bit more organization and at the same time a bit more of a go-with-the-flow attitude and flexibility. I always wind up with a few photos that are so exciting and surprising that I can’t wait to share with my clients.

Enjoy this peek at this Lake Linganore extended family photo session. You can request your own extended family photo session here.

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One Family, Many Sessions : Capturing One Frederick County Family with Multiple Photo Sessions

Ask any photographer and I guarantee they’ll tell you the ultimate compliment is a repeat client. Someone who has trusted you with their family and their story not only once but multiple times over the years. They truly become friends and you get the privilege of watching their little ones grow.

While Wendy Zook Photography has many repeat clients who come back annually or even a couple of times a year, one of the best supporters of WZP is the Davis Family.

Jen has become a woman and mom I admire and respect so much for so many reasons. She’s incredible with her babies (four of them, including twins!), but even more inspiring as a strong woman who doesn’t give up and is fearless with her dreams. I’ve had not one, not two, not even three but FIVE different sessions with Jen, her husband and her family in the past year. Each one has a different style, location, theme and purpose but all of them tell the story of one incredibly special family.

Jen and Tim modeled for me during a collaboration with Frederick County makeup and lash artist Gina Marie Beauty in a spectacular field on a chilly winter day. I also captured Jen in solo portrait sessions -- one on a snowy day and another springtime session -- both of which cemented the fact that Jen is gorgeous inside and out. And then, two really fun Lake Linganore family photo sessions with the entire family of six -- hugging, jumping, exploring and loving.

I’m always grateful for Jen’s support of my business and the opportunity to capture her amazing family in images she can keep and reflect on for always. I can’t wait for the next session with them all!

You can sign up for the next round of Lake Linganore photo sessions here.

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Celebrating a First Birthday with an Extended Family Photo Shoot in Lake Linganore, Maryland

There are many ways to celebrate a first birthday, but I can’t think of many that are more fun and more real than a felt crown, a hot dog costume, a much-loved neighborhood beach and several adoring family members to dote on the little ones.

I loved how calm and laidback mom Kelsey was when setting up her photo session to celebrate her son B’s first birthday and during the actual session itself. When B’s big sis wanted to wear a hot dog costume, Kelsey just went with the flow and said “this is real life!”

It’s the thing I love about lifestyle outdoor photo sessions -- you can allow the kids (and adults!) to be their true selves -- whether that’s as a hot dog or twirling in a pretty summery dress (we did both!). While we explored a shady trail on a hot summer day in our Lake Linganore Coldstream neighborhood, we captured hugs, high-fives, kisses and snuggles. We also captured walks and tender moments with grandparents and playing in the grass, sand and water near Coldstream Beach.

I love the posed family photos but I’m most excited about the candid moments of splashing, lollipops, dancing and giggles.

Near the end of the session, we camped out on Coldstream Beach in Lake Linganore and let B play with some Cool Whip (a fun alternative to a cake!) and then watched both kids enjoy the coolness at the water’s edge. Those summertime smiles are so special.

Happy Birthday, little B!

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Inspired by this fun birthday session? Pin this image or any from the post above to save inspiration!

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