Themed Session FAQ's

 Do I have to have a theme? - Yes and No. It will have a theme if it coordinates. You don't have to have a character, but you will have a color scheme. When I build themes, I use a 3 color base and add from there.  For example, cream background, white shirt and blue jeans, or light blue background, white clouds, red clothes, or brown background, yellow waffles, brown syrup, yellow butter, white plate, dark wood stump, etc.

• What is included in 1 custom set? - I provide non-perishable props that create your scene. It includes color specific pom poms, flowers, flags, blankets, buckets, wraps, headbands, cake stand, paper backgrounds, pizza boxes, balloons, streamers, flowers, dreamcatchers, baskets, balloon faces, etc. You provide the perishable items like chocolate sauce, chicken and waffles, cake, pie, spagetti, etc. and any specific props. With the Custom part, I will handcraft items if necessary and purchase reusable props (to a ceratin dollar limit) to create your set if I don't own items that create the theme.

• Is it ok if I make the custom set and bring them to the 10 image session? - Yes, you can create a custom set and set it all up when you get here if you want to and pay less. That is one of the reasons that I made the lower cost image session, for people that really just need a photographer, not a prop maker. 

• Emotions & Discipline - How your child feels will come through in the picture. If everyone is happy then your images will be happy. If you are stressed the child will feel it and won't be able to relax and take cute pictures. Start your session with snack and happy conversation and your session will be much better. I tend to joke around a lot which adds to smiles. Please leave hard discipline at home if you can. I too like disciplined kids but a happy kid will give you happy pictures. Play with them, bribe them, softly lie to them if need be. This is one hour. Life can go back to normal after the session. If they aren't feeling like sit and smile pictures, then don't force it, it will look forced. Allow your child to be themselves and the images will be great. Same goes for Husbands... lol Seriously though, don't overcorrect or dictate. No one wants disinterested expression in their photos. ASK them what they want, communicate what you want and compromise. If you send me example pictures, please also show these to your husband and kids. Many times they have no idea what we are doing. Clue them in so that they too are prepared.

• Clothing changes/ Background changes - This really depends on the type of session. For themed sessions, I usually do up to three backgrounds depending on the type of images we are trying to get. Most custom sessions are one set and one different background. This should be discussed in the consultation and be in the plan so that you and I both know what images we are making. 

• Quantity of People - My studio is in my home. Please don't bring people, adults or children, that wont be in the pictures.

The second reason is that your child will look at them instead of the camera. Children don't look at the lens if they are look at people in the background trying to make them smile. 

• Locations - For outdoor locations, I have a long list on my Locations and Style Page but basically I can take a picture pretty much anywhere that there is light. I use locations all over the city. For studio style sessions, I use the den in my home as a studio.  


TM Ninja Turtle

We met at a local library with red brick, I got pizza boxes from a local store, I made turtle head balloons, brought a sewer cover that I actually had at home, some new ABS sewer pipe and I bought the weapons from the local store. Mom brought the cake, hat, tie and shorts.

2014 Richie Cake Smash_00972014 Richie Cake Smash_0097

Tenneessee Titans

This was shot on my driveway. Our theme was orange, white, brown, dark wood. I used my cowhide and the clothes were his.

Albuquerque Baby Photographer l Tenneessee Titans Photo sessionAlbuquerque Baby Photographer l Tenneessee Titans Photo session  

Sesame Street - Elmo

This was shot in my backyard, around lunch. I made balloon faces and a custom tie. Mom brought the cake, hat, table cloth and banner. We used some studio props: white cake stand, red shorts, ONE letters, and red bench.

Kaison Cake Smash 8x10Kaison Cake Smash 8x10Photograph by Portraits by Joy



We met at Tingley in Summer. I brought antique crawfish baskets and buckets. His mom brought his fishing pole and hat.

2015_Richie082015_Richie08Richie's 2nd Birthday Fishing Session| Portraits by Joy | Albuquerque Portrait Photographer

Pink and Blue Valentine

I made a custom bloomer cover, the kiss blocks, found antique suitcases for the vintage look, made a pink and blue heart swag, purchased custom background fabric, and made her two headbands.
Alvara 6 month girl-2 by Portraits by Joy l Albuquerque Baby PhotographerAlvara 6 month girl-2 by Portraits by Joy l Albuquerque Baby Photographer Alvara 6 month girl-3 by Portraits by Joy l Albuquerque Baby PhotographerAlvara 6 month girl-3 by Portraits by Joy l Albuquerque Baby Photographer


  She brought the doll, dress and crown. I made snowflakes, pom poms and a banner.

Traditional In-Studio SessionTraditional In-Studio Session DSC03439DSC03439

Rainbows & Clouds

  This is my daughter Jessica's 6th birthday session. She and her sister wanted a combined rainbow birthday. I made a rainbow tutu and balloons and then we went to the foot hills for some shots and a nearby park for the rest.  Traditional In-Studio SessionTraditional In-Studio Session


Rainbow Birthday, Girl's 6th birthday rainbow sessionRainbow Birthday, Girl's 6th birthday rainbow session6th Birthday professional photography by Portraits by Joy in North East Albuquerque in a rainbow colored tutu with balloons on a bridge in a park.