TT3 Lucas

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The Sound of Music in the Studio

Tonight I was extra lucky to be photographing a very handsome Senior. You see, after the formal shots we did a few casual ones – with a guitar. Kyle gently strummed while I shot, never missing a note as he turned to flash me that incredible smile! So watch out for an announcement coming from me when his album gets released! Really – he just finished recording!! I’ll let you know when it’s available so that you can hear him play too ūüėČ

Have a great night, Everyone! I have some edits to work on!

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The Sun Came out in Time to Set

Today looked like it was going to rain – like HEAVY rain. Taylor and I worried that her Senior Experience was going to be a little on the wet side. Lucky for us, Mother Nature had other plans!




Here is a sneak peek of the beautiful Taylor’s Senior Experience for you to enjoy. Make sure you are following life as is photography so that you can see the rest of her images when they are revealed.



Here in Central New York we get a bad rap for the weather, but I can’t tell you how many times the sun HAS come out – just in time to set!

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Kristina and Joe’s Ultimate Connections Engagement Experience



I won’t bore you with a story tonight – I know that there is someone waiting for this post ūüėČ

Here is a digital magazine of the preview that I presented to Kristina and Joe tonight, along with my favorite images highlighted. Please click on the photo below and let me know what you think of the magazine!


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When Love Walks In

When Kristina walked into a St. Patrick’s Day party at a friend’s house freshman year of college, Joe recognized her right away; they also had mutual friends from high school. He wanted to find a way to begin a conversation with her but thought she was ‘way too pretty’ to talk to him. He was wrong. Kristina¬†immediately noticed the ‘cute guy on the couch’ and left that party with nothing but Joe on her mind and told everyone she knew how she couldn’t wait to see him again.



I have to say, I’ve known these two for quite some time, and am¬†feeling pretty blessed to be a part of their love story. There is something special about capturing two people as they begin a new journey together and all that they are planning and dreaming of. Kristina and Joe are best friends and loving parents – to Miles and Sadie – and soon to be husband and wife.



With¬†six years¬†of history behind them, they have nothing but adventures awaiting their future, together. So watch those doors people, because you never know who might be walking in….


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Never give up on a Session because of the Weather

Last night I was blessed with creating an Engagement Experience for the beautiful Katie and tall, dark, and handsome (which is the first thing Katie noticed about) Bryan. I met Katie and Bryan last year when they were in town from Connecticut for a family wedding in Seneca Falls. She, along with her two sisters and her mom, had their portraits taken with me before heading off to the rehearsal dinner. They have the most amazing relationship, those four women. Truly, the love they share is genuine, deep, and full of fun!

CC6A0615That weekend Bryan proposed to Katie. Although he tells me that he kind of blacked out at some point and doesn’t remember the whole proposal, she definitely said, “YES!”. Katie contacted me a couple of months ago and¬†we began planning their Engagement Experience for when they were here for a quick vacation. Mother Nature teased us for a couple of days with the threat of rain and thunderstorms and completely random time tables for the arrival of these storms. Katie and I were in constant contact and keeping track of the forecast. We almost postponed their session for a day when the afternoon darkened and rain began to fall. Then, the skies cleared and we made the decision to give it a try.

Long story short, we¬†were¬†sprinkled on at our first location, the skies did get dark as we trekked through the woods with my gear (including a stool for me so I’m not shooting up people’s noses haha!) and their extra outfits, and it did begin to rain once we reached our¬†destination. Under the cover of trees, we worked for quite some time. Once it let up we ventured into a clearing where we finished the night.


Just after this¬†final shot,¬†Bryan caught something out of the corner of his eye and we were rewarded with more than a beautiful, loving, and fun Engagement Experience for Katie and Bryan….


CC6A9126   If we had let the chance of rain ruin our plans, we would        have missed out on a little extra loving! This mama and her twins were not afraid of us in the least, and let us watch them eat their dinner, share kisses, and roam around through the brush.

Not to mention that we were hoping it WOULD rain – when we got to the cars – for a few wet and wild shots! No luck on that but I think we were all feeling quite happy with what we were given last night.

True love all around.


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life as is photography has made some changes!!

Welcome to the NEW, IMPROVED, HERE-FOR-YOU, life as is photography by katrina Community!!!!!


A lot of new stuff is happening (like a new community of people just trying to make some time to BE, and new custom/personalized apps for sharing YOUR galleries ^^^), and my kids are ready for me to shut my computer down a little more often. They have been so amazing as I worked to learn more, create more, and therefore, be able to offer you all more. I apologize to everyone in my life who I haven’t been vigilant about contacting, but I have had such a one-track mind the past few weeks. I was finishing up with some work that had been put on hold, and then I was travelling, and then I have been pushing to get this website overhauled and ready for TODAY! So, with sincere gratitude for each and every one of you here, as part of my life as is family, as well as my family here at home and the friends who have been behind me, I thank you and pray that I can fulfill all my dreams for you this year and the years to come.

To get this party started, I would love it if you would check out Why I Want to (DIS)Connect Families¬†first. This has been my biggest project and I am really looking forward to getting it up and running and seeing all of your faces around more often! I would love it if you would take just a moment to let me know what you think, what your hopes would be for the community, and to make sure that you sign up for the newsletter – even if you are already receiving emails from me…this will guarantee (God willing that there aren’t any technology glitches!!!) that we are all on the same page. Haha!! AND, once you are confirmed as part of my special family, you will receive a FREE GIFT –

5 Clever Ways to Fit (DIS)Connections into Your Busy Life.

Intrigued? Awesome! Start here and then feel free to roam around the site.

You can see that I really took the feedback I received from all of you asking for more PRODUCTS in packages (having the digital files was great – ONLY WHEN YOU ACTUALLY USED THEM TO PRINT STUFF ūüėČ ). I totally get it. I have A LOT of bare walls where photos should be hanging and thousands that should be printed in Storybooks, so I’m there with you! Now you won’t have to worry about having things IN YOUR HANDS, because you will!

Your galleries are a little more streamlined. I’ll be converting those from now on to more concise formats with the “less is more” philosophy. You also told me that having access to so many photos was overwhelming, so I’ll be TRYING to be a lot more selective in what ends up in your gallery.

There are other changes already, and more coming here and on all the social media outlets too. If you really love it, which I pray you do, please share the links with everyone you know and encourage them to join us – especially those who could use a little extra love coming their way; who couldn’t, right?

Ok, I have a lot of other tweaks to make today on Re-Launch Day so keep posted because there just may be some cool stuff you wouldn’t want to miss!! The first Newsletter will be sent out next week so that I can give everyone a chance to check out the FREE GIFT and the changes on the sites. Please let me know if you run into any issues while navigating, or any suggestions. I did this all on my own and I am NOT a web designer or a tech guru, but I sure tried¬†my best.



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I really have an amazing group of friends in my life, and when I get the chance to photograph their kids, it’s a lot of fun. I am always amazed how much I see of the moms and dads in the faces in my camera. Tonight I got to hang out with Arden, and was even lucky enough to get to listen to him strum on his guitar a little – bonus for me!




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Why I’m Changing My Focus – Pun Intended

Now that I think about it, “changing focus” may have to be a new tag line. ¬†As in I’m changing my focus on how I structure ALL of my session experiences, and also how I want my clients to have a different focus on why, and how they look at “getting pictures taken”. ¬†I believe that a session should be much more than just ¬†for the purpose of updating your photo albums and frames. ¬†Actually, I think that should be the LAST reason to have them done.


When I take a photo for any reason, personally, or professionally, I’m taking that photo because it is a part of a story; a beautiful, life story. ¬†It may be my story, someone else’s, or even the story of the Earth and it’s wonders. ¬†But, it’s a story nonetheless and it yearns to be told. ¬†Every story deserves to be told. ¬†The simple, the complex, the imperfect perfection of every story. ¬†I want every person to WANT theirs told, and to tell it.


So, like I was saying, I’m changing the focus of how I am creating every single life as is photography session experience. ¬†I originally offered two types of sessions, one more typical and like most other photographers, where we would choose a convenient location and date and time, and we would meet, have a few laughs to capture some great smiling shots (hopefully), shoot away, and you’d all have a set of pictures. ¬†Mission accomplished, right? ¬†No. ¬†I never felt like I was doing any great service to anyone who I was “shooting” and I was not feeling fulfilled professionally or personally at the end of the day. ¬†Something was missing for me and I assume for them as well.

I tried to come up with ways to make a session more personal, more engaging, in order to make more of a connection for my clients so that they felt more of an attachment to themselves and to each other. ¬†I wanted them to be able to look at the photos and say, “THAT is so who I am/who we are!” and feel the love they share. ¬†I wanted MORE for my clients, and for me. ¬†I wanted different. ¬†I finally found a photographer who shared my philosophy, Jesh de Rox, and a program he developed called the¬†Beloved Collective. ¬†I knew I had finally found some inspiration and guidance to change my work. ¬†I then began to work on my own variation of his principles and created a new program, “Ultimate Connections Experiences” and I was IN LOVE with photography again. ¬†I felt it, my “guinea pig” friends felt it, and those who saw the images felt it. ¬†It was¬†different. ¬†Better. ¬†So much better.

I started to offer these “Experiences” alongside my typical sessions, but as all things different, they weren’t chosen over the more familiar ones. ¬†I quickly began to feel defeated and as if I was letting down my clients, my friends. 0 I wasn’t showing them how special an “Experience” is compared to “getting pictures taken” and they were missing out.

So, I chose to change my focus. ¬†I changed my business entirely because I want to be the change I see in the world. ¬†Even if it’s just in the world of portrait photography.

I will no longer be offering photo sessions.  Nope.  Only Experiences.  Because every story is different, and every story, your beautiful, imperfect perfection of a story, deserves better.



It means that your experience will, in fact, be different. ¬†As soon as you and I first connect I will get to work on preparing a personalized guide to provide you, as well as each individual who will participate, questions, activities, and interactive prompts to complete prior to your experience. ¬†Every guide will be different in terms of the relationship each subject has to the others in the group, or when shooting an individual, based entirely on that one person. ¬†I will then use these guides to design your session and using different elements from them during your experience. ¬† As I compose and shoot, I will have the tools to create genuine emotions and reactions that tell your story. ¬†Because your story is different. ¬†It is beautiful. ¬†The end results will be different. ¬†Different is beautiful. ¬†So, if you dare to be different, I promise you that you will never even think of “getting your pictures taken” again. ¬†You’ll anticipate each Experience as a wonderful opportunity. ¬†A different, beautiful opportunity to have an experience connecting to those you love. ¬†The photos that you have in the end? ¬†Well, you just have to see them to understand….

CC6A2329-2File33156Santoro Ultimate Connections Landscape - Page 001Santoro Ultimate Connections Portrait - Page 002


So, my focus is different now. ¬†I’m making the change I want to see in every photo album and frame in the world, and I am so excited to share it!






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No. I don’t Photoshop. And I’m proud of it!

As a photographer who mainly shoots people, one question I get frequently is, “Can you Photoshop me?”. ¬†Every time I hear those words, I cringe. ¬†In fact, I really don’t know how to use it very well. ¬†Not because I am incompetent or lazy or technologically impaired. ¬†I just don’t believe in it.


I do believe in giving people what they want; a beautiful image where they actually feel beautiful. Empowered. ¬†Free. ¬†Special. ¬†Fun. Loved. ¬†Where they feel perfect. ¬†Because, in fact, they¬†are¬†all of those things. ¬†Maybe not at the same time, or even every day, but I hope that by the end of one of my sessions, they¬†feel that way. ¬†So even if I will smooth away some acne or try to hide a bra strap or random tree branch, no, I won’t Photoshop you away. ¬†I won’t take away those laugh lines, or the well-earned gray hairs, or the extra pounds you were blessed with to hold all of the love you have inside. ¬†I will try to compose my shots from your most amazing angles, but I want you to see the color of your cheeks when¬†I asked you what your most-mischievous act was when you were first in love (so I may play with color saturation). ¬†I want you to see the¬†sparkle in your eye that you had when you were talking about your dreams for the future (so I may brighten them up with exposure). ¬†I want you to see the look you shared with your partner when s/he told you how proud s/he is of you (so I might change to black and white). ¬†I want you to see the awe your children have when they look at you and recall everything you do for them (so I may sharpen the focus on their faces). ¬†I want them to see the tears in your eyes when you tell them that they are perfect just the way they are (so I may not do a darn thing). ¬†Because they are. ¬†Because you all are. ¬†No Photoshop action will ever be worthy enough to change what you look like if it takes away from who you are.



So, to answer your question, no, I will not Photoshop you.




I love these ladies (my sister and my mama!) more than I can handle sometimes – and we are beautiful as individuals, but even more beautiful together sharing the love!!


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