Posted by: Michelle Stella Riordan | September 26, 2011

If I could save time in a bottle…

“If I could save time in a bottle…


 I love kids, especially when they’re not mine.  So, photographing children has been a fulfilling part of my career.  Maybe it’s because I get to play with them and then return them.  My kids have grown up in front of the lens.  They have loved it.  They have hated it.  They now deal with it.  I know, as a parent, that we want our little angels to look perfect but it’s also funny to capture the attitude that comes oozing out of them and all the moments in between. 

Here’s to all of those moments…

Photography By Exposure,

 Sunrise session: Dress #1  Black & white set the tone and the texture

 Photographing at sunrise on the beach is one of my favorite times of day.  The light is glorious and there are not many people around.  The reality is that nothing goes as planned.  So plan to adapt.  The light and tides are every changing.  Change with it. 

Ms. Maddy is a morning child but started the session off not wanting to be photographed.  But, I always win…always.  I stock up at the 24 hour ‘Patience store’,  arm myself with determination and snacks.  And I always bring my squeaky crab!

 Photography By Exposure,

 Every Princess needs sunflowers

 My portrait sessions go until they stop!  I know when a child has been overstimulated and exhausted.  I also ask mom to participate in the session.  It’s all about the experience.  I want mom to look back on this session and have a story to tell. 

 Photography By Exposure,

 Can I have some of that attitude to go? 

This image deserved the timelessness of black & white but the sunflowers needed to shine.

I should mention that I have been photographing this child since before she was born.  That’s all well and good but some kids know me too well.  They will inevitably try to get away with things like they do with their parents.  So, sometimes I use the voice…the mom voice. 

Then we go back to playing…


Photography By Exposure, Special Events Photographer

 Take 2: Dress #2 

I love the simple interaction of a child playing at the water’s edge.  She’s almost dancing with the waves.

My sessions can yield 100-200 images.  Insane, isn’t it? Digital has given me the freedom to not limit my session.  The downside is that for every hour I shoot, I spend about 2 hours editing.  Let me mention that I shoot each beach session with digital and film: Hasselblad 500CM & Fuji film.  It’s an amazing combination. 

Photography By Exposure, Special Events Photographer

 We dig in the sand.  We write our names and make shapes.  We play. 

The innocence of childhood.

Photography By Exposure, Special Events Photographer

   Each child has such inner beauty….such an inner light. 

All we need to do is to let them shine.


Do you have one of those of photographs that lights up your world?  Where was it taken?

Are you ready for the experience of a lifetime?


 If I could save time in a bottle

The first thing that I’d like to do.

Is to save every day

til eternity passes away

Just to spend them with you.”

~ Jim Croce


Michelle Stella Riordan

Photography By Exposure

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn


Special Events Photographer

Corporate, Aerials, Conventions, Portfolios & Family Photography

Studio and Location: New Jersey to Virginia

Family beach portrait sessions


Special Events Photographer



  1. Great post

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