Elly Dream Contemporary Portrait Photographer | Family | Headshot | Marlboro & Middletown NJ

Review of a Family Photo Session in Marlboro NJ


About Elly Dream Photo Portraits

Elly Dream Photo is a high end, high-touch, full-service photography studio in Middletown NJ that creates premium custom family photo albums, life-size prints, and portraits with a special focus on kids and babies.


As a father of two (all too quickly) growing boys I have a deep appreciation for the valuable moments we share. My wife and I often caught up in our daily routines, can’t help but reflect on how quickly these little hyper-energetic beings are growing and changing, becoming who they are meant to be. It’s always been a wish of ours to freeze at least some of the magic moments in time, save a note in a bottle for our older selves to discover and smile, remembering how things used to be.

Elly Dream Photo family session in Marlboro NJ near our studio in Middletown, two brothers hugging
Capturing brothers love during a family portrait photography session in Marlboro NJ by Elly Dream Photo

We didn’t want to settle for just any snapshots, we really wanted to capture the characters of our boys (aged seven and four) and do so professionally, something my own skills could not afford. We wanted to capture their love for life, their charm, energy, kindness, and fondness for each other. But also we wanted to preserve the reckless mischief that shines in their eyes, something that both my wife and I had as kids, and something we must admit we are a bit too proud of in our boys. This is why we chose Elly Dream Photo.

Elly has a deep passion for photography and has been honing and perfecting her skills for years with three smashing boys of her own. The vigor with which she approaches her work is second to none and nothing but the absolute best results satisfy her. And the results speak for themselves, they are truly one-of-a-kind.

Elly Dream Photo family session in Marlboro NJ near our studio - single kid portrait with happy authentic expression
Single kid portrait with genuine and authentic expression captured during a family outdoor photosession in Marlbor NJ by Elly Dream Photo

Prep Work

Before the photoshoot, Elly gathered some information from us to get the most out our session. She inquired as to what we are going to do with these photos – we wanted an album as well as a number of canvas prints for our dining room. She also wanted to know about our kids. What gets them going, what are they into right now? What is their favorite TV show, book, Disney character? At first, I was surprised at the level of detail but it all made sense at the photoshoot.

Before the photo shoot she paid us a visit at our home at Marlboro NJ and held a “photo coaching session” on how to take photos for the very best results. Did you know what “Squinting” is? Well, Brad Pitt apparently does and so should you if you want to become photogenic overnight! We learned little tips that are frankly useful anytime you are taking a picture or being photographed. She explained how to face the camera, how to use light in a flattering way, how to hold your head correctly (I’m not kidding, this really matters!) and how to smile so that you don’t look like a manikin from Madame Tussauds.

Elly Dream Photo family session in Marlboro NJ near our studio - capturing the love of mom and dad for their family portrait gallery
Capturing the love of mom and dad for an heirloom dining room portrait during a family photo portrait session in Marlboro NJ by Elly Dream Photo

The Session

With all the prep work done and armed with a collection of little fun facts about our kids’ interests, Elly visited us for the scheduled shoot along with her van full of equipment. It was impressive. The set-up was quick, she knew all the locations where we were going to do the shoot. There were pictures with kids in the backyard with the backdrop of our patio wall, some action shots of the kids on the yard, and a few of my wife and me by the front of the house against a red brick back-drop. The natural light was a bit low so we used her own lighting equipment to supplement the cloudy day and chase away the shadows.

Now came the fun part – getting the kids to show their true colors. Elly sat them down on a blanket and with a sparkling flare painted a world of Ninjago (their favorite show at the time) along with characters, a mission, and a mystery to solve. The boys were enthralled and ecstatic to help Sensei battle the evil forces of the Overlord and save the little town of Ninjago. They laughed, ran, jumped, whirled, and bounced, all to the perfectly timed, measured clicks of the shutter. When the battle was won they hugged in a victorious embrace that only brothers are capable of, a shot to last a lifetime. Elly also worked with us to get a few glorious shots of the whole family and just the two of us separately.

Elly Dream Photo family session in Marlboro NJ near our studio - capturing single kid portrait for the home portrait gallery
Adorable 6 year old boy captured during a family photo portrait session in a home backyard of Marlboro NJ by Elly Dream

The Prints

After a fun photo session, we took a break to discuss our print options. Elly showed us many sample portraits, photo albums, compilations, and books. We were very interested in large canvas prints for our dining room so we selected the photos that would look best in a compilation, together with Elly’s help.

She used software to model the placement and alignment of the canvass prints in a virtual representation of our actual dining room. Even seeing it on the computer screen was exciting.

Elly Dream Photo family session in Marlboro NJ near our studio - detailed review of a photosession and the portraits artworks created
A detailed review of a family session would not be complete without Elly Dream capturing artistic individual portraits of the kids to be customized to the family’s interior design and desires

In a few weeks – the moment of truth! The prints came by mail, and they were absolutely breathtaking.

Everything we hoped for and more was captured and displayed beautifully. The array of canvas prints looked absolutely stunning on the walls and the compliments we get from guests are just awesome.

Overall, the experience was fantastic, and the results blew away all expectations. If you want to capture the joy of childhood and preserve a piece of your children as they are today, don’t settle for anything but perfection. Your children deserve Elly Dream Photo!

Elly Dream Photo family session in Marlboro NJ near our studio - fun and energy of the boy jumping during family photo session in Marlboro NJ nearby our Middletown NJ Studio
The fun, the energy, the authenticity of pure expressiveness is what makes this portrait unique and one of our most favorite in a custom wall art gallery created during a family photo session in Marlboro NJ by Elly Dream

Special Thanks to Stan Altshuller for this amazing review. Stan is a Co-Founder and Chief Research Officer at Novus, charged with spearheading business initiatives, leading the research team, and overseeing blueprinting and competitive analytics for the Novus Platform… and a father of two adorable boys. Stan is an avid skier, a passionate hiker, and the most desirable candidate his boys could find for both trampoline jumping or capture the flag hunt.

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