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New Addition to the Biblical Character Study series

August 08, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

This image "Forbidden Fruit" is part of a character study of women from the Bible. It is my take on Bathsheba. I wanted the image to convey both innocence and temptation. I believe that Bathsheba was innocent in the situation she found herself in with King David. The fruit and fauna she is surrounded by all have symbolic meaning. Fig (leaves) are a symbol of lust or fertility because of its many seeds. Pomegranates were used to represent resurrection or fertility. Thistles represent the curse of sin. Orange for symbolism of purity and chastity.

Thank you for fellow photographer and fellow Gordon alumi, E.F. Cianci for modeling for this intimate character study.

Tween Portrait Parties

July 23, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

As the school year was wrapping up we hosted a tween portrait party, that was met with much enthusiasm and was lots of fun!  The attendees were given a lesson on proper skin care and basic makeup from Cindy Eskelinen a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant and then were able to select an outfit from the racks of Heidi Young, Matilda Jane trunk keeper, before their mini photo shoot.  Each girl went home with 2 4x6 prints from their session and a goodie bag with coupons and samples.  Everyone had a blast!  We hope to do this again in the future but these parties are also available for birthday parties.  What a fun idea for your tween to celebrate how awesome they are!


Guest Blogger, Dan Barr - 5 tips to Introduce your Kids to Photography

July 06, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Our post today is compliments of guest blogger, Dan Barr.  You can find a link to his website below!


How to introduce photography to your kid – 5 essential tips

In today’s world, most of us constantly have a camera on us via our mobile phone. We can just point and click. This makes taking photographs very easy. In addition to that, kids learn technology very fast. That is why teaching photography to kids today is easy and fun. In addition to helping them pick a new hobby, you give them an opportunity to learn a new skill and get out of the house rather than being on mobile games or video games the whole day or even worse, stuck to the television.

Letting your child control the camera has a surprising side result too. We start seeing the world via their eyes which has a very innocent and fresh outlook.

Let’s get started on the top five essential tips to introduce your child to photography.

1. Give your child access to a camera

Your child will fall in love with photography faster if they feel a sense of ownership over the camera. Give them a used one or your current one or even show them how to use the camera on an old phone of yours. Teach them to use the various features of the camera.

Once you have given it to them, step back and let them start experimenting with the camera. If you don’t want them to use an old camera, you can give them a good, inexpensive camera which is good for kids. The child-proof cameras that are available today are made especially for kids i.e. they have smaller grips and buttons and they are built to withstand drops. It would be great for your kid to have a new camera that they know is only for them. This will help reduce your interference too and allow your child to explore the camera on their own. 

2. Teach the basics

When you start your kids on photography, it is important to teach them the basics. Some of the important points that you need to teach them is that they need to hold the camera steady so that they get an image in focus. One of the best ways to hold the camera steady is to use your body for support. You can demonstrate to them how to tuck their elbows against their body so that they can get support to hold the camera. They need to fill the frame with the subject of the image. They need to choose an angle to click the photo so that there background clutter is reduced as much as possible. Another important tip for a child is that they should always put the strap of the camera around their neck before they start to take photographs. A camera can easily fall from the hands of a child so this precaution is necessary.

3. Step back

Once your child has learnt the basics of photography and how they need to click photographs so that the camera is safe, the best thing that you can do for your child is to take a step back. Let them go out on their own and click the things that attract their eye. In the evening, they will come over with excitement in their eyes and show you what they have clicked. You can sit with them and make suggestions for each photo as to how they could have improved it. Make sure that you praise them for the photos which have been clicked well.

As parents, we are so used to protecting our children that we resist the need to let go and allow them to explore photography on their own. But unless they click photos on their own, they won’t be able to develop their own unique style.

4. Make clicking photographs easy and fun

As adults, we are used to advanced features and we try to explain that to our children. The problem is that when we complicate things, our children get disheartened and lose interest. The best thing you can do is just keep the camera on a point and click mode and let your child experiment with it.

Though you shouldn’t complicate things for your child when they use the camera, it doesn’t mean that you should make photography interesting by setting up challenges for them. You can ask them to click as many cars as they can or images of a certain color. Another interesting way to improve your child’s photography is to keep them as an official photographer for a family trip that you make. This allows them to capture your whole family having fun and will help them to create life-long memories. 

You can also try to have a contest between your children where they can capture the most colorful photos or the photo which has the most people in it, etc.

5. Make use of the photos

The best way to encourage your child to click photos is to use the photos actively. You can get mugs online with the photos that they have clicked and they can use it daily. You can also take prints of the photos and stick it on the refrigerator. Another great way to use their photos is to make them into cards and send them for festivals to your friends and family.


Introducing your child to photography is introducing them to a whole new world of colors and images. Many children turn their childhood hobby into a life-long passion and even their career.

A quick recap of the essential tips when you introduce your child to photography: You should get them a camera which they can use completely for themselves. You should teach them the basics and once you have taught them the basics, you should let go and allow them to explore photography on their own. You should make clicking photos exciting, fun and enjoyable by setting up small challenges and competitions and finally, it would be great and would give your child a tremendous sense of validation if you print and use the photos.

About the Author:
Dan Barr is a photographer, a parent to two girls, and the founder of, a blog which is all about teaching photography to kids and kids cameras. You can visit Dan at his website


Clicks for Kids Mini Photo Camp

June 13, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Tween Portrait Party

May 25, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

School's Out for the Summer!

Tween Portrait Party

Wednesday, June 20th from 6:00pm to 8:30pm

at Allison Hope Photography

Ages 10-13

only $30

Party includes:

- Make up Lesson from Mary Kay consultant, Cindy Eskelinen

- optional wardrobe styling from Matilda Jane consultant Heidi Young

- mini photo shoot

- 2 Take Home 4x6 prints

- Goodie bag with specially priced portrait packages and digital file options, a discount coupon for booking a full tween session and special incentives from Mary Kay and Matilda Jane

Contact the studio to reserve your child's space.


Easter Open House

March 16, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Easter Open House

March 31st

10:00 am to 12:00 pm

at Allison Hope Photography

81 Mont Vernon Rd. New Boston, NH


Please join us for an Easter Open House!

We will plan to have an egg hunt at 10:30 weather permitting and if there is dry ground available!

(Stay tuned & cross your fingers that the snow melts by then!)

Complimentary Portraits will be available!

Please bring a donation for the New Boston Food Pantry in exchange for a session fee. 

You will go home with a complimentary 4x6 but will have the option to purchase additional prints from our special portrait menu.


Since the purple playhouse did not follow us to the new location, we will have a new look for this year.

Refreshments will be available.

Tween Sessions

March 05, 2018  •  Leave a Comment



2. Also, tween, tweeny. a youngster between 10 and 12 years of age,considered too old to be a child and too young to be a teenager.


A few facts about today's tweens...

  • Forty-eight percent of tweens said they've been bullied.
  • Half of girls ages 8 to 10 are unhappy with their size, while 40 percent of fourth graders have been on a diet before and more than half of girls ages 9 to 15 have exercised to lose weight.
  • Tweens care what adults think about them and imitate their behaviors.


Our special 'tween sessions aim to encourage healthy body image and self-esteem concepts to children in this transitional and influential time of their lives.  It is a great way to tell your child that they are cherished for who they are and that they are as beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside.  Not only is the final product, a portrait for your child to be proud of, the goal; but the experience of the portrait session itself, is one, that they will walk away from feeling extra special.  

For a limited time (while supplies last), your 'tween will receive a AHP Cherished t-shirt and a This is Me Girl's Journal with the purchase of a portrait session.  Available for children ages 10-12.  

Please contact the studio for more information about the sessions.


Upon reaching that Lofty Goal

January 26, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

I am thrilled to announce that I received a Master of Photography degree from Professional Photographer's of America (PPA) at the association’s annual convention, Imaging USA, held January 14-16, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. 

What is that you might ask?

Well, PPA awards this degree in recognition of superior photographic competence demonstrated through photographic competition, advanced education and service to the profession. 

A lot of time and energy, tears and excitement have gone into the earning of the degree.  I had many mentors along the way, nudging me along the path and helping me to push beyond my comfortable borders in order to strive for excellence in my craft.  

My friend, Jeff Dachowski, M.Photog.Cr., CPP was one of these mentors, and I was honored that he agreed to be my sponsor at the degree ceremony and walk with me on stage and hang the degree on my neck.  Here we are with PPA President, Rob Behm, M.Photog.Cr., CPP the night of the ceremony.

It feels validating to receive this accolade, but with any artist's craft, the journey does not end.  You have to constantly be honing your skills and reaching beyond.  I am on to the next thing.  I encourage you to set a goal for yourself and work towards it. 

yours truly,

Allison McGrail, Master Photographer


PS: Here is my 15 seconds on stage.  I made it across without tripping!

New Year, New You!

January 04, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Valentine's Day Boudoir Special

January 02, 2018  •  Leave a Comment