Photography By Cari Ellen Blog
November 02, 2016
By Photography By Cari Ellen

Whimsical Windows!

Gallery Opening Friday November 4th, 7-9

Small World Coffee on Witherspoon, Princeton NJ

We all love the beauty of the great outdoors...

And we all deeply appreciate the time we get to spend gazing out at a gorgeous view.

It makes us feel so good, and happy to be in the present moment.

That is the intention behind Whimsical Windows™.  :)

We can't always be on vacation, soaking up the gorgeous scenery,

but we CAN bring a little of that magic to our everyday lives, through photography and a little imagination.

All you need to do is take a few moments to just breathe, as you behold that beautiful view out your Whimsical Window...

And soon enough you will be restored to your natural state of ease and wellness.

Consider it a mini-meditation spot, right there on your wall, whenever you need it. :)

Not to mention it also serves as a super cool work of Art!

Choose what image works with the color scheme in your home, or just what makes you feel good.

We've got a blazing yellow, red and orange sunset, a blue and green tropical paradise,

a crisp snow capped mountain with pink flowers in the foreground, and many more special & stunning landscapes. 

Feel free to contact Photography By Cari Ellen for commissions too!

Even if you are not in the market for a Whimsical Window please feel free to drop by our Opening on Friday November 4th 7-9 and just say HI!

We will be having the talented Bruce Fredericks play an acoustic set of relaxing and inspiring music for you all.

Bring a friend, share some tea and uplifting conversation, all the while enjoying the VIEWS. :)

The Magic behind Whimsical Windows:

Photography By Cari Ellen (Cari Ellen Hermann) is the magic behind the camera.

She photographed these landscapes in many different locations with complete love and adoration of our precious home, Mother Earth. All Whimsical Window prints are professionally printed and mounted on archival photographic paper.

Dale Hermann is the magic behind the Whimsical Window vision coming alive.

An avid Naturalist, Dale loves to salvage and up-cycle, saving things from the landfill and turning them into treasures. Uncountable hours were spent gathering, scraping, sanding, glueing, puttying, cleaning, painting, staining, screwing, and just lovingly and painstakingly refurbishing these antiquated window panes.

Cari Ellen and Dale have had a blast co-creating Whimsical Windows together and hope they bring some beauty and stillness into as many lives as possible.

October 06, 2016
By Photography By Cari Ellen

Autumn is here and you know what that means?

It's the perfect time to capture your family's portrait!

Take advantage of October's picturesque setting and brilliant fall foliage with my Top 10 FALL WARDROBE tips:


  • 1. The whole family should COORDINATE. By coordinate I don't mean "be twins", I mean be similar in color, style, and weather. :)
  • 2. COLOR: Choose a small color palette (2-3 colors) and have everyone stick to it. Some examples: Warm Neutrals (creams, beiges, tans, browns). Blues and Greys. Mustards and Olives. Reds and Pinks. Purples and Blacks. As long as everyone is within your chosen color schemes, they should fit in. The best trick is to lay out all the outfits, including shoes and accessories, on the bed together.  If something stands out and draws your eye to it, it is distracting and will also be distracting in the photo. We want the outfits to all blend in together so that our eyes are free to focus on those beautiful FACES! (TIP for choosing your color palette: if your plan is to hang a large work of art over your mantle, be conscious of the color of decor in that room. For example, if your living room is mostly neutrals with a few pops of red, then you want your wardrobe to be compatible with that room so that the artwork compliments it.) As you can see in the photos below, most families choose a pretty neutral or "fall colors" palette for this time of year. But if you have a passion for aqua, go for it! As long as you all coordinate together, the fall leaves will still be gorgeous with your wardrobe.
  • 3. STYLE: What is your "dress attire"? Do you want to be casual or dressy? For example, if one person is wearing a gown for the shoot, we wouldn't have another family member in a torn t-shirt. This may sound obvious, but it's important enough to mention. Dark jeans can be dressed up nicely if others are wearing long skirts or nice slacks. Also, if you are choosing between something "totally in" right now, or "timeless", I'd go with the "timeless".
  • 4. WEATHER: Just like the style tip, everyone should look like they are enjoying the same kind of weather. :)  If the children are in thick, warm and fuzzy sweaters, Dad probably shouldn't be in short sleeves. If someone is wearing furry boots, another shouldn't be in sandals. And if Mom is donning a wintery scarf, put a hat on Dad or mittens on the kids for a nice balance. 
  • 5. PATTERNS: For group portraits solids and small patterns are best. (Pin stripes not good though.) Stay away from large or bold patterns if possible since they distract. Also distracting are big logos, words and pictures. 
  • 6. SHOES: Believe it or not, shoes can make or break a photo. I usually love bare feet for everyone if that works for your family. However, this is fall and if we are in the woods, or it feels too cold, or you are dressed too warm to make bare feet look believable, :) I recommend DARK shoes. Chocolate brown boots or shoes work well because they kind of disappear. DARK SOCKS too please, white ones will stand out like a sore thumb.  And please NO WHITE or COLORFUL sneakers/shoes if at all possible, unless of course it is part of the whole theme (like aqua converse sneakers with an aqua and orange palette).
  • 7. ACCESSORIES: Accessories like a vest, scarf or shrug, a hat or hair accessories, a funky necklace or bracelet or earrings, all are fun and make your images look polished. But only choose one of those for each person, since over-accessorizing can be "too much". Look at some pictures in your favorite clothing catalogues for inspiration. 
  • 8. MAKEUP and HAIR: Feel free to wear makeup heavier than usual as camera & lighting can wash you out a bit. You may feel overly made up but it will look good on camera. Bring your lipstick to touch up, and powder if you have it. If anyone is getting a hair cut, give extra time for it to grow in before the shoot. Also, I don't recommend a ponytail since it can look strange from the front view, like a helmet head. However a side ponytail or two pig tails work fine.
  • 9. WEAR WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD: This should go without saying, but if you are wearing something that is too big, too tight, too itchy, or just plain not flattering, than you won't be your most relaxed, and it will show in the images. Wear what you love and what you feel good in, and then you will not only enjoy the shoot more, but you will be much happier with your photos in the years to come!
  • 10. PLAN AHEAD: It's great to get a good night's sleep before our shoot - you don't want to be running around the night before like a crazy person. So please take a look in everyone's closet way ahead of time and choose your family's wardrobe; make sure everything still fits (including shoes) and that nothing is stained or needs to be ironed etc. Again, this is all about you being relaxed and happy for your session. And we all know, if Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. :)

If you want to book a Fall Session, or are already a client and have any questions (or want to send me your "outfits on the bed" photo for advice), please feel free to email me at!

July 05, 2016
By Photography By Cari Ellen

Bottling It.

I love Summer, don't you?  I love these long, warm days, I love seeing all the lush green foliage. I love feeling the soft grass beneath my feet. I love hearing the birds sing. I love breathing in the sweet smell of honeysuckle. I love the refreshing taste of ice cold lemonade on a real hot afternoon, as I swing gently in my hammock.

There's something idyllic about summer that makes me simply want to BE in the present moment. To just relish in it and relax and enjoy. I want it to last. I want to soak it in. I want to bottle it up and put it on a special shelf in my memory, so that in the middle of winter I can close my eyes and bring it all back: that warmth, that freedom, that bliss.

Sometimes I feel that way about watching my children grow up. It's just like summer; the days can feel long, but somehow in the blink of an eye it's over. I mean, how in the world is my first born going into High School??? And my "little one" will turn 9 this year, her childhood-ness speedily approaching tween-hood. Where does the time go? I guess it simply goes by in moments. Moment by moment by moment.

And so, I take photographs. Perhaps just for fun, or more likely to try to bottle these magical fleeting moments. Like Jadyn at age 8, jumping through the sprinkler and eating an ice pop on a sweltering summer day. So that in the middle of winter when she's 9, or 10, or 18, I can just take this beautiful photo album off my shelf and look at the images that will bring it all back: that cuteness, that silliness, that sassiness, that bubbly sparkly energy of my sweet little 8 year old girl. And I know when I look at these photographs I will actually be able to remember the way her voice sounded when she squealed at the cold sprinkler water, and the way her eyes sparkled when she found a wild strawberry in the grass, and the way her skin felt so soft when I kissed her cheek after the shoot... 

July 17, 2015
By Cari Ellen Hermann

I haven't posted in a long, long while. As you may or may not know, I have spent the last 2 years healing from Adrenal Fatigue. I really had to take some things off my plate, and my photography blog was one of the things I allowed myself to let go of. However, I am now feeling up to getting back to it, YAY! I might go back in time and "back-post" from all the great shoots I have had the honor of doing during this time, or maybe not, we will see. But when I received this email from a cllient of a newborn shoot I did in July, I just knew I wanted to share it with you.

Cari Ellen, it has been such a positive and wonderfully heartfelt experience working with you.  To us, it extends so far beyond you being the photographer and us being the clients.  You've been part of this intimate little world my husband and I have shared as we begin our family together.  I don't know if words can ever fully convey how much that means to us and how you will always have a special place in our hearts for being a witness to these precious moments, and for capturing these moments that we will cherish forever.  It means the world to us.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
With love and gratitude...

I can still cry, reading it again for the hundredth time. As a photographer, my job is to provide a good experience and get people great photos. But my soul yearning is to deeply connect with others. I really love working with my clients, who almost always are already friends or become friends. Receiving this touching email was confirmation for me that I am truly doing my soul work while I am out there being a photographer. It feels sooooo good, and I feel so lucky.  And now... on to the images of this very special little newborn!


I love this image below because it incorporates special pre-engagement photos of the couple who have now just become parents...

... and this is the baby's grandfather's baby blanket!

This is a pose that baby often does, dubbed the "starfish". :) SO glad she did it for me so I could capture it!

This image is super special because I took the EXACT shot of mom & dad when baby was still in her belly.

May 31, 2014
By Photography By Cari Ellen

OK so I usually don't photograph events, but I just may make an exception for children's birthday parties. THIS WAS SO. MUCH. FUN.  One of my best friends (hi Traci!) created the most incredible fairy party for her daughter Brooke. I mean, she went totally and absolutely CRAZY. The minute I walked in I started freaking out, I am not exaggerating, I was literally jumping up and down and screeching and giggling and bursting with joy at the sight of it all!!!  The little girl inside of me was giddy with excitement and the photographer in me felt like a dream was coming true.

Traci thought of everything! There was fairy face painting, flower crown-making, and fairy flying (on the trampoline). There was a fairy treasure hunt where each girl found and collected in her own fairy bag: a clay toadstool, a fairy gem, a plastic butterfly, a fairy necklace, pink fairy bells, a tiny envelope with tiny paper butterflies in it, a sparkly wooden star, and a real crystal. Once each girl found all of her treasures she earned her "fairy wings", which was the perfect touch to each girl's handmade fairy tutu and fairy wand!  There was a whole table of yummy fairy food like: 

  • Pixie Pillows (marshmallows)
  • Fairy Clouds (popcorn)
  • Crystal Candy (rock candy on sticks)
  • Pixie Dust Sandwiches (PB & J on white bread cut out in flower shapes)
  • Magical Mushrooms (marshmallow with a strawberry on top)
  • Fairy Fruit Wands (watermelon cut into flower shapes on a stick)
  • Pixie Punch (water in a beautiful jug with floating flowers)
  • and let not forget the Toadstool Cupcakes - most of which unfortunately the dog devoured!

The whole backyard was decorated to perfection with paper flowers and real flowers, with tree stumps for seats, branch stumps for name place cards, and with all kinds of fabric streamers and flags waving in the wind. Believe me when I say that no detail was overlooked and that much joy was had by Traci while creating it. What a beautiful atmosphere it was to behold, and what a magical experience for both the little girls and the big girls alike! Thank you again Traci, for sharing your gifts!!! What a fabulous way to honor and celebrate our Brookie. The only problem is, Jadyn wants the same EXACT 7th birthday party.  :)