Friday Fun-Day: Thanksgiving Gifts!

Give a little something during the season of giving to show those you love how appreciative you are of them for all they do and the role they play in your life! Why leave presents only for Christmas? Mix it up and surprise your family and loved ones this year with a little gift at their place setting at Thanksgiving dinner as a reminder of how thankful you are for them! Here are some little fun, creative and inexpensive ideas that we found via Pinterest (we LIVE for Pinterest)

thanksgiving gift 1

If you love baking sweets, make a small care package of cookies, brownies, or any other type of desert that your loved ones are known to obsesses over! Make a little customized tag and attach it to the package with a little bow and a cute message like the one pictured above!

thanksgiving gift 2

This is another cute idea with the same idea of the customized tags with a message on it saying “thank you” or “thankful for you!” Pictured above are bottles of sparkling cider, however you could use any bottle you’d like, and you could do different beverages for various different friends or family members depending on what their drink of choice is. For example, a bottle of craft beer for the men, or a bottle of wine or champagne for the ladies!  It’s an amazing way to thank them with something that they love and will DEFINITELY put to good use – probably right then and there!


thanksgiving gift 3

This idea might require a little more thoughtful planning ahead of time – but is still a perfect way to say thank you to the ones your spending Thanksgiving with!  Use a small box, or a small basket/container of any kind, and fill it with some of their favorite things! Candy, nips, books, photos of you two together, gift cards – anything you can think of that will appeal to them (Marshall’s or TJ Maxx is great for little things like that!) Get creative with it and attach a small message on the box as well for some extra flair and have it waiting for them at their place setting at the table when they sit down for Thanksgiving dinner – this will surely surprise your guests!

Glam Thursday: Winter Boudoir Outfits

Picking out outfit choices for your boudoir session can be difficult, especially for those doing a boudoir shoot for the first time! There’s so many unlimited options of what you can do with outfits for your boudoir shoot, depending on the time of year, the holiday coming up, what the shoot is for (birthday gift, Christmas gift, or just for you).

If its for a significant other, what is he interested in? What does he do for work? What’s his favorite team? Its fun to incorporate personal details like that into your shoot – maybe by wearing one of his t-shirts, work button-ups, or a jersey of his favorite team; the list goes on and on of what you can do!

HOWEVER, one of the most fun times of the year to get creative with your boudoir outfits, in my opinion, is during the winter! And with it getting chillier and chillier by the day, this is the perfect time to share some of our thoughts on the topic! This time of year gives you options – you can do the typical lingerie photos, but you can also pair cozy sweaters and knit thigh high socks together in the mix as well! Below are some inspiration photos of winter boudoir outfits that we absolutely adore! Don’t be afraid to get creative! Boudoir doesn’t mean that you have to be naked or showing excessive amounts of skin – sometimes less is more, and these photos below that we found on Pinterest and are still gushing over still leave something to the imagination, but are NOTHING short of sexy – use these photos as inspiration for your own outfit ideas!

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winter boudoir 2

winter boudoir 1

Mid Week Mix: Holiday Mini Sessions!

5 Diamond Photography is getting ready for the holiday season that’s sneaking up on us, and you should be too! Whether its for babies, your whole family, or just your kids, now is the perfect time to get family photos done in time for the holidays! These types of shoots are amazing for holiday greeting cards, or just as an excuse to get a family photo done and hang i your house! Whatever the reason may be, 5 Diamond Photography is ready to get you into our studio!

We’re offering holiday mini sessions (about 20-30 minutes) all day on Saturday November 28th for any families that get in touch with me quickly and book one of my available time slots!

Below are some ideas for your holiday shoot and some samples of shoots that we’ve done in the past of adorable toddlers, loving siblings, and families (and yes, pets are included in family as well)




We’ve done countless family holiday sessions, these are just a few of our favorites! Feel free to come to me with your own ideas, poses and props that you want included as well.  We LOVE creativity and are always open to new ideas that showcase your families personality!

For more information on holiday family sessions or my availability, contact me directly via email at or by phone at (860) 301-6359

xoxo – Lizz Riley at 5 Diamond Photography

Friday Fun-Day: Holiday Themed Cocktails – Starbucks Inspired

holiday latte cocktails

So everybody has their own versions of holiday cocktails, but with Starbucks releasing their little red cups already for the holiday season, we thought it would be fun to give some cocktail recipes inspired by their holiday lattes that we all love so much!  With a naughty twist added onto these Starbucks favorites, we dare you to bring a batch of any of these to your holiday party this year and not be praised by everyone there!  Feel free to add your own little flair to any of these recipes. We’re using ingredients that we love, but everybody has their own taste. The amount of each ingredient used is also up to you; it all depends on what flavor you want more of in your cocktail. There are tons of different substitutes that can be used, just be creative!

Naughty Gingerbread Latte

ground up gingerbread cookie and dust on the rim of a chilled martini glass, add butterscotch schnapps, patron coffee liquor, whipped vodka & fireball

Naughty Peppermint Mocha

peppermint schnapps, vanilla vodka, Godiva chocolate liquor, peppermint creamer, top with whipped cream & a dusting of cocoa powder

Naughty Caramel Brulee Latte

drizzle caramel in a chilled martini glass, add caramel vodka, coffee liquor, vanilla creamer

Glam Thursday: Boudoir Mini Sessions for Valentines Day!

Yup – that’s right ladies! Starting in January Glam Boudoir is teaming up with Up Style Hair and Makeup, a traveling hair and makeup studio out of Connecticut, to put together mini boudoir sessions for those of you that are looking for a little last minute gift for your significant other for Valentines Day! These mini boudoir sessions are the perfect idea for surprising the one you love with a gift that he/she will never expect without breaking the bank or going through all of the planning for a full blown boudoir shoot! And we can’t stress the importance of professional hair and makeup enough, which is why we’re teaming up with Up Style for this  project!

When doing boudoir, the power of professional hair and makeup is often underestimated.  During these shoots, not only is being pampered part of the experience, but it also makes all the difference when shooting.  It is extremely noticeable when ladies do their hair and makeup on their own. Although you may do a beautiful job, certain beauty tricks just photograph better than others, and professional hair and makeup artists know exactly what they are.  They are able to bring out your natural beauty in ways that the camera will pick up on and enhance during your boudoir shoot – making for a sexy and gorgeous end product every time! Sabrina and Brittany of Up Style Hair and Makeup are miracle workers and have so much experience and passion about all things beauty.






For more info on us, visit, and for more information on Sabrina and Brittany, the talented ladies of Up Style Hair and Makeup, visit their website at! Check out some work done by the both of us, and stay tuned about more details coming soon on our boudoir mini session Valentines Day collaboration!

(Hair and makeup in these photos was done by Mia’s Salon in Cromwell, CT)

Trending Tuesday: Walk Through A Wedding Workshop

Today I want to share with you guys a photography workshop that I attended last November.  It is so important for photographers of all sorts to continue learning new techniques.  Trends change so fast and there is always some new way of capturing beautiful images, so as a woman passionate about what I do, I find it so necessary to take advantage of these workshops whenever I can and learn from others that have the same passion and drive about photography as I do!

This workshop was called Walk Through A Wedding, and it was hosted by Justin and Mary Mantz.  This style shoot, complete with models, covered posing, lighting, timelines, shooting in a time crunch, unruly bridal parties, shooting family photos quickly, shooting details for publication and night shooting – all of which are vital for photographers to know and be comfortable with. The one thing that I took most out of this workshop was the importance of authentic posing of couples! I can’t stress this enough, and the photos below will show how captivating photos can be when the bride and groom are posed correctly, in a way that they feel comfortable and at ease.  It makes their chemistry in the photo so much clearer and you will be able to see their personalities and their relationship shine through the image.

I also learned the necessity of detail shots in wedding photography, and how to capture those in the correct way.  For example, different shots of center pieces and table settings, which you can also see in the photos below, as well as images of various other unique details that each wedding has. Although detail shots are amazing for the bride and groom to have after the wedding to showcase the gorgeous details, it is also important for the photographer to have in order to send in to various publications and getting their work featured.

Justin and Mary were FANTASTIC teachers.  They shared real life experiences and knowledge with all of us photographers that were attending the workshop and we are extremely grateful! I know that I have taken the tips I received and applied them to all of the weddings that I have shot since.

To anybody passionate about their craft – whatever that craft may be – stay interested, stay curious, stay creative and always be eager to acquire more knowledge!
















(all photos taken at the Walk Through A Wedding Workshop by 5 Diamond Photography)

Vendors: Models – Andrea & Christian; Venue – The Historic Lounsbury House in Ridgefield, CT; Bridesmaids – Rachel and Olivia; Workshop Hosts – Justin and Mary Mantz

Feature Monday: Luanne & Robin!


Alright – we’re finally back! And with a wedding feature that is to die for! Today were showing off one of our gorgeous fall weddings from this past weekend.  Luanne & Robin’s wedding was at The Riverhouse in Haddam, CT on November 6th.  With this being a second wedding for both the bride and groom, being able to capture the amazing moments of blending these two families together was absolutely beautiful, and I am honored that I was able to be a part of it and help them preserve the memories from their big night!  With fall colors incorporated into their color palate, including deep navy blue for the bridesmaids dresses, it was the perfect compliment to the crisp November weather this time of year. Check out the photos below of this stunning family of (now) 6 girls and their crazy in love parents!




















Vendors: Planners – Kelley & Hattie at the Riverhouse; Florist – The Root System; Baker – Kim’s Cottage Confections; DJ & Photobooth – 5 Diamond Productions; Photographer – 5 Diamond Photography; Hair and Makeup – done beautifully by friends

5 Diamond Update!

So we’ve been a little MIA on the blog lately and we’re SO sorry! The past few weeks have been crazy hectic getting the last of our senior shoots wrapped up for our high school seniors, and getting ready for our STUNNING November weddings that we have coming up! (PS – stay tuned for those because they will all be gorgeous! I can already tell! And we’ll definitely have a few of them featured on the blog throughout the winter). 

In the last two weeks we’ve also been prepping and now recovering from two huge events we had, our Glam Boudoir booth that we had at Fun Girls Night Out in Hartford last week, and then our Farmington Bridal Show that 5 Diamond Productions took part in just this past Sunday! Thank you to everybody who came out and visited us at either or both of those events! We met some amazing couples that we’re looking forward to working with at the bridal show and some fabulous ladies for Glam Boudoir at the Fun Girls Night Out that we can’t wait get into the studio with!

Here’s a few photos of us killing it at the Fun Girls Night Out show- thanks to all of you that were part of it! We had a blast chatting and showing off our work to all of the ladies that stopped by.  Our booth was a total hit and we could not have had a better time “working” (: For those of you who couldn’t make it – come see us next year, its an event worth marking on your calendar in advance!



(And yes – we did have selfie station for those who we wondering and it was fabulous! Fully equipped with selfie stick and up lighting. We clearly had to take advantage of it and have a little fun using it too!)

So – thank you for baring with us through the craziness!! I PROMISE we will be back on our daily blogging grind starting Monday with a gorgeous feature wedding for you to gush over!

In the meantime, have a fantastic weekend!

xoxo – 5 Diamond Photography team

Friday Fun-Day: All About Vineyards!

jones winery - friday funday

For all of our fellow wine-o’s and wine lovers out there, today we’re talking about some of our absolute favorite vineyards & wineries in Connecticut! There’s SO many amazing wineries on the shore in Connecticut that are well known, but there’s also a few smaller amazing spots all over the state that we adore.  Wineries are perfect for a date-day or a little day out with some of your girlfriends, especially because you can pack up and bring your own apps to enjoy with a bottle of wine you can buy from the winery! (such as assortments of cheeses, spreads and crackers – which is one of our favorite things to bring on our date days to wineries! What’s better than cheese and crackers at a winery?!)

Not only are wineries perfect for day trips, but they’re also the best place to celebrate any event! Birthdays, anniversaries, engagement portraits, bachelorette parties, showers, weddings?! We’ve had hand fulls of fall weddings at wineries, and they never disappoint! Here are some of our favorite wineries for your event or get together, whatever it may be!

Arrigoni Winery

Portland, CT

Link to website! – Arrigoni Winery

At Arrigoni Winery, they have a special going that if you taste 5 of their wines, you receive a free Arrigoni wine glass! After your tasting, the winery has an outdoor patio, indoor seating area, a covered pavilion as well as a picnic area alongside the vineyard where you can relax with a bottle of their own wine – bought inside their wine shop!

Jones Winery

Shelton, CT (also a family farm)

Link to website! – Jones Winery

Not only is Jones Winery an amazing place to taste some delicious homemade wines, but they are also a full functioning family farm! Enjoy hay rides, pumpkin patches, corn mazes and tons of other family fall activities that they have to offer!

As for their wine tastings and vineyards, they offer tastings throughout the week for $8.50 (plus tax), which includes six tastings of wine as well as a Jones Winery wine glass!

Although they don’t rent out the facility for private events, if you have a group of 8+ people, visit their group tastings page and get more information on how to make a reservation!

Gouveia Vineyards

Wallingford, CT

Link to website! – Gouveia Vineyards

Wine tastings are $10.00 and you’re able to sample 4 pre-selected wines and then of our your choice! In addition to the wine tasting, it also includes Gouveia Vineyards signature wine glass for you to keep after your visit! You can also get a tour of their wine cellars on the Saturday and Sundays!

Although Gouveia Vineyards doesn’t do weddings, its the perfect spot for a day out!

Jonathan Edwards

North Stonington, CT 

Link to website! – Jonathan Edwards Winery

Jonathan Edwards Winery offers a complementary tour of the winery daily, starting at noon! For the wine tastings, you can either sample 4 different wines for $10.00, or 7 wines for $15.00  In addition, if you have a group of 8+ people, you can call ahead and make a reservation for a tasting!

Happy wine-ing! 

xoxo – 5 Diamond Photography