About Me

Hi! Thank you for your interest in Smarty Pants Photography — first a little bit about me and how I got here:

Although I was born in New Jersey I was raised in California. It was pretty obvious early on that I was not a California girl, but rather a happy New Englander.

I’ve had a number of careers through the years – from Human Resources to Emergency Medic on ambulances to owning a small custom gift company to photography (my true love).

Like most island residents, my husband and I used to vacation here with our children. Every year we would arrive with kids, toys and suntan lotion in tow and head down to 2 weeks on the beach with the real estate magazine in hand. Every year we would say: ‘some day ….’ Then 14 years ago, with our children grown and scattered throughout the world, ‘some day’ arrived!! It was a shock: no kids, no alarm clock, no daily commute! WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO?!?

We tried the ‘we are retired’ thing, with tennis and golf being our focus and quickly found that we missed some of the things we loved the most. For me, that was children and photography. So taking a failing grade in retirement, I opened Smarty Pants Photography and have been growing, learning and having fun for 10+ years now.

Dayle Thomas

About Smarty Pants

After decades spent raising and photographing children, there are a few things I’ve learned – and they are the basis of Smarty Pants Photography.

The first thing is the photo session itself. Like you, I can look back at photos from 30+ years ago and tell you exactly how the session felt; who was having a meltdown, who complained that their shirt hurt, who had to be bribed with Cheerios, what the photographer was like, if the kids had a good time, etc. So that is exactly where Smarty Pants Photography begins.

I want to make sure your photo session experience is a fun one. One way I do this is by not putting a time limit on our photo sessions. Some children warm up immediately — others take a little time. No worries; we talk, we laugh, we play, we get comfortable with each other — then the cameras come out and the fun really begins! This undoubtedly means I get as sandy, wet and silly as your child does.

My job is to bring out the true essence of your child at this stage in their life.

Life is not posed and heaven knows children aren’t either (though you can try…), so we go off script – in fact, we don’t use a script at all. Who your child is at 3 is not necessarily who they are at 4 or 5 or 7. As they become more confident, have more experiences and have more likes and dislikes, their personalities are formed.

By getting to know your children first through a small questionnaire that is sent out the week before your session, as well as knowing what it is you’re looking for, I am able to customize your time before we even meet, and bring out the person your child is today.

I truly love what I do – and am most comfortable with a camera in my hand capturing the minute details that make us all the individuals we are. Whether it’s the slow smile of a shy child that turns into a full blown grin when you least expect it, the hand gestures toddlers use to tell a tale, the furrowed brow or protruding tongue of intense concentration – these are the things Smarty Pants Photography takes the time to capture so you will have them to remember forever.

Smarty Pants Weddings

Shortly after starting my island career of photographing children and families I was approached by a number of island wedding coordinators and asked if I would consider adding wedding photography to my portfolio. Never one to shy from trying something new I dipped my toe into the wedding arena with small, intimate destination weddings. What I found is that the emotion, spontaneity and individuality I found in children's photography is multiplied by 10 in wedding photography.

You can learn more about my wedding photography on www.WeddingWire.com.