I photographed Ingrid and her family last fall, and this brave girl and her incredibly courageous family are facing her leukemia with remarkable grace. I wanted to share these photos now, because Ingrid has had a really tough month, having spent a huge chunk of time in isolation as her little body, immunocompromised, battles infection. If you're the praying type, say a prayer for this sweet girl. I love her stunning smile and princess heels and the way Klaus adores her. I look forward to a day down the road when I can update these photos with a healthy survivor story. In the meantime, in the midst of it all, Ingrid shines.
Our pre-session phone consult covered a variety of topics including twins with a best friend dynamic worth capturing. We talked about getting family photos that showed love and life being lived, about connection and quiet. We also discussed places that feel like their own around Dallas and landed on Fair Park for a warm afternoon spent in the sun.
I witnessed that twin thing that is a pair ten-year-olds somehow both childlike and wise beyond their years in the way they seem to know each is a great gift to the other. By the end of the shoot I felt like I'd know this crew forever, and I am thrilled to share the results. The best of sessions are a collaboration between photographer and subjects and when it's good, it's so very good.
Side note: if you follow me on social media you may have noticed my husband and I have relocated to New England. Dallas friends, have no fear. I will boomerang back for photos (I have 5 portrait weekends available in 2017). If you're in New England, particularly Connecticut, Boston or Cape Cod, I'd love to hear from you! I look forward to continuing to capture families, newborns and the beautiful moments of life here, there and everywhere.
When Jaime's mom heard I would be in Kentucky over the holidays, she reached out to see about a gift session. Jaime is my cousin, and I hadn't met her baby yet, so I was thrilled at the prospect. My time was limited, so arrangements were made on the one day that worked for both of our schedules. That day the temperature hovered in the high 20s- not ideal for photographing a young family with a toddler, but as Jaime and I texted, she insisted it would be fine. And she was right; it was more than fine.
Little James couldn't have been more thrilled to be outside with both of his parents to play with, and Jaime and Adem laughed their way through our time. We all fussed over James' hands (were they too cold?), but really the chill couldn't be the focal point when love shone so clearly in every frame of their session. I have so many favorites and narrowing it to a few to blog was difficult. I adore this session.
If one thing is for certain it's that our move is so fast approaching that my heart hurts some days and feels infinite with excitement others. Holding that in tension feels about right and in the midst of lots of planning and preparing, life happens, good old everyday life. Every day. Here is a month of whirlwind travel and photo shoots and learning my job in Connecticut and trying to savor the present tense in Texas while preparing for a future in a new place. It's a lot of bittersweet these days, but the bitter comes because we've got a lot of goodness here to say goodbye to.
As change approaches I want to remember the wealth of community and experiences Texas provides us (and will continue to albeit from afar).
A few months ago I stumbled upon a running podcast, and in listening learned that Lindsey, the host, was also a running coach. I reached out for coaching for the Houston Marathon, which I ran in January. We started exchanging emails, and I got to do Lindsey's family photos when I was in Indianapolis in December. Her wee guy, Russell, aka Russell-with-the-good-hair, was three-weeks-old, and her older guys were proud to show him off. We talked running and family and laughed a lot. This is a family focused on living fully and well and enjoying each other's company. I loved seeing how Lindsey and Glenn partner to parent their boys. You cannot be with this crew without feeling a whole lot of warmth and affection mixed with a big dose of humor and not-taking-anyone-too-seriously. I'd have liked to hung around to have another coffee and play with the boys.
Towards the end of the session, Lindsey turned to me and said, "you should be a guest on the podcast some time." That some time was Friday, so I thought it was a fitting time to share photos from their sweet session today. So much love and life to see in this collection.
I'm working my way through favorite 2016 sessions, and this was a morning of singing and dancing, of running and laughing, of kids being kids and of parents delighting. I love the easy rapport we've built through several years of sessions, and I love little Anya's serious disposition in the beginning this time around. I love Bowen's determination to include his little sister. Here is a family comfortable being themselves, and I suspect what you see through my camera lens in these photos is what you get on any give Saturday. I love when that's what comes through in a session.
New year. New plans. New season. A lot of new. January, generally a month of calm in my little corner of the world, was a month of whirlwind and change this year. I accepted a job as the medical photographer for Connecticut Children's Medical Center in November. We visited for a round of house hunting, and I worked a contract week. I start full-time in March. I'll share the full story in another post, but January 2017 marked a year of mapping a whole lot of change. I'll continue to shoot portraits to a lesser degree and the very occasional wedding. Ty will finish his PhD this year and is actively seeking work in New England.
In the meantime, life, day in and day out. These photographs help me stay grounded when so much feels unsteady and shifting amidst major transition.
The whirlwind that is 2017 so far delayed my sharing of my December and January daily photos. I'm excited to remedy the December sharing lapse now and will share January in the next few days too. December was travel and holidays and weddings. Going back through these photographs reminds me to consider the goodness that is uniquely mine, and I hope it inspires you to reflect on the same for you.
A Cape Cod holiday marks summer time festivities for many a New England family. When my vacation aligned with a weekend these regular clients were going to be holidaying, we arranged to meet up for their annual session. The evening we did photos looked like sunshine and warmth, a perfect backdrop for low-key family photos. It felt like a vacation session from beginning to end: beautiful and full of life, relaxed and finishing all too soon. It's been summer weather in Texas this week, and that's made me want to share all the good stuff of warm weather sessions from 2016. Enjoy!
A few weeks before a baby arrives, maternity sessions often get scheduled. This session was about capturing that memory: a mama's stretched belly and her son's adoration of said belly. I photographed a family anticipating expansion. Kathleen also wanted to capture the beauty of her family right then: their joy and laughter, their calm. She didn't only want maternity photos focused on the coming baby; she wanted family photos in their home to remind them of the fullness of life when they were a family of three. And fullness came through in every frame.
Maternity sessions preserve a fleeting moment in a changing season, and I love knowing a family will be able to revisit that season for years to come.
Carinne's photos took place a week before her first birthday. She walked like pro, giving me all kinds of big-eyed stares, suspicious of a new person. Soon enough she though me a friend, and then her expressive little face lit up. She didn't have words yet, but her eyes and that smiled told her story with clarity: here is a little girl who knows she is loved, who adores her parents and who is ready to take on the world. For just a year earth-side, this wee one has the important stuff figured out.
A whirlwind of goodness and insanity. That was November. Somehow it's the 8th of December, and Thanksgiving is well behind us, with Christmas looming ahead. I have so much blogging to do, and all I can think about is sharing these photographs even though the portraits I've shot for work puts a big sappy grin on my face. When I started this I didn't want to use client work as part of my daily photo project, but client work is part of daily life, especially this time of year when it's non-stop. Life is full. I am grateful. Here is November, by day, in thirty (well, thirty-one) photographs.
Remember the sweetest maternity session ever? Savannah arrived a few weeks later, and her newborn session took place on a quiet and rainy Sunday afternoon. Big sister Scarlett proudly showed off her tiny new sidekick (and gave her daddy a makeover). Savannah stayed awake and calm most of the session. It was a conversational, pass-the-baby and tickle-the-toddler session that left everyone content in the way that celebrating an expanding family should. So many photographs in this collection to love!
With October's close, four months of daily photos have been captured, and the rhythm continues to be meaningful and fun. This month included a ton of work along with a weeklong visit with dear friends from Australia. I saw so many beautiful moments during sessions and weddings and lived so many beautiful moments while working and playing and running and breathing. I love the mix from this month.
Emily emailed a few days before her maternity session and asked if I thought we could do a few photos using her in-laws' pool. We'd planned a morning session in their backyard. August in Texas, well, it's hot. The pool sounded like the perfect ending for the shoot. The anticipation of baby girl number two alongside of delight in big sister number one filled every frame of our time together, and I especially love that towards the end Emily suggested a family jump into the pool. Those photos turned out downright magical, and with the thermometer still pushing 90 in mid-October, revisiting these photos for the blog seemed pretty perfect.
What I didn't foresee in setting out to do a 365 project was the way it would point me towards gratitude. My life is rich: the people, the places, the work I get to do and the beauty I get to see. The ordinary is extraordinary when held up to the light. Here is September in thirty photographs.
Sarah and Eisley and I scheduled and rescheduled because of rain, rain, rain. When we finally met for photos on an overcast evening, a tiny girl with the bluest eyes warily assessed me. It took a while for her to warm up, but when she did Eisley remained intently focused on her mama, wanting her close. The bond between these two makes me smile; they are the sweetest little family. Sarah is one of those moms who takes her kiddo in stride and parents with ease and laughter. Eisley is one of those babies who is inquisitive and busy. I loved watching this session unfold.
Allison and Adam first contacted me before their firstborn arrived, and from the time we did that initial maternity session they've wanted photographs that reflect the simple beauty of everyday life. Our sessions have been conversational and low-key, allowing me glimpses into a family's growth and change over time. When we did family photos last year, Allison told me she was expecting twins, and we pencilled in a newborn session. I never imagined when booking that session that their newborn session would shift to a family session a few months later. The boys arrived early, and their precious Sam never left the hospital. You can read more of their story on their blog. I found myself amazed at the extraordinary courage this family displayed.
I am so glad Allison and Adam decided to do this session at home, letting the nuances of their family shape the session's flow. Home often trumps the most interesting of locations, because it's so decidedly specific and familiar. This session was passing boys back and forth, reading stories, tickling bellies and a demonstration of the great love that belongs uniquely to one family. The desire to honor Sam was an integral part of this session, and we did some photos in his memory. That said, the truth is they honor Sam all day every day in the way they love and care for one another and his brothers. It is beautiful to see.
When Caitlin inquired about booking a session for her family, their third with me, she thought a lot about what she wanted to preserve about this season with her brood. Just before their shoot she sent me an email that said, "I've finally decided to face the fact that every time my family is in front of a camera I try very hard to make us all look 'perfect.' (I use quotation marks because it's really such a farce.) Well, despite my efforts, my family and I are so incredibly NOT perfect... And I just can't do masks anymore...
"...Where I am now is that I want REAL... even if the cost is imperfect pictures where the darkness is captured along with the light." I heard a quiet yes resonate in me as I read her email. I knew their session would be something special from the moment Caitlin shared her heart. And it was. It really was. We hiked the muddy woods the children love. We wandered and talked and paused and laughed. It was incredibly not perfect. It was incredibly real and raw. Mostly it was incredibly beautiful.
This session makes me want to capture these kinds of photos for all the families I work with. They move me. I hope they move you.
The rhythm of a daily photo has benefited and challenged me. It awakens my creativity, but more importantly, it causes me to pay attention. Every day. To life happening. I'd forgotten the importance, in our (my!!) social media inundated world, of looking around, of stopping, of seeing, of noticing and of choosing to be present. For me, a daily photo invites me to be constantly interested in my own life and the lives of those around me. It's become a valuable personal project.
This month included trips to the lake and a Cape Cod visit. It included many days at home, in the summer lull before work picks up. The goodness was as present in the mundane as it was in the extraordinary, and for that I am grateful.