Three Before Four

Lindsey coaches running and has a podcast and is expecting her fourth son any day. She happens to be my running coach, and I once got to be a guest on said podcast. I also got to connect with her family when I was in Indianapolis in May. We met for family photos on the Monan Trail, where she and her husband run, often with their boys in jogging strollers.

Seeing a family interact in a place that is meaningful to them produces photos that illustrate their collective identity. The boys were so at ease on the trail, full of personality. If something stands out to me about Lindsey and Glenn, it's how much they seem to enjoy their boys. They are patient, encouraging, enthusiastic and easy going. This is not a family who takes themselves too seriously; they are quick to laugh. Hugs and high fives go a long way. I cannot wait to see how a fourth little man adds to the mix. In the meantime, this session makes me smile.

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As Mother's Day Approaches

Last week I attended a workshop on storytelling, and the speaker said that it's often small nuances that happen in the midst of our big life-changing stories that pack the most punch. He said looking there helps us find the stories within a story that illustrate human connection on the deepest level, drawing listeners in. That resonated.

With Mother's Day approaching these photographs of my sister and my nephew on the eve of my niece's birth kept coming to mind. Meghan's attentiveness towards and concern for Jameson as she prepared for the arrival of her daughter clarified so much of what makes her an incredible mom to both her kids. She knew he was on the precipice of change and wanted his transition to be smooth. She wanted him to know he was loved, he was ready and his place was secure. And the conflicting emotions of anticipating a beautiful change in her little family alongside of letting go of the sweetness of a season ending so a new one could begin- they showed up. Is that not the never-ending stuff of motherhood?

Maggie's birth and newborn photos are a blog not yet written, but for the lead up to Mother's Day I wanted to share these few simple photos, because they move me, and I hope they do the same for you.

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Welcoming Oliver

Real talk: it's been four months since I blogged, and little Oliver is almost a year old, and well, I've been intending to share these photos since he arrived. This was just before I relocated to Connecticut, and I loved seeing how proud big brother Meyer was to show me his baby. I loved seeing Mom and Dad pass their boys back and forth and handle the transition from one to two like pros. I loved the warmth in their home and the ease in the day. I knew when I photographed Oliver's newborn photos that I'd likely slow down on working with newborns for a while. It's been a quiet year for me in that department.

I'm excited, though, to be moving towards 2018 and being settled into a Connecticut routine. I'm starting to photograph family sessions more regularly here, and I'm looking forward to launching into newborns in the new year. I photographed my first Connecticut little miss a couple of weeks ago and will share those soon. I love capturing documentary, lifestyle photographs at the hospital or in families' homes as they welcome new family member. I love the ways hearts expand to embrace a tiny new baby just so. It's truly one of most incredible things I get to witness. I'll be getting back to blogging on the regular in the coming weeks, and Oliver's session seemed fitting beginning.

Connecticut friends, if you or someone you know is welcoming a baby in the new year, I'd love to hear from you. In the meantime, enjoy Oliver's session.

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When Photos Become Love Letters

The moment my nephew was born last July I stood mesmerized, and to borrow a line from Bono, his first cry was a joyful noise. I had the privilege of witnessing most of Jameson's first year as an in-town auntie, and watching him grow and change from newborn to baby to toddler, somehow in the span of no time at all, helped me see all the good stuff in life. Unsurprisingly, my sister and her husband took to parenting with confidence and ease. I got to see that too.

Meghan and I always thought we'd welcome babies around the same time; that wasn't meant to be. Her precious boy, though, taught me to allow myself the grief of the motherhood I might not experience while celebrating the joy of this wee baby who won my heart from the get-go. I didn't know how redemptive his presence would be, nor did I know how much I needed tangible redemption. When we decided to move I was sad about leaving our families and saddest about losing the privilege of being a week-by-week witness to Jameson becoming himself.

I'd meant to blog his birth photos, his newborn photos, photos through the year... And somehow I never got around to it. I love that now that I finally pulled photographs I have a collection of his story through his first year, mostly in horizontal black and white for cohesion's sake (along with a very important post-birthday diptych). I've always loved documenting an ongoing story most, and this year-in-the-life makes my heart explode. These photographs, they are my love letter, not just to Jameson but to myself and to my family. He is ours, for keeps.

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Family Sessions Forever

While I've transitioned to full time work as the photographer for Connecticut Children's Medical Center, I still have the privilege of working with families, albeit on a more limited schedule, in Texas, Connecticut and throughout New England. This session reminded me of all the reasons why I'll shoot family sessions forever: nuances of beauty caught in passing moments... 

Anya taking her time to warm up. Bowen coaxing Anya to smile. The whole family pulling each other close, closer, "how close can you go?" Laughing. Laughing. Laughing. I want to see these moments, to allow families to live them in front of my lens, so they (and I) remember the truth of their story long after the photographs are taken.

I've been photographing the Song family for years, and every year seems that much sweeter than the last. This session moved me, and I'm grateful to get to share it. Here's to contagious grins and belly laughs and bear hugs and perfect-though-not days made permanent with the click of my shutter. If you are interested in seeing your family through my lens, please don't hesitate to reach out. 

Ingrid

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.

When It's Good, It's Good

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.

Sweet Little James

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.

Daily Photos: February Edition

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).

 February 1: At the end of a walk wherein we decided to put an offer on the home that will be ours at the end of March.

February 1: At the end of a walk wherein we decided to put an offer on the home that will be ours at the end of March.

 February 2: So many airport days, already, this year.

February 2: So many airport days, already, this year.

 February 3: Uncle Jono brings the laughs.

February 3: Uncle Jono brings the laughs.

 February 4: I spy the naughtiest packing, er, helper.

February 4: I spy the naughtiest packing, er, helper.

 February 5: How to Sunday.

February 5: How to Sunday.

 February 6: My in-laws have 5 (!!!) dogs. I married into a family of animal rescuers. My father-in-law found Saunie in a Sonic parking lot, hence her name, and she's the happiest girl.

February 6: My in-laws have 5 (!!!) dogs. I married into a family of animal rescuers. My father-in-law found Saunie in a Sonic parking lot, hence her name, and she's the happiest girl.

 February 7: Treasure hunting at the yard.

February 7: Treasure hunting at the yard.

 February 8: Mornings.

February 8: Mornings.

 February 9: I've been photographing the Poes since they wed, and they're moving just days before us, meaning this is our last shoot for a while (but I refuse to believe that it's the last one ever).

February 9: I've been photographing the Poes since they wed, and they're moving just days before us, meaning this is our last shoot for a while (but I refuse to believe that it's the last one ever).

 February 10: When Ty leaves for work...

February 10: When Ty leaves for work...

 February 11: Somehow, inexplicably, Nadine turned five this month.

February 11: Somehow, inexplicably, Nadine turned five this month.

 February 12: I spy evidence of a rainy DC layover.

February 12: I spy evidence of a rainy DC layover.

 February 13: Week two at Connecticut Children's was marked by cold and snow and more cold and more snow.

February 13: Week two at Connecticut Children's was marked by cold and snow and more cold and more snow.

 February 14: If Valentine's Day is spent on a work trip away from your Valentine, I highly recommend butter cookies and hot cocoa alongside a good book and comfy pjs.

February 14: If Valentine's Day is spent on a work trip away from your Valentine, I highly recommend butter cookies and hot cocoa alongside a good book and comfy pjs.

 February 15: Olivia's family shoot last summer was when her mama mentioned a photography job at the hospital where she works. That referral led to our decision to move, so of course we had to have a winter ice cream to celebrate.

February 15: Olivia's family shoot last summer was when her mama mentioned a photography job at the hospital where she works. That referral led to our decision to move, so of course we had to have a winter ice cream to celebrate.

 February 16: Six days away from home. Three books. Good math.

February 16: Six days away from home. Three books. Good math.

 February 17: Packing.

February 17: Packing.

 February 18: Atlanta layover.

February 18: Atlanta layover.

 February 19: I'm pretty sure it is impossible for Jameson to get any cuter. Then again, I thought that last month...

February 19: I'm pretty sure it is impossible for Jameson to get any cuter. Then again, I thought that last month...

 February 20: Evenings. 

February 20: Evenings. 

 February 21: View from the morning walk with the best dog in the world.

February 21: View from the morning walk with the best dog in the world.

 February 22: Ty needed some samples for his research.

February 22: Ty needed some samples for his research.

 February 23: Jenny and Josh's engagement session. I met Jenny at an American Heart Association workshop I taught on smart phone photography, and she is one of my final Honey and Salt weddings. Talk about bittersweet. These two, though, are stunning.

February 23: Jenny and Josh's engagement session. I met Jenny at an American Heart Association workshop I taught on smart phone photography, and she is one of my final Honey and Salt weddings. Talk about bittersweet. These two, though, are stunning.

 February 24: Packet pickup for the Cowtown Half Marathon, Zeke's first! He did awesome. I don't have a photo of him racing the Sunday after this photo, because I got to run with him.

February 24: Packet pickup for the Cowtown Half Marathon, Zeke's first! He did awesome. I don't have a photo of him racing the Sunday after this photo, because I got to run with him.

 February 25: Jack, after assisting with communion at his parents' vow renewal.

February 25: Jack, after assisting with communion at his parents' vow renewal.

 February 26: When triplets birthday...

February 26: When triplets birthday...

 February 27: Outside looking in at her near-constant perch.

February 27: Outside looking in at her near-constant perch.

 February 28: Spring approaches. Fast.

February 28: Spring approaches. Fast.

Songs and Memories

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.

Mayflower Beach at Sunset

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 Week Shy of One

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.

Introducing Savannah

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!

Waiting for Savannah: A Summer Maternity

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. 

These Two

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.

Everyday Extraordinary

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. 

Incredibly Not Perfect

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.

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Sunsets and Sweetness

Shelly and Justin were some of my first clients, and I'm amazed at all the goodness in their lives. I've had the privilege of capturing so many significant moments. This session, Riley's six-month and Cooper's three-year session, took place a couple of months after both significant dates. That meant Miss Riley was sitting up and Mr. Cooper had even more words than you can imagine a precocious kiddo having. I love these kids. I love this family.

We played and laughed and carried on, and towards the end Justin headed to the playground with Cooper so that Shelly and Riley could do a few nursing shots. They are among my favorites from this beautiful family in all of our years together. I love her chubby hand reaching up, her feet kicking wildly, the sun setting in the distance. It was one of those sacred moments in my little corner of the world when everything seemed just right.

July Life

Snippets of life in July. Being intentional about a daily photo has caused a creative shift as well as a growth of gratitude. Paying attention and pulling out the camera daily has been so good for me.  I'm looking forward to sticking with it for while. I hope you enjoy seeing as much as I enjoyed making.

 July 1: Making a list of the things she wanted to do at the lake.

July 1: Making a list of the things she wanted to do at the lake.

 July 2: When it comes to baby whispering, we are a matched set.

July 2: When it comes to baby whispering, we are a matched set.

 July 3: Beers in the water and endless jumping off the boat.

July 3: Beers in the water and endless jumping off the boat.

 July 4: Playing cornhole; taunting Mom. Let's be honest; she probably won.

July 4: Playing cornhole; taunting Mom. Let's be honest; she probably won.

 July 5: After the rain.

July 5: After the rain.

 July 6: Goddaughter. Super hero. Both.

July 6: Goddaughter. Super hero. Both.

 July 7: All in a day's work.

July 7: All in a day's work.

 July 8: They are so much braver than last year.

July 8: They are so much braver than last year.

 July 9: Slalom.

July 9: Slalom.

 July 10: Celebrated Donna's birthday with a 15k. We both got age group awards and chased running with tacos. Win.

July 10: Celebrated Donna's birthday with a 15k. We both got age group awards and chased running with tacos. Win.

 July 11: Mom sitting at my sister's bedside almost 24 hours into her labor. We thought we'd meet Jameson on the 11th, but that wasn't to be. I love this photograph, as it tells so much about the way my mom loves.

July 11: Mom sitting at my sister's bedside almost 24 hours into her labor. We thought we'd meet Jameson on the 11th, but that wasn't to be. I love this photograph, as it tells so much about the way my mom loves.

 July 12: Capturing the miracle of new life amazes me always. Capturing the miracle of my nephew's arrival? I don't quite have the words.

July 12: Capturing the miracle of new life amazes me always. Capturing the miracle of my nephew's arrival? I don't quite have the words.

 July 13: Getting to know Jameson.

July 13: Getting to know Jameson.

 July 14: Hospital kisses.

July 14: Hospital kisses.

 July 15: I married a badass.

July 15: I married a badass.

 July 16: Jump!

July 16: Jump!

 July 17: Brothers. Eye roll.

July 17: Brothers. Eye roll.

 July 18: Besties.

July 18: Besties.

 July 19: The linen cabinet.

July 19: The linen cabinet.

 July 20: Sleeping in the morning light.

July 20: Sleeping in the morning light.

 July 22: When in proximity to Chicago, eating as much Chicago-style pizza as possible is essential.

July 22: When in proximity to Chicago, eating as much Chicago-style pizza as possible is essential.

 July 23: My cousin Allie got married, and I loved being a guest at their wedding. A big camera photo had to happen, of course.

July 23: My cousin Allie got married, and I loved being a guest at their wedding. A big camera photo had to happen, of course.

 July 24: The skies at dusk, always friendly, even after a 3-hour weather delay.

July 24: The skies at dusk, always friendly, even after a 3-hour weather delay.

 July 25: A hard day.

July 25: A hard day.

 July 26: Our cats prefer the dog's food.

July 26: Our cats prefer the dog's food.

 July 27: How had he only been here two weeks, I wondered? It seems like we blinked, and he'd been here forever.

July 27: How had he only been here two weeks, I wondered? It seems like we blinked, and he'd been here forever.

 July 28: Experimenting with double exposure. Love him. Love this place.

July 28: Experimenting with double exposure. Love him. Love this place.

 July 29: Posed dog in the magic light. Cat walked into the frame and stole the show.

July 29: Posed dog in the magic light. Cat walked into the frame and stole the show.

 July 30: Our niece on his side meeting our nephew on my side. We scored in the family department.

July 30: Our niece on his side meeting our nephew on my side. We scored in the family department.

 July 31: Apprentices in Uncle Ty's lab.

July 31: Apprentices in Uncle Ty's lab.

Introducing Rosie Roo

In January, my dear friends welcomed their third daughter, beautiful Rosie. I cannot believe I'm just now blogging these photos. I'm mesmerized how wide-eyed this sweet nugget was then (and she remains so now). I'm amazed that this is the third little miss in this family that I've captured through my lens. I love that Ellie, Mae and Rosie get to grow up with the gift of each other and that they belong to two of my favorite people. Revisiting these photos makes me want to photograph All. The. Babies. and also makes me so grateful for friends who entrust me with documenting their families as they grow and change.