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.


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.


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.


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.

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!

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. 

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.

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. 

Adventures in the PNW with the Bestie and Her Sidekicks

"To live would be an awfully big adventure." -J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan A friendship forged during twenty-something globetrotting fueled by passion and marked by adventure started with a whole lot of wandrelust. It's fitting, then, that these days my friendship with Carla looks like everyday explorations with three inquisitive minds. We may not be collecting passport stamps these days, but our conversations remain rich. The time we get together these days, fleeting because of the many miles between DFW and the PNW, is something of a sacred space for me.


I learn a lot from Carla. She's wise in her relationships. Her marriage is full of grace and kindness. Her intentionality with her children- genuine consideration for each little personality and heart- is something I hope to emulate in motherhood some day. The places she takes her brood on any given day invites imagination, wonder and an appreciation for what is beautiful on this good earth. While we didn't manage a single family photo during my last trip, what we did capture tells a whole lot of story about what really matters in the life of my dear friend. Revisiting these photographs inspires and delights me.

Baby John's One-Year Photos

How did a whole year pass between John's newborn and one-year session? I am always amazed at how a tiny newborn turns into a precocious baby. John showed up to his photo shoot wide-eyed and curious. He remains one part baby but is also somehow one part toddler, and at a year old he seems pretty certain he is well loved and pretty content in his parents' arms. I'm already excited to see how he continues to grow and change in the coming year.


Riley's First 24

Few captures rival photographs from the first day's of a baby's life. I've been working with Shelly and Justin since before they were married, so getting to document the arrival of their second born was so special. I got to show up not only as a photographer but also as a friend. Seeing the first time Dad held his daughter and Cooper realized he was a big brother made my eyes water, and watching the natural way Shelly transitioned from mom of one to mom of two inspired me. The love in this family multiplied right in front of my camera lens. I don't have a lot of words to describe this type of session; the photos tell the whole story. I'll just say if you're interested in having these types of photos made when your baby arrives, I'd love to hear from you. A first 24 or 48 session allows you the opportunity to have permanent visual reminders of one of the most incredible times in your life.


First Family Photos

When Tricia reached out regarding a photo session, she said this would be the first collection of family photos with eight-month-old Ethan. I looked forward to documenting such a fantastic age- and in their home- where babies tend to be the most at ease with new faces. Ethan had big grins and belly laughs from the get go, and I witnessed lots of the pride, joy and delight that brightens the faces of parents watching their little one shine. New parenthood may bring challenges that requires adaptation and change, but the overarching theme I see when I meet a family for the first time is the unique beauty that their expression of love displays. This was a laid-back, simple session with that produced photographs that captures a family as they are, perfect for first family photos. I've been excited to share a sneak peek; it makes me anticipate watching little Ethan grow. It makes me anticipate the new families I've yet to meet. Lots of goodness to behold here.


Lexi is One!

This was of those days when I showed up with my camera, and I literally could not take enough photos of the beautiful interactions that happened. I photographed Lexi all through her first year, from when she was a bun in the oven, so I already knew we'd have good rapport. These family photos though?!? Are you kidding me? I love them so much. It has little to do with the backdrop and clothing selected. Though who doesn't love a green park in the spring and a baby girl with great accessories? It has everything to do with parents who showed up ready to engage their daughter and each other coupled with a baby who is bright-eyed, curious and adorable. I have been dying to blog these since I shot them. These are the kinds of photographs I love to create. It's kinda icing on the cake- pun intended- that the planned, staged smash cake shots decidedly did not interest Miss Lexi. She's also an independent little miss, and she didn't want cake, thank you very much. Want photographs like this of your favorite little(s) and family? Shoot me an email, and let's make a date! In addition to DFW sessions, I'm booking in Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky (June), Raleigh, North Carolina (August) and Boston, Massachusetts and Hartford, Conneticut (September). Don't see your city listed? Reach out, and we can make it happen!


Georgia is One!

Georgia, my second-born niece, turned one in February, and of course we did some portraits. I don't know how she went from newborn to six-month-old to a one-year-old who chirps, "Enin" when she sees me. She's got a whole lot of "What's that?" in her world these days. She is curious and calm. She is serious and silly. She loves to dance, to read, to play with her favorite doll. She has made our whole family's lives sweeter by being her own little self. Georgia's independence means she doesn't always want to be picked up and held, but she's always game for playing on the floor. We did her first birthday photos just before her party, and she loved having all her people around to celebrate her. When it came time for cake, we sang, and she stared. She was cautious in her approach until she realized cake is sweet. Then she laughed between bites and went to town. I love this little girl to the sky and back and am so glad I get to be a part of who she becomes. Being her auntie is the best.


Bennett is ONE!

To go the cliche route, it seems like yesterday we were doing my sweet nephew Bennett's newborn photos. Before his first birthday, he was already promoted to big brother, Irish-twin style. He is such a gorgeous, happy baby, and I want to share a few of his one-year portraits today. This boy loves his Auntie "Eeeeeeee" and literally runs everywhere, arms outstretched, as if he knows that life is a gift. He's full-throttle; my sister and brother-in-law call him their bulldozer. He loves food and fish and dogs. I love him to the sky and back and hope these make you smile.


Stella is One!

I had the privilege of meeting Stella as a newborn and watching her grow as a six-month-old, so I anticipated her one-year session as the holidays calmed down and January set in. The anticipation was rightly placed. Stella is a delightful baby who is fast becoming a toddler, and she had lots of smiles and sillies for the camera. She's independent, curious and determined, and she remains the absolute apple of her parents' eye. Witnessing the family dynamic in which Stella is growing up allowed me to see beauty and wonder and love. We let Stella do her thing and followed her around with the camera, and her bright eyes put a smile on my face. I am grateful I got to photograph the first year of this baby girl and look forward to continuing with her family this year. Getting to do her photos made me excited for the newborns I'll meet this year and the stories I'll get to tell as they grow. Photographing the life of a baby as she becomes a child in the context of her family is some of my most rewarding work. Starting off 2015 with Stella's photo session was a treat, and I hope this post allows you a glimpse of why.


Little Ladies in Red

With family photo sessions, it's the ways people interact and look when they're at their best that compels me to do this job. I love seeing the expressions on little faces and hearing the laughter that ensues as we pursue some glimpses at real life. This session felt so special, because they'd never had family photos done- not even wedding photos. I loved getting to bear witness to the goodness that is uniquely theirs. These three little ladies in red are treasures, and I loved getting to see that. The twins are doted on by all, and their big sister simply shines. We didn't do a whole lot of posing or setting up shots. Everyone just did their thing as a family, and I got to photograph just what that looks like. Those tend to be the very best sessions. I hope I get to continue to witness and document these beautiful lives.


Little Ladies in Red

With family photo sessions, it's the ways people interact and look when they're at their best that compels me to do this job. I love seeing the expressions on little faces and hearing the laughter that ensues as we pursue some glimpses at real life. This session felt so special, because they'd never had family photos done- not even wedding photos. I loved getting to bear witness to the goodness that is uniquely theirs. These three little ladies in red are treasures, and I loved getting to see that. The twins are doted on by all, and their big sister simply shines. We didn't do a whole lot of posing or setting up shots. Everyone just did their thing as a family, and I got to photograph just what that looks like. Those tend to be the very best sessions. I hope I get to continue to witness and document these beautiful lives.