In the Waiting

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

Paying Attention: A June Project

On June 6 I started taking a daily photo in an effort to regroup a bit and get back into the practice of shooting for myself. I was recovering from minor surgery and couldn't run, and I found myself in a rut. It's been a bit of a crazy year, and it felt like both my motivation and creativity had taken a hit. I plan to stick with the project, as it's awakened me. I remembered that paying attention causes me to be more intentional and more grateful. While I'm not sure I'll blog each month's photos, I want to share what I captured this initial month, because I'm loving these photos.

June 6: Morning light and nap time go hand in hand around here.

June 6: Morning light and nap time go hand in hand around here.

June 7: Birthday dinner with beautiful friends (and baby Woody!).

June 7: Birthday dinner with beautiful friends (and baby Woody!).

June 8: Mixing bread. I'm in a rhythm of making our bread using a sourdough starter, and I love the days when I actually bake it. The practice is good for our bodies and good for my soul.

June 8: Mixing bread. I'm in a rhythm of making our bread using a sourdough starter, and I love the days when I actually bake it. The practice is good for our bodies and good for my soul.

June 9: Shaking off after a dip in the pond. While I couldn't run, Darby and I went for long walks, and I took my camera most days to practice noticing our everyday life.

June 9: Shaking off after a dip in the pond. While I couldn't run, Darby and I went for long walks, and I took my camera most days to practice noticing our everyday life.

June 10: Nadine gives me a belated birthday gift and a new favorite t-shirt.

June 10: Nadine gives me a belated birthday gift and a new favorite t-shirt.

June 11: Millie observes me observing her through our front window.

June 11: Millie observes me observing her through our front window.

June 12: Anticipating my nephew's arrival at my sister's baby shower. He'll be here this month!

June 12: Anticipating my nephew's arrival at my sister's baby shower. He'll be here this month!

June 13: Naughty.

June 13: Naughty.

June 14: Kitchen windowsill.

June 14: Kitchen windowsill.

June 15: Mellow Mushroom with my brothers. I love these kids.

June 15: Mellow Mushroom with my brothers. I love these kids.

June 16: Mae Mae brought this little buddy all over the house after I gave it to her for a photo shoot. Check out  Emy and Annie   for more handmade goodness.

June 16: Mae Mae brought this little buddy all over the house after I gave it to her for a photo shoot. Check out Emy and Annie  for more handmade goodness.

June 17: The boy who lived.

June 17: The boy who lived.

June 18: Farmer's market haul.

June 18: Farmer's market haul.

June 19: Four years of family photos. The families who keep coming back add depth and meaning to my work. I've been doing the Traycoff family's photos since before Lauren's birth.

June 19: Four years of family photos. The families who keep coming back add depth and meaning to my work. I've been doing the Traycoff family's photos since before Lauren's birth.

June 20: Forlorn much? That dogs are so expressive makes me laugh.

June 20: Forlorn much? That dogs are so expressive makes me laugh.

June 21: Three days later, baby Hank arrived.

June 21: Three days later, baby Hank arrived.

June 22: Seeing what matters most. Through a paper towel roll.

June 22: Seeing what matters most. Through a paper towel roll.

June 23: Before their shoot I asked myself "what does a boy at three look like?"

June 23: Before their shoot I asked myself "what does a boy at three look like?"

June 24: To the lake!

June 24: To the lake!

June 25: Buttermilk sourdough cherry scones on deck for the  Honey and Salt  retreat.

June 25: Buttermilk sourdough cherry scones on deck for the Honey and Salt retreat.

June 26: I had half a day alone at the lake, and it was perfection.

June 26: I had half a day alone at the lake, and it was perfection.

June 27: Finally sharing my favorite place with one of my besties.

June 27: Finally sharing my favorite place with one of my besties.

June 28: Saying goodbye to the cabin but only for a few days.

June 28: Saying goodbye to the cabin but only for a few days.

June 29: El Paso with my niece and the last few minutes of daylight.

June 29: El Paso with my niece and the last few minutes of daylight.

June 30: Road trip from El Paso to home with my sister-in-law and her girls. Texas, in it's vastness, contains such beauty.

June 30: Road trip from El Paso to home with my sister-in-law and her girls. Texas, in it's vastness, contains such beauty.

Magic Light and Real Life

Real talk: the families who sign up for a session at the day's end when the light is golden and beautiful have regular kids, meaning kids who get tired and are sometimes a *wee bit* grumpy towards the end of the day. When Andrew and Alex arrived for family photos they'd had a big day, so we spent a few minutes just kinda being. Real talk, part two: almost any kids, given the undivided attention of their parents at the park will warm up and get distracted from said end-of-day *ahem* challenges.  A little bit of play, a whole lot of laughing, some fast running and a good bit of interacting created one of my favorite spring family sessions this year. So much love shines through in these photos. 

If your photo shoot feels a little crazy while in process, have no fear. Good stuff is happening, and it looks like what is uniquely beautiful in any given family, through a camera lens. I love this job.

Almost Trio: A Maternity Session

Jessica and Sam's dynamic duo of brothers will expand into a trio in a few short weeks, and I got to take a few photos as they await the arrival of their new guy. It was the muddiest day, and the boys were so excited to have an excuse to get their feet dirty and play. I've done sessions with this crew for several years, so the kids know me. I love that the familiarity yields stunning results every time, and I love that I'm getting to watch a family grow and change and make room for one more. Such a sweet time. I cannot wait to post newborn photos soon!

Just a reminder that I'm running a maternity and newborn special through August, so if these photos appeal to you and you or someone you know is expecting in that time frame (or in the fall... the special can be extended by paying a retainer while it is running), I'd love to hear from you. Pricing starts at $425 for 20 digital files, a $125 savings with the option to upgrade to the full gallery. Maternity sessions are minis priced at $275, a $75 savings and include 10 digital files with the option to upgrade to the full gallery. Some restrictions apply. So excited to fill my summer calendar with beautiful bumps and babies!

Before the Tooth Fairy's Services Were Required

When Laurie reached out to me regarding photographs of her son, "just a few," she mentioned, "because we want to capture his smile before his baby teeth fall out." Brice used his tongue to demonstrate loose front teeth when I arrived. Laurie suggested the swing in the front yard, because it's a family favorite. I was charmed by a little boy who told me he loved staying in hotels and ordering room service and who beamed when is dad teased him. I so look forward to capturing some family photos soon, but this session endeared me because it was scheduled with the recognition that Brice is growing up. The desire to preserve a bit of his babyhood and early boyhood visually made me so happy to be the photographer hired. Brice and I hung out a bit on our own, and towards the end of our session, he asked me if I worked for someone. He got a lesson in self-employment before he turned to me with a grin and said, "Well, all the people should hire you. You're really good at what you do." I'll take a seven-year-old endorsement any day. I left with a full heart and a simple collection of photographs of a fleeting, nuanced moment in this boy's life.

Last week Laurie and I poured over Brice's gallery and made selections for enlargements to hang as art in their home. While I was there, one of those loose teeth fell out, making the services of the tooth fairy a requirement. A misty-eyed mama recalled her teething baby and thanked me for capturing her son. The timing was perfect; the photographs were done and will soon deck the walls of their home, a reminder of days gone by that hopefully build anticipation of all that is to come as Brice grows up.

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