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.

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.

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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