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on being a young family.. photographing young families..

photographing young families is hard. let’s face it, anything involving non-verbal and/or defiant by nature humans is difficult.

LIFE is hard when you have young kids. (I am totally in that boat as we speak.)

(did I just ruin someone’s idyllic idea of parenthood?) I hope not… but seriously, it’s hard being a parent and it’s also hard trying to get portraits taken and I FEEL YOU on both points.

My realization of the hopeful expectation of parents and the completely impossible nature of forcing young kids to POSE has lead me to my style of photography in this genre especially. It’s called, “show up, extend grace, see what happens, capture it”

Sounds haphazard, I know.. but KIDS!! They are small bipolar adults without words. They are unpredictable and they RUN THE SHOW. These little cuties have the power to make me WORK for it and they almost always do! I think every client who comes to me for baby’s first year plans should know that EVERY session is difficult in it’s own way! You are not the first client who had to completely reschedule due to a child’s general unhappy disposition that day. You are not the first mother who left the session half upset and fully drained believing that there was NO way I shot anything that resembles your family in their true state. You will not be the last. Please know that IT DOESN’T BOTHER ME! I am mother to one of the most challenging babies that has ever graced a crib and one of the most fiery four year olds you will ever meet… and we get our portraits taken.. and have to go through the SAME ordeals I see with my clients all the time.

You see, it’s very rarely a quick session with cooperation and smiles the entire time. I want to know what those clients did to deserve such fabulous karma because it is SO rare indeed. But, with a little persistence, a whole lot of grace we work through it and get something that is great.

Here are a few shots from the last few weeks to prove my point…

Literally three seconds later, we decided to take a 15 minute break to combat general verge of toddler-hood unhappiness.. I LOVE this image. It’s adorable and feels real. I love how baby girl is all “I throw my hands up in the air sometimes!” and big bro is all “over it” and there is motion and laughter in it. Love it so much.

This image is the result of a three hour in-home newborn session (yes, almost all of my newborn sessions last three hours or more) even when I go to the home! Newborns are tough bosses. Once you get them asleep, you shoot like a mad person and the results are so so beautiful, but you have to earn it! I love that this image was shot at home, and not in the studio. Lighting-wise, you can even tell.. but the experience is just way better in the comfort of home so soon after adding a member to the family!

This struck me as I was editing this week, and I had to share..

Here’s to the hard moments, the amazing moments and the moments in between. Here’s to grace and a whole lot of patience.. HERE’S TO LIFE!

Thanks for letting me be a part of yours!


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