What if instead of a few catalog-worthy photos for your holiday card, you could walk away from a photo session with a whole big album of beautifully composed images of what your life really looks and feels like? Of what your love and hard work looks like? Of all the little things you never knew you wanted to remember about this stage of your life? What if family photos were less about appearing perfect on social media and more about appreciating and valuing your life just the way it is? Can you imagine how that would feel for you? Can you imagine how that would feel for your kids?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Evenings can be so tough for parents, whether you are dealing with tired babies, cranky toddlers, or amped up kids. But they can also be a wonderful time to capture your family’s pure love and personalities. While you’re focused on getting homework done, getting dinner on the table, getting kids clean and ready for bed, I make images of your hard work and your deep love for each other that shines through the exasperation and exhaustion, and you walk away with a photographic time capsule of this crazy stage of life.
On Monday night, we got the news via text, call, tweet, etc. School was closed the next day due to the impending snow storm. It was a far cry from my memories of waking up in the morning and listening to the radio announcer list all towns in alphabetical order and FINALLY getting to Westport. Other than that, my kids’ first snow day was pretty much the same as I remember ours being. Sledding (on the same sled I used as a kid), snow angels, hot chocolate, lots of wet clothes, and lots of TV time.
On a recent freezing Sunday afternoon when my daughters were bouncing off the walls and doing everything they could to dive my son crazy, I decided I needed to get them out of the house. We bundled up and drove down to the beach. The girls played on the playground, ran around in the sand at the water’s edge, climbed on the jetty, and watched the sky and light turn gorgeous colors as the sun set. We went home with a little less energy and a little more appreciation for nature’s beauty.
I take A LOT of photos of my family. Like, a lot. I share them on social media and text/ email them to family, but they don’t really feel like a true part of our family history until they are printed in a book for us all to touch. I have a collection photo books documenting our life together from the time Jared and I met in 2002 to the present, with the exception of 2015, 2016, and now 2018. The third kid totally threw me for a few years! Now that I’m working on getting back on track, I figured I’d type up a few things I’ve learned along the way that help me tackle this colossal task.
Sweet Baby Lenna was born on Halloween. Her name comes from the word “lion” and is associated with strength and bravery—characteristics that I know her mother, Megan, wishes for her, and characteristics that Megan gracefully embodies as she navigates a tougher road than many.
Christmas is next week, you guys! For so many kids, it’s the most magical day of the year. But how do you document the magic of the day? Here are some ideas of what I try to capture and what usually makes it into my family’s photo books at the end of the year. If you don’t have a DSLR or don’t want to lug yours around, your iPhone will do the job just fine!
As a mama to three whose husband travels a lot for work, this was one of my favorite family sessions to date. Erika’s husband gets home late most weeknights, so the evening I spent with just her and her three kids was pretty normal for them and I related to it SO MUCH. One parent versus three kids—especially at dinner and bath and bed time—can be a challenge to say the least.