Social media has trained many of us to yearn for the perfect shot, one that will show our friends, family, and followers how picture perfect our family is. Let's fight that urge and instead take the kinds of holiday photographs our families will be thankful for, for many years to come.
I met this sweet family through the Little Creek Preschool program through Radcliffe Creek School in Chestertown, Maryland. Their eldest daughter was in my son's class last year. I'm so glad I had the chance to hang out with them and photograph them at their house recently. If it wasn't for that time, I never would have known that big sis is quite the firecracker! I would have gone on thinking that she was the shy and quiet girl from my son's class.
But in our home, in our sanctuaries, on our home turf; we're free to be ourselves, aren't we?
Big sis wasn't the only one having fun that evening; jumping off of a logs, climbing trees, and swinging on the tire swing. I learned that big bro is such a kind kid and really looks after his sisters. He's also quite the athlete and loves playing catch with his parents. Baby sis loves her swing set and following her older siblings around. I discovered she loves to be spun in circles by her mom and snuggled by her dad.
They are a very fun and easy-going family who loves spending time at home; on their various swings, exploring the nearby woods, and tossing the ball around. I not only enjoyed watching the kids be themselves, I loved watching their parents jump right in with them and have fun too.
Not only does having an at-home photo session make things easier logistically for parents and ensure a place you hold dear is documented in your family photographs, it means your family will be most at ease and free to be your true selves.
And that leads to photographs that truly show what your family is like in this chapter of your lives.
How you spend your time together. What makes you laugh. How you show your love for each other. Your true personalities and how you are together.
This is what I mean when I say I'm a family storytelling photographer. I want to tell this chapter of your family's story.
I have one spot in November for a family photo session. Contact me if you want fall family pictures!
What a fun day! As always, this year's Harry Potter Festival in Chestertown, Maryland did not disappoint. A few of the images I took that afternoon are shown here. Don't miss the link at the bottom of this post for my gallery of all of my images. Check and see if you're in there and download your copy.
Check & see if I took your picture at the Chestertown Harry Potter Festival & download your copy here.
Not long after moving to Rock Hall, Maryland more than two years ago, my family began to learn about Saint Martin's Ministries and how they're helping fight poverty here in Kent County and throughout the Eastern Shore with their transitional home for women and families, thrift store, food pantry, and eviction prevention assistance. After photographing their Annual Arts Dinner and Auction fundraising event for the past two years, I had the privilege of joining the planning committee for this year's upcoming dinner (more details and to get your ticket, go here). And with that, I had the honor of visiting Saint Martin's for the first time earlier this year.
I have a difficult time coming up with adequate words to describe the impact that first visit to Saint Martin's had on me. I witnessed a small glimpse into how they are helping our neighbors in need and, with that little peek, I saw how they're truly changing lives in big, impactful ways. To say it inspired me is an understatement.
And as you know, inspiration can be quite contagious. After learning that food pantries are often low on food during the critical summer months when children are home from school; earlier this year, my little ones asked their birthday party guests for Cheerios and peanut butter in lieu of gifts. Afterwards, we delivered the food to Saint Martin's and helped fill the day's food boxes.
The day was a success in so many ways. We made a point of returning a few weeks later. We will be making visits on a regular basis.
If you want to learn more about Saint Martin's Ministries, stay tuned. I've been working on a project that I can't wait to share with you very soon!
In the meantime, be sure to check out all of the details about the 12th Annual Arts Dinner, Dance, and Auction to take place on Friday, October 13 in the Chesapeake Room at the Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Department.
Now that we survived the first week back to school, let's have a little fun.
Make sure you scroll through and read til the end. You want to win a free session, don't you?
I painted my logo onto a little rock and went looking for a hiding spot in one of the retail shops along High and Cross Streets in downtown Chestertown.
The painted rock found its first hiding spot in these bottom two photos.
Your first clue is below. Does the store look familiar (I may have listed it above, or I may have not)?
Go find it, and your family will be entered to WIN A PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION with me this fall.
There are no strings attached. I will draw a random winner and they will receive the session, files, and print credit as described in this fall photography special.
Before you run off to find the painted rock just yet, here's what you need to do to participate:
- Find the painted rock in one of the retail shops along High and Cross Streets in downtown Chestertown.
- Rehide it in another retail store located on High or Cross Street and take a picture of the rock in its new hiding place.
- Post your picture to my Jennifer K Photography facebook page as the next clue for another family to find the rock.
- You'll be entered to win a free photo session with me this fall.
Make sure you check in with my Jennifer K Photography facebook page for updates and clues to the painted rock's location. Happy hunting!
For just $550 (value of $1100):
approximate 1 hour Storytelling session
30 hand-edited images to choose from in an online gallery
Ten full resolution digital negatives
$100 wall art credit
Annual Pass membership
10 3 of these specials available
Once you book yours, tell your friends. Tell a mom or grandmother you know who would like family photos and post this to Facebook. This Fall special is just in time for Christmas and holiday card and gift giving. For every friend of yours that books a session with me, you will receive another digital negative from your shoot!
What is a Storytelling Session? As a family storytelling photographer, I create a set of images that tells the story of your family in this moment in time. Your individual personalities, your love, your joy. This photography approach can also be described as lifestyle documentary.
The way I accomplish this is by having your family do a beloved activity during your photo session, just after taking a few loosely posed family portraits. With something fun to do, you won’t be standing around, awkwardly looking at the camera. Rather, your family will be more relaxed, having fun, and something you love to do will be recorded in your family photos. Instead of just showing how you look, your pictures will tell your family’s story in this point in time. And those are the kinds of photographs you and your children (and grandchildren) are gonna want many years from now when your life looks completely different.
Click on the following links for a few examples of Storytelling sessions:
Do I get the digital files? This special comes with ten full resolution digital files. There will be a special offer for purchasing all of your files because you will want all of them.
What is a wall art credit? Use the $100 credit included in this special package to get prints for your wall. This credit gives you the flexibility to pick out the number and sizes of prints that will work best for your home.
Can I buy more than the ten digital negatives and what do I get with the $100 wall art credit? Absolutely! Of course you have the option to just keep what comes with this special package, but I have a feeling you're gonna love all of your images and want more! You'll have the full line of products available to you and we'll go over them when we meet for your photo reveal.
Can I skip the Photo Reveal and view my images in an online gallery in my own time? Throughout my six years photographing families, I have learned that meeting with you, stepping you through your options, and figuring out what will work best for your home and budget leads to the best experience for you. Our Photo Reveal is a completely low pressure meeting where I act as a guide to help you get the most enjoyment out of your photos.
What is the Annual Family Pass? The Annual Pass Membership lasts for 12 months and includes unlimited 30-minute seasonal sessions with 5 digital images at $150 per session. It's usually only available after a $875 collection purchase; but with this Fall Special, you have an opportunity to snag it! Any occasion or no occasion at all, you'll have me available to photograph your family throughout the year.
Where will the photo session take place? Your session location will most likely be a place that has special meaning to your family - your home, a favorite hiking trail, a park where you spend your Saturdays - wherever you spend your time during this stage in your family's life. Since I'm located in Kent County on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, my sessions usually take place in Chestertown, Rock Hall, and their surrounding areas, including Kent Island, Easton, St. Michaels in Queen Anne's and Talbot Counties. If you don't have a particular place in mind, I always have a lot of ideas.
I met Sarah Arnold of Arnold Farms for the first time last Fall. We had a very nice conversation while I was a First Friday special guest at Gabriel's. She told me all about their 70-acre family run vegetable and flower farm. I was intrigued. We ended the conversation with her inviting me to stop by in the summer to see their fields of flowers.
Well, I never forgot that conversation! One of my favorite past times is taking in the gorgeous farm land as we get from point A to point B on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Kent County especially is blessed with the most beautiful fields throughout the entire year. After talking with Sarah, her farm was at the top of my list to see close up.
Just this past week, we made arrangements for the kids and I to visit the Arnold Farm, located just outside of Chestertown. Sarah and her son gave us a tour and introduced us to their many animals (much to my son's delight) as well as showed us their fields of tomatoes, melons, flowers, and much more.
As you can see, the little photographer came out in my children during our visit, as well. Sarah - thank you so much for opening up your farm to us and taking time out of your busy schedule to show us around. My kids couldn't stop talking about our morning! I'm looking forward to seeing you at the next Chestertown Farmers Market.
Did you know that in addition to photographing families, I also take photos for local businesses and farms?
Now more than ever, it's important to have photographs that wow potential customers, both online and in print. Am I right?
Contact me if you'd like to know more about having me tell the story of your business through a behind-the-scenes photo shoot.
"Families are like branches on a tree. We grow in different directions yet our roots remain the same." -Unknown
Sue and Simon live here in Rock Hall, Maryland with me. Their three adult children have made their homes with their families across the globe from New Zealand to Chicago. When they knew everyone would be in town for one special evening a couple of weeks ago, Sue and Simon talked to me about photographing it. I was delighted and honored.
We decided to have their photo session at the Spring Cove Manor cottage rental that one of their children and family was using during their stay. It was a perfect location on Swan Creek, just down the street from the grandparents' home.
After taking several family pictures with the whole extended family in them, we let loose and had some fun. Wine bottles were opened, brownie sundaes were served, and scooters came out.
It was a relaxing photo session where everyone was able to just spend time together. There was laughter, lots of catching up, and even a bit of dancing.
It was an honor to be a part of such a beautiful evening. They are a kind, loving, and fun family and I enjoyed observing and photographing how they are together. You would have never have guessed that so many miles keep them apart for most of the year. They are very much a tight knit family who laugh and play like they see each other all the time.
I love photographing the little moments that happen between loved ones. Those are the memories we come back to over and over again long after they are gone. It was a beautiful summer evening they shared together and it makes my heart so happy to know they now have something lasting and tangible to go along with these incredible memories.
Summer vacation will be over before we know it. EEEEKK! Did I just say that?
Because I adore this time of year and I want to cling to it as long as possible, I've opened up 2 more slots in August for SUMMER VACATION PHOTO SESSIONS. You can come to me in beautiful Rock Hall and Kent County, Maryland or I can come to you, wherever your favorite vacation spot is located – in the U.S. or beyond. I love to travel.
Contact me to snag one! Or to get more information about having me photograph your family, enter your email address below to download my client guide:
For this series, I'm featuring some of the many local businesses and organizations in Rock Hall that my family has come to know and love. If you've never visited Rock Hall, then I hope these images and stories will help you plan a relaxing getaway to this charming town along the Chesapeake Bay, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. If Rock Hall isn't new to you, then I hope you'll enjoy reading along and sharing these interviews with friends and family in support of these outstanding Rock Hall businesses and organizations. You can see the other places I've featured in Rock Hall here.
My family is excited for next week and the start of our kids' sailing school at The Rock Hall Yacht Club Sailing School. These photos are from last year and my girl's second run of Pee Wee lessons.
The mission of the RHYCSS is to instill a lifelong love of sailing and the water in children and adults by teaching sailing skills in a structured, safe and fun environment. Each class is small in size and lead by at least two U.S. certified sailing instructors, allowing for lots of hands-on teaching. I really like that the instructors are young adults, usually college and high school students, that are able to teach the kids how to sail in a fun and relaxed environment. I know my kids wouldn't want to come back each year if the days weren't having fun as they learned.
In Pee Wee, they learn about the anatomy of a sailboat, knot tying, they're taken out on a few different types of small boats, and they get a chance to try their hand at sailing an Opti by the end of the week.
It's amazing to me what they learn in just three mornings. My girl was given the "Sweetest Sailor" award after her first lessons two years ago. After her second batch of lessons last year, she was awarded "Tack Master." I was very proud of her progress in just two sets of lessons.
It was the last summer together before their eldest graduated from high school and headed off to college. Over the years, Rock Hall has become the place they spend a good portion of their summers with their family on the water, learning to sail at The Rock Hall Yacht Sailing School.
It was the perfect time to have pictures taken and the Rock Hall Yacht Club was the perfect place.
We spent one summer evening last July taking family photographs (mom was particularly excited about having a large family portrait made for over their fireplace) and, just a few days later, I went out on the boat to photograph the 3 boys during their sailing lessons (perfect as a grouping of portraits on the wall).
The start of sailing school is here!
Email me today and find out how you can add on a sailing photo shoot to your family's photo session this summer.
The weather was beautiful here in Maryland yesterday. So after a busy day Saturday, we chose to slow down and spend our Sunday morning leisurely outside. While I planned the week ahead on our screened-in porch, I noticed that the kids came up with a little work to do together. They decided that our deck needed a little cleaning. My little guy told me: "Mommy, we're working hard, so you can take pictures."
It's moments like these, when they're so excited and so eager to play together, that I'm thankful they have each other.
It's that time again! Another month has gone by. Head on over to the next stop in the 5 on 5 blog circle, and see how Margaret Albaugh, Spokane Family Photographer, tells a story in just 5 images.
Do you have a fancy camera, but don't know how to use it fully?
So many of us buy a SLR with the hopes of taking amazing pictures of our children's fleeting childhoods. Then, life happens and we never get around to reading the manual. Or we try and it's just too complicated.
In just a couple of hours, let me help you learn how to take beautiful pictures of your little ones.
Later this year, I will be offering a Camera Workshop for Moms (and anyone else wanting to learn to use their SLR). Space will be limited to ensure a hands-on learning environment.
To be one of the first to know the details once they become available later this year, please sign up below.
When you think of your favorite childhood memories, how many of them take place in the summer?
Many of mine do.
I remember Friday evenings out on my family’s boat. My mom would pick up subs from Poppy’s (oh, how I miss our favorite sub shop!), and my brother and I would swim at the sand bars in the Susquehanna after dinner.
Our annual vacations to Ocean City with my paternal grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins will always be a sweet childhood memory of mine. We would all stay within walking distance of each other. One night during the week we’d get together for my grandmother’s peach dumplings, another evening would be a crab feast at our place, and everyday would be spent at the beach with my cousins.
It seems like you wait for the warmer, leisurely days of summer all year, doesn’t it?
It’s when you make time to slow down, to go outside, and to do more of what you love, with those you love.
The kids are out of school. Everyone takes breaks from their commitments and their work. This is the time when the grandkids come to visit.
How does your family celebrate the glory days of summer?
On the water in your family’s boat or kayak? At the beach? Splurging on ice cream cones? Roasting marshmallows around a campfire? At the pool? Learning to sail? Hiking your favorite trail? At family BBQs? The possibilities are endless.
How does your family soak in the sweet, sweet days of summertime?
So many of your fondest memories with loved ones take place in the summer and on vacation. You look forward to these days all year long.
Why not have photographs (with everyone in them) that tell the story of your family’s favorite summer moments?
Have all of the details recorded, so they don’t grow fuzzy over time.
Have the fun, love, and joy your family shares during the summer made into tangible memories that you can come back to and relive when the moments are long gone and your life looks totally different.
You can come to me in Rock Hall and Kent County, Maryland or I can come to you, wherever your favorite vacation spot is located – in the U.S. or beyond. I love to travel.
I've updated my client guide and all of my pricing for this summer.
Click here to receive my client guide to learn everything there is to know about having your family pictures taken with me, including detailed pricing info.
I remember we quickly grabbed her play engineer's hat as we were walking out the door, to shield the sun from her face. I remember his blonde curls bobbing up and down the aisles. She alternated between picking for the basket and picking for her tummy. He just sat down and ate berries. That was 3 years ago and the start of our yearly strawberry picking tradition. They were just 4 and 2 years old, and it was the first time their parents had picked their own strawberries. Now look at them at 5 and 7 (on the left, above)!
After sampling the first berry three years ago, and realizing that only store bought strawberries were bitter, I was hooked. For the last two years, we've brought friends along for the fun (no, we don't have twin blondies!).
Since it was unseasonably hot when we picked strawberries last year, we went to the farm as soon as picking was announced this year. To me, spring doesn't begin until we've picked some strawberries. And, we chose the perfect day for us to pick berries, for the kids to run around outside in the fresh air, and for me to photograph everything.
Now it's time to make all the strawberry shortcake and jam!
In every one of my photo sessions, we pick an activity for you to do to make your session especially fun and your photographs extra meaningful.
You know what would make the perfect spring photo session? Yup, picking strawberries.
Shoot me an email before all of the berries are gone!
You know how there are certain old family stories that make you swell with pride? Well, I love to hear stories about my great-great grandmother's bakery in Bohemian East Baltimore.
My grandmother and great aunt would spend their afternoons there, enjoying the attention they received from the gentlemen customers. My father likes to reminisce about the bakery's sour rye bread from his childhood. They sold smearcase in large rectangles that reminds me of my days working in a bakery my junior year of high school.
My great-great grandmother lost the bakery in the Great Depression, but I have a crystal cake stand and an apple cake recipe to remember the stories by.
Last week was my daughter's birthday and, in preparation, we baked her a cake. As we were listing our options, as soon as I explained that our apple cake was her great-great-great grandmother's recipe from her bakery, my girl knew that was the cake we would make. I think hearing the story made my girl swell with pride as well.
If you're interested in an easy recipe for a light, white cake with apple slices and cinnamon sugar on top (or make that fresh peach slices in the summer - so good!), I shared our old family recipe on Instagram last week here.
It's that time again! Another month has gone by. Head on over to the next stop in the 5 on 5 blog circle, and see how Erin Berry tells a story in just 5 images.
So many of us don't like getting in front of the camera. And that's a shame because our kids and grandkids will want pictures of us to remember us by one day!
What I would give to have pictures of my great-great grandmother at work in her bakery!
Enter your email address below and I'll send you my free guide for looking your best in your family photos.
What are your favorite childhood memories with your grandparents?
Perhaps big Thanksgiving dinners or Easter egg hunts at their house come to mind. Large family gatherings make for special childhood memories, but what about those one-on-one moments you spent with your grandparents without the cousins there to run off and play with?
Remember those summers you’d spend the week at your grandparents'? Or when your maternal grandmother taught you how to play gin rummy? Or when you and your paternal grandmother would pretend to be grown up ladies and, as she served you tea, she would tell you stories about her namesake granddaughter (you)?
My most vivid memory with my paternal grandparents was spending the night at their house all by myself.
In the guest bed was a Little Red Riding Hood topsy turvy doll. A lot of the details are fuzzy, but I remember proudly rereading the same story from my Girl Scouts Handbook to them on one of my overnights. Listening to the same story over and over again takes patience, and a lot of love. Grandparents do a lot of things for their grandchildren out of love, don't they?
Fast forward to today and all of the generous things you do out of love for your grandchildren.
You watch them when their parents are at the hospital delivering their newest siblings. You take them to the playground, play Legos and dolls with them, and help them put together puzzles. They tell you what they want to play and you are happy to take orders from them, most of the time.
How many photographs will your grandchildren have of the time you’re spending together?
Pictures are taken at the large family gatherings, but we don't take pictures of those ordinary childhood memory-in-the-making-moments with the grandparents. You’ve probably photographed your grandchildren thousands of times, as they’re growing up and changing in millions of ways. Those photographs often include the parents, but how many pictures will your grandchildren have of the precious time they are spending with you?
Think about your grandparents’ legacies, and how special it would be today to have bits and pieces of those legacies preserved in photographs.
You could show your children and grandchildren today how your grandfather's eyes disappeared when he laughed, how your grandmother was the warmest, gentlest woman you ever knew; and you would still see the love in your grandparents' eyes reflected back at you. And the details of your grandparents’ homes would be preserved in photographs now that those homes are gone from your family forever.
Just think what a gift you would be giving your grandkids to have this precious time you’re spending together preserved in photographs.
Now I know not liking photos of yourself keeps you from getting in front of the camera. If that's the case, check this out:
This mama works very hard each year to help organize the Harry Potter Festival in Chestertown. Have you been? It's quite an amazing day of events, one that's made possible by an extremely dedicated and enthusiastic team of volunteers.
The two of us met after I offered to photograph the event (click the hyperlink above to see my pictures). Shortly thereafter, we scheduled a spring photo session for their family! With their eldest daughter's upcoming high school graduation and start of college in the fall, it was important to them to stop and record this chapter for their family, before the next one begins.
We chose to have their photo session at Kinnaird Point on Still Pond, a place that holds special meaning to them. During the planning for every one of my sessions, I help each family come up with something to do during their shoot to help put them at ease while I'm photographing them. This is usually something that they currently enjoy doing together.
For this family, they chose to take a stroll, chat, make each other laugh, and hang out. As I look through their photographs, I can picture them doing this everyday. In just the couple of hours I was with them, it's clear to me that they're a close family that truly enjoys spending time together.
This mama said the following as we were planning their session and it's something I can really see in these photos:
"... as they get older, every moment with them is precious. Chatting and hearing about their interests and concerns is more of a focus now than activities."
You don’t like having your picture taken.
Am I right? When you see yourself in a photograph, your focus goes straight to your flaws. The 10 pounds you want to lose. Your “messy” hair. The “funny” expression on your face. We all do it.
You’re not alone in this.
Recently on Facebook, I asked my friends if they had an old photograph of their mother or grandmother they could easily dig up and send me for a project. I received lots of responses, more than I was anticipating. And I learned something:
You don't like being in the picture, but you love going through old photos of your loved ones.
I asked each participant a few questions to find out more about their mother or grandmother. Everyone was happy to reminisce about their loved one and tell me their thoughts about the picture they sent me.
In old photographs, we look for the qualities we admire about our loved ones, and we remember special times spent together.
Not one person said to me, “ Wow, my mother could have stood to lose a few pounds.” Or, “My grandmother always had such messy hair.” Or, “My mom really should have worn more make-up.” No one mentioned, “Those pants are really unflattering on Grandmom.”
We don't see flaws in old photos of our loved ones.
You want to know why? Because rather than flaws, we see vibrancy, youth, and love. We see qualities we admire, and we are reminded about special times spent together.
Why is this important?
I believe that we live in a world today that puts way too much emphasis on perfection, and that’s carried over into our photographs. We don’t want pictures taken of ourselves because we want a photo where we look perfect, not real. So we either avoid the camera or we ask the photographer to Photoshop us.
We’re altering the record of our family’s history.
And that bothers me. One day, when you’re gone, the first thing your loved ones are going to do is look for photographs, movies, and maybe even old voicemails that have you in them. Because those recordings will help them relive your unique qualities that they love about you and the times you shared together. They want to remember you, the real you in their memories.
You have your picture taken for your children and grandchildren. You don't do it for yourself.
When I thanked the participants for helping me, each one told me it was their pleasure. They thanked me for the opportunity to reminisce and talk about their loved one. A few were brought to happy tears.
Photographs allow your loved ones, even for just one minute, to turn back time and relive their favorite memories with you in vivid detail.
Do you still have lingering concerns about getting in front of the camera?
Enter your email address below and I'll send you my guide: How to Appear 10 Pounds Skinnier in Your Family Photos.
Believe me when I say these aren't your usual tips and tricks. Stress no more! No Spanx or complicated poses required.
What are your most favorite memories of time spent with your grandparents?
One of my favorite memories is of my grandfather visiting us each morning during our annual beach vacation. Every year, my family would go to Ocean City with my paternal grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. We would all stay within walking distance of each other. And, every morning I would wake up to the sound of my Grandpop talking with my parents over a cup of coffee and a danish. Each day, he would make his rounds and it was how each of my days on vacation began. I feel so lucky to have that memory. If I had a photograph of it, you bet it would be on my wall.
The relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren is special and one of a kind.
I don't think there's anything quite like the doting love or the life lessons learned from a grandparent.
But, unfortunately, those relationships we have with our grandparents are often far too short.
I lost my Pop-Pop at the age of two and the remaining three were gone by the time I was out of college. I'm not trying to bring us all down here. But rather, this is a reminder to you and to me.
We must celebrate and honor these special relationships between the grandparents and grandkids in our lives.
For this family you see here, it's taking a moment to appreciate the time they spend together on Gigi and Pa's riverside home in Annapolis, Maryland.
There's a rhythm to their visits and traditions they've established that the youngest of the bunch will remember all of their lives.
Summer days at Gigi and Pa's house mean fishing from the pier, picking dandelions, swing rides, making campfires, eating smores, and so much more. There's also laughter, quiet snuggles, plenty of spoiling, and lots of play. Everything that a visit to Gigi and Pa's house should be.
And with our recent family storytelling photography session, this dear family will have pictures that will keep these memories from growing fuzzy over time.
Rather than having photos that only show how they looked; with their storytelling session, the grandchildren will now have photographs of how their family spent their summers together and how their parents as well as their grandparents adored them.
I'm getting ready to announce a huge special for upcoming photo sessions, and they will only be 5 available.
You'll also receive my client guide with everything you need to know about my sessions, including full pricing info.
I always have a hard time with the month of March. This year was no exception. Not only was it cold and muddy, like it is every year in Maryland, but our house was filled to the brim with illnesses, one right after the other.
With its warm sun and blue skies, we welcomed April with open arms this past weekend. Spring is our favorite time of year to hike the Duck Inn Trail at Eastern Neck Island, and we had the perfect weather this past Sunday for our first hike of the season.
It was a perfect afternoon to be out in nature. :-)
The kids had plenty of energy to burn off, and they were happy to visit their favorite "pirate ship."
It's that time again! Another month has gone by. Head on over to the next stop in the 5 on 5 blog circle, and see how Stephanie Woodward, Utah Storytelling Family Photographer, tells a story in just 5 images.
I have to admit, the stress got to me leading up to my family's recent photo shoot with Solar Photographers. I freaked out about many of the same concerns my clients have. Learn from me:
Just as I recommend to my clients, I had done my usual cleaning and tidying up a day or so prior to Josh and Jenny’s arrival – nothing extensive – just a quick dusting and vacuuming. We were good to go, until the last hour or so before our shoot. I started worrying about how our house would photograph and started to do more cleaning.
What to Wear
I put on my yoga pants, my husband wore shorts, our daughter chose to wear her latest favorite skirt (actually a dress I made for her second birthday that’s now too small to wear as a dress), and our son didn’t get out of his pajamas. Was my outfit not flattering enough? Should I have picked out something else for the kids? Maybe I should have put more thought into what we wore.
What to Do During the Shoot
We took a few posed shots in front of our house, made a favorite breakfast together, and hung out in our living room. Rather than making beignets, should we have made another breakfast? Should we have gone for a hike instead? Will these pictures not be special enough? Did we waste our session?
It’s ingrained in me. My preference is always for my children to cooperate with what we’re doing, especially for something as time-sensitive as a family photo shoot.
Before you look at my photos, take a minute and think about the concerns you have about an in-home photo session. Below my photos, I'll invite you to tell me.
In the end, all of my second-guessing and worrying was literally for nothing. Isn’t that usually how it goes?
Not too long ago, we moved into our current house after extensive renovations. I wanted photographs of our family during this stage of our lives, in our new home with our new life. I wanted to see us through the lens of Josh's camera and have those photographs to look back on many years from now.
How we love. How we have fun together. How our life with our boy Bailey has changed so much over the last 15 years. How our house has been renovated and we still have some DIY projects yet to be done.
As I was scurrying to do one last clean up, with all my second guesses running through my head, I felt the stress altering my mood. And I remembered what I tell my clients all the time: Real life is beautiful.
I remembered that I wanted photographs of our beautiful real life moments. Not perfect. Not a staged photo shoot. So, I took a deep breath, put the kitchen sponge down, and decided to just have fun with my family during our session. (And if everyone can be themselves and have fun during a photo shoot, then you don’t have to worry about kids not cooperating!)
We ended up with photographs that show us on any given day, in our new home, and I know our family will cherish them forever.