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!
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.
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.
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:
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 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.
It's the weekend, and everyone is home.
What would you be doing together?
What's your favorite way to spend a leisurely day with your loved ones?
Photo credit: Solar Photographers (From our very own family session. Stay tuned! I will be blogging our whole day soon.)
My little family would start our day by making a nice breakfast. Our favorites are my Dad's recipe for biscuits or popovers (my hubby and I fell in love with them on a trip to Maine) or if we want to really treat ourselves, beignets. Our two little ones would help us make them and try to steal tastes of the dough. Our good ole boy Bailey would be watching and sleeping nearby on his dog bed. That's how all of our leisurely days together begin.
Some of my fondest days when I look back on them also include afternoon or evening visits from the grandparents.
Sometime after the breakfast dishes have been cleaned up, on a perfect day at home, the grandparents would stop by. My kids get ridiculously excited when their grandparents are here. They tackle them with giant hugs at their arrival and then proceed to show them their new artwork, toys, and games. Then, there's usually dinner and, as it's being prepared, I like watching how my kids interact with their grandparents.
The teasing, the quiet conversations, the laughter, and the rambunctiousness.
What's great about leisurely days at home is that there's usually quite a bit of us doing "nothing."
Nothing but spending quality time together in the place we call home, the very center of our family's life.
This holds true for all of us, doesn't it?
Some of my most favorite family photos, the ones I print and put on my walls and in albums, are when absolutely nothing special is going on... yet there was a fraction of a second preserved that takes us back to a sweet moment otherwise gone.
These are the days I yearn to come back to during the middle of a busy work week, when I'm away on a business trip, or years from now after everything has changed and I just want to go back in time for just a few minutes.
No other place is more special to your family than your home, and now is the perfect time of year for a cozy, in-home photography session.
Family sessions are currently 50% off for this fall. I have 3 more of these specials available.
Shoot me an email to learn more!
I will photograph and preserve all the details of your home while your family is at your most comfortable and free to be yourselves.
During this past holiday season, I had the pleasure of photographing this family and a few of their beloved Christmas traditions. This was a multi-generational Holiday Storytelling Photography session, purchased at the 2016 Radcliffe Creek School Dance and Auction in Chestertown Maryland. Our photo shoot took place at the grandparents' home while their grandchildren were visiting.
While I call my photo sessions and my type of photography 'Storytelling,' that doesn't necessarily mean that we tell stories during the photo shoots. It just means that the resulting pictures will tell your family's story during this time in your lives. Your set of images will capture your personalities, your love, and how you have fun together during this moment in time. My style of family photography could also be called "family documentary" or "family photojournalism" or "lifestyle photography."
But if one of your family's favorite holiday traditions is reading The Night Before Christmas together, then your Holiday Storytelling Photography session will literally began with a little storytelling! With the original book in hand and fondly remembering the days when her grandparents read it to her, the oldest cousin read The Night Before Christmas to her tiny cousin. This busy two year old was entranced while her older cousin lovingly read to her and introduced her to this beloved family tradition.
"Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse."
Just in the small amount of time I was with them, I could tell that they are a tight knit family and they mean the world to each other. It was a joy meeting them and getting a glimpse into what they enjoy doing together at the holidays.
Telling a family's story and recording their traditions is near and dear to my heart. If you would like to follow along in the new year as I continue to tell my own family's story as well as the stories of other families I'm privileged to photograph, sign up here to have these stories sent directly to your inbox.
Christmas and the holiday season is a time to slow down and spend quality time with loved ones. It's a time to make memories, enjoy old traditions and make news ones. Christmas is an especially magical time for children. Many of our most prized childhood memories take place around the holidays.
Every Christmas (and everyday for that matter), my goal is to move past taking the standard everyone-look-at-the-camera-and-smile pictures. I am a family and child storytelling photographer, after all. If you know me and my work, you know as a family photojournalist and documentary photographer I always strive to take real photographs that tell the story in front of me and document the genuine emotion and interactions taking place.
This is especially true at Christmas. I take many pictures on Christmas morning as we open our presents as well as during dinner and at all of our get-togethers. Over the years, I have found there's a delicate balance though involved in taking photos during these activities. These moments are so important to our family and I want to tell their story in my photographs, but I don't want to experience these moments just as a photographer. I also want to really be there.
Those moments are too special to be experienced entirely with my camera pressed up to my face. I get plenty of photos to tell the story and then I put my camera down, making a point to not obsess over documenting every little detail. That allows me to really be a apart of unwrapping gifts on Christmas morning, dinner that night, and I really spend time with loved ones during all of our get-togethers.
With that said, there is a Christmas tradition that I have found to be the perfect activity to be present for and to have fun thoroughly photographing. This activity is decorating gingerbread houses. It's calm, quiet, and without chaos. There's plenty of time to photograph creatively and thoroughly while also participating and being a part of the fun.
Each year, my parents bake the houses, make the icing, and shop for fun candies. They've been doing this with their grandchildren for the past 15+ years. It's a beloved family tradition, one I just know my kids will always treasure doing with their grandparents.
It's my very favorite Christmas tradition to photograph. So much so I've started photographing other sentimental families and their very own gingerbread house decorating tradition. This particular shoot is one of my most favorite extended family photo sessions to date.
Years ago, I made a scrapbook of childhood photos for myself and for my husband. As I was gathering photographs, I came across one of my husband at about 4 years old with his father and grandfather. All three of them were wearing lederhosen. You know the traditional Bavarian outfit comprised of leather shorts and suspenders? Yeah. That's what they were wearing in the photograph. Three generations of Krafchik men in lederhosen. One of these days, I will get around to asking my father-in-law how they came about selecting their attire for that photo shoot.
For some bizarre reason that picture of lederhosen clad Krafchik men came to my mind during my phone chat with my most recent client. We were planning her upcoming photo session and she was telling me how nice it would be to include her grandmother and mother in the photo shoot. Years ago, they had photographs taken of the three of them and, now that she has a daughter, she would like to update it to include all 4 generations of women. I didn't tell her that lederhosen picture popped into my head at that time! Fortunately for them, lederhosen and stiffly-posed portraits aren't typically a part of my family photography sessions!
My style of photography is called family storytelling or lifestyle documentary. In order for me to photograph your true personality and natural interactions with your loved ones, prior to the photo session, I help you plan an activity to do together during your shoot.
During our planning phone call, as we talked, I found out that my client has been playing cards with her grandmother and mother since she was a little girl, and now her daughter is a part of the club. In just a few minutes, we had ourselves the perfect activity to document for this group of women. (And on a side note, I was pleased to see that my mom isn't the only one to teach her granddaughter the art of talking smack!)
Telling a family's story and recording their traditions is near and dear to my heart. If you would like to follow along in the new year as I continue to tell my own family's story as well as the stories of other families I'm privileged to photograph, sign up here to have these stories sent directly to your inbox.
My 4 year old son has been making artwork like gangbusters these last few months. Now that the fall family photo season is winding down, I made a point of recording his new found love of art the other morning. I knew the 5th of the month was coming up, and therefore my 5 on 5 Blog Circle would be due soon. This is my attempt to tell this story in just 5 images.
While my focus is on my son and his artwork, I'm also making a conscious effort these days to make sure I'm including our almost 15 year old pup in the pictures I'm taking around the house. I want to continue to tell his story, documenting his role in our family and how it's changed over the years.
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 Melissa Kayser, St. Charles, MO family documentary photographer, tells a story in just 5 images.
This Thanksgiving, be your family's historian and photograph all of the details of your Thanksgiving tradition. Put yourself in your shoes, and your kids' shoes, 20 years from now. What do you want remembered? Shoot it. In this season of being thankful, take the kinds of photographs your family will be grateful for, for many years to come.
Six Tips for Photographing Your Thanksgiving Tradition
1.) Turn off your flash and use natural light as much as possible. If it's evening and indoor lights are a necessity, turn your White Balance to Incandescent. This will get rid of that yellow cast you often see in your indoor shots that are taken at night. Don't worry, your phone even has this capability and it's super easy to adjust in the settings.
2.) Photograph the preparations. From the littlest to the oldest, make sure you take pictures of everyone cooking and setting the table.
3.) Tell the complete story by remembering to shoot the details. Snap a quick photo of your grandmother's stuffing recipe, or any other recipe you don't want to forget. Take pictures of the dishes, utensils, tablecloths, etc. your family uses from year to year. Make sure you take pull back shots of the kitchen, dining and living rooms, and the exterior of the house you're having dinner, even if it's your own home. What details do you want everyone to remember years from now? Record them.
4.) Take pictures of the people and the tableful of food when everyone first sits down. Capture the serving plates and bowls full of food and everyone talking while they load their plates. You want pictures while the food still looks pretty and before everyone starts eating. I try to get these photos out of the way before we say grace, and then I dig in with everyone else.
5.) Photograph the cleanup and after dinner fun. Every year at my grandparents', the aunts and uncles would rotate dishwashing duty from year to year. My grandparents didn't have a dishwasher and there were at least 30 plates, glasses, and pairs of silverware to wash along with pots and pans, but they made it fun. In my memories, my grandmother's kitchen was full of laughter.
6.) Hand over your camera at some point and make sure your kids and grandkids see that you were there too. We've started this tradition of having one of my parents take a family picture of us each year at Thanksgiving.
Grandparents, and the unique and powerful relationship they have with their grandchildren, hold a special place in my heart.
Sunday was Grandparents Day, and it got me thinking. So many of my most cherished childhood memories revolve around my grandparents: learning to make peach dumplings with my Grandmom, opening gifts together on Christmas morning with my Mom-Mom, and starting each day of our Ocean City vacations over breakfast with my Grandpop. There are so many more, but those are some of my very favorite memories with my grandparents. Unfortunately, my Pop-Pop passed away when I was 2 years old so I only remember the stories I've been told about him.
When my children grow up, I want their memory banks to be full of moments spent with their grandparents.
It's always been a priority to me as a parent to make sure my children have close relationships with their grandparents. I want my parents to have an instrumental role in my kids' lives, and that's the main reason why my husband and I choose to remain in Maryland within driving distance from our parents' homes. We are born travelers and love the idea of experiencing more of the world, but those adventures will have to be limited to vacations for now.
We spend holidays with the grandparents as well as birthdays, but even more special to me, are the little ordinary, everyday moments we spend with them in between all of those big holiday celebrations.
My two swim in their pools in the summer, play with their collection of pennies during visits, set the table for our dinners, make dumplings when peaches are in season, play the piano and other various instruments with gusto, and the list goes on.
I pull out my camera and record these moments for my kids so, years from now, my kids will have proof of what their grandparents' love looked like, really truly looked like.
On this particular day, they played a board game with their Mom-Mom. My Mom was visiting and both kids were vying for her attention. My girl wanted to play a game with her and my son just wanted to be near her. At the start of the game, he was happy playing his own game next to them. Not surprisingly, he ended up joining in on the action, on Mom-Mom's lap.
Not only did I get out my camera to record all of that, I also wanted to make sure I never forget how my Mom and my little girl like to tease each other now. When my daughter was itty bitty, she didn't know how to take a joke. Over the years, my Mom has made it her mission to correct that. Today, we can credit Mom-Mom for teaching our girl how to tease and to talk smack. In this case, whoever was currently winning the game would taunt the one falling behind.
As a family storytelling photographer, I'm a legacy recorder.
I make authentic photographs, full of heart and emotion, helping sentimental families keep a connection with their past.
Click here and contact me if you want me to be your family's historian.
I belong to a blog circle called 5 on 5. We're a group of lifestyle and documentary family photographers who believe in telling stories with our photography. It is our heart to record real life as it happens. There is beauty to be found in every single moment after all.
On the 5th of every month, we will each blog 5 images that tell a story. You can see my story from last month here.
Last week, the kids and I went to visit their grandparents for one last dip in their swimming pool before school began earlier this week. Fortunately, they live within driving distance from us here in Maryland. It's so important to my husband and I that our kids have a close relationship with our parents, and vice versa.
Like most families, ours has spent a significant portion of our summer at the pool. Our children are complete fish, and they were excited to show Nona and Jagee their new skills in the pool.
Our littlest, at four, started to swim without his vest this summer as well as jump in the deep end and swim underwater. And my girl has spent most of her summer underwater, just like I did when I was her age. They were both eager to test out their new goggles Nona and Jagee gave them that day.
And what's an afternoon in the pool without super soakers?
Now it's time to head on over to the next stop in the 5 on 5 blog circle. Check out the blog of Jenny Bowers, Southern Michigan documentary family photographer.
Each time I send my work out into the world and deliver my clients' images to them, I'm nervous.
Every. single. time.
I want their pictures to be everything they hoped for, and more.
Last week, I delivered my clients' slideshow to them and this was mom's response:
"Well. I cried.
This is beautiful. More than I imagined. Thank you, Jen. You're very gifted. I just KNEW you were the right choice."
You can see their slideshow here. In that previous blog post, you'll also read more about the session behind-the-scenes and hear the slideshow song that took me just about an entire afternoon to pick out. I have to say, I think I did good. So good in fact, I haven't been able to get the song out of my head since!
In that previous post, you'll get to see the images set to music, but if you're like me and also like the chance to scroll through photographs at your own pace, then here they are as well:
I'm currently booking family storytelling sessions for this summer. Your summer session could take place in your backyard, at the beach, at the pick-your-own-farm, on the water, or anywhere that is special to you and your family. Find out what a photo session with me is all about by clicking here.
One of the main reasons she booked a session with me was to have images of their children to give their grandmothers for Mother’s Day. These women mean the world to them and they wanted to give them photographs of their grandchildren that really show their true personalities and real beauty.
We decided to have a very laid-back, easy-going session in their yard where the kids (and parents) will feel most comfortable and can most easily be themselves. They literally got to have a fun evening as a family, doing the things they like to do, while I took pictures.
Our session took place on one of our first gorgeous spring evenings here in Maryland. It was just warm enough for short-sleeves, and the evening light beautifully illuminated the new, spring leaves on the trees.
While mom and dad finished getting little brother ready for our shoot, big sis took me around to their backyard and showed me their house. I immediately fell in love with their adorable house and their backyard full of vine-covered trees. It is the perfect backyard oasis for their family that is for sure.
I also fell in love with big sis. Right off the bat. At 8 years old, she’s the perfect blend of mature, little lady and young girl. I was impressed with the confidence with which she greeted me. Throughout our session, I watched how she looked after her little brother, and it was clear she’s quite smitten with him.
I also observed her relationship with her mom, and it made me really excited for what’s in store for my daughter and I as she gets older. As they tossed and kicked the ball around, they chatted and joked with each other. It was fun for me to observe the close bond that they share.
Throughout our session, little brother never ran out of energy. He was a barrel of fun and love, happy to dole out kisses and hugs. He ran and rolled in his truck and jumped without any signs of fear. And when he got a boo boo or wanted to touch the moon, he knew he had mom and dad to turn to for help.
Dad is protective, likes to get on the ground and play, and is readily available for hugs. Mom is go-with-the-flow, loving, and very sentimental. Both of them have passed their good nature and fun-loving personalities down to their children.
And just as I know this family adores their grandmothers, I know these women have so much to be proud of in their children and grandchildren.
Here are some of my favorites from their session (make sure your volume is turned on):
My parents raise Leicester Longwool sheep and every spring their flock grows, much to my children's pleasure.
When my girl was 2 years old, she was partial to their baby lamb named Edward. Again, when my son was 2 he had a favorite, a bottle-fed lamb that my parents named Henry. They still have Edward, he's a couple-hundred-pound ram that is actually still a sweetie. But, Henry was sold to a farm a year or two ago. When we told my son, he asked a lot of questions. As we braced ourselves for reality to sink in, he asked if they could name another lamb Henry. Problem solved.
So, this year, he's made his request. The first two lambs are females (pictured here), but that hasn't fazed him. He sees no reason why one of them couldn't go by the name Henry. Since Mom-Mom and Pop rarely tell these kids no, I'm anxious to see what they decide.
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