Today I’m sharing a special family session from last fall to give you a behind-the-scenes look at a Beloved family session, which I call my “Bountiful” family sessions.
Often I find that people schedule family photo sessions because it has been a long time since they’ve had updated photos, or maybe a specific event like the birth of another child or a particular milestone is triggering them to feel like they “should” get pictures done–or maybe it’s just that they want to be sure they have an updated Christmas card photo. 🙂
But really, a family photo session you are investing in should be so much more than just a snapshot of your kids’ gap-toothed grins or your latest haircut. Your family photos should tell the story of who you are as a family.
It is always my goal to get photos that reveal the personality and character of the individuals and of the family as a whole. This particular family loves the outdoors and being active, and the young siblings have the sweetest relationship, all of which was important to capture during their session.
In my sessions, I do have some posed photos, but I also seek to engage everyone to get more authentic expression, and we also have some playtime and relaxed moments, too!
I love these images, particularly of brother and sister, and that mom and dad were able to have a few moments together as well. Often parents of young kids haven’t had any photos together since their wedding! In these photos, the love between all members of the family is so evident. Their postures are relaxed and open. And the photos in the sand capture the carefree playfulness of toddlerhood.
Tell me, what are your favorite images from this session? I’d love to hear what resonates with you! And what are the special “quirks” you’d want captured in your family session?
Do you have a high school senior? Are you frazzled, stressed, and a bit overwhelmed as graduation date approaches?
Let’s check one thing off your senior’s “to do” list today: let’s get your senior portraits scheduled!
I know your plate is full with prom, graduation, a variety of end-of-year events, and maybe even a college decision still to be made. But your senior’s portraits don’t have to be stressful.
Before your session, I will consult with you and your student over the phone to tailor a session suited to their interests and personality. And then in just a couple hours, your part is done! And when your images are ready, I guide you through a one-hour selection process so that in less than 60 minutes, you have images selected for family, friends, graduation announcement enclosures, and wall art and album images. No muss, no fuss!
Let’s do this! I would love to help you celebrate your senior and their accomplishments!
And if you contact me NOW, there still may be time to get your photo session complete *and* your favorite minis printed in time to include with your senior’s graduation announcements! But time is running out...
I am so honored to have been invited by my friend Davina Fear to be a part of a very special project. Davina gathered 25 photographers and writers to join together to offer simple, easy ideas to share your love with your family. After spending hours devoted to compiling them all, she has created a beautiful little book, “How Do I Love You?”. Included in this group are notables from around the world such as Brooke Snow, Josh and Jenny Solar, Elizabeth Halford, and people behind A Beautiful Mess. I admit I’m a little starstruck to be included in such a group!
This book is perfect for Valentine’s Day, with enough ideas to pick one for each day until February 14.
To get this book (free!) and find out more info, visit Davina’s blog post on “How Do I Love You?”.
I am always thrilled to be invited to photograph a birth and to take part in such a momentous part in a family’s life. Our Blessed Strength Mama has delivered her new baby boy, and I got to capture every moment!
When I got the text that Kristy’s water had broken in the middle of her 39-week appointment while at the midwives’ office (such timing!), we knew we wouldn’t have too long before baby arrived. Kristy headed home to labor for a few hours, but was promptly headed back to the hospital before too long. Sometimes these third babies don’t waste their time!
With a great support team of best friend, mother-in-law, and attentive husband, Kristy labored with quiet, focused intensity without any drugs. Kristy’s hope prior to labor was to have a more peaceful, unmedicated birth this time around, and she got exactly what she worked so hard for.
The room had an expectant but quiet serenity as Kristy prepared to welcome her new baby boy, and at 7:52 p.m., he arrived with barely a cry, all 8 lbs., 2 oz. of him! It was truly a beautiful, peaceful birth. Baby and mama were surrounded by love and care through the entire process, and it was a joy to be a part of.
I am so thrilled for this family as they complete their family of five with little Tommy. It was truly an honor! Congratulations!
Here are just a few of the images from Tommy’s birth, and I am so thankful that Kristy allowed me to share them with you!
Today’s a long one, but I really have tried hard to put into words my goals for a photo shoot… and why photography is so important to me.
When I first began shooting projects for clients and for my portfolio, I was very much in an experimental mode. I eagerly looked at other photographer’s work for inspiration and I sought to have a game plan for each of my shoots. And yet I found myself left cold by not only a lot of what was out there, but also by what I was capturing in my own shoots. I saw a lot of beautiful pictures, where everyone looked glossy and perfect, very well-pressed and combed to be sure, but I didn’t feel a lot of soul in the photos.
I slowly came to realize that for me, photos that merely answered who, what, where, and when didn’t do much for me emotionally. I couldn’t connect to them–no matter how stunning the child or how perfectly staged the shot, or how much it looked like an ad from an Anthropologie catalog. And yes, I do love the work in Anthro… but for my own work, it just wasn’t “me” and I when I tried to stage my shoots to be like what I thought the families wanted or to be like a magazine ad, I was left frustrated with the outcome.
I realized that what really interested me about photography was the way it can crystallize the essence of a person, or a relationship, in just a split-second of time. And for me photography represents an art that I can pour not just my head but also my heart and feeling into. I love the challenge of capturing the emotional connections between mother and child, brother and sister, husband and wife… and answering the “how” and “why” questions. How do these people connect to one another and interact? How are they different from other families? Why are they special?
In August I was then introduced to a new method called Beloved. While originally geared toward couples, I’ve seen Beloved have powerful results in my most recent family sessions as well. With my most recent sessions I finally had the courage to embrace the Beloved approach. By forsaking the most traditional posing and embracing an altogether different methodology in my photo shoots, inviting the participants to engage in games, invitations to relate to one other, and reflection, I am finally feeling like I am seeing into the heart of people, into the heart of a family… past the “camera smile” that is a bit too wide and doesn’t quite reach the eyes and instead capturing moments of genuine emotion. And because each relationship is so different one from another, and each couple and family so unique, every session is different and beautiful in its own right.
Beloved may not be for everyone. It requires a certain openness toward one another, a willingness to open yourself to something “different” and even the courage to see a side of yourself that you may not always let down your guard to reveal in photos. But the results can be so powerful and so beautiful, I think. There is something so affirming to see, captured in a print forever, just how you are loved, and how much you are loved.
I am still growing in this method, and learning how to balance traditional posing options with the Beloved approach, but I am so excited to see what this year brings as I dive deeper into this, and I am grateful for the people who are coming along with me.
Here are some moments from my most recent mini session… Mom/Dinah works in children’s ministry at our church and is such an encourager and joy to everyone, and her men form her “team” (rarely is there a night you won’t find them on a court somewhere!). And the foundation of everything for this family is their faith in God. I love some of the moments we caught in just our 30 minutes together for the mini session…
Boys will be boys!
Mama and her crew
I love this photo of this couple, sharing a laugh together, their enjoyment of one another evident.