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Category Archives: Families & Kids
Like I’ve said before summer time is dead season for me, photography wise, but as soon as fall hits, right around mid October, it’s game time. This fall photo season started off with a bang, a birthday bang, some sugar, and cake everywhere. My nephew Brandon turned one and I helped celebrate how any photographer Aunt would, by taking his One Year Smash Cake Pictures!
I’ve never seen a kid be so serious about smashing a cake. It was excellent.
Maternity sessions are quickly becoming one of my favorite sessions to shoot. I didn’t really appreciate them as much until I was pregnant. I know the emotion and the excitement and the fear first hand and it makes each maternity session all the more exciting. It truly is a celebration of the couple, and their last time as just being two as well as a celebration of the life shortly to come.
A quick look through my work and you’ll notice I’ll do a photo session pretty much anywhere. The more exotic, the more off the wall, the more rural the better. When Bethia told me that her husband Joel had found a great set of abandoned silos and some sweet farm land I was all for it. Fast forward to two days later and I was covered with little tiny red bumps that itched more than any fire ant bite I’ve ever gotten. I had been bitten, by chiggers, and this is what I learned…
1. Chiggers do not bury themselves into your skin, this is a myth.
2. They inject an enzyme into you that makes your skin somewhat deteriorate and then they eat it through a feeding tube. (total violation)
3. Its the juvenile form of the chigger that actually bites you (teenage angst at its finest).
4. They like areas where the skin is thin or where they can hang out…like the back of my knees, which were basically just pure red because all their little dots just ran right together.
5. If two people are standing right next to each other, one person may get tons of bites and the other may not. Which was why neither Bill nor Bethia (thank God) got any bites while Joel and I were covered.
6. After ever rural shoot I am now requiring myself to shower immediately and
burn wash my clothes. Staying in them all day makes it worse, much, much worse.
All the bites, redness, insane itching and general discomfort were totally worth it because the photos from the session turned out fantastic. Joel and Bethia also happen to be friends of mine who I’ve shot countless times so they are old pros at this point. It’s been fun to watch them from our first photo session when I was first starting out, trying to build a portfolio and they were just dating, to an engagement session, to bridal portraits, to their wedding, to a post wedding session, to their anniversary and now their maternity photos. I will say right now it’s going to take everything within me not to jump on a plane the moment that baby girl is born so I can take her newborn photos (even then, I just might). Anyways, without further ado, here’s a few of my favorites from their maternity session.
Seriously, some of my favorite images! Also you should note the photo on the bottom left is a total joke. We had grand plans to do all of the over done, cliche maternity photo prop things all in one image and it just didn’t happen. So instead there’s this, which makes me giggle. Thank you Bethia and Joel for letting me take your maternity photos, I am SO excited for you guys and can not wait to hold that baby girl!!
It’s rare that I am in front of a camera. At family events, through daily life and on instagram I am the one behind the camera, it’s rare that you’ll see a picture of me. The last professional photos we had of us together (other than the mini photos we took to do the pregnancy reveal) were at our wedding, and that was almost 4 years ago. Bill jokes that there will be hundreds of pictures of our soon arriving new baby girl but there will be few to none of us together because I’m always taking the pictures. While funny in the moment it’s also sad because I AM a photographer, it’s what I do. I encourage my clients to take a hugely brave step and be vulnerable in front of my lens, why shouldn’t I be held to that same standard?
Enter our maternity photo session. I always thought I’d be that pregnant lady who was diligent at taking creative month to month photos of my growing belly. I think I’ve taken two. It’s sad. This is why I didn’t try to shoot my own wedding. But I really wanted this monumental new chapter in our lives to be documented, professionally, with a real camera, not my iphone in a mirror. So I took the bold step I ask my clients to take every day, with Bill as my support, and we had our maternity session done by the wonderful Andrea from Ethan Avery Photography.
Andrea and I worked together at a photography studio years back and hit it off right away. Since then we’ve traveled together, shot weddings and photo sessions together, constantly bounce ideas off each other, shoot each other’s families, share knowledge and tips and tricks. She’s the Lucy to my Ethel when it comes to photography. I love her, she’s fantastic, which made being in front of the camera a lot easier, still incredibly odd, but easier. I also had forgotten how much preparation went into a session on the part of my clients, gathering clothes, props, getting ready, hair cuts, making sure we have everything. Goodness it was job in itself.
All that to say, it was totally worth it. The photos are incredible. I can’t stop looking at them. Andrea did a great job and I’m super proud of myself for curating our clothing and accessories choices.
So that’s the shoot. There are about 100 more photos I could share but these are some of my favorites. Andrea you are amazing! I’m so so so glad we have these, I look forward to the day I get to show them to my daughter and say, “that’s when you were living in mommy’s tummy.”
And if you’re curious what the elephant is all about you can read about it here.
I can’t remember what shoot I was on where I finally said to myself, “I can’t do this successfully alone.” I want to say it was back in 2009, in Tulsa at a wedding I was shooting. I could have the dates wrong, but I’m pretty sure it was right around that time. I immediately started day dreaming of having an photography assistant.
I thought about hiring an intern, but that would mean I’d have to raise my prices to pay them. I have a really hard time asking any intern to work for free, though there was a time where I did and I learned a lot. But still, I wanted to keep my prices reasonable (also why we have a home office and not a store front studio yet), but I also needed help. About 3 months later I was at an Imaging USA convention and I heard Jeff and Julia Woods speak (they’re an amazing husband and wife wedding photography team). It was then I remembered I had an assistant, a life long assistant, my husband Bill. And
after much pleading and coercion and begging because he loves me Bill agreed to assist me on shoots.
There was a slight learning curve at first. He definitely blindly agreed to help, I’m certain he didn’t know what he was getting himself into. If he had I’m positive he would have said no, or at least thought about it a little harder. But I taught him about light and light manipulation and angles. He was already pretty good at hauling equipment and props around. He picked everything up rather quickly (he’s smart like that) and soon he started mentioning little posing and location ideas and thoughts during shoots that were pure genius. I stopped having to ask him to shade certain things or pop light here or there because he just saw it and knew.
Then there were the children. I hadn’t had much of an opportunity to see Bill with children, other than briefly with his niece and nephew in Philadelphia. I had been told by different folks that he was great with kids. But it wasn’t until he started assisting me on family and kid shoots that I realized how truly fabulous he is with them. And they absolutely love him to boot! And sometimes while shooting the parents, or a different combo of kids, I turn and I see this…
…and then I melt a little. Cause it isn’t just that he acts goofy to get them to laugh or smile, but he plays with them and entertains them while I’m working with other members of their family. And seriously they love him. (This little one said she’d like to come home with us.)
I have tons of these kinds of pictures of Bill being awesome at what he does floating among client photos, but the photo above is from a more recent shoot and it absolutely kills me. Maybe it’s pregnancy hormones. Maybe it’s that in three short months he’ll be holding our little girl. I’m not entirely sure. But what I am sure of is that he is going to be a fantastic dad and I couldn’t ask for a better photography assistant.
I would not call myself a newborn photographer. I’ve always said my favorite things to shoot are couples, seniors, and families. It’s what we specialize in. It’s what I know. But my couples eventually have babies and they want me to take their picture too (there is nothing more honoring than this). So over the last 6-12 months I’ve really worked on honing my newborn photography skills (thus the workshop with Brenda Horan).
Newborn photography is an art, completely different from any other kind of photo session I do. I am in 95% control of the session (5% goes to the baby because they call the shots when it comes to cooperation). But once that little peanut is asleep I pose, I design the shot, I do it all. There’s no, “hey can you look to the left” or “just drop your chin down a little” or “relax your fingers just a smidge”. They just sit there all curled up and new and perfect. And I’m really starting to love it.
Yes all you friends and family who said, “as soon as you have a baby you’ll want to photograph babies all the time”, can go ahead and pat yourselves on the back. Newborn sessions get me excited about the little one growing inside me, what he or she will be like, and the 1,000s of newborn shots I will take of him/her. Bill (my husband) is my assistant on all sessions and it’s SO fun to see him interact with the newborns, holding them and talking to them until he can get them asleep. His 6’2″ stature makes them look all the smaller and working with him on these sessions makes my heart warm.
So there you have it, bring on the newborns! I’m ready to take their picture!!
I can not believe Riann is a year old.
It seems like only yesterday we were at the farm shooting Kristen’s maternity photos and Riann’s newborn pictures (even though she was several weeks old cause decided to come extra early), and then her six month pictures. I’m going to blink my eyes and then I’ll be shooting her senior graduation photos. Where does the time go?
It’s been so fun to watch her grow and develop into this little lady with her own personality and a complete honor to photography her through the stages. It was so fun to be a part of her one year photos too. We decided to do her one year session on the beach as a nod to her surprise birthplace in San Fransisco. It was her first time in the sand and surf and it was so fun watching her experience it all. She was very clearly a lover of the water…here’s a lot of images.
She did indeed ride the waves.
We’d sit her down for a shot and within seconds she’d be crawling back into the surf!
(In case you forgot we’re in Texas.)
Happy birthday baby girl, I’m so glad I get to know you and your awesome parents!
Tiffany is a gem. I think we had to reschedule her session…three…no…four times. Between travel schedules, a ton of rain, and kid schedules it’s amazing we finally got to do this session. I can’t thank her enough for her flexibility and her willingness to try a new location and to just play and have fun during her session. Her girls are freaking beautiful and there is so much love and joy between the three of them. We really worked together to style her session and I love that she was able to bring her grandmother’s antique tea set for our impromptu tea party. Her youngest, Angelina just loved Bill, reaching out for him to pick her up on more than one occasion, and then calling him monkey after he picked her up. Adorable. We had so much fun.
Thank you for scrolling through all these images. There were about 40 more that I could have posted, there were just so many lovely photos from this shoot, these ladies are just so beautiful.
This weekend I had the pleasure of shooting Ezra’s one year old photo session (I shot his sister’s one year photo session a few years ago). His mom wanted to do a Where the Wild Things Are themed photo session which I thought was the best idea ever. I got to work doing research on the book and the illustrations and put my creative thinking cap on and started building a few props for the session (with the help of Bill of course).
On Friday morning we ventured out into the parks of Houston to find a great spot. There is a cluster of crepe myrtle trees I’ve wanted to shoot at since high school and Ezra’s mom was a trooper as we pushed a baby and a whole lot of props through a park and across a busy street to get to the location. It was worth it because the photos turned out great. Ezra is such a happy baby and he was super cooperative, plus he’s cute which helps a lot.
Early this morning, before the sun was up Kristen, Josh and baby Riann (and their little dog Ellie too) met up with me at one of my favorite locations for Riann’s 6 month photo session as well as a few family shots. This was my third shoot with little Riann, but only the second one where I actually got to photograph her face.
It was one of those sessions where I couldn’t drive home fast enough to download the photos off my camera and start going through them. Her parents are gorgeous and so is she. Kristen picked out perfect outfits in tones of gray and purple and brown and yellow. There were floppy hats with a puffy ball on top, lots of giant head band flowers, a rocking chair that mom used as a little girl, baby skinny jeans, naked baby, tutus, and teeny tiny uggs. It was great fun and little Riann was an absolute trooper!
Three things I learned from this photo session:
1. Baby skinny jeans are the cutest thing ever.
2. Baby girls are enamored with their daddy.
3. Naked standing babies will pee on the floor.