Monday, February 2, 2015
Monday, March 24, 2014
Jameson Asher has arrived!
I was so excited to meet this little guy and photograph him! He's one very lucky baby. He has two super cool parents, and, an extended family full of aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents who are fun, always smiling, and who always seem to be having a good time with one another. Needless to say he'll be loved and cherished by all.
I would be wrong in labeling this a "Newborn Session", although that was exactly what I did. Just as I had been wrong in labeling this sweet boy's gorgeous mama's session in December "Maternity". That's because Asher, as he'll be called, has a pretty fantastic big brother named Jonah who is three years old and pretty much excited and opinionated about EV-ER-E-THING. He loves (and sometimes insists) to be photographed, and I'm more than inclined to oblige his demands. I love him to pieces.
It's so much fun for me as a photographer to photograph people I have a relationship with. It's one thing I truly strive for in my business. I feel honored when someone opens their front door, welcoming me into their home wearing sweatpants, with lunch on the coffee table, and laundry on the kitchen table :) I don't say these things to embarrass my friend or client; I delight in these things because these things are so real, and I feed off of sincerity. I'm inspired by it! They also help me personally to see that everyone--EVERYONE--has to deal with the same, unglamorous bits of life.
Thank you, Julie, Jason, Jonah & Asher, for allowing me into your beautiful, comforting home. It was such an honor to spend an afternoon with you! I wish you all the love and happiness in the world! I hope you look back at these images with love, and remember the sweet moments of these all too fleeting days.
This handsome guy is IKE. I-K-E. I, however, am unable to refer to him as Ike, and have officially turned into My Mother. I kept calling him "Zeke" !!!
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Yesterday was such a joyous day for our family! I'm so pleased to announce the birth of my niece, Lucille Rose Bennett! Weighing in at seven pounds, three ounces, and measuring nineteen inches long, Miss Lucy has stolen the hearts of all!
Due to the health concerns and monitoring of Lucy's mama, she was delivered via c-section, and we had to wait a few (long) hours before visiting. When I did see her, I could barely contain myself! She has the most beautiful skin, and her head and face are so small and sweet--just like a perfect little apple! (I totally understand Gwenyth Paltrow's statement regarding her daughter's name now. Upon seeing Lucy for the first time, it was the first thing I thought of!) This little girl, my niece, is just a treasure.
I'm so excited for her to come home, and for everyone to get settled in so I can overstay my welcome, smothering her with all my love and kisses! I'm over-the-moon happy for my brother and his new family, for this new life that has been created. Life is really, really exciting right now!
Dear Lon, Jenice & Christian,
We love you all, and cannot wait to begin our adventure with our new girl.
Both Lucy's paternal and maternal grandmothers were there! (These two together are W-I-L-D!)
As was her big brother Christian!
Monday, February 10, 2014
Some of my closest friends and clients over the years have confided in me with their struggles to conceive. Every story of a missed cycle, negative test, and miscarriage has been gut-wrenching. It really helps me to keep my own blessings in perspective, but it has also helped me to have an open heart for these couples; to relate to them, to see and understand them in a way that maybe others don't.
One of these couples is Steve & Katie, whom I've known since high school. I've photographed them a few times before, and they've always helped me create beautiful images that I personally love. They were the first to share with me their journey through two and a half years of tumultuous fertility treatments, and a devastating miscarriage. From there, the couple decided to concentrate on adopting, which led to it's own complications, frustrations, and setbacks, such as countless fees, interviews, and several failed adoptions.
The path to a family hasn't been easy, but last November, Steve & Katie finally received a call that would change their life.
This week, Steve and Katie will finally get their family.
Before all was final, I met with these two to have their last portrait session as a family of two! I found it so fitting that in this cold, bleak time of the year, new life is truly being established. I recognized a dramatic change in both Steve and Katie; how much more at peace they were, how happy they seemed to be. I personally couldn't be happier for them both, who will no doubt be the most loving and accepting parents to their new daughter! (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
It seemed as though this day was just a dream. Time and time again doors were shut, and chances were seized. A story such as Steve and Katie's is a true testament to all the mystery life has in store for us-- how it's possible to have a second, third, (fourth, fifth, etc.) chance, and how perfectly it sums my personal life mantra: Everything happens that's supposed to. There's much learning and growing in the process, and it's not always fun. (In fact, it rarely is). Taking this knowledge and keeping it close is where the fun begins.
To Steve & Katie!
A trillion congratulations to you both. May your lives, and the life of your daughter be forever blessed. I can't wait to meet up with you three in the spring!
Katie's eyes are simply magical!
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
A lot of people complain about Virginia's wacky weather (it was in the 60's on Monday), but I think her indecisiveness is especially lovely for someone who loves spontaneity like me! There are winters where we have plenty of 70-degree days, and some where the idea of sun is a pipe dream, so it's never a certainty that we'll have snow. Most of the time our weathermen can't even get it right. At the very least, it makes life interesting.
I enjoy the chaos winter weather brings to our region. I love how flurries seem to send everyone into a tizzy--where groceries fly off the shelves, schools shut down, and the Department of Transportation pleads for people to stay off the roads. It's an unexpected day off from Life As We Know It. A time for us to slow down and enjoy the day. It's as if Mother Nature is crying out for attention.
So we gave her some attention, the boys and I. We trekked through the woods and out into an open field, where they gravitated to a small stream that had frozen over. Justice and Gibson were fascinated with the giant chunks of ice, and were intent on collecting (and keeping) them. (In the freezer, if you're wondering where). I found so much joy in the boys' pink cheeks and how much they delight in the novelty of the day.
At home, lunch and hot chocolate was served... along with a big fluffy blanket and warm pajamas. More perks of an unscheduled day off. I hope you're all staying safe and warm, and that this storm isn't a hinderance. Cuddle close and enjoy the simple pleasures of a your day. I know I will!
Monday, December 30, 2013
Have you ever witnessed a small child grab tightly onto a special toy or doll and say, "MY BABY!" ? Yes? Then you must know, that's exactly how I feel whenever I get to hang out with Bonnie. Although Bonnie likes her space (IE: the feeling isn't totally mutual), I do my best to get to inch my way closer to this ball of wonderful Maggie and RB get to call their daughter. Now, before I get any creepier...
Maggie shared with me that she wanted to have some photos of B. in her mother's home, as this was the last year she was able to decorate. Although such circumstances are heartbreaking, it prompted my thinking about traditional Christmas portraits; how stuffy they can be, and how most these days are akin to the cringe-worthy "Christmas letter"... (You and your family are the most fabulous bunch of humans to ever exist. GOT IT!!!)
To my family and I, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is so important because it's when we spend a few extra-special weeks basking in the glow of togetherness. Traditions are created and held year after year. Growing up, I always, always decorated the Christmas tree with my mother, listening to Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's Once Upon a Christmas. (I now own this on vinyl and play it each year while decorating the tree with my boys). As a grown up, it isn't Christmas until The Snowman is watched, and Logan starts cringing to my version of "Christmastime is Here".
For some, baking cookies is an event! How much more special would a holiday session be if it were to have personal meaning?! Imagine gorgeous portraits of you and your siblings in your annual pajamas, laughing, joking, wrapped in the warmth of a full kitchen; delirious with good tidings.
What about your annual trip to the Christmas tree farm, or the night you all sit together and watch Home Alone, build a gingerbread house, or make new ornaments? Those are the moments I cherish the most with my family, the ones I hold dear. I want to be the photographer that brings you those moments from the outside.
I love these portraits of Bonnie in her grandmother's home. The decorations will be passed on, but the way they were displayed this year and the years before now take on much more meaning. Small, beautiful touches are no longer unnoticed, taken for granted. They began to spin into a brilliant new life: The After.
I enjoyed so much the time I spent with Maggie, RB, and Bonnie. We sat and talked a bit before I began snapping Bonnie up, which made me realize just how much I enjoy the relationships I've nurtured throughout this photography journey. Since taking time off from my photography as a business, I've really considered what I love to shoot. That's the advice so many other photographers offer--shoot what you love! I realized it's not a genre.
I'm not interested in shooting only weddings, only maternity, only newborn. I'm interested in shooting everything so long as I'm invested in it. I want lasting relationships with my clients. Clients who value my aesthetic, love their lives, and want to showcase that light. I cannot wait to bring those clients into my life and behind my camera for 2014! I also cannot wait to revisit my previous
clients friends, to show how their love has grown!