Lisa and Tim have only been married for a year, but have known each other for almost 10 and they are probably two of the most laid back people I've ever worked with. Their easy-going nature, mixed with a gorgeous summer evening and the breeze through an open field made for maternity session magic.
These two typically like to keep it casual, but if for no other indicator than mom's shoe choice, there's a piece of them likes to class it up sometimes, too! Between football games, bbq's, and hikes with their loyal companion, Ajax, Bri and Kevin enjoy reading books and visiting the vineyards together.
Have you ever found yourself in a crucial moment where everything sort-of freezes and you swear you can see those little angel/devil characters pop up on your shoulders? Not the life or death, danger vs. responsible stuff, but the kind of decision that requires you to push your limits.
The kind of moment that makes you want to simultaneously run towards the excitement and run away at the same time.
The kind of moment when you have the choice between doing things like you've always done them or stepping out on a limb.
It's not super common that my initial contact is with the dad of the family, but in this case, Bryan reached out to surprise his wife with a special gift that held tons of sentimental value (my favorite kind, obviously.) Based in Alabama, the couple and their 8 month old son were traveling to Charlottesville for a wedding in May and as alum who met while attending UVA, Bryan was super thoughtful to consider how cool a family session would be in that same location with their new son!
We met early on a rainy, Saturday morning while the house was still, yet the energy of newborn restless nights was still lingering from wee hours of rocking, pacing, and feedings. An energetic toddler greeted me with open arms and was eager to show me around their beautiful, tucked away home, while baby finally slept soundly upstairs.
The parents wanted the shoot to focus mostly on these new sisters and their first days together, even though big sister Blake had not yet shown a great interest in her new family member. We took things slow, breathing in the morning calmness and taking care to allow time for Blake to explore her sister in her own way and time. Sometimes in the bustle of life after baby, siblings don't always get to set the agenda, but once she realized she was playing an important role, Blake began to love on her sister in brand new ways.
Locations are always one of the first and biggest decisions to make when planning your session, and many clients are surprised to learn that there's a lot more that needs to go into choosing this spot than simply some pretty scenery! In fact, sometimes some of the most "scenic" views make for the worst spots for a full session. And you'd be surprised at the locations hiding right under your feet that may not seem ideal, but given the right conditions and clients, are the perfect fit.
These locations all provide areas of open shade that make shooting at relatively any time of day a possibility. This is a big one for me because while I would love to shoot in the "golden hour," every time (the 1-2 hour window of magical glowy light before sunset), this is rarely a possibility for families with young kids. I like to think that families appreciate my flexibility and understanding from a parents' perspective. The golden hour often doubles as the witching hour for kids under 4 who typically are eating dinner, getting tired, and going to bed around that time. Confidence that I can make it work whether shooting at 10 in the morning or 3 in the afternoon is must!
One of my very favorite things about being a family photographer is that I often get to witness and capture couples growing into parents. This is even more special, however, when I've known the couple beyond that journey, as with Josh and Laura. They dated all through college at William and Mary, where they became good friends with my oldest brother. Josh was the best man at his wedding, they've been at numerous family events and celebrations, they brought us dinner when we had our daughter-- when I get to photograph people with that kind history, my heart just overflows.
Quality family photography is an investment, I get it. (It's one of the most important ones, in my opinion, but that's a different soapbox. Like this one or this one.) When that family is growing and you've got a lot of other things on your plate, it's hard to commit to a full session. I understand that! But let's not let that stop you from capturing what's important before it slips away.
I want to make capturing life's little moments SUPER accessible and show you the power of investing in your heritage.
SO for the month of JULY ONLY, I'm introducing
WEEKDAY MINI STORIES
When planning with this mom and discussing the details, I was so excited to hear her honesty and desire to capture the real beauty behind the day. She knew her 3 year old son would be so infatuated with his new sister when they met, and wanted her daughter to see what life looked like on the day she was born. Audrey came a few days early, but on a lovely summer evening at just 6 hours old, I met their little miracle and captured their love for her unfolding. And she really is a miracle -Audrey was born with her umbilical cord tied in a knot, so doctor's weren't quiet sure how she was able to get the nutrients she needed throughout the pregnancy, but she was surely created for great things.
You may remember Alex and Steve from their maternity session - well now their officially parents and soaking in the world with fresh eyes as a family of three... or five, if you count their adorable furry friends.
Before Connor was born, his dad worked tirelessly to renovate their home and redo the entire upstairs to add his nursery. Unfortunately, they fell subject to the hurry up and wait syndrome, as Connor didn't make his appearance till about 2 weeks after his due date. But once he did, this couple embraced being his parents with such love; it was a joy to watch them make that transition from excitedly throwing around names to rocking their sweet boy to sleep.