I was so honored to photograph this lovely mama with her two girls. She told me that she had never had professional photos taken with her children and that just before she had seen me advertising my motherhood sessions, she had posted an article on Facebook about how mothers aren’t in enough images with their kids. It is so true. As mothers, we tend to be the photographers in the family. We document their days and become the memory keepers. We are great at snapping images of our spouses but we rarely ask them to do the same for us. Images with our kids are so, so important. We don’t want our kids to look back at their images and wonder where we were all the time. Professional pictures are great and of course, I recommend all mamas to get them, but it’s equally important to make sure you’re having every day moments captured too. Set your camera up on a tripod, or hand your phone off to someone but make sure you’re documenting yourself, as well as them. I hope you enjoy looking through these images of this beautiful family.
I try to photograph my children daily. As a family lifestyle photographer, photographing my own kids gives me plenty of opportunity to learn and grow as an artist, and at the end of the day, I am left with beautiful memories of their childhood. Here is our last week.
Every night while Daddy is away, I creep into your room and bring you into bed with me. You’re normally the first one up, but this morning you slept past sunrise.
You’re the only one who likes to sleep in. Every morning, we have to wake you with minutes to spare before we leave for school. Not even smoke alarms can wake you. It’s funny how tiny you look when you sleep.
You and Oscar found an old portable DVD player that no longer works, but yet it kept you both entertained for ages. I love seeing you play together but what I love more is that little arm around Oscar’s neck.
I can’t imagine a day when I will tire of taking sleeping photos of you. I don’t know what it is about those little legs in that position, but it gets me every time.
It’s rare to have all three of you relaxing on the couch before school.
The Man Bun. I know it’s not going to last forever so I’ll just enjoy it while it does.
Busted. But you look so cute.
You couldn’t choose, so it’s Vegemite and butter on one side, and Nutella on the other.
This beautiful family session didn’t take place in Seattle. I was so lucky to photograph my sister’s family when I visited New Zealand a few months ago. It was chilly (by NZ standards, not really by Seattle standards) so we worked fast but the results were so lovely. We headed out to do their images, not really having a location in mind. All we knew was that we wanted to do the session in the hills. We drove, stopped a couple of times, then kept moving until we found this gorgeous spot. I love how you can see the ocean in the background and the light was pretty incredible too. My nieces and nephew are growing up so fast and I love being able to photograph them all every couple of years.
I don’t photograph outdoors very often, but I do offer a limited amount of outdoor sessions over the summer. If that’s something you’re interested in, please get in touch so we can get you on the schedule!
These winter Seattle days are cold and gloomy but the warmth in this at home newborn session was a stark contrast. This was my first newborn session of 2019 and it couldn’t have been any more beautiful.
I’ve known this strong mama for about a year and a half. She instructed fitness classes for mamas and their babies and I started attending her classes when my youngest was about 4 months old. She is so strong mentally and physically and I really admire her for they way in which she motivates other mamas to be strong and healthy.
Baby number four was only six days old for his session. He was still so fresh, flaky skin, umbilical cord stump, eyes closed the entire time. His big sisters are so in love with him, as are his loving parents. It never matters whether it’s baby number one or baby number four, each one is so special. We did the whole session in one room. The master bedroom is my favorite room to photograph newborns in. The master bed is a comfy spot for everyone to snuggle, and it’s also a great spot for individual pictures of the new baby. As long as there is one window letting in enough light, then I often stick to the master bedroom for the entire newborn session. The whole time I was photographing this family, I kept thinking about how perfectly baby fits in Mama’s arms. Isn’t it lovely how they just curl up, like they know that’s exactly where they belong? He was the sweetest, snuggliest little thing. Sometimes I hold baby for a bit so everyone can get into place and then once they’re comfortable, I hand baby over. I may have held on to him just a little bit longer than needed, but I just couldn’t help myself.
I am happy for this gorgeous family. I love that we were able to capture Gideon before he lost his umbilical cord stump. I always feel like that little stump speaks of their newness like nothing else. I hope these photographs are forever treasured and you can always look back and remember how tiny he was. Welcome to the world Gideon!
What exactly is lifestyle photography and how does it differ from traditional photography? The answer may be different depending on who you ask, but I’m going to try to explain what lifestyle photography is to me.
Lifestyle is somewhere in the middle between traditional portrait photography, and documentary photography. Portrait photography is a session where the photographer will pose everyone in a spot that the photographer has chosen and will direct everyone to look (and usually smile) at the camera. Documentary photography is where the photographer will follow the family around and just photograph them going about their day. The photographer will do nothing to alter the scene. If lights are turned on, they’ll leave them. If the family is in an area that might not photograph well, they’ll leave them there and continue to shoot anyway. So, where does lifestyle photography fit in? My approach is to manipulate the scene a little, but ultimately, I still aim to capture the family as it is. Once I arrive at your house, I typically look for the places with the best light, or anywhere that looks like it would be an interesting backdrop. I will direct the family into that space and I may guide them into position. For example, if I have the family on the bed, I may ask young children to hop on their parents’ laps, but that’s where my direction stops. I may offer prompts such as “Can you tickle your baby brother’s feet?” but what I’m really looking for is to capture the emotion once I have you in the place I want you. Normally once I offer a prompt or two, families will just start interacting with one another, and that’s what I’m aiming to get. I will also manipulate the light if needed. I always turn off artificial lighting, and if needed, I will close a shade or two if I want light just from one direction. I love to capture you enjoying just being with your people and I believe that that’s what family photography should be about. Love, connection and a whole lot of authenticity.
If this is how you want your family session to look, please contact me. I would love to chat with your more about a photography session that captures the heart of your family.
No lie, I actually cried when I got the email from this mama telling me that baby number three had arrived and asked if I would photograph them once they brought their daughter home to Washington following the beautiful gift of adoption. I am so happy for them and it was so lovely to her big sister and brother adapt to their new roles. Little Zoe, you are so loved. It was an absolute honor to photograph this beautiful love story.
The number one question I get asked once a family has booked a lifestyle photo session is “Does my house need to be perfect?” The answer is NO! Your house should feel like you and that a family lives there, but there are a few things you can do to make your images look amazing:
Put Clutter Away
Remember that my camera can’t “unsee” what is there. If you don’t want it photographed, put it away. Cords and cables should be out of sight.
Focus on 1 or 2 Rooms
The rooms I use the most are the living room and the master bedroom. If you don’t have the time or energy to declutter the whole house, focus on those rooms.
Make Sure it Feels like Your Space
When cleaning up, don’t remove the essence of you. Keep family pictures, heirlooms, blankets, special toys out. The reason you’re having an in home session is because it is the place where you live your lives. Make sure it still feels like your space.
Now that you’ve prepared your home, what about what to wear? Second most frequently asked question! I always recommend that mom chooses an outfit for herself first. Often moms put themselves last and this is a time when you should feel good about yourself. I do love the look of flowy cardigans and leggings, or a long flowy dress. It may not be what you’d wear every day but they are universally flattering and comfortable. Dress kids and dad in things they feel comfortable in. I would recommend putting kids in clothes they have worn before so they are used to the feel of the fabric. If you’re looking to buy something new for your kids, my favorite shops for sweet, photogenic clothes are Zara, Jamie Kay, H&M, and Peek Kids.
Timing - When should you have a session
The great thing about in home sessions is that they can be booked year round. No need to wait until it’s summer or fall as you’ll be cozy and warm inside your own home. I typically do morning sessions at 10am and afternoon sessions at 2pm, but we can be flexible around kids’ nap schedules if that doesn’t work for your family. Sessions last anywhere from one to two hours so we will want to avoid shooting late in the afternoon so we don’t lose the light, particularly in winter.
Don’t forget the outside of your home! Weather permitting, we may take a few images outside. Often families like an image taken on their front porch or back yard, so be sure to have those spaces photo ready if you’d like that too.
Lastly, be prepared to have fun. The session will focus on you connecting with your family so be ready to play, read books, and snuggle with your family.
Being an in home lifestyle photographer, typically, I can only photograph families in the greater Seattle area, however, in 2019, I will be adding a few travel sessions. Last year, I photographed families in New Zealand and it was so amazing being able to share my photography on the other side of the world. If you have been wanting a session with me but you live outside of Seattle, please contact me and we’ll work together to figure out a way for this to happen! It may involve a minimum number of sessions booked in your city so if you have friends who would like a session, get them involved too. I’m not ruling out anywhere…cool pre-war apartment in NYC? Count me in. Rustic villa in Italy? Let’s do it! Don’t think your location is fun or exotic? Doesn’t matter. It’s all about the beautiful moments in your family anyway. I’m so excited to see where 2019 will take me!
A while back I wrote a post about how to photograph your baby in as little as 5 minutes. It was pretty popular (check it out here) so I wanted to show you again how this can be achieved. The baby I photographed in the original post was my own. I wrote that post because I know that as a new mama, it is exhausting having a little baby, but I also know that you want to preserve every little detail of them. A photo shoot may seem daunting, but if you only want to give it a few minutes, you can still get a great variety of shots. If you’re a photographer and you want to get a big variety of images, but you have limited time, or baby has finally fallen asleep and you want to maximize sleeping time, you can follow the same ideas. Shoot above, shoot from the side, capture details, get full body shots, move all around baby for as much variety as possible. Good luck and have fun! If you have a new baby and the thought of photographing your little one still seems like it’s too much, contact me. I’d love to take that stress away.
When you are looking to book a newborn photographer, the options can seem endless. Do you want a posed session or a lifestyle session? In a studio or at your home? Do you want the session when baby is only a few days old or do you want to wait until they’re a few weeks? Do you want family pictures or baby alone? And what about birth photography or a Fresh 48 session?
The two genres I photograph when it comes to newborns are Fresh 48 and in home lifestyle sessions. Both are worth having photographed, but here is a summary of each.
These take place in the hospital or birthing center.
As the name suggests, these take place within the first 48 hours after baby is born.
Since time is of the essence, we need to get this scheduled within hours of baby being born so you don’t get sent home before the session takes place.
This is such an intimate time. A time when you can shut out the rest of the world and just focus on you and your little baby. A session will help you remember this special time in your baby’s life.
I focus on little details such as hospital bracelets, blankets and hats. Items only used once for those first two days.
As mothers are often exhausted, memories from this time are often forgotten. A session will help preserve these memories.
IN HOME LIFESTYLE
These take place in your own home.
Sessions can be done any time in the first month of baby’s life.
Sessions include the whole family but there is also plenty of time to photograph baby on their own.
These last longer than Fresh 48 sessions and they’re often very relaxed with lots of chatting and time for feeding, diaper changes, cuddles etc.
Sessions often take place in the master bedroom. The bed often provides a good space for the whole family to cuddle up, as well being a great spot to lie baby down for individual pictures.
These photos will embrace what life is like those first few weeks with a newborn in your home. We will capture them sleeping, being loved on, feeding, etc.
Unlike a posed session, it doesn’t matter if baby is awake or asleep while I’m there. The purpose of these sessions is to capture the love in your family, not a baby sleeping in an unnatural pose.
If you are hoping to get on my calendar for 2019, please contact me. I would love to discuss your needs further.