This storytelling session has long been on my heart. I first met Diana a few years ago when we visited her Bucks county in-home Waldorf school one September day. I fell in love with their lovely land, their quaint, cozy home, and the beautiful simplicity and intentionality of their family life. I was delighted to return earlier this October to capture a small snippet of their life at home together. We spent from afternoon into evening together and I observed as they went about their activities: watercolor painting, kneading dough together for the pizza, gathering goldenrod to make homemade fabric dye, feeding their fluffy bunny, playing in their forest, picnicking pizza by a campfire and dying fabric, and playing guitar together before heading in for bedtime rituals. What a joy to tell their story of family life.
Family photojournalism is so incredibly important to me as an artist. I long to create meaningful portraits of the family in motion, in their own space- the place the children will grow up remembering as their childhood home. They will look back on summer evenings in their yard, playing music with dad, creating art together as a family in their studio space, setting the dinner table and sharing the family meal together every night. Here's what they won't remember and won't care about: what you feel are imperfections in your decor, clutter organization, or renovations that you hope to get to but haven't yet.
Jenel being a phenomenal artist herself was interested in a family storytelling session to have an unique portrait of their family life. She also wanted to have a few more posed images of their family in their yard for the wall. So we did both! If you are interested in family photojournalism but don't want to sacrifice a more traditional family portrait I am happy to make time for that during our time together.
Some clients are sure if everyone in the family would be on board with this different type of photography. Thoughts might hold them back from a storytelling session like, Will our life be boring? Will our house be nice enough? Will my kids "last" for 2+ hours? Will it be awkward?
The truth of the matter is that these sessions are so so easy on the whole family because the kids love just getting to show me around their home and doing all the fun activities they would normally be doing on an afternoon. Grown-ups enjoy these sessions because the kids are relaxed and they don't have to "do" anything special. Just hang out as a family, go about your routine, and relax! I find beauty in every family I meet. I want to create timeless images of you as a mother, father, sibling that will become family heirlooms.
Thank you S family for allowing me into your space and filling up my artistic cup. Your family life truly is inspiring.
I have limited dates available for family photography in Cape Cod, MA this summer. I love beach family sessions. Everyone is relaxed, playful, the light is beautiful. We capture a few posed images of your family, and then you get to enjoy a relaxed session with plenty of time to just connect as a family. Beach sessions capture childhood wonder, discovery, mommy snuggles, racing daddy to the waves on the shore. Your gallery will be full of gorgeous, artful images of your family life. Session pricing is a straightforward and easy all-inclusive rate for a family of up to 5 at $650. Your session images will be presented in a beautiful online gallery from which you may download your images and purchase any additional wall art or albums you may want for your home.
Are you interested in booking a session with me while you vacation in Cape Cod this June29-July 5th? Please get in touch! I'd love to hear more about your family and your session goals!
AnneMarie Hamant is an award-winning family and child photographer who travels for sessions across the East Coast. You can learn more about her here!
Back in February when I attended the Click Away conference with Clickin' Moms in Amelia Island, FL, I had the pleasure of shooting a session for another talented photographer and her family while they vacationed at the Omni Resort.
They were brave enough to get their three kids up and ready for a sunrise session and we had so much fun capturing their beautiful love for each other on the beach and in the forest.
Since we created these images to be enjoyed in print for years to come, I want to take some time to show you one of my new product offerings for 2018. I am IN LOVE with my new album which is handcrafted here in the USA and printed on a thick velvet fine art paper with layflat pages. There are plenty of cover options to suit different tastes, from distressed leathers (as shown) to linens.
Check out my Product Guide for details. This is such a beautiful heirloom keepsake from our session.
The fine art album
Because we created these images for a greater purpose than to be simply shared on social media.
Enjoy some of my favorite moments from our sunrise beach session. If you are planning a summer trip to the beach, I'd love to capture your family connections. Beach sessions are so relaxed and playful. I am available for travel to the Eastern shore.
This documentary newborn session with one of my favorite Hellertown PA families was all about capturing life at home with three children 4 and under. Parenting at this stage is busy, tiring, silly, colorful and full of laughter. I love how this family embraced a truly documentary approach and dressed as they usually would for a Sunday morning at home. We did do a few simple newborn portraits as well like we did with their second child, and a few family bed snuggles because it's nice to be all be in the frame together. It's been such a joy watching the E family grow since their oldest was about a year old! I'm grateful they've trusted me with yet another milestone in their family life.
Did you miss their birth photography session? Go back and have a look at this incredible mama's birth story.
Are you expecting and considering newborn photography? I'd love to talk with you about a relaxed in-home session to capture your family's story!
When most people think of extended family sessions, they think of white shirts and denim and lots of stress to organize rows of family members and attempts to get all 12 people to say cheese. Maybe that's why families only do these like once in their lives ever?!
Documentary family photography means everyone can just BE themselves, come as they are, hang out, wear whatever they usually wear, and you come away with a collection of images that tell the story of your family in this season of life. Part crazy, chaotic, part quiet and connected. We have time to capture the children in their rooms, surrounded by their beloved stuffies or pile of Legos, along with the meaningful relationships between extended family members.
The Garcia family is a fabulous bunch that starts with 5 brothers who all are grown and have their own families and mostly live local. About monthly they get together for family brunch. They mix up some pancakes and eggs, brew some coffee, and hangout. They share a meal, light saber fight, tickles, play music and games together, draw or color with the kids. I was so touched by the loving way this family connected. The kids are so lucky to have all these aunts and uncles in their lives. I hope you love this story of a Sunday morning with the Garcia crew as much as I do!
What do you want to remember about your weekend mornings while the kids are still little?
I walk into this family's Sunday morning to find their oldest son making pour-over coffee, dad busy in the kitchen cooking up homemade waffles, the kids wrestling on the family room floor and reading stories with mommy. After this family of five gathers together to enjoy breakfast, they spend time doing "Family Church." Listening to worship music together, learning about Scripture, and praying together. After Family Church time, they play board games and daddy puts the youngest up for his nap. What a beautiful winter Sunday morning, cozied up at home sharing a meal, prayer and activity time focused on each other.
I adored every minute of this documentary session and long to tell more of your family routines. These days pass too quickly, and as wonderful as beautiful formal portraits are, there is something so meaningful in preserving the everyday.
I went back to reveal the gallery slideshow with the family a week later when it was ready. It was SO much fun to see the expressions on the children's faces as they recalled real moments from their day. "Look at S making the coffee all on his own!" "Remember how high M jumped off the couch?" "That was my best game of Yahtzee ever!"
Documentary sessions connect with us because they are memories of childhood, parenting, and celebrate the beauty in your everyday. Sometimes it's really hard to find joy in the daily grind of parenting. But I promise you, these sessions reveal a love and connection in your home that you may not be able to see yourself on those difficult days of "just getting through it."
Custom designed albums tell your family story. Fine art museum archival prints make a statement in your home.
After all of my sessions clients have the option of me helping them to select fine art products to complete their digital portrait package. I believe in the power of the printed image and I believe in a finished job for my clients. Most of us are so busy we just never get around to designing that gallery wall that Pinterest makes us think is soooooo easy. Few of us take the time to design a storybook album with our beautiful images, because honestly, it can take forever and be overwhelming to decide which images to include and how to lay them all out.
I work with clients to find out how they want to display their images, and then I design it for them! I can show you what a gallery wall would look like and what arrangement fits best in your space. I can even deliver your prints matted and framed so you don't have to do a thing to get them off the hard drive and onto the walls.
I recently started offering these beautiful torn-edge and matted prints that are printed by a boutique lab on museum cotton paper. They are THICK and they are unique. They make such a bold statement whether just framed and displayed on a side table, or framed large for the wall. Either way you choose, they are going to be a conversation piece and draw people right in. A beautiful linen-covered coffee table album is another beautiful way to highlight the whole session, and assure that you actually get to revisit and enjoy all of the amazing images in your gallery, rather than forgetting about them except for the few that make it onto the Christmas card.
Of course my clients are not forced to purchase products from me, but I sure love it when they do because I offer options you cannot get elsewhere, and it means you don't have to worry about what to do with your images after the session. I love receiving these finished products in the mail to review before re-packaging and sending them off to my beloved client families. It makes me happy that our session fulfilled a bigger purpose than just a few shared images on social media.
"We recently invited AnneMarie to photograph our growing family as we welcomed our second son into our home. She was not only professional but more importantly she was such a personable and friendly woman who made our session fun. I love how she was attentive to our two year old son who was not always the most cooperative, but she managed to put him at ease long enough to capture many beautiful moments. It was also a fabulous decision to have her assistance with selecting photos. I loved physically sorting through the photos rather than just simply viewing them online. I also loved how she was able to show us different gallery arrangements for our wall spaces. Our experience was wonderful and we highly recommend her services." - Kristen A.
I've been honored to see my work featured this week on a few different pages. Looks Like Film is an amazing, and huge community that recently featured two of my sessions. Snap Love Grow is another beautiful community of photographers and I am truly thankful to be considered amongst so many talented artists.
Do you do mini sessions?
It's that time of year where I get a lot of inquiries from families looking for "just a Christmas card picture." I understand that need and desire, I really do! But shooting for the one or two posed images doesn't fulfill my visual voice and doesn't allow me to express all that I see in a family in the way I so very much long to. So at the moment I am not offering fall mini sessions. I find them stressful on me, stressful on the families. We miss out on the candid, in-between moments that mark my work. I need time with a family for everyone feel at ease and when we are all relaxed we make the most beautiful images. I may change my mind in the future, but for this busy fall season I am choosing to spend more time with each family that comes to me so I can provide them each my best work and service. Thank you for understanding and valuing me!
This gallery gives a glimpse of why I don't prefer mini sessions. There is so much variety and so many sweet expressions of love and personality that we wouldn't have had time for in 15 minutes. This was my first fall Lehigh Valley family portrait session of the 2017 season and it was just beautiful!
I have worked with this adorable family for a few years now, and I just love watching the girls grow. We just had a session in the spring, and it's amazing how much they have changed since May. Jillian is now in 4th grade, and is turning into a little lady. She is just as beautiful as her mama and I swear in some of the walking pictures it's easy to confuse her with mom! Little Lily is the same age as my daughter and I loved her growing independence. She wanted to run circles in the fields which was just fine with me!
Isn't this location beautiful? Goldenrod is my favorite early sign of fall- it comes on in such splendor in mid-September and fades right around the first week in October. I am so glad we were able to catch such beautiful light in the meadow the other night (despite the ever=annoying battle with GNATS!- WHY do they have to come out just in time for fall sessions?!).
I still have 2 openings for full family sessions at this Lehigh Valley PA location this week before the flowers fade to October's beige (just in time for the trees to take a turn with color!). You can view my pricing and get in touch if you'd like to book a session! Perfect timing before it gets too cold!
When this family first contacted me a few weeks ago about doing a Lehigh Valley documentary session with their three-year old and 4 month-old boys, I was beyond excited. They are moving this week to the midwest for work and wanted a candid way to remember their Coopersburg home where their boys have grown up.
I think documentary sessions are the perfect way to keep that story of early childhood alive. A keepsake album of pictures from your home, their toys and favorite books tell such a rich story that traditional portraits leave out. My boys moved from Maryland to Lehigh Valley Pa when they were just 4 and 2, and their memories are already fading from that house where they grew up and the surrounding neighborhood. But they still talk about their favorite park and remember certain features of it. I wish I had though to make an album of our daily life there before we moved.
If you are interested in a documentary photography session in Lehigh Valley PA or surrounding areas, please reach out! This is a fabulous way to bring to life childhood milestones and all the upcoming holiday traditions.
Are you interested in my pricing for a documentary session? Please have a look at what I offer and let me know if you have any questions!
Do you worry that a sunset session would be past your child's normal bedtime?
It's normal to worry about your children's normal routine when planning a portrait session. After all, who wants a cranky toddler for picture day? I appreciate the investment, time, and effort involved in planning for family portraits so I wouldn't ever suggest something that would be uncomfortable for one of my family's. BUT-
There are a few reasons I suggest booking a sunset session, and in my experience both as a photographer and as a parent, I find that most little ones do just fine! Let me explain why I always prefer to shoot as close to sunset as possible :)
1. Sunset timing allows me to work in the most flattering light. You might think that 10am on a Saturday is the best time for your family to have pictures taken (post-coffee, breakfast, time for the family to get dressed at a leisurely pace- I get it!!), but I assure you we wouldn't get the quality of work that I am known for if we shot at that time. We can choose to shoot in a fully shaded spot during the hours of high sun, but that type of light is not as interesting or beautiful to me. It is also rather limiting to have to encourage children to stay in the shade instead of running out into the bright sun.
2. Squinty eyes and raccoon shadows in full sun. Need I say more??
3. Not only is sunset light more flattering, it adds depth to the images and creates a mood we just can't replicate during full sun. (Of course I love shooting in full sun in certain situations- it can be fun to play with deep shadows and colors pop in a whole different way- but to me it's not as pleasing for portrait work.)
So what do you think? If I've convinced you about the quality of light, what about the bedtime routine??
What I've found after many years photographing families is that when little ones are outside enjoying the fresh air, getting all those extra snuggles and attention from their family, they usually are so content they don't even notice it's close to their normal bedtime. In fact, older toddlers and children feel excited like they are doing something special to be out a little later.
I still have a few more dates open for sunset sessions. With all the colors of autumn it will be splendid!
I just love the light and the peace at Lake Nockamixon. This sweet family from Buck's County PA wanted a relaxed family portrait session to celebrate their baby boy's first birthday. Most children just love being close to the water, and are so happy to be outside on a warm night splashing in the lake, skipping rocks (or trying to put them in their mouths as with this sweet one-year-old boy!) If you'd like to book a session at the lake please contact me to get on my calendar!
I know.. summer doesn't actually end until late September. But to me, Labor Day is the end of unstructured, carefree family time and vacations. Capturing this family's last day of their beach vacation in Cape May New Jersey was the perfect end to my summer season. One thing I love about Cape May is how you can capture that beautiful sunset light over the water, unlike most east-coast beaches. I also just love the character of the town! Victorian houses, a pedestrian mall filled with cute shops and eateries, and my favorite find on this trip- the very best ice cream sandwiches at Peace Pie!
For this lifestyle session we started in town walking the pedestrian mall together. We stopped into the cutest candy shop and the girls picked out their goodies. (When mom told me later that the kids said she had picked a really fun photographer I chuckled- Sure! The one who suggested we go to the candy store and take pictures with lollipops!)
I love playing with the deep shadows and harsh light of the early evening- to me that is part of the fun of summer light, especially to capture the whimsical fun of a walk around town. And the bond between these sisters so close in age is just the sweetest.
After our romp around town, we headed over to the Cove beach in Cape May. It is a beautiful spot that gets a perfect view of the lighthouse and sunset. This family was so playful and affectionate- I just love the connections we captured during our time together. It was the perfect way to end the summer!
If you love my work and would like your family vacation to be documented, I love to travel for sessions! Please inquire if you'd like to book a destination portrait session with me!
You might see me posting a lot about these "Life Story" sessions lately. I'm going to explain a bit about how a Life Story documentary session is different than my traditional lifestyle sessions as we prepare to enter into the fall busy season and people are choosing what kind of portrait experience is best for them. If you are interested in booking a fall family portrait session, either lifestyle or documentary in Montgomery County, PA or the surrounding area, please reach out soon as my calendar is almost booked! There are only so many fall sunsets available so grab a spot now!
What is a "Lifestyle" session?
Most families have had some sort of "lifestyle" photography session done over the years. A "lifestyle" session is more modern than traditional posed portraits with props, and more traditional than a documentary session. It's kind of a comfortable middle ground. In a lifestyle session, I will gently pose your family and lead you into opportunities to connect with each other through touch or movement, in the most beautiful light available to us at an outdoor location- usually a park or a field. You can see a beautiful lifestyle motherhood session on the blog. I help coordinate your clothing and choose a beautiful location. We will do a few poses of everyone looking at me, and then use the rest of our time to connect with your family. These sessions are really beautiful and show connection, emotion and light without the use of any props.
How is a Life Story Documentary Session different from a lifestyle session?
A Life Story session is different than a lifestyle session because it is photojournalistic in nature. Your story, my lens. The session will take place at your home usually, or another location that is essential to the family story. We spend a few hours together and your family goes about the normal routine while I document your family life via my artistic voice. The kids are going to go about their regular play, potty training, bathtime, snacks, etc. Our goal is to give you an artistic representation of your daily life. We are shooting for an album, to create a picture-story of this little slice of your daily world.
What kind of session is right for you?
When this sweet Montgomery County PA family contacted me about booking an end-of-summer session, at first mom had planned on doing a traditional lifestyle session at home. But as we talked more about what she wanted on her walls, and about the family dynamics and children's personalities, she decided that a Life Story documentary session would be more fun for the kids and would capture the authentic, beautiful chaos of life with 3 small children. I was super excited to tell their story.
We spent a little over 2 hours together than evening as the family wrapped up dinner and moved outside to spend quality time together playing water balloons, picking tomatoes, weeding the garden, and eating ice cream. When it was time for bath, I followed everyone in and concluded our story with that bedtime routine.
Thank you so much, D Family, for inviting me into your beautiful family life. It's been such a joy to capture these moments for you.
When I asked mom why they wanted to tell their story with a Life Story session, she responded, "The kids are growing up and Tessa is likely the last baby. I'd like to capture what it is really like having such a young family and how much fun and chaos it can be so I have fond memories to look back on and remember."
What story do you want to tell this fall?
If you are interested in a Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Bucks County or Lehigh Valley Lifestyle or Life Story Documentary family session this fall, please book now. My October calendar is 99% full. September and November have limited availability.
Together we rise.
This is a visual love story between a mother and child, of their bond that is as certain as the sun rising and setting day after day.
This truly was the kind of Life Story session that I dream about. It was authentic, full of raw emotions and universal expressions of motherhood. This storytelling session candidly portrays the daily rituals of a mother and babe at the end of the busy workday, running home from daycare to spend some quality time together before bedtime.
When Allison contacted me about doing a documentary session, she had a really special request: that it didn't end with bedtime so that we could capture the special time she shares with Enzo as they wake together each morning. We agreed for me to stay over so that I could be there come dawn to capture their waking moments, snuggled in bed, nursing and playing before beginning another hectic workday.
If you would be interested in having a part of your daily life captured through my lens, please contact me to book. I am available for limited travel sessions. I am offering a discount on Life Story documentary sessions that are booked and shot during the month of August.
Fair warning: If you get squeamish about the feminine figure, and mothers nursing their babes, then you might want to close right out of this post. This is a very intimate portrayal of motherhood- the daily rituals of caring for a baby, nursing to sleep, and nursing upon waking.
What kind of life story would you like us to tell during our session?
These images are mainly for me. I want real snapshots of our life together.
We start with getting home, checking the mail together, changing into play clothes to go outside.
We go sit at the pool, on the lawn, or sit on our porch and read a book.