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.
Whenever my children say something like, "Wouldn't it be amazing if every season were warm and sunny?" I always remind them that we would never appreciate the beauty of that time of year if we didn't have to experience the depth of the winter cold and darkness. Through the seasons we experience longing and patience, and witness the beauty of creation in all it's many forms. Coming out of what felt like the coldest, longest winter of our lives, the colors of spring feel like a true miracle. God's gift to us all.
When I saw that the tulips were blooming at the largest tulip farm on the East Coast, we decided to take a little daytrip and soak up some sun and all the brilliant colors. Josephine LOVES flowers, so this was pretty much heaven on earth for her.
Spring is finally here and I have a few openings for sessions this May and June. Fields of yellow wildflowers will soon be in bloom, as well as the cherry blossoms. If you'd like to book a session to celebrate the beauty of this season, I'd love to talk with you.
September.. the month where summer and autumn collide. People always want to book sessions in October but I have to say September is just as lovely a month for portraits. The air is sweet and warm.. it's crisp and fresh in the morning, warm in the afternoon... and most importantly the gnats aren't out in full force quite yet LOL.
We enjoyed the last weekend before the fall busy season of me being home, present to the kids, and after church we went to the orchard to pick our favorite Honeycrisp apples before they are done for the year. We usually go apple picking 2-3 times each fall and make loads of homemade applesauce to freeze for the winter.
I love creating family and child portraits in the apple orchard and have one late-September date left during apple-picking season. If you'd love a Lehigh Valley PA or Bucks County PA apple-orchard portrait session please get in touch!
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!
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.
Grandparents are a legacy. My Legacy Sessions capture the unique bond between grandparents and grandchildren. My Legacy Sessions can also be booked to honor an aging or ill family member and document a piece of their life story.
When my client contacted me soon after her Spring family session to book a Legacy Session for her girls and her parents, I was ecstatic. Grandparents play such an important role in our children's lives but if you are like me, there are very few pictures documenting that special bond. What better way to honor their care and connection with your children than a fun and relaxed portrait session documenting the kids snuggling, swinging, and playing with their grandparents.
If you'd like to book a Legacy Session for a family member, please get in touch! I'd love to talk with you about how we can honor your family.
My client contacted me about a childhood session in Frenchtown NJ with her 5-year old girl and asked if it would be ok to include her french bulldog puppy, I was super excited. I love the documenting the connection between children and their pets, their lovies, and their families, so including her new best friend was a fabulous idea! Penny + Mae made for the cutest duo ever! We walked the canal trail together, picked wildflowers, and then walked over to the creek and played on the playground. Such a fun and relaxed Sunday morning child session in Frenchtown. I can't wait to go back to explore that adorable town!
Her expressions never fail me.
This beautiful mama and daughter spent a cloudy spring evening with me last week enjoying this delicious golden yellow field. I just adore little Natalie's pigtails and her dark hair amidst all the bright flowers. So much tender connection between the two of them as they wait in anticipation of baby brother's birth this summer. I am so excited for my motherhood session marathon coming up this weekend! I can't wait to capture your children's spontaneous affection for you :)
I am so excited for this to be the Motherhood Sessions Event month! We mothers are often the ones behind the camera, and we often get uncomfortable being IN pictures. But these images of us being with our babies and big kids are so important. The kids only see the woman who makes every day brighter, not the extra 5-10 pounds we'd rather not be carrying, our tired eyes, or any of the other features that we stress about daily.
I had 2 slots open for my motherhood sessions on April 29th and I would love to capture your love through my candid, relaxed portraits with your littles.
I was so honored to have been invited to be the featured artist over on the Snap Love Grow Photography blog last week. Have a peek over at their blog to learn more about me and my work!
Valentine's Day was one of those days this year that was just nonstop action in our house. Every time I turned around, my youngest darlin' was getting into something. She is fighting naptime in a major way and that is just one battle I am not ready to stop fighting yet. This mama needs her downtime to regroup in the afternoons.
I keep my camera handy at home because when I enter a room and see the children at play or in beautiful light, I enjoy capturing that story on the fly. Here's a little peek at a few highlights from our crazy day.
We took a little road trip today and had some fun hiking and exploring. Gathering treasures of tiny shells, fossils, driftwood, and just climbing around nature's jungle gym made for the perfect homeschooling morning after our bookwork was finished. I can't wait to get back here for a sunset family session!
I am currently booking Spring and Summer Child and Family sessions. Please contact me if you would love for me to capture your children at play and are interested in getting on my calendar.
SUN! At long last! My kids acted like it was summer. My boys came home from our errands and put on shorts and t-shirts even though it was only 50 degrees. They ran for hours at the park while Josephine did her best to ride the giant hand-me-down scooter that she's been dying to learn to ride. I chatted with one of my besties and we made pictures because who could resist that light after weeks of fog and clouds.
Do you love my work? I am now booking storytelling sessions to capture the beauty of your family's day-to-day. I'd love to plan a session with you!
When it's 50 degrees out in January, I declare that we head out for a treat from Yum Yum Bakeshops in Quakertown, and then spend some time burning off the winter energy at the playground that my kids affectionately call, "The Castle Playground." (I have no idea what it is really called, but I know that it is across from the Quakertown Library!)
People might think we photographers are just so obsessed with our own kids that we have to take a million pictures wherever we go. Actually, the truth of it is (for me, at least), is that the art itself is the addiction and you just feel a release when shooting. You see colors, patterns, angles, repetition, lines and light all around you all the time. And on a day like today when my kids just ran and played for over an hour, I got to just play too. I don't ask them to pose and smile, and they just ignore me anyways lol. I just get to capture them being THEMSELVES on a gloomy but warm winter day :)
And can I just say that as much as I LOVE me some dreamy backlighting, shooting on a cloudy day is so fun! The colors just pop!
When you can't rely on interesting light to make photographs more visually engaging, you have to see things from different perspectives and angles. I am drawn to really balanced and simple images with few distractions. I am drawn to lines and shapes in my imagery. And I just love working with a Sigma Art 24mm lens. Today I left the house with just this lens, and I love how it helps me to capture what I see.
We are all feeling a little cooped up with the winter right about now, so even though I am longing to shoot outdoors and in beautiful dreamy backlit fields, this season forces me to turn inward, shoot in less-than-perfect locations and light, accept some grain and high ISOs, and find new nooks of light in my home. We're hanging in there!
If you love my work and would like your family story documented as art, please contact me to schedule an in-home storytelling session. I'd love to find the light and capture the love in your home.
Impossible to narrow it to just 16 favorites, so I will likely share more with time, but here are some of my favorite moments captured for my clients in 2016. In fact, these are only pulling from outdoor work this fall! So many beautiful families, light, and lots of love. Thank you all so much for inviting me into your lives for just a small little window and letting me capture your love.
Can we just talk for a minute about sunrise light? Oh my goodness it took my breath away. This is one of my amazing repeat families (I've gotten to see them every 3 months for a year!!!! How awesome is that?!) that was truly hardcore enough to meet me for a 7:45am session on a slightly frigid morning on a farm. Sunrise is truly underrated. The quality of light is just as stunning as sunset and our location made for some really warm and cozy fall portraits, as well as fun playtime with the farm animals! The goats were getting a little frisky with us, but my little buddy Grant didn't seem to mind one bit :)
When my client contacted me a few months ago to inquire about an extended family session and mentioned that they wanted to do some formals at a park and then move back to Grandpa's house for a campfire and smores, I knew we were going to be the perfect match :)
I just loved how playful this family was and the bond between sweet Paige and her G-Pa was just too beautiful for words. I don't have many pictures of me with my grandparents (maybe one from my high school graduation?!), so I am very drawn to capturing these expressions of play and affection. Thank you so much D Family for inviting me to document your adorable family's campfire, and for sharing the delicious smores :)
If you are interested in having me document a fun family gathering or just tell the story of your family engaged in a holiday tradition, please contact me know to get on my calendar for November and December.