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.
I am honored to have been published in two major media hubs for my story on my sister's last few hours with us before she passed from cancer back in November.
This story is a reminder of why simple moments are worth documenting, and the true power of a photograph.
If you or a family member is going through a battle with cancer, and would like to be photographed as a legacy to your family, please reach out to me. I have a big heart for family documentary work and would like to offer this gift to select local families.
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."
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.
Introducing Life Stories Sessions.
Often times my clients comment that they love they way I capture my family's everyday chaos, the tiny moments throughout our day. How do I make such simple things look so magical?
I want to create more client work that mirrors my personal work.
My heart is truly devoted to capturing your authentic life stories. As much as I love lifestyle sessions that take are gently posed in parks and in the most beautiful sunset light, I love at-home storytelling sessions because children are in their element and the stories feel most authentic.
What are Life Stories Sessions?
Think of them as photo-journalistic short stories of your daily life. A snippet of your family together at home.
Unposed. Real. Candid.
I spent the most amazing summer evening with this sweet family the other night. I love their reflections about our session to complete their photo story. I can't wait to see these images in a coffee-table album for the kids to look back on!
What kind of life story would you like us to tell during our session?
Daily life after daddy gets home. Trying to squeeze in those extra daylight hours and soak up summer. Dinner, dessert, playtime and garden chores.
Why is it important to you to document this particular life story? What do these images of your everyday family life mean to you?
Documenting the real life "raw-ness" is important because we live it every day. It is really never reflected in picture format because we are almost always behind the lens.
Imagine you are looking at a picture album of your Life Story Session years from now. What types of moments do you hope to see in it? What do you hope to remember about this time in your family's life when you look back in 10 years?
LOVE! And chaos of course. Chaos is par for the course at this stage in our lives. Life with small children is magical for them and often for us as well, but in between those moments, moments of chaos exist. Those moments, although hard at times while in the thick of it, are the moments I know I will yearn for as they grow older. Most importantly I want to know that my children felt loved and a genuine connection between us as a family.
Where does this story take place? Why is that place important to you?
Home... because as cliche as it sounds ... that is where the heart is and always has been in our family. We love our home and spend a lot of time here.
In this home a baby was born, a first breath into the new world.
Our dog also took his last breaths here.
Really, our home is a sanctuary for us. A safe place to just be who we are.
Most importantly I want to know that my children felt loved and a genuine connection between us as a family.
If you would love an everyday family life story photographed with my vision of the magic of childhood and simple beauty, please contact me to book a session! My heart bursts in photographing client stories as I do my own family's. Best of all, these sessions don't require loads of outfit planning and effort. We just plan out what part of your daily life you'd like to remember most, and you guys get to hang out at home while I create a beautiful record of your life.
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.
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.