I don’t often photograph families and I think it’s because I worry that my style isn’t at all what one thinks of when they think of family photos so I don’t talk about it much. Sessions with me involve very little posing, very little structure, and I prefer things to really be as natural and normal (to the family) as possible so the images genuinely look like a day in their life.
In all of my photos, I prefer to capture the real parts over something staged and I like the imperfections that make people who they wonderfully are instead of a facade for the camera.
I want my pictures that feel like a family member who knows you well and also happens to be a pro photographer took them. Because to me, the pictures that aren’t posed are the favorite ones of my family growing up, and they’re the ones that bring me back to an era where hairstyles were totally different, mom was wearing that favorite cardigan she always left on the arm of the couch, and dad was fixing my bike before I headed out to meet friends.
So in the photos I take, I’m hoping to catch a family member kissing the baby’s head whose needing to be soothed, the hands reaching out to brush aside a child’s hair, and the bustle of dogs coming to check on the newest human member of the pack.
You’re relaxed and you’re you. You’re real and not trying to pretend life is perfectly polished in every single way. Perfection? It’s not only overrated, it unachievable and I truly think we’d all hate it if life was always perfect.
So I want you to lounge together on the couch, take the dancing around of kids in stride because that’s just what kids do, and you allow yourselves to be in a moment.
I think these images are the ones most of us love to see from our own childhoods, but as parents paying for the photos, it’s hard to not want everything to be “just so” – and I get that! I truly do. But man, when you can let that all fall to the wayside and just really be, it’s so damn beautiful.
I also feel you and your family will appreciate having photos in your own home, among the toys and the snacks, and the rooms that protect your family from the world outside. It’s the place you all come together to love and to cry and to dream – and to me, they are the best places to work.
Amy + Clifton married last year and I photographed their beautiful small oceanside wedding right before the pandemic fell at our feet. We were blissfully unaware of what was coming our way in one month and how drastically different life would be. This past winter, Clifton reached out to let me know that Amy was pregnant and photos of the whole family were on his list of things to do and asked if I would photograph them all together and I couldn’t say yes fast enough.
I was elated he asked me to join them again and photograph this new chapter in their lives while in a totally different world than we were in just one year’s passing but I didn’t know just how excited I’d be to photograph them until I got there.
It was everything and more that I love about photographing families and, to me, these tell such a vivid story about the five of them (seven including pups) when they were just one week shy of bringing their newborn son home.
This is a family I enjoy and admire who are full of goodness inside and out. Their bond is so touching and at the heart of them is Amy who has strength and love abound.
Amy, I can photograph you for hours – in fact, can I? You’re so damn wonderful to photograph! You’re magic and have a love for your kids like none other. Clifton, you’re inspiring and I’m so glad we’ve gotten to know each other more over this year – your advocacy and all you’re achieving does not go unnoticed (among many things, he’s heading up the Seacoast Black Lives Matter chapter – give them a follow to keep up on their events).
And to the oldest little humans of the house, you two are so stinkin’ cute with your freckly noses and your big ole smiles! You make a great big sister and brother to your new sibling who is sure to just adore you two.
To the newest child to enter the family, you’ve got so much love around you that I not only can feel it, I can see it in the air of your home. I look forward to seeing who you become.
To those interested in these types of family photos: I tend to do them mostly for families I’ve worked with in the past but I’d be open to expanding that a little so reach out!
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