As a family photographer, when you arrive at your shoot to be greeted with kids screaming your name and running into your arms to give you the biggest “I-haven’t-seen-you-in-months!” hug, you know it’s going to be a great photo shoot! That is exactly what happened when I got to photograph this family. S still had curlers in her hair when she came running out of the van, and her little brother couldn’t wait to show me his loose tooth. These are the moments that make my heart swell and make me SO! GRATEFUL! for the job that I have. I have been working with this family for years and I LOVE every shoot that we do. We always try to “outdo” the last, but we have some traditions that we always do on every shoot that makes it really fun. This is fun because it forces me to be creative and try different things and locations. This time, I decided to work at Jetton Park on Lake Norman because I’ve been working there lately and I really love the scenery. Plus I thought it would be fun to do a summery beach scene with some of the kids’ clothes that mama chose. It worked out perfectly and the weather cooperated!
One of our photo shoot traditions is the last thing that we do is a “tackle mommy” photo. Everyone looks forward to this (well… maybe not mommy but she is such a sweet mama and a good sport that she wouldn’t let on if she didn’t). The whole family gives her the biggest hug ever that usually sends everyone toppling over onto the ground with mom at the bottom of the pile!
We have certain games that we always play, and the kids look forward to those as well. This time, I even found out who has the stinkiest feet in the family. And I will never, ever tell!
After each photo shoot with this crew, I feel like I just hung out and played with long time friends. It is so much fun. And the pictures that result are so authentic and full of love and life, just like these beautiful folks.
Thank you again R family… it is truly an honor to be your photographer!
In the first email that this pregnant mama sent me, she mentioned that she was expecting her first baby and then that she already had two “fur babies”.. namely, a dog named Taco, and a rabbit named Mr. Rabbit. I knew immediately that I had to be their family’s photographer! As the mother of a very quirky child (and being a quirky person myself), I appreciate dogs named Taco and pet rabbits! When we spoke about her photo shoot, she mentioned that they live near Freedom Park in Charlotte and often visit the park to walk Taco. I thought it would be fitting to photograph them there, although photo shoots in Freedom Park are tricky because of the plethora of photographers. We chose the perfect date and time of day and I barely had to photoshop joggers and bikers out of their pictures! And come on…. can you even believe these were taken at the busiest park in Charlotte?! I mean really…. they look like they were made in an enchanted elfin forest. Maybe her lovely flower crown has something to do with that magic.
Well… I am so happy with your portraits, C and A! I cannot wait to meet your (human) baby on her newborn portraits!!!
So it’s been a while since I have done anything to my photography brand. Each new year, I make a resolution”In January, when it is cold in the Carolinas, and I am traditionally slow, I will work on freshening up my website, updating photos etc”. And for the past 3 years, January has come and gone in a blur and I am gearing up for spring family portrait sessions with the same old website (that was not mobile friendly), kicking myself in the booty. Not this year!!!
Tackling this project has been a lot more time intensive and emotional than I imagined. I had to go back through my catalogue of family, newborn, baby and maternity photography and choose images. I enlisted friends, family, even kids (free labor!), to help me decide what pictures to include. This took a couple of weeks of sifting through Lightroom, labeling and starring images. What makes a good picture? My own child would say any picture that has a dog in it is a good one 🙂 But really… what is it that draws a viewer to linger on an image when it’s not even their baby or child’s photo. Is it expression, light, composition, subject, gesture? I think it’s all of those. I think it has to be more than the sum of all the technical aspects… it has to tell a story.
I work with some beautiful families that love to express themselves and of course we have that lovely Charlotte weather, scenery and light. Although I had to narrow it down to a very limited number of portraits out of thousands, I feel like what is on the new website is a good representation of my photography. It was so hard to leave some images out, I had at least one image from every photo shoot that I felt was portfolio worthy!
This project gave me some time to reflect on my work over the past few years. Of all of the families that I have photographed. Of the babies that I have seen grow before my camera. Of the kids that fell into fits of giggles with me and left me feeling like I made a new friend at the end of the shoot, smiling ear to ear. What a blessing it is to be a photographer! There is not a job in the world that I would rather do! It fills my heart to document life– the human spirit– the most beautiful thing of all! Not many people can say that about their occupation and I realize this and am grateful every day for it! And grateful to the families here in the Charlotte area that allow me to live my dream.
Anyway… I am just so proud and excited to share my new website, my new baby!
Thank you Charlotte families for allowing me to be creative, allowing me to document your lives, appreciating my art and being open and vulnerable enough to have your portrait made in such a playful, heartfelt way. Life is not always perfect, but it is always beautiful!
Let’s see what happens in 2016!
Wow I love this family! I mean LOVE! I love that when I see these kids, they run up to me and hug me like I am their long lost aunt and it makes my whole heart smile!! I am so honored to be their photographer and capture the love and sweetness of their family since they have lived here in Charlotte. Every time we work together, I have to push myself to be more creative, think of cooler locations in the Charlotte area, and think about ways to get them all giggling and loving on each other for my camera!
We had a lot of fun at this photo shoot. We got adventurous and even got the family out on a rowboat for some pictures. The children got to pick and eat blueberries from bushes and throw rocks into a creek. Just my kind of way to spend the perfect day!
R family, you know you have my heart!
I worked with this mama a few years ago before her daughter was born. It was just her and her son at the time. They always stood out to me as having a very special, unique relationship. He was just one of the happiest kids I’d ever met, and it was obvious that he was extremely close with his mother. Well now there is another addition to this family, and she is just as sweet as her brother. This mother is the kind of mother that I aspire to be. Her kids are her life, and she does such a great job of raising them. She lets them be independent, and lets them make their own decisions when possible. She is such a loving, supportive mother to them. And the whole family is just so happy! What warmed my heart was the way these siblings are together. It is clear that little A ADORES her big brother! She isn’t a girly girl at all… she brought her toy dinosaur with her (her “lovey”) and loved chasing her brother barefoot through grassy fields. A lot of kids her big brother’s age wouldn’t want to be bothered with a little sister tagging along, but not J! He looked after her in a way that was so incredibly sweet and mature for his age. I LOVED our shoot, beginning to end!
Thank you SO much C family for having me work with you again. I hope to do this for many years to come as they grow.