The little one is crawling. Or rather, he is dragging himself across the floor like a turtle through the sand. The effort is truly adorable. Each day he makes it a bit further before he gets fed up and protests our game of keep away. These are the days. So quickly all the big firsts will be over. The transformation happening for our five year old is just as wonderful, but it feels much more gradual. It no longer feels like if we blink, we’ll miss it.
Although documenting each new trick is important for record keeping, it is a challenge to make these shots both authentic and artful. Honestly, in the years since Liam was born, there have been a handful of images that I felt documented every day life AND were worthy of being framed on the wall as art. I believe my standards are high, but as Ira Glass says, I’ve got taste. And when it comes to photographs of my family, there is a gap between how I want them to look and how they actually look. Capturing photographs of your own life is hard. Much harder, I can tell you, than capturing photographs of someone else’s life. And, much harder for me personally, than making a beautiful portrait.
So, I find myself a student again. Each week I give myself an assignment and I try to be open to mistakes. It’s the mistakes that will teach me how to see in new ways and help me hone my point of view. Since I’m home a lot with Caleb, I’ve observed him slowly working up to crawling and thought about how best to tell the story. I put him in several spots, in different versions of window light and explored a variety of angles. Through this process, I am finally learning which nooks in my house are best for photography. Like my portrait work, I prefer storytelling images that are simple, clean and beautiful. But in a home that is rarely tidy, with a subject that is constantly wiggling, how do I create something that is both authentic and pleasing to the eye?
After about 50 out-takes, here is my most recent in the 52 Project. It was taken in Caleb’s bedroom with indirect light coming in a window to the left of the frame. It’s shot at f/2.0 on a 50mm lens. I put the toy in front of him. I hung the blanket just where I wanted it on the crib. But he did the rest. He lifted is butt in his baby-turtle-like-way and I clicked the shutter. One more family moment documented. Artfully.
It’s hard to believe just a short time ago we were splashing in creeks and frolicking in fields. I’m working on the holiday orders over here and feeling excited to be helping my clients get prints and canvas on their walls! My vision has always been to create heirlooms, not digital files. But even I struggle choosing which images to print, how to hang them and in what sizes. It’s tough. And so the images sit on the computer where they are rarely enjoyed. Sometimes we just need a little help taking the next step. Most of my clients realize right away which images they REALLY love and that’s where we start. It turns out to be much easier than people think to build a simple family photo wall. Yahoo.
Just wanted to share a few photographs of these cuties playing in the field. Oh how I love summer in Boulder. I hope it just keeps raining and raining!
As I write this post, I am awaiting my baby boy’s arrival any day. Although I want to meet this little guy more than anything in the world, I am also feeling some sadness about saying goodbye to pregnancy. I honestly feel these have been some of the best months of my life and I know that makes me lucky. After waiting so long for our second to find his way to us, maybe the experience just felt more tender and sweet. I don’t think it was a coincidence, that for my last photography session before taking leave, I had the pleasure of spending the evening with this amazing family who reminded me with every frame of the magic of childhood. I photographed them at their home where the kids spend their days making forts, tending a garden, exploring the land around and letting imaginations run wild. There couldn’t have been a more perfect close to my days at work and to this pregnancy than this inspiring view of family life. I am so grateful. Note: To view more images from this beautiful session, take a peek at the gallery.
A sweet 4 year old and his adorable new puppy…in the snow. I have to admit that I was a little intimidated, but it’s usually the shoots that are the most unpredictable that yield the greatest reward (and the most fun.) I have never claimed to be a pet photographer, but this relationship was certainly as endearing as capturing two siblings playing in the snow. So, bring on your puppies, kitties, bunnies and pet frogs!
Not too long ago, I had the chance to shoot for several days in Lake Tahoe. Each family was willing to let me see a true slice of their life and I am so so thankful. These sessions were so inspiring for me. New, beautiful, landscapes. Time around fresh water. Jumping off rocks and docks. Time with new friends who feel like old friends. Families being connected. What emerged from my time on the lake was a new vision for family photography that involves more storytelling. More authenticity. More vulnerability. These shots of the boys playing in Donner Lake are just so fun. They make me feel a place deep in my heart that reminds me of the best moments of childhood. And that is what I want my job to be all about. Documenting the fleeting moments of childhood.
What a treat it was to spend time with Rachel Hagen (owner of Talia Events) and her family. Rachel is one of the most genuine and lovely people I have met through my work in the wedding world. I always feel like her brides are so lucky to have her as she brings a calm, grounded energy to every event. Well, obviously her sweet babe is truly the lucky one. A beautiful mama she is!
Fresh water. Wet hair. Laughter and delight. Late afternoon light. It’s just the boulder reservoir, but it could be any lake in the world.