My favorite images I have ever taken are always centered around our home. Sure, the fact that our family also is in those images make them that much more special to me. Anyone who takes photos can break down exactly what Mommy goggles are and I own a pair or two myself. There has been something in my heart just trying to really make it’s way out however. I am always looking for ways to put my toe right over the line. As an artist, you just need to learn and experiment and give yourself creative freedoms. If you aren’t making work you are proud of, you are going to get stuck. Who wants that? Not me for sure. Many times we talk ourselves out of trying new things because of our own fear or insecurity. We look at other artists and think to ourselves, “WOW! That is amazing but I couldn’t do that because I am not them.” No. Even better you are YOU. We all have our own struggles. Mine would honestly be my tendency to be a bit introverted outside of photography. When I am shooting, I am in a different place. I am focused. But we are also hiking and exploring and there are a ton of variables that keep you from thinking too much. When you enter someone’s home, you are in their very sacred space. This is where all of their favorite people and treasured possessions reside. It can be intimidating to someone that takes shelter in their own sacred space. But that is also what has inspired me. Every year I have slowly come out of my shell. The need to follow this creative calling has been much more powerful than the often time unnecessary fear.
And when we step out of that comfort zone, amazing things happen. We grow. We blossom.
For years now I have really been feeling the pull towards moment based for photography. What is that maybe you are wondering? It is imagery inspired by connection and love and real life. It isn’t stiff posing and head swapping and everyone staring at the camera. No, it’s so much more. It’s genuine giggles and moody toddlers and bear hugs. In fact, I broke free of posing because anything other than that just didn’t inspire me years ago I confess, but now I need to dig in even deeper. This is where I do share that this isn’t full on documentary photography. This is however lifestyle… your lifestyle. This celebrates your family, your connection, your moments, your short and wonderful time in your life as you are right now.
So why lifestyle? What are the benefits over a traditional session?
Some reasons here may seem silly, but they are very much valid reasons to think of investing in this kind of session.
For one, you don’t even have to leave your home. I bring the crazy to you. And no, you don’t have to clean everything or keep a perfect home. The size of your abode doesn’t matter. Your furnishings need not be Pottery Barn. It just needs to be your space. I don’t care about your clutter, the (maybe mostly clean) laundry piled on that one chair in your living room or the dust in the air (in fact that photographs beautifully, don’t dust on my account!! haha) I actually love character and have SIX children of my own. I get it. Whether you are a total neat freak or you can’t find anything after you clean your house– these sessions are for you.
Also, you get bigger, more amazing galleries. There are so many images I just can never leave out. These kinds of session are such a well spring of inspiration for me. All of those moments you might miss on a family session aren’t lost in translation. Don’t feel you need to hang all of these on your wall. They also work perfectly for family year books and albums.
There are literally NO expectations. No posing. No real interference. It’s one big hang out session. There are no prerequisites. I am here as support and to spend time with you and be a creative set of eyes.
Let’s not forget the comfortable clothes! This is about you and your family! You can be as comfy as you like. I can absolutely advise you if you are worried about styling, but honestly that cozy flowy summer dress or that oversized sweater you are obsessed with are just fine. They are more than fine. Your kids can wear as much or as little clothes as they like. Do you have a toddler like mine that strips down to his undies the minute you walk into the house? Well… no problem! This is about your details and your tribe. Do you have kids that need to change their clothes 42 times an hour? Let’s do it! Heck, throw on those bathing suits and run through the sprinklers or maybe even just stay in your pajamas. Judgement free zone.
Oh, and FUN! Yes! Play time is everywhere! There is never ending list of things we can do. Whether it’s making a family meal, playing in the backyard with the sprinkler, dancing to the radio (you guys dance, I’ll take photos haha.) or even taking a stroll down the street I love to be involved. If it has meaning… we do it. Arts and Crafts, Bath Time, Story time, routines like brushing your teeth or braiding hair, cuddling or even anything slightly naughty like jumping on the bed is fair game with me.
And there are so many more amazing aspects of this style of photography. Basically it’s a unique way to make memories AND capture them.
I am slowly reassembling my portfolio to incorporate more of this. That means great things if you are looking to test the waters and get your feet wet with these sessions. The best part is now through late May, all of my families that book these in home story telling sessions will receive $300.00 off the special all inclusive package. If you live in the Fort Collins, Denver, Estes Park area feel free to send me a message. I want to come spend time with you!
And without any further rambling–
One of my favorite families in the world. I will be blogging them in two parts because there are just TOO many images to leave out.
I met Emily and Jonathan a few years a go on a family session. The first thing I was taken aback by was their kind hearts and the way in which they were just so open and friendly. Right from the start I was pretty inspired. There aren’t enough good words about these people. Our relationship goes so far beyond any client/photographer dynamic at this point as it typically does with the families that I get to work with repeatedly. There is a solid foundation of friendship that was laid that first day. I went on after that to photograph them quite a few more times, sometimes as a model family in a workshop or mentoring situation, other times as a hired professional. There is one thing I do know, there isn’t a greater honor than being able to watch their children grow. When we first met Poppy was just a babe and Gabby a bit of a toddler. They have bloomed into these lively, sweet natured and amazing little ladies with very definite differences and similarities.
There are things I of course notice right away. How patient and soft spoken both parents are. How both Gabby and Poppie both twirl their hair around their chubby little girl fingers. The blue in Mama’s eyes and how Dad’s hair gets longer (and more amazing) with each photo session.
And going into their home on this day, I was moved to see photographs I have taken through the years literally plastering walls upon walls. Most photographers will tell you there just isn’t a great compliment than that. I admittedly even had incorporated them into some of the photos I took this day because you have to give yourself a little room for vanity now and again haha.
There were so many sweet moments. From Gabby showing off her adorable pink camera and snapping off a photo of me at the beginning of our session, to showing me all of her favorite dresses and twirling tirelessly when the mood and the light was just perfect in her Mama’s room. Poppie was cuddly and maybe a little Sassy too and but kind enough to wear the cute little yellow dress because Mama insisted despite the fact that maybe she liked a different dress a little more. Both girls shared my dislike for pants haha.
And Mom and Dad just welcomed my husband and I right in and spent hours chatting. We shared dreams and hopes for future get togethers.
It just reaffirmed why what I do is so special to me. I get to really make bonds and friendships that will last always. This is more than photography. This is life. What I do matters to me.
The timeline on these actually starts from the very bottom of this post, but I am going to leave as is.
The girls loved to give each other rides on this little cart toy. I loved that they patiently took turns, one pushing and then the other.
I am not sure whether or not this was a junk drawer they were rifling through for treasures… but I kind of hope it was haha.
Poppie is Mama’s mini. It really amazes me how much P and Mama look alike and G and Daddy are twinning. In fact Mama pulled out an old photograph of Dad and him and Gabby were identical. Genetics are amazing.
At this point Poppie decided Mama wasn’t going to be in these photos and went to push her back. It made for an adorable photo haha. There is that awesome sass I was talking about earlier.
Dad was a trooper and took on the whipped cream. At one point it just wasn’t coming together so we left it as was. Whatever the banana bread was supposed to be like, it smelled like heaven in their home as we were getting ready to head out. This is coming from a gal that doesn’t even eat bananas.
That hair though right?!
Veins in hands are so beautiful. They tell such a story to me. So much life in those hands. And love… in fact Jonathan builds some of the furniture seen around their home including the kitchen table. When they told me that, my mind was pretty much blown.
I loved how open this space was. The kitchen was truly lovely but my most favorite feature was the gallery wall showcasing all the girl’s artwork on the right there.
They did this awesome on their own. I missed it so I begged them to recreate it. No shame.
Tea cups!! I don’t know what was cuter, this little shelf or Gabby snacking on candy corn!
Her face in this image literally cracked me and her Mama up!
I loved that I could still see Gabby twirling her hair back there.
Seriously the most well loved cat this side of Colorado. She was a rescue kitty but she was clearly meant to have these humans.
Her Daddy painted the words on this dresser. Gorgeous, right?! In fact at one of the sessions I had previously with the girls and Emily, she presented this amazing hand made wooden sign with the most amazing Mother Theresa quote. I cried. It is hanging in my dining area.
Some of the photos I took of the girls last year. I won’t lie. This made my month.
A family that makes terrariums together, stays together.
Emily is one of the most talented home decorators. I was completely trying to sell her on a career path… or coming to decorate my home for me haha.
Putting chapstick on her sweet little lips. These little gestures just feel like motherhood.
I am not a cat person. I won’t lie. But I LOVED This cat. And I loved that it was almost like “where’s Waldo” as I was photographing their family. Going back through the images I noticed her in so many images. You could tell she was feeling me out like “You better be good to my humans.”