I have captured this family a few times already, usually during holiday mini-sessions, but this was our first Real-Life Session & at their home. Soon to be a family of 5, they chose a documentary session t0 capture what life was like as a family of 4. I'm going to guess that a typical Sunday morning is looking a little different these days for this crew with the new addition. At least for some of them... Ryan may still be playing Fortnite. We did a lot of hanging out, playing games, etc (and omg, the pot holder loom was instant nostalgia - I definitely weaved quite a few of those growing up) & of course got their pup, Biggie, involved, as well. I loved capturing the brother-sister relationship of these two & all of the facial expressions that came with it. Knowing that their relationship will be constantly changing as they grow up (and perhaps starting with when they became big siblings to their new baby sister), its something that adds to the "now" of these photos. I can't wait to come back in a year to document how their real life has changed!
Hanging out with Kathryn on a typical Saturday morning for this mini Day in the Life at their home was seriously so much fun. Her mother's intention for this documentary family session was to capture her 2.5 year old daughter's maximum curiosity at this age... to cherish the joy in their family's every day moments... and I think we succeeded.
One minute we we're having races in the front yard, the next we we're playing hide & seek and being served fake ice cream in exchange for fake money... (specifically, $2... everything was $2). Kathryn was only a little into helping her mom make muffins, until the chocolate chips came out & her excitement increased, proudly topping off each cup. She sure stayed busy all morning with one activity after another, but she was also perfectly content cuddled up next to her dad on the couch watching some college football. We also broke some documentary-family-session rules (I've always been a rule breaker) and squeezed in just a couple of directed photos of the three of them.
When little ones are involved, you don't need to have any specific activities planned for your documentary family session. If you let everything unfold naturally, it will not only make for a no-stress experience, but also result in much more honest & natural photos. A true glimpse into your current daily life (or in this case, morning).
Visiting ME (okay, okay and my wife) is a great reason for some day in the life photos. These two ladies are great friends of ours & getting to hang with them & their 2.5 year old twin daughters for a weekend was everything. They had just come from a busy few days at Disney, so we did a lot of just hanging out... at the house, around the house... The girls' big personalities kept us entertained & laughing all weekend and it was so much fun to capture those personalities in photos!They we're on a Florida vacation, but got to take home the best souvenir they could have... their NOW captured in images they can reflect on forever.
If you asked me a couple weeks ago what a normal day at home with 3 young boys is like, I wouldn't have had any idea. But now, looking back on everything that my day with this family entailed... it all seems about right. There were legos and superheroes and slime and nerf guns and football... and even a competitive water balloon fight (shout out to my 85mm lens for allowing me to capture the action while staying dry)... But there was also calmness and bonding and giggles and collaboration and comfort. So many moments & interactions in any given day that may seem so small while they're happening, but end up being so meaningful as time flies by.
Day-in-the-life photo sessions provide a great snapshot of what your life was like at this moment... They show you how much beauty there is in your every day (even when you can't see it amongst the chaos) and captures the small but meaningful moments of your family that can easily be missed (especially if you're trying to be the one behind the camera all the time).
This was such a fun session. Horse-obsessed Ella recently turned 2 & to celebrate, her parents planned a special afternoon at Bar-B-Ranch in Davie, with Peaches the pony... & I got to be there to document it. We had great hospitality at the ranch, which looked like an amazing place for all kinds of horse & pony riding. Ella was so excited to be there, she hopped right up onto Peaches right away, 100% comfortable with all of the animals and never stopped loving on her parents, which made my job to capture all the cuteness, pretty darn easy.Planning an activity that is special to your family is the perfect way to create natural, candid, meaningful photos. Part of my 'what to expect' conversation I have at the beginning of every session includes telling whoever is in front of my camera to just enjoy each other in every way possible & I'll just be there to capture it. This family seemed to understand my approach before even meeting, which resulted in a super fun & relaxing family afternoon (that happens to come along with a collection of photos to remember it by).[tg_masonry_gallery gallery_id="9688" layout="wide" columns="4"]
Combining documentary photography & newborn photography seems like a no-brainer. For this momma, it meant not having to leave the house, plan anything or force the older siblings to sit still for poses, all while still capturing what life was like just 3 weeks after giving birth to their newest addition. I ended up with dozens of photos of these 2 older siblings loving on their new little brother so hard that it looks like I asked them to... but nope. All this snuggling, hugging & kissing happening was completely unprompted & judging by mom's reaction, it happens daily. Welcome to the world, baby Hank! I think its safe to say, you're surrounded by LOTS of love already![tg_masonry_gallery gallery_id="9600" layout="wide" columns="4"]
It wasn't until we pulled into the parking lot of Marando Farms & Ranch in Davie that we realized it was the old Batten's Farm. Growing up not too far away, I have a lot of memories, going to Batten's to get milkshakes & visiting the cow out back (Bessie? I keep hoping the name will come back to me). At just 18 months old, Morgan loved visiting with the animals at the this petting zoo.... I think her favorite was the turtle but she was the goats' favorite - they constantly followed her around. This kid has zero fear - literally getting face to face with animals 20X her size, not to mention trying to get as close as possible to every single animal there. We skipped the pony rides this time, since she's a little too young, but we'll be back![tg_masonry_gallery gallery_id="9558" layout="wide" columns="4"]
Is there a non-creepy way to say that hanging out at people's houses for photo sessions is my favorite? Asking for a friend.... I mean, having a camera pointing your way will never be 100% comfortable for most people... but it's a lot more comfortable when you're just hanging out in your own house than when you're standing on a public beach boardwalk in heels. For newborns, at-home sessions are a no brainer. They require a lot of breaks & a lot of conveniences of home, but the best part is being able to incorporate the nursery in the photos & capture what life feels like home with a new addition. Speaking of nurseries... can we talk about this one?! So cute. I loved all the animal details & the theme of adventure, which also carried through in the master bedroom (where we took advantage of a bed big enough for the whole family). You can tell these new parents are world travelers! At a little more than a month old, baby Alexandra was alert through all of her portraits & flashing me all kinds of smiles & funny expressions. I think this is one of my favorite ages to shoot new additions. Yes, they're at their maximum itty-bittiness at the normally-recommended age of 7-10 days old but then you rarely capture them with their eyes open, let alone alert like this. I loved how the entire family joined in on the photo-taking fun, including both of the first children (the dog and the cat). Alexandra was a dream to photograph & I have way too many favorites from this session... [tg_masonry_gallery gallery_id="9505" layout="wide" columns="4"]
So here's the thing... Moms are f@#$^%! rock stars. Like seriously. I mean, I knew *mine* was amazing, but I figured I was just biased. Meeting as many families as I do shooting photos & sometimes even spending all day with them, has given me an immense appreciation for moms & the jobs they do raising littles (dads, you're great too but this one is for the ladies).
This year for Mother's Day, I want to honor what mother's value most.
So, moms... What do YOU value most? What are some of your favorite moments with your children? Do you have your answers? Now imagine having professional photos of these kind of special moments that you can cherish forever.
Think of an activity you love to do with your children & I'll tag along to document it. Maybe its when you bring your kids to get ice cream after school & they tell you all about their day... or your weekly trip to the library when they get to pick out a new book. Maybe its getting to pass down your mom's signature cookie recipe & baking together at home... or perhaps its simply the moments before your kids go to sleep when you climb into bed with them and read a story... I can give you a million ideas, but my challenge for you is for you to identify the moments you value the most.
Mommy & Me Mini Session Special
Up to 1 hour of documentary-style shootingPhotos presented in a private online galleryHigh-resolution digital downloads
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*Must be within 10 miles of 33324 & book by May 31, 2018
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Photographing so many families here in South Florida on vacation, really makes me appreciate this beautiful place we live in. This fun extended family came in from 3 different corners of our country to enjoy a nice & warm Spring Break on Fort Lauderdale Beach... and their temporary home made the perfect location for some updated family photos of the whole group together. When I first arrived, one of the older girls was quick to introduce herself as Sally & tell me that her friends at school call her "Silly Sally"... I knew right away we were going to get along. She definitely lived up to her nickname during our photos (making me seriously LOL while editing). Having 5 little ones, all under the age of 5, can make gathering for photos a bit of a challenge at times (Goldfish crackers helped)... but it was so much fun chasing them around the beach & getting to capture each of their personalities. Plus, all the unprompted hugs & sibling/cousin love was just too cute! [tg_masonry_gallery gallery_id="9364" layout="wide" columns="4"]