Posts Tagged ‘lifestyle photos’

Personal Post: why i need the pretty pictures

New parenthood is chaotic. Between diapers, feedings, and that classic baby-vs-sleep showdown, it can be a lot. And that’s without considering our own basic needs. It’s a turbulent world and sometimes it just feels like a mess.

For me, new motherhood meant the grace of letting go. My make-up routine is down to the basics and usually done while eating breakfast, pumping, and chatting with a babbling Juniper bouncing in her jumperoo. My hair is 50% dry shampoo at this point and my house is pretty much a hilly landscape of clean laundry surrounded by rarely swept floors. This is motherhood. We are trying to keep up, we are getting by, and all the while our babies are growing up.

From this perspective, nine months in, I have to say there is beauty in the mess. Yes, there is struggle, there is worry, and sometimes we may even think we’ve hit our breaking point. But then we push past and realize we are stronger and more capable than we thought we were. And even in the hardest times, we can find beauty. It’s in the first smile of recognition after weeks of lost sleep. It’s in a quiet day when we can sit in the sunshine and enjoy the outdoors together. It’s in sharing something we love with them only to watch them love it too and make it all the more meaningful. It’s magic and beauty, amid the mess.

Time has gone quickly, and I find myself flipping through pictures and thinking about each stage of Juniper’s babyhood. What I’ve come to notice is that the way things looked is often not the way things felt. Like anyone, my first weeks were a jumble of recovery, hormones, and learning what my baby needed, but the overwhelming feelings were tenderness, awe, and love beyond love. When I look back, I want our pictures to show me what those early days felt rather than how they looked. The pictures from our first week should smell like Burts Bees and fresh laundry just like my little girl. They should feel like her fuzzy baby hair and the cool breezes of autumn, and sound like the noises she made while she nursed.

Our experiences of motherhood are what matter most – that’s the reason we take the picture. My messy house, ill-fitting postpartum clothes, and unwashed hair did not speak to those feelings; instead, my experience felt more like bright natural light, a hot shower, a fresh onesie, and a tidy nursery. So we paused and we made those images.

As Juniper grows, the struggles are different. Just like every working mom, I’m chasing the unicorn of work-life-balance, trying to keep up and still make memories of our first summer as a family. But the lesson is the same. My photos won’t show my messy desk stacked with to-do lists and half-full water glasses, or the towers of laundry… and that’s not being fake, that’s knowing what’s worth remembering. At nine months these days smell like banana pancakes, feel like wiggling baby toes, and sound like shrieking giggles as Ben chases Juniper up the stairs, and I can only hope that the images we’re making right now will feel exactly like that.


Photos above from Juniper’s first two weeks.

Portraits: door county orchard blossom family session

When Tiffany contacted us to set up their Limited Edition Orchard Blossom session, she let me know that she wanted a special way to celebrate mother’s day with the important women in her life. We did just that with a four generation photo with Vicent, mom, grandma, and great-grandma.

The afternoon was cloudy, but the cherry trees were at peak bloom and everything was beautiful. Vincent enjoyed snuggles with family and exploring the orchard at the top speed of an 18 month old (although he did stop in his tracks to check out the old truck!) We love lifestyle sessions like these. There is so much play and personality in the images and I think that makes them even more special!

Portraits: winter snow day family session in suamico

winter-snow-photos-green-bay-photographer-wisconsin-family-pictures-sledding-lifestyle-reforestation-camp-suamico-1 winter-snow-photos-green-bay-photographer-wisconsin-family-pictures-sledding-lifestyle-reforestation-camp-suamico-2The snow is falling heavily on the big hickory tree in our front yard and it’s Christmas Eve Eve (this constitutes a real holiday in my family of over-celebrators).  This has me in the mood to share some snowy day photos from my session with Shannon and her two kiddos. When I met with Shannon she explained that she had been searching for someone to take photos in which she and her children got to be themselves – laugh, play, and be natural in front of the camera. Whether it was bending down to pick a flower, or twirling in the falling snow, she wanted images that showed their personalities and character. We call sessions like this “lifestyle sessions” and I new the perfect spot in Suamico, if only we could get a fresh blanket of snow… and we did.

Ben and I packed our weatherproof gear, laced our boots, and loaded up the vintage Radio Flyer sled that sits on our front porch during the winter months. Cecily and Duncan loved the snow – running, twirling, and eating handfuls of it as it came down all around us. We did a little posing and a lot of playing to keep up with those two and in the end got to make a little winter magic. Happy Holidays, everyone! Enjoy your weekend!

Events: family session and reunion at game day in appleton

appleton-photographer-birthday-event-wisconsin-family-portrait-children-photographyIt’s not often that we say yes to photographing family events, but when Hillary called from Chicago planning an event in Appleton before she and her family moved to Denver, I got curious. Hillary and Aaron were making plans to move west with their boys at the end of October, but before they departed they wanted to have one big event to say goodbye to their family. An important part of the celebration was that Aaron’s two grandmothers would be there, keeping cozy on the chilly night by patio heaters and endless cups of coffee delivered by loved ones. They knew it would be a special event that the family would want to look back on.

Ben and I divided up to photograph groupings of each of the individual families, and also to capture candid moments throughout the evening. It was an event full of joy, laughter, and people holding each other close.

Portraits: charlotte’s one year session, pamperin park, green bay

fall-family-pictures-pamperin-park-green-bay-child-one-year-outdoors-lifestyle-leaves-colorful-photos-1 fall-family-pictures-pamperin-park-green-bay-child-one-year-outdoors-lifestyle-leaves-colorful-photos-2When newborns we photograph come back for their one year milestone, I am always amazed by how much can change in a single year. Nothing marks a year gone by more pointedly than a baby’s growth. In wonderful cases like Baby Charlotte, we’ve gotten to see them in between as they start to sit up, smile and interact. But when we see them at one year old, standing, laughing, and – in Charlotte’s case – running, it’s really incredible. Those tiny sleeping bundles grow up and we love seeing the new things they learn and the little people they’re growing into. Charlotte’s session was all fall fun, starting with mommy and daddy time and ending with balloons, pumpkins, and leaves. Her favorite things are songs, books, and teasing us by running the other way. Happy First Birthday. Charlotte!

Portraits: warm fall family session at barkhausen waterfowl preserve, suamico

barkhausen-photos-suamico-family-pictures-green-bay-waterfowl-preserve-children-child-outdoor-fall-photography-brown-county-photographers-colorful-lifestyle-playful-1 barkhausen-photos-suamico-family-pictures-green-bay-waterfowl-preserve-children-child-outdoor-fall-photography-brown-county-photographers-colorful-lifestyle-playful-2The wonderful thing about photographing a family each year is that we get to know them better and better. This makes everyone more relaxed and helps us create authentic images with playful moments like the ones captured in this session. The brother/sister duo, Avery and Jackson, are funny and sweet together. Their curiosity makes everything new and interesting as though their experiences are a big adventure to be conquered together – hand in hand, side by side. They are always ready for wherever we plan to go, and whatever we want to play next. We really enjoyed photographing this session, and couldn’t be happier with that warm, sunny, light that is the ultimate gift of early fall.

Portraits: the {r} family’s lifestyle session

Green_Bay_Family_Lifestyle_Session_Home_Photographer_Photography_KidsHave you ever thought about your day-to-day life at home with the kiddos?  I’m talking about Saturday mornings drawing in the playroom, watching favorite movies, and cuddling on the couch (maybe you changed out of your pajamas, maybe you didn’t).  These are the most intimate moments that families are made from – the real moments.  That is what lifestyle sessions are all about.  They are about seeing beauty in your everyday life, doing the things you love with the people you love best.

Although Ben and I do not specialize in lifestyle photography, we love it as a opportunity to take a step back from posing and planning and become observers.  It reminds me of loading a roll of film into my very first SLR camera, and feeling the importance in what that film could become.  It was a sense of being called to observe the world around me, and it is always good to brush up against that feeling.

Being invited into someone’s home and spending time with their family is incredibly personal, and it results in intimate, authentic images.  The photographs become a narrative of who you are as a family in that moment – the favorite toys, the home you’ve built, and how you care for one another.

Portraits: jonathon turns two

ChildJonathon is always on the go – no matter where he is, he has big plans for what should be done next, where to run, and what to ride.  For his two year session we had the opportunity to photograph at his grandparent’s home in the Luxemburg area.  The land is sprawling with gardens and vintage outbuildings, and we ended up with the perfect golden light coming through the tree line.  To fit Jonathon’s always-on-the-go persona, we photographed in a more lifestyle fashion to allow him to express exactly who he is at this age.  This made for a very intimate collection of photos, unique to Jonathon and his family.  Happy Birthday, Jonathon!