One of the things that I love about the small community I live in, Collingswood, NJ – is that I’ve met a myriad of people who embrace their passions and proactively work to make our community better. Totally inspirational place to live. Two of those people, are Robb Sewell and Eric Wolff. This article in NJ Pen highlights it in more detail, but basically, Rob and Eric saw a need in our community, and then created a project to help raise money to make sure that need continued to be met. Love it! You see a need in your community – you not only work to help it in your own individual way (adopting a pet), but you actively work to build community efforts in joining forces for a cause (creating a pet photography calendar to help raise money for a shelter you know specifically needs more community support.).
This mom came to me knowing that her nursing days were probably coming to a close, and she wanted to capture the moment. She was also prepping her house to be on the market (the first house that she and her her husband bought! Where they brought home their first baby!). As I processed her photos, and thought about these momentous moments – first houses being on the market, end of the season of breastfeeding your firstborn – Whoosh – waves of nostalgia for me. Also – a reaffirmation about my passion for what I call “Nourish” sessions – there is just something magical when someone lets me into this private, quiet moment and lets me capture it for them. And it’s fleeting! It really needs to be captured before it’s just a memory.
So you know those time hops on facebook, where you see something a year ago? I’m going to blog today in a similar vein. This photo was a year ago today:
Do you ever feel so frazzled from parenting or chronic sleep deprivation that you really can’t see the beautiful moment in front of you?
A year ago I was honestly in a little bit of a photography slump. When I first started taking photos of my family, ten years ago, I carried my camera (yes, my huge ol’ Canon Rebel DSLR) EVERYWHERE – took photos of Every. Single. Moment. Was so in love with both my family and a new found artistic passion, that I really almost never left home without my camera. Fast forward ten years, and here is the morning my oldest was 11 and graduating from 5th grade.
So here is another everyday beautiful gallery of photos – meaning not quite full official session – just me visiting with a new friend and deciding to bring my camera along because my new friend has a ten-day-old newborn and honestly, I just can’t not take new baby photos, I love newborns so much. I was getting some major flashbacks, because this baby is number four for this family – and since I have four, I remember very vividly the days when my own number four came home.
Documentary, storytelling photography is my passion. There is a place for the classic portrait shot, but I also know that there are plenty of photographers who are already doing a great job of providing that. Here is what I am in love with photographically: looking for the genuine story of your family.
I really wish that I had photos like this of myself when my 12 year old was one year and still nursing.
It again speaks to me of why I’ve chosen to focus on family and newborn photography – it’s one of those fleeting but beautiful moments that is absolutely etched in my mind and heart – makes my heart simply ache to remember my own children as toddlers – to remember the rituals of bath time and reading, of stuffed animals and first nurseries. Of little hands who are busy playing with your shirt, your hair, your face while nursing. How busy little toddler’s world stops and becomes calm. Well, mostly calm! There is some squirming and protesting involved I will admit. Still, eventually there is peace, and simply connecting.
Do you know how sometimes, your everyday routine can just get so tedious, so tiresome, that your body and mind are just screaming for a break? Spring break just couldn’t come soon enough for me! We were thankful to be able to hitch onto our grandparent’s farm, and to invite friends to spend some of the time with us. That meant tire swinging, stream explorations, stick wars, reading and quiet times, campfires, and shirtless-tractor-tire-king-of-the-mountain. It gave me both a break from routine, and some extra time to spend with the kids in a fresh setting. A new setting jumpstarts my photography brain too, which was getting into it’s own winter rut. I loved having an extended time to look for the emotions of childhood: the joys, the silliness, competition, the sadnesses.
As a parent and photographer, there are certain rhythms of life that I love to photograph – and some of that is in how I look to capture the rituals of our yearly calendar. Right now, that is Spring. Spring means lots of things. The end of hibernation. Warm weather and changing to short sleeves and bare feet. Obvious things like picking dandelions and running through green grass, collecting cherry blossoms. Another is Easter – As a Christian this means to me a reflection on life, and life that is birthed after hardship, sorrow, darkness, injustice.
As I am busy with processing and photoshoots for other people, in the background I worry that I will lose the passion of my first photography love – taking photos of my own kids! I’m committing this spring to make sure that doesn’t happen. I will take pictures of my own freakin’ kids gosh darn it! And hopefully you’ll enjoy the window into our world.