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CENTER CITY FAMILY RAMBLE

I start many conversations with clients these days telling them that more and more, my style is moving farther away from posed, and more towards documentary.  This family was one of my favorite examples of what I mean by that.  A documentary, storytelling session starts off with a conversation between me and you, where I start helping you think through – what is it about my family, during this particular slice of life, that is so special that I want to wrap it up and make sure I remember it forever?  I have a questionnaire that is almost less for me and more for you – so that you can pause the laundry and dishes and have a moment of reflection – what exactly is the the thing that might drive me crazy now, but that someday I’ll miss?  (For me, at this very moment one answer is the pile of books that my 8 year old leaves in the bathroom, by the sink and ready to be splashed on by her younger sister).

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EVERYDAY LIFE

So a careful observer would note that I haven’t been blogging. For like a year.

This is not disconnected from an emotional space I was in last fall – I think a lot of us were there. I started this specific blog post in early fall. I wrote about how I loved the leaves, the fall, the inspirations of nature and sudden beauty. It was a plea to tell those of you who were inquiring about foliage and holiday card shots, to tell you that even though there is yes beauty in nature, that there is something more. I wrote:

Don’t get me wrong – I love love love the fall, the leaves, the inspirations of nature and the sudden beauty.

There is an internal conflict, because I know I can get you the smile and pose shot – I know you will look beautiful and will fit right into a Gap catalogue. But I also still genuinely believe – your every day is beautiful.

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BO MEETS HIS BROTHERS

Before you hit play on the video below (and yes, in a sec I’m going to explain here why you really really should hit play) – take a look at the photo I’ve chosen as it’s cover.  It’s one of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken, and I feel really thankful to have had the chance to take it.  Every single person in this brand new family of five is in relationship to someone else in the frame, in a beautiful, joyful, I can’t believe this is happening moment.  He’s here.  Little brother is here, and we are now complete!  He is snuggled to mom, cozy and listening for the first time to the chatter and exuberance that will be his new everyday.  Mom is looking at her oldest and thinking about how big he is, and how he was once so little.  Mr. Middle Child and dad are just reveling in the fun and newness and excitement that they are getting to share together.  It’s not posed – it was documented – and exactly the kind of documented moment my artist brain is constantly looking to capture.

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THANKSGIVING & BIRTHDAYS

It’s Thanksgiving week!

What are you thankful for? My oldest turns THIRTEEN this week, and I am thankful for thirteen years, and all the lessons that thirteen years teach you about parenting.  About what you can control and what you can’t. About being kind of amazed and also a little sad/scared/excited that he’s survived to that teenage milestone, and a little curious about what the next thirteen years holds.

Some of you are just friends of the family I’m blogging about, or maybe someone who is pregnant and considering a photographer, and you are wondering where I’m going with this! Apologies for being a little bit stream-of-consciousness here. But I do try to let people understand the vision I am looking at when I pick up my camera, choose a lens, and bring your world into focus. I do bring, unapologetically, my love for my own children, my love for parenthood despite its struggles, authentic and unposed beauty, and a quest to preserve real moments and real emotion. 

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MEET YOUR BABY BROTHER

Fresh 48.  I’m not sure who came up with that term, but boy, I’ve been spending time editing this sweet family’s session, working to create this video fusion slideshow, and fresh feels like the correct word.  It’s a fresh new family – little one is only hours old, and glows with fresh, new, tiny sweetness.  

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ALMOST HOME SHELTER/RESCUE CALENDAR

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.).

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CAN’T TAKE MY EYES OFF HER

Are you looking for a photographer for family or newborn photos, but just are not convinced that you have the kind of home that is worthy of being photographed? As a photographer, I look for ways to show you that your life is beautiful, wherever you live. This couple are young graduate students who have given me some major flashbacks to my own life twelve years ago.  They live in a normal apartment complex, in a suburb of Philadelphia, and you know what I saw with my photographer eyes in their place?

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PHOTOWALK PHILADELPHIA

Summer has hit and yes, I’ve disappeared a bit from blogging.  I do have a backlog of photos to share and write about, but I’m letting a recent photowalk jump the queue!  Why?  Especially in the summer, as the heat hits and I slow down business work in order to enjoy the simple joy of being present with my family, as an introvert, I can also get crazed by the emotional drag of hearing “Mom!  Mom-mom-mom-mom-MOM!!!!” all day long and for all manner of reasons.  For my church, I led a small group of photographers on a photowalk through Philadelphia, and although it was hard to clear my schedule for it, I felt a certain amount of photographer refreshment to pull away and visually look at subjects that are not my usual jam.

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FIRST HOUSES AND FIRST BABES

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.

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EVERYDAY BEAUTIFUL & SPECIAL DAY BEAUTIFUL

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:

Lifestyle

 

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.

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