I’m completely in love with this session for lots of reasons but mostly because my time with this beautiful family was so natural and honest. Kids playing all around, making coffee, practicing piano while mama fed the baby, warming up supper as I finished up. Just a beautiful piece of their story captured on an early spring afternoon. Congrats Meek family. It was a blessing to photograph you guys.
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“May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.” -John O’Donohue
The Geiger family recently became a party of five and we documented their sweet new family on film. Enjoy this little slice of life. <3
Photographing families at home is one of my favorite things, especially when there’s a new baby there. Congratulations Waring family! Blessings to you 4!
I think every time I shoot a fresh 48 session, I think to myself about how it's one of my favorites. It's just because these sessions hit all the feels for me. I'm so glad I was able to photograph the Bailes family as they welcomed their new little one on Mother's Day this year. Congrats guys!
Ya'll. This is worth your time. This is my very best friend. We have lived a lot of life together. We've been through good and bad, ups and downs and all the in betweens. She's been a constant source of encouragement in my journey through motherhood. A few months ago we met up at a park to let our children play and I was sharing with her about how overwhelmed I felt during this season, and how dry I felt spiritually. She offered up these words to me as the Lord had been revealing this to her heart during a similar season. It ministered to me so much that I asked her to write it down so that I could share it with some images I've taken of her family this past year. I hope it encourages your heart today to "press in" even in seasons that are filled with trials, sleepless nights, overwhelming joy and tears. I'm praying for you mama's that in these times, we press in to Him.
Some girls dream of the day they get to marry the man of their dreams and immediately start having babies. The first part was true for me. And while I knew I would become a mother someday, the latter was nowhere on my radar. I probably took 15 pregnancy tests the first few years of our marriage because I was TERRIFIED of getting pregnant. Alas, a few years went by, and God was drawing out a very intense desire in me to be a mom. When we welcomed our first son, Shepherd, I was hooked. So in love. I just knew God had called me to be a mom and raise my kids. So since He called me to do this, it was going to be easy right??
Our family has grown to a party of 6 these days. And while I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to tailoring these 4 sweet souls, God has been so good and gentle in giving me wisdom. This season of raising children is a tad bit hard at the moment. Okay, it’s really hard. God took me out of the yuckiest, joyless mud pit several years ago, when He was guiding me through scripture about JOY. JOY was my banner raised high for years. Oh how my heart changed! Last summer, I could tell the Holy Spirit was leading my sail into a new season and some uncertain waters.
Life is hard. Period. We are not promised an easy life. We aren’t used to having to get dirty in the trenches. So what do we do when we feel the storms are too big or trials unbearable.
We PRESS IN.
The Lord put those two words on my heart and I immediately went digging into scripture. He lead me to Mark 5: 24-29
24 And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.
25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
My eyes would draw back to those words “came in the press behind.”
Why did she come up BEHIND him? Why was there such a huge crowd around Jesus? How hard was it for her to get to Jesus?
So let me set the stage for you. Jesus was doing miracle after miracle. He had just healed a man that had been possessed by a legion of demons. Before that he had calmed a raging storm just by saying the words “Peace! Be still!”
Mark 4:41 “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
Jesus steps off the boat and was surrounded by a crowd and immediately a ruler of the synagogue falls at His feet, begging Him to come to his home and heal his daughter who is sick to the point of death.
The original Greek definition for crowd here means “troops of people gathered together without order.” I imagine total chaos. It’s like a huge celebrity of our time in the midst of a crowd with NO body guards.
Also, the Greek definition for thronged means “to compress, to press hard upon all sides.”
Jesus not only is surrounded by this large, out of order crowd. They are pressing in on him. Hard! On every side of Him. No doubt everyone was trying to touch him and tell him what miracle they needed him to perform. I can’t imagine the desperation of this synagogue ruler as he was leading, almost dragging and pulling on Jesus in the direction of his home.
So then enters this “woman with a discharge of blood for 12 years”...
I gave a lot of thought about her. God had put her on my mind for days. Scripture tells us she had heard the reports about Jesus. Did she travel to see him? How far? We know she had to do some type of travel since she had been ostracized from the community to an area where ceremonially and socially “unclean” people were.
In Levitus 15 it tells us that when it was a “woman’s time of the month” per se, she was considered ceremonially unclean. You could not be touched by anyone during your uncleanliness for 7 days! Yikes! All your clothes, linens and everything you had sat on had to be washed. If anyone, DID touch you, even on accident, they were considered unclean for an entire day and had to wash all thier clothes and go take a bath. Which, for those days, was a big deal to have to do all that. No washer and dryers!
There were also “extra man made laws” that society had made her do. She had to be divorced from her husband, she couldn’t live in her home, and she was shunned from all her friends and family. TWELVE years of this no less. The sad part, it wasn’t anything she could help. And God knows she tried over and over and over to find a cure.
Mark 5: 26
“and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse.”
Breaks my heart.
NO HUMAN TOUCH FOR 12 YEARS. I can’t imagine the hopelessness and loneliness she must have felt.
I see her waking up and getting out of her “unclean” bed and putting on her “unclean” clothes and walking out of her “unclean” community, and thinking, “maybe, just maybe this Jesus guy will heal me and I won’t have to come back here EVER.” Off she went, head and face covered.
I wish I had a picture of her seeing Jesus for the first time. She saw Him and instantly knew He was worth the risk. Risking the possibility of death. She knew she would have to TOUCH all those people in the crowd to get to Him. “What if they see me? What if they find out I am ceremonially unclean and realize all they have to do to be considered clean again? They’ll kill me!” Times were much different in those days. The crowd could have very well taken matters into their own hands.
But she risked it all to get to Jesus.
Verse 27 tells us she came in “from behind.” I meditated on this part of the verse for a while. I’m sure she thought,” I can’t let Him see me. I’ll just touch the bottom of his robe and be on my way.” We don’t know how she got through the crowd. But I had such a vivid picture of her taking a deep breath, covering herself and head up really good one last time, and getting on the dirty ground and crawling her way through the crowd.
Getting stepped on. Getting hurt. Getting dirty.
Then…she stretches her arm and fingers out as painful as it would have been, and HE ANSWERED. She risked all. She fought. She believed. She PRESSED IN.
So here I am, sometimes feeling like I’m blindly navigating my way through mothering. Homeschooling. Wife-ing. But God is teaching me that if I PRESS IN, He will answer. He heals my soul of despair. He calms my anxious heart. Listen Mama. There will be times God will call you to do something that seems totally impossible. It will LOOK impossible. You might get dirty. It will take RISK. I’m not sure what that is for you. For me, its raising my children in HIM and continuing to serve others, my husband, and handle the trials and storms that come sweeping in from time to time. So this is me. This is where I am. Feeling the need to PRESS IN to Him, no matter what it takes. Sometimes it won't be easy. Sometimes it's messy, and painful and exhausting, but keep reaching out to Him. Take heart mamas, PRESS IN to our sweet Jesus and He will ANSWER and He will give you rest.
I have to start this off by saying that I don't shoot births anymore, haha! But I've had the privilege of photographing all of this family's previous births so it was an honor.
And oh wow, how this birth made me miss being able to shoot more of these. It's truly a sacred space and unlike anything else I've ever photographed. The anticipation and excitement grows all day long and the love grows thicker and thicker in the room. Seeing a husband support and encourage his wife is just as beautiful as seeing her fall in love with him all over again as she watches him hold their new baby girl. It is the best. But, I'll stop talking now and let you get to the video. ;) Enjoy!
Four. This little sweet forth baby in this family rounds them out. He fits right in. The perfect little missing puzzle piece. I'm so glad I got to be there just hours after his birth to experience the thick excitement in the air as his family welcomed him into this world. You're one very lucky boy little Silas, they are going to love you well. <3
Last month I got to spend the morning with the sweetest family photographing them as they settle in to life as a family of four. I love watching these new dynamics in families as they adjust to a new baby. Big sister eagerly waiting for each and every chance to help mama cuddle, kiss and shush her new brother. Such an honor as always to get to document this time for this family. <3
Ya'll, there is nothing like the air in a house with a new baby. There's just about nothing I love more than spending time photographing a new family. The love in the home is fresh and thick. And I love how even though new parents are tired, their eyes have never seemed brighter.
I was so grateful to come into this family's space and photograph this sweet time with their new little guy. Britney is my best friend's sister so it has been such a joy to see her and Blake step so gracefully into parenthood. Congratulations Waring Family!
Several years ago when I started my business, my very first official client was a newborn session. I was instantly hooked. There is nothing like the time with your baby especially in those early groggy days. I mean, yes, there is the utter exhaustion and sleep deprivation but the flood of emotions during that time is palpable and I LOVE to photograph it. It's been a while since I wrote a blog post about how I approach my newborn work and I thought it was time.
I've always considered myself a lifestyle photographer when it comes to newborns, even in the beginning. That can mean different things to different folks so let me explain. To me, it means our session is done in the comfort of your own home and we focus on your natural interactions together. That doesn't mean I don't pose you or direct you into beautiful light, I definitely do. But the magic in the image all comes from the real emotion that's happening between you and your family.
As a mother of 4 myself, there's no denying that my work is heavily influenced by my own family and the photographs of my children and myself that bring me the most joy. These are usually the ones where I can see things the way they really were. How we loved each other, the way a lip curled when my daughter cried, how my son beamed when he got to hold his sister(or not, haha), the way a father smells the head of his new daughter, a mother's embrace. These are the images that stir me and these are the images I want you to remember and see of your own family.
When it comes to portraits of your newborn, I love simplicity. In my opinion, newborns are just perfect on there own so I definitely think less is more when it comes to any kind of props for your session. Besides a few neutral wraps and swaddles, I rely totally on things in your own home to incorporate into your session. To me, this makes your session even more personalized.
For your baby's portraits, I focus on baby led posing in a more natural set up like the bed, their crib, a rug, the couch, etc rather than a more formal set up with a backdrop. I used to incorporate some of this into my sessions but over the past few years I have come to realize it's not my strong suit, nor are these the images that feel true to my style. In addition to baby led posing for individual photographs of your baby, one of my favorite ways to take portraits of newborns is in Mama or Daddy's arms. Babies are always more content close to one of their parents and I personally feel like it adds another element of emotion which makes the photograph more meaningful to you over time.
Another aspect of my newborn sessions that is very important to me that I feel like goes without saying is that the entire family(siblings) is incorporated. Bringing home a newborn is a huge change for siblings and photographs of siblings are so important. I always do my best to get portraits of siblings together but I also love getting photographs of little glimpses of what life was like with a brand new baby in the house and the impact it had on your entire family. This is different for every family and I love that about sibling shots!
Last but not least, I like to get a good mix of family shots. I always get the good old, traditional everyone's-looking-shots but those are never my goal at our session. My favorites by far are the ones where everyone forgets I'm there and your true story unfolds.
I hope this was helpful in understanding the way I approach my newborn sessions. When it comes to newborn sessions there is definitely no right or wrong when it comes to photographic style but I do feel it's important to choose a photographer that best suits your family. So, if we're a match, and you're expecting, shoot me an email and we can chat about a session. :)
This fall I got to meet the most lovely new family. I knew I was going to hit it off with them when mama told me in her questionnaire that my photos were 'like a good country song, beautiful and tell a good story.' :) I'll take that! haha! I have truly never met a more relaxed and natural new mom and dad. They seemed so comfortable and perfectly at home with this brand new little gift, as if she'd always been a part of them. Another favorite aspect of this family's session for me was that when they contacted me to do their session, they let me know they were in the process of building a home so they were temporarily living in their garage apartment. She wanted me to know there would be no perfectly decorated nursery and this was definitely a transition for their family but she trusted me to make it work. And let me tell you, it worked. Although their space was still beautiful, in my opinion, that is not what makes a great session. They had all the right elements in place. Each other, and the love that binds them.
It is such a sweet honor to me to be invited into a family's home to photograph them as they've just welcomed in a new little one. It's an adjustment for everyone. Finding a new balance, a new rhythm, adjusting to little sleep, sharing mommy, sharing daddy. But my oh my, the beauty that lies within this precious and fleeting time. Inevitable growth and immeasurable grace. What a gift. Thank you Noll family for trusting me to capture these sweet moments for you. Blessings!