When Ilex and I originally schedule our shoot together, we had the intentions of it being a full family affair. Unfortunately, a last minute change made a family session into a mama and her boys session. We definitely missed Michael, but there was also something so wonderful about capturing Ilex exploring Eastborough Park with her boys.
The way Ilex interacts with her boys can best be described as breezy. She has a calm, peaceful spirit that can easily transport her from one thing to another as if it were second nature. Often times I feel clunky or frazzled, so I’m always in awe by this quality.
A beautiful evening with a delightful trio, what more could I want. Enjoy!
My Darling Poppy June,
In the days leading up to your first birthday, I was stricken with a severe case of bittersweet sentiment. How could you be one already?! Didn’t you just make your debut on this earth? Truth be told, your first 6 months were a bit of a blur. I don’t want to rehash all of the things so I’ll just summarize and say, it was tough. Really tough. Maybe a stronger mother wouldn’t have been as affected as I was, but I guess that doesn’t really matter because I am your mom. All of the good, and all of the bad. Your mom.
Let me tell you about you. You are our supreme snuggler. I mean it. No one can snuggle like you can. At a very young age, you would wrap your tiny arms around our necks for hugs. You pretty much solely napped being held until you were around 7 months old despite our best efforts. And even now you love to lay your head on my chest, or crawl up to my legs while I’m doing dishes or getting ready and give a big hug and a pat, pat, pat. And before you lay down to sleep, I’ll hold you in my arms, sway back and forth, and sing you a song. It’s one of my favorite things I get to do in my day. And you don’t like to just cuddle with people. You love all soft things: stuffed animals, blankets, towels, scarves, my shirt. If it’s soft, you grab it and rub it on your cheek.
You eat more than I would imagine to be physically possible for your young age. I’m trying to think if you have a favorite, but nothing is coming to mind because you pretty much eat everything. However, we learned you are not a fan of cake at your birthday party. There was no convincing you; I even tried the next day. Nope. You were not having it. You’ve recently started to point to things that you want which is pretty cute, and would be even cuter if it wasn’t followed by your shrillish banshee cry you use to get our attention.
You love music. It doesn’t seem to matter what kind; you’re an equal opportunist. We’ll be driving in the car, and we’ll hear you clap, clap, clapping to songs you like. Or you’ll become a conductor having your arms out and bouncing when the music moves you. And when you’re crying in the car, 9 times out of 10, if I put on the Sinatra XM station, you’ll stop crying. No other station, just old Blue Eyes. Man, oh man, was that a blessing to figure out. You particularly like it when they play Barbara Streisand. You must be a sucker for schmaltzy singers.
While you are a smiley baby, you aren’t much for laughing. I can count on 2 hands how many times you’ve laughed or giggled, but when you do it lights up my whole world. When you get excited about something you scrunch up your nose and stick out your lips, and breathe in and out of your nose really fast. We call it your bulldog face. I’ve never seen a baby do that before, and I think it’s the cutest dang thing in the world.
A blessing and a curse at times, I am your favorite. You love your mama to the moon and back. When you’re upset, no one else will do. Obviously, I love how much you love me, but when you were at your most challenging self, it felt like the weight of your well being was on my shoulders. The older you get the more and more drawn you are to your dad and your sister. Just the other day you saw Dad’s car pull into the driveway, and you were bouncing your whole body up and down out of excitement. You sure know how to be adorable. And obviously whatever Isla is doing is exactly what you want to be doing.
I could keep going and going, because there is nothing in this world that I love more than my family. I hold all of those special memories close to my heart, and I look forward to all the more memories to hold dear.
P.S. Some pictures from your special day.
New life restores my soul.
That is one of the many reasons why I love newborn lifestyle sessions. The miracle of life can be seen on the faces of everyone in the family. A beaming father. A glowing mother. An adoring sister. How lucky am I that my job consists of me stopping, observing, and capturing love?
Enjoy viewing this adorable family in their first days as a family of four.
Fellow photographer and Wichita Mom’s Blog contributor, Erin Kata asked me if I would be willing to shoot a nursing session with her and her newest addition, Lincoln for her most recent post for WMB. I’ve never done a nursing shoot before and was excited to try my hand at it. Pure magic happened.
The sky was overcast with beautiful dramatic clouds which seemed fitting for a nursing shoot. Isn’t breastfeeding a beautiful yet stormy part of motherhood? And that hat. With that baby. And Erin, your lips! Holy cow, woman! Obviously, I enjoyed myself on this shoot.
I have never been particularly interested in birth photography, personally or professionally. I have seen amazing stories being told by some very talented photographers and lovely families, but I have also seen some very graphic and raw stories that aren’t personally my taste. Because of that I was always on the fence about it. Until now.
Being a part in Silas’s birth story is one of the most powerful experiences I have had as a photographer. No, as a human being. Witnessing the birth of this beautiful life into this powerhouse family transformed my heart, soul, and mind. It brought me down to earth and opened my eyes to the miracle that is life. I am so grateful for this experience. I believe a large part of why this meant so much to me is because of the family. Oh words, how I feel like you fail me sometimes. They are friends that have turned into family, but that doesn’t feel like a strong enough sentiment.
Abigail has the unique ability to encourage me and lift my spirit just by her existence in this world. She speaks hard truths in a way that doesn’t crush me but nudges me into thoughtful reflection. She laughs freely and smiles with her whole being. She is intentionally present in my life and the life of my family. She loves us well. Jake is just as amazing. When you speak, he listens completely. He hears your words and the meaning behind your words. His mind is brilliant and his soul is wise but in a way that doesn’t make others feel less than. His wit is sharp and he is a whiz with the Chemex. Judah reminds me of the wind. He blows through life taking it all in. Sometimes he is as soft and gentle as a breeze, and sometimes he is as wild as a storm. I love his curiosity; wanting to know how everything works mechanically. Rory though a mere 1.5 years old makes her place in this world known. Her mind is quick and so are her feet. You must stay on your toes to keep up with her and her independent spirit. She is strong and capable, and I’m excited to see her personality continue to grow. And the newest additions, Silas. I know he will be a great many things, but right now he’s a perfectly precious angel baby.
There a TON of pictures on this post. Why? Because I had to. I. HAD. TO. I had a hard enough time cutting it down to the pictures you see below. Enjoy!
Photography is definitely my most tapped into artistic expression. There are so many variables to work with, some within your control and some outside of it. For some people that may sound daunting, but I find the times that there are areas I cannot control or mold are the times I get the most creative.
Case in point: Lifestyle shoots. I simply love them. No sit here and smile at the camera (not that there is anything wrong with that). No. It’s interactive, meaningful, and engaging. It reminds me of when I used to shoot weddings. The best parts were when I was capturing the essence of the day. Now I get to do that with families. Capture their essence. Their vibe. Their emotions. It’s energizing.
Shooting with the Paulys was an absolute delight. They are a straight forward family who are who they are. Laid back, blunt, warm, and tender. I love that. And I LOVED this shoot. Enjoy.
I want to start by thanking all of you for the outpouring of support and encouragement since my last blog post that explained my absence from this blog (and so much more). I discovered that this human condition is far more common than not, unfortunately for those who have to go through it and fortunately for those of us who feel so isolated in it. Writing that letter proved to be cathartic and empowering, and I hope it is for those who read it as well.
All of that to say, my Project 365 has evolved a bit. Originally, my goal was to pick up my camera everyday. Now my goal is to pick up my camera everyday if it is life-giving for me and my family. Seems like a silly thing to have to name, right? But sometimes my brain is a little too black and white so this clarification is actually necessary.
Because I haven’t blogged any of my Project 365 pictures for quite awhile, I need to play catch up. Enjoy the onslaught of pictures headed your way 😉
I have known my brother-in-law Ben since he was 12 years old. He came up to my shoulder. No lie. But now he’s 6’2″, graduated from college, and off in La La Land trying to make it big as an actor. They grow up so fast don’t they? He came into town to visit this spring and asked if I would be willing to do some updated headshots for him to use for his auditions and his website.
I’ve never done actor headshots before, but if they are all like the ones I did with Ben I want to do them all the time. It’s a total blast to have someone who is comfortable emoting themselves or a version of themselves for the camera. The session was lively, up beat, and a ton of fun.
Break a leg, Ben. I hope you’re Hollywood’s next John Krasinski. And ladies, he’s single.
I thoroughly believe people are put into your life when you most need them. Kruze and her outstandingly wonderful momma were that to me this past year. Not only did I get the privilege of watching this newborn baby grow into her spunky one-year-old self, but I grew a friendship with a strong lady who supported me during a particularly rough year (more on that later).
I had every intention of sharing Kruze’s monthly photos are she grew, but as mentioned previously, this year was not exactly what I expected. So instead, here are the fabulously fun pictures from her one year session where she shared the camera with her doting family. Enjoy.