Saturday, September 30, 2017

Watching Love Grow

Having an education background means that the joy of growth is not lost on me.  I love to watch people change and flourish, especially children.  So, when I had the chance to photograph Crystal's family for a second time, I was both excited and nervous.  I was excited because I knew the people would be different than our first session.  After all, their family added their son only a few months ago, and their daughter was only 1 last time we were together.  I was worried, though, that doing pictures in the same space wouldn't be "new enough".  Once we started the session though, it was clear to me that being in the same space was going to be a beautiful thing.

I remembered shots in this window from our last time.  It was so amazing to see a changing family of four, with a growing little helper, stand in that same space.  And I loved sitting in the living room again with the whole clan - and particularly by the window that has been such a loved place for their daughter.  It was neat to see how it had changed ever so slightly into a landing space for the family to hang out.

For this session, the weather allowed for us to be outdoors, and since Crystal's family is a very natural based one, it is no surprise that they have a garden in the front yard.  Crystal and her daughter have spent a lot of time in this garden, so it is no big thing to go vegetable picking on a Saturday morning.

And as any Mom can tell you, there are things that you make a part of your daily routine that help you keep your sanity.  For this family, it is their morning walks, and it was so fun to see the four of them just be together.

I fully believe that the beauty of sessions like this is actually the simplicity of the uninterrupted time together.  Time to explore and play.  Time to take a breath and gather flowers from the garden.  I loved that this is such a normal part of their life.  Their little one needed no direction and it was perfect.

It's the story a session like this creates that leaves you holding your breath, hoping it never ends, knowing it certainly will.  It's the joy you have in playing in the bed with your littles and having little moments that somehow escape us in our busy world today.

And then being able to snuggle in with a book after a morning of play and absorbing all the world has to offer.

This one life we all have is truly beautiful.  I hope that a session like this shows you how beautiful life can be when you slow down and set aside whatever it might be that stops you from spending serious quality time with your peeps.  Let it refresh your soul.

Until next time,

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Family Farm

When God brings people into my life that I am fairly confident I would have never hustled enough to reach, I feel both humbled and blessed.  Rebecca has been one of those people.  From a beautiful group of women that support each other's businesses, to a close-to-home small women's retreat at the perfect time, to this beautiful family session Rebecca wanted to do on their farm, I have no doubt that this is all God (and I already know He's got more).  This my mission friends: being present, connecting to one another, abiding in God's presence and love - and I couldn't have been more excited about it.

So, the Pierce family played together.

And when their toddler was all done with the game and wanted to explore on his tricycle, that was just fine.  When there was a pause in the game to sell produce from the family farm, that was fine too.

 When the game ran out, there was time to take a sweet break, and introduce me to some cotton candy grapes.

I always make sure to try and get one posed family shot.  This response, however, and that kiss?  All them.

There was time for late afternoon egg collecting.

 And working together with your Momma before your one-on-one time is a little bit less.

 I believe time like this is so beautiful because you have chosen to set aside distractions and are able to focus on the simple way God has created us to be: with one another and in His presence.

They were able to watch all their family members continue to learn the value of helping and being part of God's greater picture.

And then simple rest together.  It really is one of God's greatest gifts.

Of course, another of God's great gifts for this family was adding one more (as you can see).  My friend informed me almost immediately after I set my camera aside that her water broke as we were finishing off.  They added in their newest little bundle the very next day.  Rebecca desired to have these pictures to hold on to what she expects to be her final pregnancy, as well as their farming family of 5 before they became 6.  I'd say we got that in - and you have to be in awe of God's perfect timing.

Until next time,

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

September 5-on-5: Exploring the World

This summer, my kiddos and I got to hang out with my MOPS group at a local creek and take a break from the heat of summer.  My son is sort of over the idea of playing in water if there's no large water slides involved.  My daughter, on the other hand, is still very interested in splashing around just for fun.  I'm so thankful to have the chance to do it all over again.  Exploring the world is such a beautiful piece of this season.  It's probably one of my most favorite parts of being a Mom and a documentary photographer - watching the exploration unfold.

While my daughter is exploring with her eyes, my boy is exploring with his mind.  And believe it or not, I see the same beauty in his exploration, simply during a different season.  I remember a time when I didn't have so much on my plate and reading was magical.  It allowed me to be transported to a different world.

Sometimes I think my daughter's exploration takes her to a different world too.  I find her lost in playing and pretending and singing and dancing.  How I wish her world could come alive so I could see it too.

All the while, my son is oblivious to his surroundings and completely focused on the world he has gone to.

But no matter what world they have travelled to, their giggles and smiles always bring them back to remind me they are my world.

I hope you can take a break from your world for just a little longer and make your way through our circle.  The talented Erin Berry, a Central Pennsylvania documentary photographer, is up next and I know you'll be glad you took the time to see her story of their final summer get away.  And I hope you'll give the photographers in our group a little love and support too.  We creatives always struggle to know if what we are creating is making any sort of impact on our viewers - and it makes our hearts feel good when we know it did.

Until next time,