Although there are many, many throughout this website, if I had to choose just one session that sums up my style as a child photographer, this would be it. It showcases everything I wish for as an artist: genuine emotions and expressions and beautiful textures and colors. This is my third year photographing this gorgeous girl, and each time she brings her “A” game and then some. For this session, I really wanted to creatively capture and document all of her favorite things at this age – the Tween stage. Not a teen, not a baby, but very much still a young girl … expanding her interests, growing into her personality and not afraid to really dance like no one’s watching … and believe me, we did some dancing and some singing right there alongside a busy sidewalk!
The variety of session images allowed me to design a custom album that will surely be a keepsake for generations – her very own heirloom storybook with a custom cover, thick pages and fine-linen embossing. See the images at bottom for examples.
Below are some of my very favorites from our session (a long share). I dare you not to smile right along with her. 🙂
Looking back to May of this year ahead of our big move, I think I grossly underestimated how much of an undertaking it would be moving an entire household and photography studio across states. While I was mentally prepared (or so I thought) for the transition, the day-to-day of building a home, building a studio, enrolling in school, making new friends, unpacking the kitchen so we could actually eat meals at home and settling into somewhat of a routine has rocked my world on so many levels, both good and … challenging. Like the night I was up way past midnight opening box after box in the studio desperately looking for my 580EX flash (which I so rarely ever use but, as luck would have it, I needed for a commercial session later that week) and my big bin of newborn flowers and headbands (literally hundreds of dollars in custom and one-of-a-kind pieces). After a few panic attacks and one more sweaty Houston summer day of searching, I discovered both in the very.last.box I opened. Not in the studio space where all of the other studio boxes had been carefully labeled and dispersed, but in the garage among a slew of other unopened “these can wait” items.
But we’re very nearly unpacked and my new studio space is beyond gorgeous with a separate office, separate client lounge/waiting area and separate shooting room. The soft light beaming in allows me to shoot both natural light and artificial light whenever the mood or situation calls. Pictures to come soon, I promise. If you happen to be reading this and are new to my work, the boutique studio is where I shoot all newborn sessions, some maternity sessions (if a client chooses studio instead of outdoors) and more formal commercial head shots. If weather isn’t cooperating or I have a specific client vision/request for a studio session over outdoors, I also photograph babies and children here. All other session types are outdoors or on-location so we can take advantage of the ambient natural light and huge variety of nature and urban surroundings that Houston has to offer. I love the flexibility that offering both studio and non-studio affords me and my clients. In the portfolio section on the top left of this website, you can see tons of examples of both.
Which brings me back to my inaugural studio session a few weeks ago. We scheduled this sweet girl in for her session right around 3 weeks after birth. And she did as well or better than most of the 7-10 day-old babies who make up the majority of my newborn sessions. This is often the best timeframe for newborn sessions, but often the older newborns do just as well. I tell new parents that baby may be awake a lot more during their session and a little more challenging to mold into those squishy, curly sleepy poses, but we’re usually able to achieve a beautiful session. And I love eyes wide open, too!
She was a dream for Michelle (my wonderful new newborn session assistant) and me, and had us oohing and aaahing over all that dark hair and those beautiful lips. The stuffed bunny in the pink image a few shots down was a special gift from her two-year-old big brother – how could we NOT incorporate it somehow?!? Happy Hump Day and enjoy some of my session favorites:
” … here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart) …”
– E.E. Cummings
I’ve been thinking about this beautiful family and their sweet Piper Grace nearly every day since I received mom’s email detailing why these images will forever be something they cherish. Well into late pregnancy, they received news of the unimaginable variety. The kind of news that tests the strongest resolve and aches to the very core. She has described that day in her blog as “THE BOMB.” Yet, despite having the rug pulled out from beneath them, they have chosen to soar in their faith and accept what they cannot control with immeasurable grace and hope.
She writes, “I’ve struggled with this question: “Why must I go through 9 months to lose our baby?” “Why didn’t I miscarry if something was so wrong?” and I’ve realized that answer is because the God that created ME, made me perfect. This 9 mo is a testament to the miracle of my body sustaining life, the miracle of being someone’s mother. For the things my body can do – I am grateful. I was chosen to be the mother of this angel, regardless of her time here on Earth. Thank you, God, for choosing me, for showing me I have the strength to go through this, that Matt has the love to get us through this. We will get through this.”
So today I ask, please offer them your prayers. And please carry their hearts (carry them in your heart.)
I’ve photographed this family since mama was pregnant with their oldest, and through each pregnancy and countless Baby’s First Year sessions since. That very first session, I remember them walking into my studio and my jaw dropping. I didn’t know yet the inner beauty they both possessed – I was too smitten with the model good looks and her perfectly pregnant belly. Now, four years later, it would be an understatement to say they are one of my absolute favorite families. They are kind, incredibly laid back, family-focused and genuine in their friendship and their trust of my artistic eye. For a photographer, there’s simply no better combination.
I always tell clients with more than one child under four to simply keep smiling no matter how chaotic it might feel holding or wrangling one or more little people in their arms, on their laps, grasping their legs. I tell them there’s a method to my madness and to trust the process. We keep the session moving with lots of different poses and activities which keeps everyone fresh and gives me the most opportunities to capture the personality of a family … the humor … the love … the “crazy wonderful life with littles.” And, at the end of the day, we always get “the shot.” You know the one: everyone is looking at the photographer, happy faces, no tears. And we capture all of the fun, beautiful, real moments in between.
Enjoy some of my favorites from this sunlit summer session: