A Lifestyle Family Session Whew! This spring wedding season has been the busiest one yet! I’m hitting pause on the wedding marathon (because 8 weddings in a row with only one break weekend is literally a marathon!) to share this sweet lifestyle family session with y’all. When Chelsea contacted me about booking this family session, […]
Whew! This spring wedding season has been the busiest one yet! I’m hitting pause on the wedding marathon (because 8 weddings in a row with only one break weekend is literally a marathon!) to share this sweet lifestyle family session with y’all. When Chelsea contacted me about booking this family session, my calendar for May was already pretty full. This booking was literally the second to the last I took on for the month. Y’all, spring is INSANE for photographers!!! Think about it – babies, engagements, weddings, graduations, the beginning of summer – all that happens in May and all of those things tend to involve photography! Some days I open my Inbox and it looks like an explosion happened. I won’t even mention the DMs on social media, or the phone calls. Yes, it’s a happy problem to have, but at times it can give your brain sensory overload.
So I made a promise to myself. I was going to draw a line in the sand and limit the non-wedding/engagement May bookings I took on. It’s the only way that I can serve my clients to the best of my abilities. Loving what you do makes it really, really hard to say no. I’m so glad Chelsea did contact me about this session well in advance because I adore photographing her family! My last session with them was just a year ago and it’s amazing to see how this sweet family has grown in that short period of time. When baby Lucy arrived earlier this month they became a party of five! To say that Lucy’s older siblings are excited about their baby sister is a HUGE understatement. I can tell these siblings are going to be the three musketeers growing up! Mom and dad better watch out, haha!
I don’t photograph family sessions that often these days because my calendar is mostly filled with weddings, editorial and commercial work. This was a nice change of pace and so much fun! I love getting to visit client homes for sessions like this one. I love getting to incorporate a family’s home into their images. It makes the photographs so personal. Fun fact, I remember watching Chelsea renovate this house on the Today’s Homeowner TV show several years ago (Chelsea is one of the co-hosts and also hosts her own web series, Checking in With Chelsea). It was so neat seeing this home in person! I love how she decorated the nursery in light tones. It made the perfect setting for a lot of the photos! Scroll to the bottom of this post for a link to Chelsea’s blog where you can see the full nursery tour!
Y’all, between that new baby smell and those newborn yawns (the cutest thing ever), this session had me smiling the entire time. Prepare yourself for all the sweetness! Meet sweet Lucy.
She’s not too sure about the camera yet. 😉
Big brother, Gus, has figured out how to climb into the baby’s crib…not sure if his parents knew he could do that so quickly prior to this shoot. He was quite proud of himself!
See the full tour of Lucy’s adorable nursery on Chelsea’s blog.
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A First Birthday Celebration I love working with couples on their wedding days! I also love getting to know my brides during the months before the big day. Houda is one of my former brides who turned into a friend. We’ve stayed in touch since I photographed her wedding a few years ago. I’ve worked […]
I love working with couples on their wedding days! I also love getting to know my brides during the months before the big day. Houda is one of my former brides who turned into a friend. We’ve stayed in touch since I photographed her wedding a few years ago. I’ve worked with her family several times, including photographing two of her cousin’s weddings! I was so excited for her when she shared the exciting news that she and her husband, Abrar, were expecting little Naia. Last year I photographed her maternity and lifestyle newborn photos, so when she emailed me saying she wanted to mark Naia’s first birthday with some portraits, I was totally game. And, bonus, I got to celebrate with the whole family at Naia’s first birthday party!
This little princess truly was the star of the birthday festivities. Before guests arrived to celebrate with cake and presents, we did a mini family portrait session. We took the portraits at Houda’s parents’ home…in the same spot where we took many portraits on wedding day and their maternity session. It holds a special place in Houda’s heart and I love that sentimentality of returning to this same location for more milestones. I also love the gorgeous window light in this room. Talk about a photographer’s dream!
There is something so special about working with the same clients over and over again. In many ways you start to feel like you’re part of the family. Naia probably won’t remember her first birthday party. Our memories don’t tend to go back that far. But one day she’ll look at these photos and she’ll see just how much love her parents have for her. She’ll see how much JOY she’s brought to their lives. And she’ll laugh at how thoroughly she enjoyed her “cake smash” – the party’s big finale.
During their maternity session, Abrar shared with me an old Arabic saying. The phrase translated into something like this: God loves him most who gave him daughters. I immediately loved that quote and came home to write it in my journal. I couldn’t help but thinking of that beautiful phrase as I took these photos. Naia, you are so loved by your family! Happy First Birthday!
Y’all isn’t she just a doll?! Her daddy certainly knew how to make her giggle!
You know I couldn’t do family portraits without working in a few of just mom and dad! These two are such pros at being photographed by now. I love every chance I have to get them in front of my camera!
A Texas Sized Surprise We were on the way to ballet class when my mom told me my cousins were moving to Texas. I was about eight years old. Laura was the girl cousin closest to my age and her brother, Chris, was only a few months older than my sister, Katherine. I remember I […]
We were on the way to ballet class when my mom told me my cousins were moving to Texas. I was about eight years old. Laura was the girl cousin closest to my age and her brother, Chris, was only a few months older than my sister, Katherine. I remember I immediately started crying. Katherine would say that is because I am the dramatic one, but I know it was because even at that age I knew that I’d miss them so much! We were always doing stuff together and I couldn’t imagine them not being in Mobile. Texas seemed so far away!
After the move we all stayed close. Every time we get together we always have fun and usually a lot of laughs. One year, our extended family traveled to Texas for Thanksgiving. It is still one of my favorite holiday memories! Over all the trips I’ve made to Texas over the years, the one I made last month is definitely my favorite! I was sitting in my office working on some editing the day Laura called with the plan. I knew she wanted to give her parents (my Aunt Shari and Uncle Ike) a portrait session for Christmas, but I had no idea that Uncle Ike had figured out the surprise early. Isn’t it just like dads to guess their presents?!
Laura revealed that Uncle Ike had figured out the surprise and then they both revealed they had an idea to take the surprise to the next level. What if they secretly flew me to Texas so that I could take the portraits? Talk about such an amazingly fun idea?! I was of course DYING to go and do the session for them, but we had one problem. I was in the midst of busy season and booked solid. We also had to plan around Uncle Ike’s travel schedule. He was due to be in California for a month for business. There was literally one week where we could make it happen.
We settled on the dates. Laura booked my plane ticket. Then, between the booking of the plane tickets and the trip, my grandmother passed away. Aunt Shari made many trips to Mobile during those final weeks Granny was in the hospital. I just knew I was going to accidentally say something about the trip. Somehow, we all kept the secret, even when the entire family was together for Granny’s funeral. Aunt Shari suspected nothing.
Finally, December arrived. I was flying into Houston in the early afternoon. Silly me thought that would beat rush hour. But I was thinking in Mobile traffic terms. I had no idea that I was putting us right in the midst of Houston rush hour with my arrival time. Uncle Ike and Lauren, Chris’s girlfriend, picked me up. The plan was for us to get back to the house before Aunt Shari returned home from work. But the traffic derailed those plans. We came up with Plan B. When we pulled onto the street, Uncle Ike let Lauren and me out of the car two houses away from their home. I walked up to the front door and rang the bell, completely forgetting that would cause the dogs to go into all-out protection mode!
Aunt Shari cracked open the front door and I could immediately tell she was surprised! If you want to see the video of her reaction, you can find it on my Facebook page. Y’all, it was just THE BEST! I am SO thankful that Lauren videoed the whole thing! The next day we headed out first thing in the morning to location scout and we found an amazing spot just a few minutes from their neighborhood. We also lucked out with the most perfect weather and beautiful light! I was only in Houston for one full day, so we really needed the weather to be cooperative. Everything fell into place so perfectly! Praise the Lord!
I absolutely LOVED getting to do this portrait session! Of course I had a horrible time trying to narrow down photos for this post because I had too many favorites! I decided that since this was a Texas-sized surprise that I’d do a Texas-sized blog post! Enjoy!
Y’all know I had to work in some couple portraits for Chris and his sweet girlfriend!
I’m obsessed with this one! I love all the giggles!
Laura and Lauren…say that three times fast!
The difference between a photo with your sister…
And a photo with your girlfriend…
Akira is my god-dog. Yes, that’s a thing. She’s always trying to steal the spotlight. 🙂
How sweet is this little gazebo?! Wishing I could have brought this park back to Mobile with me!
Laura is a veterinarian, so the day after the family session we did some portraits of her and her fur-babies for her bio page on the vet clinic website. This trip was my first time to meet Chuck, Laura’s massive German Shepherd. We’re now besties just in case you were wondering.
But Akira will always have my heart! How could you not love this sweet girl?!
A Washington Square Portrait Session Spring wedding season has come to an end. I think it went by faster than ever this year! Photographing weddings is such a joy, but after a season of shooting eight weekends in a row I am happy for a little break. I might be on a short hiatus from […]
Spring wedding season has come to an end. I think it went by faster than ever this year! Photographing weddings is such a joy, but after a season of shooting eight weekends in a row I am happy for a little break. I might be on a short hiatus from weddings for a few weeks, but things are definitely still busy. I’ve been doing some fun commercial projects and magazine shoots that I can’t wait to share more about soon. I’ve also been spending some time in the kitchen. Cooking for fun while I have a less demanding shooting schedule is one of my favorite things to do. I also completely decluttered my desk, which had turned into a mountain of paperwork, wedding huggers (yes, I collect them from weddings I photograph), and sample prints (because I’m a bit OCD about color checking for correct calibration). I spent the whole morning getting my desk back into ship shape and I feel so refreshed!
Today I’m sharing the sweetest family session with y’all! Chelsea’s mom contacted me to arrange gifting this session to her daughter for her birthday. Photographs are seriously the BEST gifts that you can give because they are something that will always be treasured. It’s even more special to give the gift of having professional portraits taken. I loved being in on the birthday surprise!
Chelsea and Brandon have the most adorable and well-behaved children. Gus, who is a little over a year old, started waving at me right as I walked up to meet them in the park. I could tell right away that he was not going to be shy of the camera. Chelsea taught Mary Helen, who is only two, to say my name before the session. She said they practiced saying “Elizabeth” when they would talk about getting photos taken. I was so touched when I heard her little voice saying my name. Elizabeth is not an easy name for little kids!
This session was just pure fun! I can’t look at these images without smiling! Despite the warm weather and the crazy gnats that were swarming in the park, these little ones were happy throughout our entire shoot. Mary Helen loved playing with the sticks and Gus loved watching neighbors walking their dogs. He was also intrigued by the random bird that was visiting the park that afternoon. I love when kids are this age how they are a bit aware of the camera, but they still let their personalities shine without reservation. Enjoy my favorites from this sweet summer time session!
Chelsea is not only a sweet momma of two adorable kiddos and wife to her husband, Brandon. She is also the co-host of Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford and host of her own web series Checkin’ In with Chelsea! Both shows are full of home improvement tips and DIY projects. I’m always amazed at how they can take jobs that seem intimidating and make them approachable for the average person. You can follow Chelsea on Facebook here!
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View more portrait sessions here!
At Home Lifestyle Portraits | Mobile, AL I love getting to work with the same families over and over. The last time I photographed the Hanlon family, little Sarah was inside her mommy’s tummy. I was so excited to get to meet her in person the day I went to their home for this lifestyle […]
I love getting to work with the same families over and over. The last time I photographed the Hanlon family, little Sarah was inside her mommy’s tummy. I was so excited to get to meet her in person the day I went to their home for this lifestyle family session.
Years ago I used to dream about being a newborn photographer. In fact, when I started my business, I did everything possible to avoid weddings and studied newborn photography like crazy. Crazy how things work out, right?! One of the very first workshops I purchased was actually a newborn workshop. I loved the idea of creating these beautifully posed newborn portraits, so that was my focus. I booked a few newborn sessions and I was on my way…or so I thought.
It turns out that even though I love newborn snuggles, I don’t have the talent for getting little ones into a deep sleep. The sweet, squishy poses started to stress me out. I LOVED capturing all the newness of this age, but I was forcing myself into a style that just didn’t fit my personality. About three years into business I discovered wedding photography and never looked back. But then my cousin had a baby and I found myself back in the world of newborns.
This time, I decided to check my perfectionist nature at the door. I went into my cousin’s session open minded. In the end, some of my favorite photos from the day were those that were more organic and natural in style. Photos of baby being held and photos of the family together made my heart sing. So when my sweet friends, Christopher and Melissa asked me about photographing the newest addition to their family, I asked them about a lifestyle approach and they happily said that’s what they’d prefer.
I absolutely adore working with this sweet family, so taking these photos was such a treat! It turned out to be super rainy the day of this shoot, which I think helped with little Sarah staying asleep for a good portion of the time. All the windows in their midtown home allowed for great natural light despite the cloudy skies. I loved taking photos in the nursery! It’s the cutest little room. Big sister Claire was certainly excited to give me the tour!
Picking favorites from this session was so hard! Congratulations Hanlon family! Your girls are the sweetest!
Peek-a-boo! This age is so much fun to photograph!
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Blanche fell in love with The Grand Hotel in Point Clear the first time she visited the property with her mom several years ago. She knew it was the only venue she wanted to look at when Ethan proposed...
bridal portraits: tips
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Brides who choose to embrace the bridal portrait tradition are sure to have a few questions ahead of their session. This is a big moment! They want to get it right. It will likely be the first time they put on their full...