It's been so long!

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I updated my blog. Most of my wonderful followers are on Facebook, where I’ve posted updates about what’s been going on in life. First, I was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum in August when I was newly pregnant. And then just as that was starting to get better, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

So, it’s been a crazy busy, stressful, and emotional time dealing with pregnancy and a cancer diagnosis. But I have a great team of doctors at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and the University of Washington’s Maternal and Fetal Medicine clinic who are taking care of me and the new baby, who should be arriving in March. I had my first chemotherapy session on December 5th, and I will be doing that every other week through the end of May.

Needless to say, I am not concentrating on working right now. It’s just too much for me, and I feel too crappy. I have to admit it, professionally it’s been a little disappointing, to feel like I just started with photography to have to put it on hold already. I would love to start photographing families again mid-late summer 2019!

Hello Baby Elenor! Seattle Fresh 48 Session

I have been hesitant about trying a Fresh 48 session, mostly for scheduling reasons (my son spends some time in preschool but I'm often still his primary caretaker) But when Rachel suggested it for her photo session, I was pretty excited. I've worked with families in their own homes shortly after bringing home a newborn, but never yet in the hospital. 

And I'm already hooked. Words cannot express how much I loved this session! It felt so natural, easy, and beautiful. I wish I had someone take pictures of my family in the hospital with our newborn too. Hey, maybe next time (time to see if my husband is reading my blog!)

So here's a little peak into Baby Elenor's Fresh 48 session, and I hope to schedule more of these in the future.

Seattle Sunday Documentary Photo Session

making jam, feeding chickens, hanging around the house

I spent a Sunday afternoon with the Zelig family in Seattle. Mom is pregnant and she's due in July, so this is one of their last weekends as a family of four. I love telling the story of a time either right before or right after a big family transition, like the addition of a new family member. Even if there wasn't a baby on the way, it feels good to capture days like this. Everything about this day reminds me of weekends when I was young (okay, minus the chickens). It makes me realize how these storytelling sessions at home are not only wonderful to have for the parents (especially the moms, who may not always make it into the photos they take), but for the kids to look back on. If they ever want to remember what it was like living in this house, at that age, on a hot summer day in Seattle, they'll be able to.

Weekend Trip to Port Townsend

You know you've been traveling with a 2-year-old when you come back home way more tired than when you left. That's pretty much what happened to us on our long weekend get-away to Port Townsend. Things that we've learned as we try to take little trips with him are: sleep is going to be rough, and make a plan but don't plan on sticking with it. Sure we might have found some easy toddler hikes to go on, but sometimes you scrap the whole idea in favor of throwing rocks into a lake, following ducks around, and running up and down piers. 

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1st Birthday Party! - Seattle Family Photographer

Rebecca and Matt were my first family I spent a Day In The Life with while building my portfolio, so photographing their son's first birthday party definitely holds a special place in my heart. I love how the first birthday feels like a celebration of the parents for making it through the first year. And the relationships between the parents and their friends and family is almost as important as the cake smash itself. Ah, parenting! The struggle is real, and nobody gets it done alone!

Tackling a 365 photo project | Seattle Family Photographer

As part of a personal project, I decided to start taking at least 1 photo a day for 365 days. I'll probably post about it occasionally here, or on social media, and in the end I plan on making a soft covered book of all the photos. Or maybe my top favorites, I'm not sure yet. Either way I think it's great practice as a photographer or really for anyone to try. 

While searching for ideas and inspiration for a personal project, I often feel torn between authentically documenting reality, and trying to capture something grand or larger-than-life. So an overall goal during these 365 days will be to tie those two ideas together. Sort of like finding the beauty, awe, or magic in the mundane. Mostly it'll probably be photos I take of Oliver, because that's the subject I'm around the most. I also want to show what I love or even find difficult when it comes to parenting, so Oliver is a great subject to have for that! 

So here are a few I've taken so far. By the way, some of these are with my Canon DSLR, while some are just with the iPhone. I'm trying to carry my Canon around more often, but sometimes it's just easier to pull out the iPhone, and I don't want to have the excuse of "well I didn't have my camera" as a way to skip a day.

Another Newborn Session | Seattle Documentary Family Photography

I've been loving all these newborn storytelling sessions lately! Last weekend I went out to Kenmore to photograph a new family of three. I'm loving the red hair on baby "Red"! It's been great getting to meet all these families, but I also am starting to realize that I'm getting a nice tour of the surrounding Seattle area. Being relatively new to Seattle myself, I love checking out towns and neighborhoods I would have had no other reason to venture to otherwise. Anyways, enjoy some of the favorites from last weekend!

Branding and Website Update!

I'm so happy to re-launch my website with updated branding and web design from Kate Densmore! She is also a family storytelling photographer, so I loved working with someone who knew the type of photographs I want to take as well. The entire design process was great, but I especially loved working from a mood/inspiration board. I'm posting mine below, and now I just want to make a mood board for everything I do in life.  So big thanks to Kate, this was the perfect way to kickstart my business!

 

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Taking Pictures of My Family

I have to admit, most of the pictures of my own family are taken on my iPhone. It's just a lot easier and faster, even when the big camera is nearby. I would love to take amazing beautiful pictures of my kid every day, but it just doesn't happen. Now, the photos I do take with my phone are just as important to me, and you can bet I'm backing those up and will never ever delete them. But when the light is just right, I can't resist running for my camera. These are the kind of pictures that are my favorite, and are the ones I want to send out as gifts, or hang on my wall. If I'm taking pictures of your family, I hope you'll feel the same!

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Family Lifestyle vs Documentary Photos

As I’m establishing myself as a photographer, I want to make sure all the families I work with have an understanding of my approach. Some of the photos in my portfolio might fall under the “lifestyle” approach, while others are definitely more “documentary”. I want to talk a bit about what these different sessions look like.

In posed family portraits, the photographer directs the family members where to go and what to do. You won’t be seeing this in our sessions.

In lifestyle photography, the photographer does some directing, but it can be much less. The photographer might stage the setting, telling the family where to sit, or removing clutter from the frame.

In documentary photography, the photographer does not influence the scene in any way. There is no posing or directing, only what happens naturally. It captures simple moments in your everyday life. This is the type of photo session I strive to offer. For more information, check out the Your Session page, or send me a message!

Twins Photoshoot

Last weekend I got to work with a family who has twins! These identical babies are the cutest, as you can probably tell. We started off with a bit of a family lifestyle session, because who doesn't love babies in a basket? It was actually a nice way to warm-up our session before moving onto the park. It was a beautiful new fall day in Seattle, so I think we were all glad to get outside. When we came back home, I loved that the grandparents gave the girls a bath since it's part of their routine as caretakers. Thanks for letting me spend time with your family!

Workshop Photoshoot

About a month ago, I took a workshop with Seattle family photographer, Elena S Blair. One of the highlights was being able to photograph a newborn and family session. Both sessions felt more like family lifestyle photography instead of documentary, but I still could not have asked for a more valuable experience. And I tried to get in as many "unposed" photos as possible, for my own practice.

Something really struck me as magnificent when I was editing the photos later. At this stage in my journey, I have to admit I feel emotional when looking back at these images. It probably doesn't help that I tend to listen to really sappy music while editing. But I just got this sense of how important these photos are that family photographers take, and what an honor it is to be that photographer who is invited into the lives of who are, at first, total strangers. 

Since this is my first blog post, I also just want to say thank you to everyone who is either following me or offering your families and homes for my practice.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!