well, changes are upon us.    

after 5 years of crazy business, i have finally closed shop on the Baltimore leg of this journey as we prepare for a big move South.  where, exactly, will we be headed?  we’re not ready to announce quite yet, but you can say that i’m both thrilled for our family at the idea of where we’re headed, but a bit sad to be leaving such an incredible city full of incredible people.   since moving to baltimore 7 years ago, we have always known the precise week of our departure– that’s how things go in the medical world.  you know the timeline, but rarely the destination.  so today i will deliver the last client order, dust off my hands, and spend a full weekend with my family for possibly the first time in all 5 years.   it’s a strange, emotional freedom.

 i plan to take the next year off from client work, and will likely pick right back up after that– because who could possibly stay away from such a fun job!?!  (spoiler alert: there are plans for a business overhaul in the works: new name. new branding.  new package model.)

SO, since things got insanely busy and i never kept up with blogging, i will be using some of my time over the next six months to blog past shoots and pick up my big girl camera for my OWN kids ;)
i figured what better way to start than by throwing back to a spring maternity shoot with the P family.  fits in with this winter weather, no?  ha.

we have known the P’s for a number of years, and were thrilled to hear that they were expecting…. because, let me tell you, no one ever wanted a kid more than this mister.  and can we talk about how incredibly stunning S is pregnant!?

pieror blog board 1 fix

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growing up on a small mountain in tennessee, we had fog.  and i don’t mean a light hazy fog, i’m talking about the real can’t-see-the-car-in-front-of-you sort of fog that my mom always declared “thicker than pea soup.”   it comes with the territory of living so close to the clouds (but really, life changed the year they installed those road reflectors.  some days they were the only thing you could see when driving)

here in baltimore, thick fog is a rare thing, and something i’ve never had to think about on shooting days…. until the day of the S family shoot.   that morning, i looked out the window and cringed.  the light was gorgeous, it wasn’t going to rain, and it was wasn’t too cold, but i knew i had to call the S family, certain i was about to hear the usual “we were really hoping for a bright sunny day for our family photos.”   don’t get me wrong, i totally understand wanting blue skies and sunshine, but when the whole sky turns into a beautiful soft box of moody, feathered light, i get itchy to get out there.

so there i am at the window, phone ringing, still in my pj’s thinking we’re off for the morning.   R picks up, and i’m stunned by what she says next: “the photos are about our family, not the weather. if you think it will be good, let’s do it.”

and that, my friends, is what makes the S family so beautiful.  they get it.

so often, we lifestyle photographers have to rally parents to get in the frame, be present and be with your child in the moment.  be REAL.  we want you to forget about hair or wrinkles or those last five pounds or perfect weather.  capture the now that your child is in– the now that has you being YOU in it.  you may or may not radically change in the next two years, but it’s guaranteed that your child will.  these little years are fleeting, and if you don’t put your focus in the right place, they might just pass you by.

but, like i said, the s fam gets it.  they embrace the perfectly imperfect and honor life exactly how it is: beautiful, real, and, most importantly, now

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gorgeous light and a fun, easy-going family… could i possibly ask for more?

this was my third session with the M family, and i have adored shooting with them every single time.  little mister m is cute as a button– even when the thinks i’m 100% crazy (because trying to keep him apart from his sudden and very deep love of bamboo makes me a crazy person, right?  talk about a bamboo forest in the wrong place at the wrong time ha! no worries, m&m’s were on the scene.  life went on.)

as adorable as mister m is, the thing i love most about working with the M family is that they have a sort of effortless realness about them.   it’s a beautiful thing to see, and even more beautiful to photograph…

it’s my favorite kind of perfect.

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shoots can be intimidating.  especially ones with people who have big titles and important jobs- and even more so when one’s husband has been training under their supervision for several years.

my first session with the S family began with me feeling a little timid about it all.  the funny thing about lifestyle family photography is that you need to get to the heart of the family, no matter what.  everyone feels weird in front of a camera, so it is my job to find the connection, find the fun, and pull out that gorgeous realness that makes a family a family.  it’s not a problem, because i tend to lose myself behind the camera and i’m sure i look absolutely nutty when doing so– no way anyone is staring at my clients when i’m hopping around making noises and singing songs.  but it all seemed a bit trickier going into a session where i wasn’t sure how much my get-that-real-smile-out-of-you tactics would embarrass my husband in the OR.  ;)

turns out, that thing that happens when i put my camera to my face is much stronger than any other thought process, and i went right into my normal antics the second i met the S family.  the whole lead up to our first shoot was so silly– the S’s are wonderful and their kids have the most awesome personalities.  they are so much fun to work with!

all this talk about our first session and you’d think you get to see it, right?  wrong.  i got too far behind on blogging and it never happened.  BUT, fast forward a year and a half, and i got the joy of doing another session with them last fall– this time with a new member to the fam!   sweet mr T is just a bowl of happy (unless there are gnats.  truth.), and he definitely oozes personality just like miss B & big brother W.  it’s always fun to see how siblings interact in the little years, but these kids absolutely love each other.  so cue the slow clap for their parents- they are clearly doing something very very right.

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it’s a funny thing when you befriend the kid before the parent.

several years ago, a good friend of mine was watching miss M when we met up for a playdate.  while i had heard rumors of her mama being super-fun, all i saw was one ridiculously gifted little 1-year-old.  (the kind of gifted that makes you cut off conversation and ask “did she just point out the quadratic equation!?”… ok maybe not that far, but give it a year or two.  point being, chick is smart. really smart.)

as it turns out, miss M’s mommy is not only super-fun and the owner of gifted offspring, she has quickly become one of my “go-to’s.”   you know, one of those girls you quickly call up for an impromptu pizza-arsenic-hour-playdate-with-kids-EVERYWHERE who you can also go out on the town with grownup-style, and you know you’ll have fun either way.  there are a handful of girls up here that keep me going, and she is one of them.  it’s a wonderful thing to find a mommy-friend who is going through the same things at the same time (like being mega pregnant with #2′s with very late-working husbands while chasing toddlers), but it’s even better when that person is someone you would be friends with even if kids weren’t in the picture.

so meet the M family.  they’re gorgeous, spontaneous, and the most fun you can get with two littles in the house. they are some of my favorites, and they really need to get going on that cage building for the teenage years with kids this good-looking.

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there’s no way to talk about little miss C and her wonderful parents without telling the whole story.  so i suppose a good place to start is at the very beginning, which puts us back in september of 2001 at Furman University.

this sweet baby’s mama was a ball of red-headed energy that i met day one on our freshman hall, and we quickly became friends.   come to think of it, she was partially responsible for me meeting my (future) husband that very week.  to call M a good friend would be an understatement– she is a pillar of kindness, strength and conviction– and a friend to all, but we were lucky to call her roomie. (yeah, there’s a third leg to this friendship, and talking about it without mentioning miss A feels like an unfinished puzzle).

M and I have seen each other through some of our biggest growing years, and i feel blessed to be here through her biggest change of all.  watching her become a mommy was like taking a step back and watching myself go through it all over again… totally different, but  exactly the same somehow… and just as meaningful.

back in 2001, somewhere deep in the biology department at an obscene hour i’m sure, if you had told me that in 12 years i would be photographing M’s week old baby girl, i would have called you crazy.

but shifting from science to art has never been more rewarding, and here i am, and here she is: that baby our ‘back-then’ selves would sometimes talk about as if we had a clue about parenting and motherhood.   she’s right here.  she is sweet and adorable and perfect, and looks like the cutest little girl version of her daddy, and that is a pretty amazing thing to see.

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this session was a loooong time in the making.   it started two maybe three years ago and things kept popping up, as they sometimes to do, pushing back our shoot.  life, kids, pregnancies, post-pregnancies, booked schedules- all got in the way until one beautiful evening in september when it all fell into place.  i absolutely love this family, so it is no surprise that i absolutely love working with them– they’re that type that is gorgeous from the inside out, and i’m so lucky to have gotten to know them over the past 3 years!

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sweet miss o was such a beautiful newborn to photograph, and i was beyond excited to get to document the end of her first year a few months ago.  we decided to take a walk around the neighborhood on a perfect little path that winds around a small pond.   what i thought would simply be a meaningful location for the B family turned out to be a lovely area with even lovelier light– the perfect stage for a family so totally in love!

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w family | baltimore child photographer

Posted on October 25, 2013

awkward timing on this one given the recent change from mild to frigid out, but why not throw a little hot, sweaty, july summer in here?!   had i been keeping up with this blog, you would have met little miss L at 6 days old about a year ago, but that blog post never happened, so meet miss L!  this little lady was just turning 1 and i loved getting to see how much she had changed since our first shoot!  during her newborn session, we discovered that miss L’s mama had lived in my husband’s home town (which is very small, so it was a bit of a “no way!” moment), and we were weeks away from moving 1 block away from the W family’s current home.  love how this old world feels so small and comfortable sometimes.

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let’s just straighten up one little myth:  i’m still here.

i’ve just been stinking at keeping up with this little blog for- oh, well, you know- the last year and a half?  yikes.  i’ve realized that trying to keep in chronological order with sessions from 1 year ago just isn’t working for me— i’m much more excited about the stuff i’m cranking out now, and tracking down all the old files since the great computer crash of ’13 is just. not. fun. so here’s the new plan:  i’m going to start blogging stuff from this year, likely out of order, but it’s coming.  hopefully we’ll get some old stuff sprinkled in here and there, but no guarantees :)  onward and upward!

now on to the f family!  i met this awesome fam when they were a pack of 3, and miss z was just turning 1.  a crazy busy shooting schedule got in the way of doing awesome mr w’s newborn shoot, but i was thrilled that we were able to get a family session on the books a year later!  there is no denying that these little ones have awesome personalities (of course, i may just be biased because miss z reminds me so much of my own little lady), and they were just as awesome to work with- even with a huge storm rolling in closer by the minute.

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