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.

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.

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!

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.

miss J is another one i’ve known since she was days old– and she happens to be part of one awesome family.  no, really.   it is very extremely rare for me to meet a client who makes me forget that i’m not back home in the heart of Dixie– must be something about that easy-going, friendly, fun way about them.   growing up, we always called this type of people “good folks” (you can go ahead and draw out that gooooood- and throw a little head nod in there for good measure).   good folks tend to raise good folks, so i think it’s safe to say that miss J has a great future laid out for her.

it’s hard to believe that miss J is already a big sister (let’s be realistic and say that you’ll be seeing that session way on down the road), but for now, here’s a little look at being 1.

it’s unbelievable how quickly miss L grew from this tiny little beauty to a gorgeous little 1-year-old, but it’s even more unbelievable that we are quickly approaching her 2-year-old photo shoot!    despite a strange impromptu ‘playdate’ toward the end of our session, L was an absolute dream to photograph!!  (i mean really, maybe let’s not to allow your grandchildren to actually come sit on the family being photographed while you stand next to the photographer, blankly staring at them for 15 minutes any amount of time longer than 10 seconds?  definitely goes in the piggy bank of strangest things that have ever happened during a shoot).

either way, i think it’s safe to say that miss L can probably get anything she wants with that little head turn, no?

sweet mr M was my first session back from having our second baby, and what a fun way to dust off my working shoes!  the most fun thing about mr M is that you never know what you’re gonna get, and that day i got… a monkey.  glued to a tree.  who didn’t want to do anything else.  😉  once we got our monkey noises out of the way and pried him off the birch, he was all set for adventure time!!  (and would you just look at those happy eyes!?  this kid smiles with his whole face– 100% contagious!)

this incredible little mister has been my client since he was -2 months old, hanging out in his mama’s belly, and it has been so much fun getting to photograph him along the way!

unfortunately, mr I’s one-year-old session was his last in baltimore since the C family uprooted for friendly folks, down-home-cookin’ , and a gentler way of life shortly thereafter.  of course i’m going to miss one of my favorite families to photograph, but heading South is something i understand with just about every fiber of my being 😉  so three cheers for SC  and the hope that we get to work together again someday in sweet Dixie!

the saying goes “good fences make good neighbors,” but in my experience i say forget the fences, good neighbors make good neighbors.

this rang especially true in our last home downtown, where we were blessed to have the P family move into the row home next to ours.  we had a few other good neighbors on the block, but none that were more helpful than the awesome P fam…  in fact, they may have rescued me on a few too many occasions when i was home alone with the kids… there was the time my 2.5-year-old locked the two of us out on the second story deck- with our 6-month-old alone inside,  the several times i couldn’t figure out how to open our garage door during power outages (for real, why are those things so complicated?), the spare floor boards they gave us for replacement so we didn’t have to buy a whole box, and the many times i had to run over with a jar of whatever that i couldn’t get open by myself.  i’m not sure i ever rescued them in the way they did us– they’re on top of things like that– but i have absolutely loved getting to know them and getting to photograph beautiful miss L along the way.

this was miss L’s 6-month session (there is a 1-year session somewhere in my list of to-blogs), but i couldn’t be more excited to do miss L’s next session as a BIG SISTER soon!

miss L was so sweet and smiley on that perfectly crisp (ok. cold.) fall morning…. in 2011.   are you seeing the throwback theme yet?  because it’s going to continue for a good while as i play catch up.  something about two kids throws even the most organized person in to a spiral of procrastination…. or survival.

yeah, survival.  😉

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all images copyright 2010 amy mullins