Taking pictures is something I’ve always HAD to do, even as a kid I would fill up endless disposable pictures with my friends and I on our trips to the mall, being silly during sleepovers, or out on the lake (Skaneateles Lake to be exact for any Finger Lake fans out there). I’ve spent a lot of time wondering why I had this compulsion and became fixated on the WHY in the last year. I think the simplest answer is often the right one: because they were my home.
As a child, my family moved across the country twice at pivotal ages (7 and 10). I learned walls, homes, and friends change at a very young age, which fundamentally shaped how I looked at the world. I became eager to travel, but I also felt uprooted and homeless. The only consistent link and connection to parts of my life were those photographs. They made my house feel like home and told me my story of who I was and how I came to be me.
This nomadic pattern continued into my adult life, most recently as a military spouse. During Michael’s five years in the army, we moved four times, and while I was adapted to it, I felt more untethered than ever. We printed out a small gallery of our wedding photos and that was it. Everything felt temporary and so it didn’t make sense to print pictures to fit walls we’d soon leave. My heart goes out to the strength of the mothers and fathers in that community. The burdens they bear of a spouse missing a birth, or being separated from their young child for months, going days or weeks without communication, are unfathomably heavy. We’ve since settled in Ohio, and I’m grateful those burdens are in the past for us. Here we have extended family and it’s where I was born. It’s one of the few places I’ve actually felt at home, and as I begin to fill our walls with pictures I feel the roots of this place deepen.
Pictures mean more to me because I know how powerful they are. They are your family’s story. They can be perfectly posed or messy and in the moment and you still can feel the truth and emotion of that picture. Anyone ever look at the most picture perfect family photo and remember that seconds before you were in this HUGE fight? Or look at the most pixelated picture taken in the wee hours of night while your baby breastfeeds (AGAIN, for what feels like the tenth time) and feel overcome with joy and love and connection?
Being charged with capturing your family’s special moments is important work, from expectant mother and all the nerve-wracking and joyous moments that come along with it. From your tiny baby’s fingertips and the fleeting smallness of your newborn, to your bustling and wild family. Serving your family as a newborn and family photographer (and hopefully, friend) is not something I take lightly. Stealing from my alma matter, “My heart is in the work” and it bursts with joy when I can preserve a bit of those moments for my mommas. It goes so quick, and you deserve to have beautiful photographs, and be in photographs, that tether your story.
Life is so short, and it goes so quickly. How special a gift we have to live in a time where we can save those moments forever. How special for your adult children to look back and see the love in your eyes looking at them as a newborn? How amazing that they can see the embraces they gave and received as a toddler?
But like, who are you?
I am a hopeless romantic and I love a good story. You’ll see this theme throughout my favorite things.
- I’m a wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend. We have one Sheltie pup, Chloe, who was my first baby, and a cat, Maui, who tolerates us. I’m an artist, and man it took me YEARS to be able to say that again(that’s a story for another time), and a marketer. I have my BA from Carnegie Mellon and my MBA from OSU. Really though, the thing I’m most proud of is being a mom.
- I’ve always loved Disney stories and daydreamed about princesses and white knights. Tolkien and Rowling defined my later childhood, and I spent more than one day wishing for my Hogwarts letter. If I’m honest I’m still waiting (was it caught in the mail or something? Dobby?). I’ve always felt like Belle my princess spirit, but every single Disney test I ever take gives me Pocahontas. That sentence alone should tell you how much of a romantic I am.
- I LOVE fancy sweets. If you’re going to have dessert, you may as well do the damn thing. Jeni’s, Pistacia Vera, and Fox in the Snow are some of my favorite places. They really do it good. The creativity there is just off the charts and a simple dessert can just make you FEEL something, ya know? I usually try to eat pretty healthily, but I need a little bit of indulgence here and there. It’s all about balance…right?
- I’m an introverted 2w3 on the enneagram and an INFJ. This manifests itself in a need for both human connection (small groups please! Crowds are overwhelming!) and quiet time. I’m not loud or exuberant but I do care deeply for those I connect with. I love finding special gifts and sending cards to my tribe. I’m also very practical and organized. I’ve been planning my life out by the hour since I received my first planner in middle school and even I plan my vacations in a color coded excel doc (I’ve got to plan to relax or I won’t do it!).
Cool cool, but why did you write this whole blog about you anyway?
If you are going to let me in to your most precious moments and share time with your most precious possessions, you should KNOW me. I don’t want to just take your pictures, I want to tell your story. I want to harness your emotion and connection and make beautiful art for your children to look back on for generations. I want to give you a break, momma. We are all in this together and I don’t want you worried about pretenses with me. I want you to see how incredibly beautiful you are and this family you are building. I cannot do that if I’m not first vulnerable.
If you made it this far, congrats, I feel like I owe you a coffee for your time. Maybe even a macaron. Should we just meet up at Pistacia Vera?
If you would like to learn more about my process and session experience please check out this page. If you’re ready to dive on in together, click here and fill out the form and we’ll get to planning your custom session.
Credit to Oh Miss Photography for the lovely brand images.