I got an email from Amy wanting to book a family photography session for her sister. Her sister is a photographer and had been photographing Amy and her kids for years…but had never had professional photos taken of her OWN family. I can relate as I have thousands of images of my children…with my husband etc…but only a handful of me in them. I try to schedule a family photography session for us each year…but sometimes things get busy and it doesn’t happen. I made a vow this year to get in more photographs with them…it’s so important! Anyway, I love that Amy did this for her sister…and I even got a few shots of them together for their photography website.
The bright and shining Emily. Loved this girl! We had a great time with several looks during her senior portrait session. I also love her makeup…which of course was professionally done and included with her session. Olive Avenue Photography is currently booking August senior portrait sessions…this is our busiest month for seniors so don’t wait to book!
One final session to share from Atlanta. This beautiful photographer’s family won me over at hello. It didn’t hurt that they brought me a welcome basket of goodies…got to love southern hospitality! But really…this girl’s energy is contagious. So it makes sense that her family was so sweet and connected…their love for each other, tangible. And that Atlanta light…yummy, golden and delicious.
Here is another beautiful family I photographed in Atlanta. These guys drove over 4 hours to get to me…so you can imagine my surprise when they walked out of their car looking like they were ready to pose for a J Crew campaign. The boys were so fun to work with and the setting of an old cotton mill couldn’t have been more gorgeous!
One perk I love about being a photographer, is that I can do it anywhere. I’ve always loved to travel…but even more so for work. I love exploring new locations…and I’ve learned that light is different in every state I shoot. For real! I love California light. And North Carolina light. And Dallas. And Atlanta didn’t disappoint either. Totally gorgeous and sunny. And I finally got to meet this family in person. I’ve made a lot of ‘adoption friends’ over the years. People who have held my hand via the internet as we journeyed to build our family. And often, I have the pleasure of watching their family grow as well. So when Angie joked that I should come to Atlanta to shoot her family…I said, ‘I’m there.’ Meet one of the sweetest, most beautiful families I’ve met. They will be adding another little one again soon…so maybe I will have to go back for a visit.
I’ve joined forces with my FAVORITE local baby & kids boutique, Pacifier, to bring you an amazing giveaway! The winner will receive a $50 Pacifier Gift Certificate + a free gift from the store AND a Newborn or Baby Portrait Session from your’s truly…a prize package valued over $750!!!
Follow this link for more details and enter to win:
It’s hard to believe this is the start of year 2 of this amazing photography project! I’ve so enjoyed being a part of this passionate circle of women who have become to feel like old friends. After you finish reading my letter…pour yourself a cup of coffee and follow the chain of letters written by amazing moms and photographers across the globe…starting with the uber talented and super sweet Shalonda Chaddock of Chubby Cheek Photography | Houston TX Child Photographer!
“There were once two sisters
who were not afraid of the dark
because the dark was full of the other’s voice
across the room,
because even when the night was thick
they walked home together from the river
seeing who could last the longest
without turning on her flashlight,
because sometimes in the pitch of night
they’d lie on their backs
in the middle of the path
and look up until the stars came back
and when they did,
they’d reach their arms up to touch them
― from The Sky is Everywhere
I watch the two of you together and my heart is happy. Happy to have been a part of giving you something I always yearned for down to the tips of my toes. A set of eyes to look into…a hand to hold…just a presence when I felt oh so alone in the ups and downs of childhood. A playmate, confidant, friend. A sister. That word still strikes a chord of longing in my heart…but it’s more of a whisper now. Now that I know you have each other.
It’s been something to watch your relationship unfold like a flower these past months. It hasn’t been perfectly simple or easy for you joining each other’s lives at 5 years old. And yet, you have fallen into each other with such grace. There is an understanding of this sisterhood between you that goes well beyond your awareness of it. Someday you will realize the depth of it. Your bond goes beyond family. Beyond what even I can comprehend. Who can comprehend the tie that binds two souls who came into this world only to bare such a tremendous loss as their welcome? You both had to wait and journey to your family. Those early experiences tether your hearts together whether you remember those events or not. And I believe from the bottom of my heart that you were always intended to find each other. To walk this life hand tightly in hand.
So my girls. I hope you see the gift you have in each other. I pray that you will have loyalty and love for one another that stretches beyond words. That you watch over each other. Teach each other. Laugh together until your tummies hurt. Tell secrets. Fight and make up. That when you are old you can look at each other and see the girls you once were…and the sisters you will always be.
I love you both so much.
Every year I get to see this little peanut and I ALWAYS look forward to it. Why? Because I know it’s going to be a super silly and fun session. Her personality and intellegence blows me away. I remember photographing her at 2 and having stimulating conversation! Now at 4 she’s only gotten smarter, funnier and more precocious <3.
I love working with this family each year. Mom has an amazing sense of style…and I’m always anxious to see her family’s wardrobe ensemble. This year did not disappoint. We headed out to a local Christmas tree farm on a late fall day. Being that there are 3 young (and completely adorable) kids in this family…we spent some time running around in between shots. I love the results…fun, candid and timeless. After seeing the photographs this mom sent me a beautifully written note that I think will resonate with most of us working moms…and explains part of why I do what I do…
“Once again I am overly impressed and truly amazed by the images you captured of my family. You are able to literally capture my heart and allow me to display it for all to see.
As a mom who leaves the house every day before my kids wake up and only has a few hours with them in the evening before bedtime, my biggest concern is that we’ll forget. That I will forget what they look liked, how their laugh sounded, what their baby teeth looked like, how they cared for one another, and on. That they will forget that I was there, I was present, and loved, and laughed. But the pictures you take help to ease my mind, because they won’t let us forget.”
I get goosebumps every time I read it.
This session makes me miss fall, although I am still waiting for summer to officially show up! It was a beautiful day and the colors were at their peak. However, they didn’t quite shine as much as this spunky little girl…she is amazing!
Yes, I’m still playing blog catch up from last YEAR. I’m almost done…but I can’t leave anyone out. Here is a little glimpse of the fall minis…I loved the location and will most likely be shooting there again this year. 2013 fall mini sessions will begin booking in July so keep an eye out as they always sell out quickly!
This sweet family has been with me from the beginning…when there was just 4 of them. I’m so grateful for the clients who have stuck by me year after year. It’s the biggest compliment I could ever receive. It’s hard to believe I’m in my 4th year of shooting professionally. I have to admit, I get nervous at the beginning of every photography season that this will be the year I fail. That the calls and emails will stop coming. I’m just so in awe and grateful that I get to do something I love so much for a living. So thank you. Thank you for continuing to call and email me. Thank you for proving my doubts wrong…and for trusting me to photograph the ones you love most in the most important years of your life. It means the world to me…
This is how she usually is…smiling away. The snow was melting all around us, falling off the branches and sprinkling our faces. All new to this little girl who spent most of her life indoors. How lucky we are to be surrounded by her joy…what a reminder to embrace the small gifts life presents to us each day. Even snow in April.
Dear Miss P,
I tucked you in bed tonight and you said, ‘thanks for caring about me, mom.’ Who are you…and how did we get so lucky? Child…you amaze me.
I love that you still believe we will get married when you are older and that we will be together forever. What a beautiful and innocent thought. I wish it could be so…that we would always be like we are now. But I know that soon, too soon…you will fly away. Pursue your dreams and passions, fall in love…have a family of your own. This time I have with you is so precious. I swear, somewhere in the distance I can hear some clock ticking. Some voice whispering, ‘these are the best days of your life, Jess, treasure them.’ And I try. I try so hard. But finding balance and remembering what is important is a constant battle. To live a present life. To put the phone down. Turn off the television. To just stop. And breath in the scent of your hair. To hear the little lisp that appeared after you lost your first 2 teeth. To just look into each other’s eyes for no reason. To see the scuffs on your favorite shoes from playing so hard. To notice how your voice is just a little more grown today and a little less…little girl. It’s hard in these times…and I worry it will be harder for you when you are a mommy someday. But I can tell you. Those little things are all that is worth living for. Not the big paycheck or the fancy house. Not fame or frilly accolades. In our last hours…who clings to the physical things in this life? Who takes comfort in a title? No, in our last moments we relish in the love we have and the love we’ve given.
It may seem strange to reflect on such things that seem as though they will not happen for forever. And yet. You are 6 today. Just like that 5 is gone. I can hardly believe it…just like every year. Time goes by so fast. Too fast. I wish I could tell you to stay little, and that you would listen.
And so we try and make every moment count. I make an effort to check on you each night before I go to bed even though I am tired and sometimes can barely make it up the stairs. To watch you sleep for just a minute…to hear your soft breathing. In hopes that I might put that memory away for later, at the time I look back on my life and remember what I lived for and what I loved most.
Happy birthday my sweet girl. You were my first…and you changed my life forever. I never could have imagined the joy I’d know as your mother…I never knew it was possible to love someone so much. But I do.
Here are your last moments of 5…what a special year it was…
Always, Your mama
Now head over to Sara Tegman | St. Louis Photographer for her letter and amazing photographs!
Oh Miss Sam. A girl after my own heart. She’s gorgeous but has a personality to go with it…enough for us both. And to prove it I included her ‘blooper reel’ at the end of this post. Class of 2014 senior portrait sessions are booking now. Check out my main website for all the details!
Meet another amazing class of 2013 senior. I loved working with Katie. It was really important for her to incorporate her Asian heritage in her shoot…so we came up with the idea of incorporating the paper lanterns. I can’t help but look at her beautiful photos and see my girls when they are grown. I can only hope they turn out to be as intelligent, eloquent and graceful as Katie.