Baby Colin

Welcome to the family Colin Richard!  This family was waiting to be surprised to see if they would be adding another brother or a sister to the family, and Colin made 3 boys! Whoa! Kyle is my older brother, and he grew up with 2 boys directly above him in our family, so I have to think he and Colin will have a special bond.  Both knowing how it feels to be the youngest of three boys right in a row.  This family is not only gorgeous but so thoughtful and caring.  We live close to them and I always look forward to date nights and stopping in to play with the boys during impromptu dinners together.  Living close to family is such a blessing for Ted and me, and living extra close to this family makes me feel particularly lucky.

Colin's older brothers Parker and Cooper are in love with anything sports related, so no doubt they are going to be so excited to be adding to their soccer team and golfing foursome. Colin is going to have to grow tough quickly to hang with this rowdy bunch!  After our family pictures Colleen let the older two boys go play in the backyard while I did newborn pictures with Colin right inside the house.  The boys still wanted to be close to the action, and kept coming over to the sliding glass door and knocking and waving to their new brother, showing him their construction tools, and yelling loud hellos through the door.  It didn't phase Colin and he slept right through their attempts to wake him up.  Trust me, sleeping through anything is going to be a wonderful trait as you grow up in a loud and crazy house, Colin!

 Thanks for always inviting me into these special moments with your family, Millers.  We certainly love you all a whole bunch! 

Henry turns 1

A while ago I wrote a blog post about why I chose to be a lifetime photographer and why I think finding a lifetime photographer is important for your family.  If you missed it you can check it out here.  This family right here is a perfect reason why I love getting the chance to be a family's lifetime photographer.

I met Sarah and Ben when they were expecting baby Henry.  I photographed their maternity session and then a few weeks later I was able to photograph Henry as a newborn.  We captured his 6 month photographs later that year and now he is one!  It has been such a pleasure watching him grow over the past year and getting the chance to catch up with his mom and dad along the way.  I love that this family knows who they are looking for when they show up for a shoot, what to expect from the session, we can joke about past shoots, catch up on Ben's job, and they even ask about my past adventures.  It makes the whole process so much more enjoyable and comfortable for everyone.

So enough about lifetime photography (even though I think it's the best!) and back to this sweet family! Sarah and Ben were prepping for their little guy's first birthday later that week, so we captured a few photographs of them together to celebrate.  Henry was so enamored with his new surroundings that he tried to hold out on us with those smiles.  He just careful took in everything at the park- from a group of high school kids that offered to blow bubbles for him to all of the dogs out for their evening walk.  Thank goodness, Mom and Dad knew how to pull those big laughs out of him!

Henry's favorite part of the shoot had to be his cake!  That cake was almost too gorgeous to let him smash, but once he saw it there was no holding him back!  For someone who had never tasted cake, he certainly knew that he liked this new sweet treat! Happy first birthday, Henry!

Weekend Edition

So remember when I said there would be lots of changes around the blog?! Well here is another one! In addition to sharing posts about my business and tips for preparing your family for your shoot I also wanted to share with you some little insights into my life.  You all welcome me into your family so openly.  You let me tag along on your wedding day, invite me to hold your babe just a few days after they join your family, and sing along to your little ones' favorite songs as we explore the park together.  So now I would love to welcome you into my family and my life a little bit more! 

This past weekend we unexpectedly had to cancel vacation plans, which meant we had an entire weekend at home with absolutely no commitments! That is rare, and I was excited to see how we would spend our weekend around home.  Our friends, Nick and Kaitlin, asked if we wanted to join for a bike ride in Detroit on Saturday morning.  I was pretty excited we were able to say yes! Not only do I think Nick and Kaitlin are ridiculously great friends and I always look forward to spending time together, but I also love exploring new parts of Detroit.  So basically it was a Saturday filled with two of my favorite things!

We started the morning at Eastern Market, made our way through the Dequindre Cut, and onto the Riverwalk.  Our final destination was Batch Brewing Company for lunch and brews- which I highly recommend!  I am already looking forward to more summer Saturdays like this one . . . 

Miller Maternity

Well I figured I better go ahead and get these photographs blogged since today I shot the newborn pictures for the babe inside that beautiful belly!  (Side note: Hello time, if you could  just slow down a little bit that would be wonderful!)  These two little dudes couldn't wait to meet their little sibling when I saw them at their momma's maternity shoot.  They anxiously loved on their momma's belly and made guesses if they would be welcoming a baby brother or a baby sister into their home.  And can we just take a moment to talk about how gorgeous Colleen looks when she is pregnant.  And not only is she rocking her bump, but she did it in heals while also corralling two little boys.  Let me tell you, she is a total rockstar. 

We shot these photographs at a really small local park in Birmingham called Barnum Park.  We originally picked the park because it had beautiful tulips.  Unfortunately, because of rain we had to reschedule the shoot and we just caught the tail end of the blooms.  But what I realized is this is a really, really great place for photo shoots.  And you know what else I realized, that sometimes we just totally overanalyze where we do our family shoots!  I never would have thought to use this park for a session, but I totally loved it!  It had a nice pathway, clumps of trees, high grass, and that really cool old, brick front to a school building.  Realizing how much I enjoyed shooting at this park made me want to drive around and reconsider more small parks.  Sometimes less is more, right?! How many other cool locations am I missing out on because the park just seems too small?  Do you have any must consider locations?  I would love to add some more locations to my list of favorite spots. 

You won't have to wait long to find out if the Miller family added a boy or a girl to their home!  Their newborn pictures are being uploaded as I write this post.  I can't wait to be a part of your family as we watch you grow, baby Miller!

What should I bring to my family shoot?

I don't typically address this topic with clients, but as I started thinking about it, it is so important.  What do you need to carry with you during your photoshoot? We typically wander pretty far away from our cars, so we only have what we are carrying with us.  How frustrating to be carrying around more than you need or to be missing the few things that would be useful during your session.  So here we go, let's dive into the topic of what to bring with you to your family shoot. 

Pack everything into one small bag that can get tossed on the ground without fear of getting dirty.

A small snack and a drink for your little ones.  Something that isn't messy or creates crumbs, like string cheese or dried fruit works well.  You may have just fed your kiddos, but they can be absolute ninjas at getting out of photographs- and their go-to tends to be, "I am hungry.  I am thirsty." So let's just bring something just in case that complaint comes up, so we can address it and get back to the fun! 

A treat! Your little ones are working hard and staying focused, and it is okay to reward that.  Their favorite gummies work well and keep everyone mess free.  Even better- surprise them with a gummy shape they haven't tried! 

A favorite blanket. I always bring a blanket with me to shoots, but if you have a favorite blanket please feel free to bring that.  Or if you have a blanket you think will work particularly well with your outfits I would love to use yours! 

A stuffed animal or small toy.  Your child probably has a favorite stuffed animal that travels with you everywhere, and it is okay for that animal to join the photoshoot.  Just please make sure to let your child know their stuffed animal is going to spend some time with Caryn.  I will take good care of him while your little one takes their photographs and said stuffed animal might even end up doing something really silly like sitting on my head or trying out a new dance move right behind my camera! 

Men- Please take your wallet and cell phone out of your pocket.  I know, it feels natural and you may not think you are wearing skinny jeans or tight pants ;) but I can see your phone in your pocket and trust me, it isn't flattering!

Lipstick or lipgloss.  I totally get it if you love your lipstick and you haven't found that exact brand that is suppose to stay on all day, let alone for one hour- I haven't found it either! Throw it in your bag just in case you want to add some extra color! 

Leave everything else in the car!  Trust me you don't want to be lugging extra bags around the park.  We are constantly moving and the extra time to pick things up and put them down takes away from the time that you get to enjoy just being with your family.  So remember simple is best, and less is more when it comes to bringing things to your photoshoot.  Your family's smiles and interactions are all we really need to truely capture the season of life you are in.

Cole Family

Sometimes when I take a look at my calendar for the month or week, I am excited for a shoot simply because I get to hang out with a family.  Yes, I will get to photograph which I always love, but I also get to know a family better that I may not spend much time with.  Photography gives me such an amazing opportunity to get to know families on a more intimate level than I would ever get the chance to do normally.  

We attend church with the Cole family and we exchange pleasant hellos and how are yous on Sunday mornings and at other church events. but getting to explore the park with their family and capture their giggles together makes our relationship so much more meaningful. I had a chance to really get to know their little ones and learn what brings out their biggest smiles.  For their oldest son I learned that thing is Star Wars and their little guy certainly adores bubbles.  

I just love how these pictures capture their family, and it is all because of how comfortable they were during their shoot.  They let themselves giggle, laugh, and cuddle.  Each person truly has a genuine affection for their other family members and it shows so clearly in these photographs.  Thank you so much for letting me capture this crazy and fun season of life with you, Cole Family!

Baligian Family

I have such a special place in my heart for big families.  I know they aren't for everyone.  My husband comes from a family of two kids and swears it was the best childhood ever, but when you come from a big family you can't help but love the chaos.  Sometimes I even miss the chaos of living in a house with nine people.  Sometimes I even hope to have all of that chaos in my own family one day (well maybe, don't hold me to that one!)  So when a family pulls up to their shoot and the kids just keep piling out of the back seat, I take a big breathe, prep my patience, and then also smile inside because it kind of feels like home.  

Ted and I have known the Baligians for the past 5 years and their family just keeps growing! Their littlest guy, Ezra, just turned one so it was the perfect time to get their gang together for some updated family photographs.  The last time they were in front of my camera was for Ezra's newborn session, which feels like yesterday!

Each of their kiddos has their own unique personalities, and that is my favorite part of shoots with big families.  I love when I get to pull each child aside for their individual photographs and just ask them a few questions about what they love.  They end up creating images that capture their personalities just because of how they light up when they talk about their favorite sports or the birthday party they went to earlier that day.  Thank you for letting me get to know and capture your gang, Baligian Family! 

Hiring a Photographer for a Lifetime

Hi friends! It feels like it is time to shake things up around here.  I love having the chance to share my work with you, but I also want to start sharing more of my life with you!  You are going to see a few changes around the blog in the upcoming weeks, but don't worry-  you will still see lots of full sessions and adorable photographs of the amazing families I have the pleasure of serving.  In addition to those posts you are going to see insight into my business, posts about travel itineraries and some helpful posts about preparing your family for your session.  Sound good?! I hope so, because I cannot wait to dive deeper with you all! 

So to kick off the changes in the blog, I wanted to talk about one of my favorite parts of my job- becoming a family's lifetime photographer.  What does this mean?  It means that I get to photograph your family through the years, as your family changes and grows.  Being a lifetime photographer is a choice I made when I started my business.  It is a choice I consider each year when I set my goals, and I believe it is what sets my business apart.  I want to be a photographer that is there for every step of your family's life- from your engagement to your wedding, maternity photographs and newborn session, 1st birthday cake smashes and high school graduations.  

My goal is to have your family as a client from your first session and then throughout life's changing stages.  A big goal right?  But to me it just makes sense.  You invite a photographer into life's most intimate moments, and you want that person to be someone you know and feel comfortable with.  Each opportunity we have to spend time together I get to know your family better, I learn what makes your little ones laugh or the story of how you and your husband met.  Getting to know your story better helps me truely capture it.  

So while I would love your lifetime photographer to be me, most importantly my hope is that you see the importance of a lifetime photographer.  Someone who knows your family inside and out.  Someone who loves your family and wants to be there to celebrate life's milestones with you.  Someone who can create a cohesive visual of the life you have built together that can be shared for years to come.  Finding a lifetime photographer is like opening the door to letting someone into the story that only your family shares, but my goodness it is so worth it. Because finding a lifetime photographers means being able to freeze time with someone who loves and cares about your family.  

Emma turns 2

Happy 2nd birthday to you, Miss Emma!  I met Emma and her family last fall for their first family shoot and was so excited when they contacted me to photograph Emma for her second birthday.  They are one of those families that I could spend an entire afternoon with, and my time with them feels a whole lot more like fun than work.  Not to mention, their family is quite adorable.  Little Emma with her big smile and dark curly hair, such a doll!  So naturally I jumped at the chance to photograph them again!

Emma was so great for her shoot and sang along to just about every nursery rhyme I know, which I realized isn't many, so I will be trying to up my repertoire. This shoot is such a great example of doing a lot with what you have.  The heavens opened up right before Emma's shoot and because of the weather we did the majority of her shoot inside.  Really all we did was move a chair and table, remove some photographs from a wall and with Mom's awesome props we had a perfect little studio. I love when clients keep things simple, and the finished product is gorgeous!

Also, can we talk about how hilarious two year olds are?!  Emma is really talking now, and I couldn't help but laugh as she let us know exactly what she wanted in the sweetest little sentences.  I imagine life at the Sirhan house is never dull!  Not to mention, Emma is going to be a big sister this summer, so the fun continues! Already looking forward to meeting your little sister, Emma, but until then enjoy just being 2! 

Baby Sophia

I have to be completely honest with you here.  Sophia may have been one of my easiest babies to photograph.  She was totally out when I got there and pretty much stayed in a deep sleep the entire shoot.  I also have to be honest, I had some awesome assistants for this shoot- Mom, Dad, Grandma and an auntie- they helped streamline everything and doted on little Sophia.  They moved props, changed Sophia and came up with some of their own fun poses.  So, what I want you to know is that I can't take all the credit for how amazing Sophia looks, because between her awesome nap skills and her kind family- it basically took a village for these photos, and I am so grateful for that. 

This little lady arrived early, so when her mom e-mailed me to say she was ready to schedule her shoot I was a little surprised.  It wasn't even her due date yet!  But, as babies sometimes do- Sophia made an early entrance into the world and thankfully she is doing great.  Mom and Dad seemed to have everything under control, and I couldn't help but watch as they lovingly passed Sophia between the two of them.  I know I have said it before, but one of my favorite interactions to watch is between a new mom and dad.  They pass their little one back and forth so gingerly, basically radiating love between the three of them.  I mean if you ever need a good dose of positiveity in your life, just watch a brand new mom and dad pass their little one between the two of them.  It is the sweetest.  

Sophia is undoubtedly already so loved.  Remember that village I was talking about?  I think they all would do just about anything for Sophia.  She is going to be so lucky growing up with that kind of love and support around her.  I am continuously grateful that I get to share in these moments with families and feel that indescribable love in their homes.  Enjoy loving on your little lady, Giannosa family!