Birmingham

Miller Family

Sometimes when I show up at a session I have no idea what to expect. I have only e-mailed back and forth with the client and the most information I know about them is what city they live in and how old their little ones are.  This was the case with the Miller family! And it is so fun to see how much you can learn about the family in one hour together.  You leave feeling like old friends!  When I met up with the Miller family we realized we knew a whole bunch of the same people, both loved traveling and I even got to meet their pup at the end of our shoot.

Booth Park in Birmingham is such a great place to shoot with young families.  Everything is condensed so we don't have to do a whole bunch of moving around to get varied backdrops. The park is typically relatively quiet once you get away from the playground, and there are nearby bribing options (a.k.a ice cream shops) if your children are old enough for that! I am so not above bribing! There are also usually plenty of ducks, squirrels and birds around to keep kids interested in exploring more of the park.  

Little Jack was one of the smiliest little guys I have ever photographed.  If I sang the ABCs he smiled all the way from A to Z.  He couldn't stop laughing if I put his shoe on my head and he was wasn't shy at all.  I have to say the happiest he was was when his puppy joined us.  He adored his dog and it was so funny to see the two together.  His puppy just sat patiently next to his baby and Jack just wanted to hold his puppy's tail.  His puppy didn't bark or move once, he just let the little guy go ahead and hold onto his tail! So sweet! Thank you for letting me into your family to capture these memories, Miller family!

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!

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!

Kyle + Lisa

A few weeks before their wedding, Lisa called and asked if I would be interested in photographing her and Kyle's intimate courthouse wedding, and of course the answer was a quick yes!  She shared with me that she would love to capture the intimacy of the wedding and a few photographs of their family sharing this memory together- love, family and intimate ceremonies.  She was speaking my language.

We met at the Birmingham courthouse and everyone huddled inside before their ceremony. Once the judge arrived we all moved outside to the steps of the courthouse.  It was a perfect fall evening, and the sun was just setting as a pink light settled over the city and all of the lights started to come on.  Kyle and Lisa shared their vows with their families as witnesses and were united as husband and wife.  The moment was so raw and beautiful, and just made me fall in love with love all over again.  

We took advantage of the gorgeous golden hour light and captured a few images of their family together, and wondered around downtown Birmingham for their portraits before heading off to a private candlelit dinner.  The evening was a beautiful celebration of love and family, and it was a true honor to be a part of your wedding day, Kyle and Lisa.

Conklin Family

Oh the cuteness in this blog post, please just prepare yourself for it!  The Conklins were an absolute dream family to work with.  We got together on one of those days when I was balancing weather, traffic, and 7 different shoots in what felt like 7 different locations.  They were so gracious to my texts and slightly changing schedule throughout the day, when I am pretty sure I sounded like a mad woman.  

When we started their pictures a very dark rain cloud loomed in the backdrop, and you know what their little guy did?  He smiled.  He smiled the whole time.  I would give him a little peek-a-boo from behind the camera and he would just keep on smiling back.  I swear he never fussed or shook his head no.  He even leaned into me to hold him when I walked by him and would come up for a hug after different poses.  It was the best. 

The colors were really starting to peak this weekend and I am so happy with how these pictures turned out.  I love capturing parents with their first little one, and this momma and dad have so much love for their guy it is contagious.  Thank you so much for letting me share in capturing the memories of this sweet stage of life with you, Conklin family. 

Morales Family

The Morales family moved to Michigan from down south about 6 months ago, and I keep joking with them about this fall.  Reminding them, don't get used to it, it isn't always like this.  I swear it feels like some years we skip fall entirely and find ourselves sitting in the middle of winter on Halloween.  But, God blessed them with an easy transition year, and I am glad I get to benefit from this beautiful weather, too!

 Jon is the pastor at our church and we are so lucky we get to do life with these guys.  They are caring and selfless and just a whole lot of fun to be around.  I love seeing the unique personalities of each of their children.  From how they sit in their chairs on Sunday morning to how they engage in conversation after services, they each have their own hobbies and individual personalities and I love that about families.  I am always amazed how unique siblings can be when they are raised in the same home by the same two people.  I look at my siblings and sometimes wonder how we all ended up with different believes and ways of doing life, but that's what makes family so much fun!  I hope these pictures capture some of the big personalities of each of your little ones, Morales Family!

Baby Lily

I have been friends with Katie and photographing her family for a few years now.  She is one of those moms that you just have to marvel at.  She has three little ones, manages her own business and has a beautiful home that is filled with love and laughter.  She and Ted seem to juggle life brilliantly and it is is genuinely encouraging to see.  Maybe there is hope for the rest of us ;)

Lily is the first little lady in her family and has two active older brothers.  I grew up with four older brothers, so I totally feel for little Lily- she is going to have to get tough fast!  I am only slightly kidding about that.  But what I do know is that is she certainly going to be lucky to have those guys to protect and encourage her as she grows up.  I loved growing up in a house full of big brothers and I am sure she is going to feel the same.  There is something really special about that big brother little sister bond.  Clearly her older brothers are already enamored with her, and I hope that love and protective spirit over their little sister just continues to grow.  

Miller Family

Photographing my family- I am going to be honest with you on this topic.  The times when I get to photograph my family are some of my very favorite shoots.  My nieces and nephews are my favorite people in the world and they are constantly making me smile.  There is just one problem when it comes to photographing family.  Sometimes we all forget we have a task! There is an expected outcome after our time together.  Which is different than most of our time together, and can be difficult to articulate to and manage with little ones. 

Sometimes during a shoot with my family I think, oh gosh we are just playing around. We are having too much fun.  Focus, re-center, get back to posing.  But the more I think about it the more these shoots make sense.  We should be playing and having fun.  Your time in front of the camera should be a perfect expression of your family and the love and laughter you share. 

So here is to learning from these shoots.  To learning that just laughing and playing is what it is all about. That your family knows how to make each other smile and my job is to simply capture these moments for your family to cherish forever.  

Serbinski Family

The Serbinskis are one of those families that you look at and you just say to yourself right away, 'yup they are rocking this whole parenthood thing.'  Katie is due with her third little one this summer and still ran around with her guys and looked absolutely gorgeous while doing it.  

We met for their family shoot at Booth Park and spent the whole time playing and exploring.  The boys searched for squirrels on the paths, fed the ducks, blew bubbles, ran through the tunnel at the playground and even took a ride on the cardboard slide.  They had to have been as tired as I was after all that!  These two little guys were so outgoing and it didn't take them more than a minute to warm up to having me around for their family fun.  Thanks so much for letting me share these special moments with you, Serbinski family!  Looking forward to meeting your newest addition soon! 

Raymond Family

I  met the Raymond family at Booth Park in Birmingham on one of those rare April days when the sun peaks out and you can feel summer right around the corner.  Their little lady was just about to turn one so we snapped a few extra pictures of her to celebrate.  Because, let's be honest, when you are rocking a tutu you should take as many sweet photographs as possible! Thank you for letting me capture some memories with you, Raymond family!