Michigan Family

Miller Family

These are certainly 5 of my very favorite people- my brother Scott, his wife Katie and their outrageously adorable little ones. Ted and I are so lucky to live close to family, and over the past years we have spent so much time being an aunt and uncle before being a mom and dad.  These three cuties are some of the sweetest little ones, and we often say we hope Leland takes after them.

Photographing family can be tough.  These kiddos are use to seeing me and running around, being tickled, and cannonballing into the pool.  So asking them to have a little more subdue time together can be a challenge, but they did great!

Ted and I had taken them to see Incredibles 2 in the morning and after their photoshoot we joined the rest of our family for a pool party at Grandma's house.  Right before they left to go home for the night their oldest son looked at me and said, 'Aunt Caryn this was one really special day.  Movies, pictures at the park, and swimming.  I wish it didn't have to end.' And then my heart melted right there on the spot.  We love you, Miller family!

Crandell Newborn

Two little bundles of joy! Oh goodness how ridiculously sweet are Pierce and Everly.  I loved getting to meet these two and catch up with their mom and dad. 

I have to be honest, when I go to someone's home for newborn pictures it can be a bit of a whirlwind.  They have recently arrived home from the hospital and they are trying to get settled in.  People have sent flowers, gifts and balloons.  Visitors and new baby supplies tend to have not found their proper home yet.  Which is always totally understandable, and comes with the territory of being new parents! I couldn't believe it when I walked into Kelly and Loren's home and it was so peaceful.  Like I kind of wanted to move in peaceful. They were both ready to go, neither of their little ones ever cried, and they had coffee brewing and even a few candles lit.  They made this twin newborn parent thing look like a breeze!  

Everly and Pierce absolutely loved being cuddled together.  Everly had the tiniest smile on her face for most of her pictures with her brother.  And Pierce just natural curled into Everly when they were laying next to each other. Do you see how he sweetly he held onto Everly's arm in this second picture?! My heart! I can't wait to watch these two grow up together. How lucky they are to always have a built in best friend.  Congratulations on your two sweet additions, Crandell Family!  

Timmington Family

Oh goodness I love this family.  Last year the pastor at our church came to us and asked us if we would be interested in leading a small group with this couple. Our answer was immediately, yes! We have been so thankful for them over the past year.  Kim is one of the kindest friends, and I am constantly reminded how thankful I am for her friendship.  She lifts us up in prayers, plans service opportunities for our group, serves at church and always shows up as such an amazing friend exactly when I need it.  Jeff and Kim's story is such an inspiration and I could go on for days about how having them in our life is such a blessing. 

But, back to the pictures! These two anxiously anticipated buying their first home, and when they finally got to move in we celebrated with a photo shoot! I love that they will always have these pictures to remember this exciting stage of life.  And you have heard me talk about it before, but I just love lifestyle sessions and how they really capture who you are as a family and the space that is home for you. 

Sam and Mae did such a great job at their shoot. They got the chance to play together, cuddle with mom and dad, and thankfully Ted was there to keep the laughter coming ;) Just knowing this couple and how much this home means to their family has quickly made this one of my favorite sessions.  We can't wait to make lots of memories with you in your new home, Timmington Family!

Petersen Family

This shoot will go down as one of my favorites of the entire summer! Mark is one of Ted's best friends and he was a groomsman in our wedding.  Because of life and distance I didn't get to spend a lot of time with Mark and his family while Ted and I were dating, so it has been so much fun getting to know them over the past 4 years and seeing why Ted adores their family so much.

We got the chance to vacation with them when Ted and Mark decided to run a triathlon together on Old Mission Peninsula. Yes they are crazy and dedicated- and us girls just did our best to get there on time and cheer them on!  We rented the coolest house across the bay on the Leelanau Peninsula and spent a week enjoying Lake Michigan together.  The water in front of the house was loaded with Petoskey stones so many hours were spent scouring the beach for the prettiest ones.  We explored wineries, cooked delicious meals, enjoyed slow mornings with lots of coffee, and shopped at the local farmers market. It was one of my very favorite weeks of the summer. 

I loved that we were able to do their family pictures while we were on vacation.  The girls had so much fun, so I can't help but think how special it will be for their family to look back on these pictures for years to come and remember that wonderful vacation. Not to mention, when you rent a house this beautiful you certainly take advantage of the photo backdrop it provides! Thanks for a wonderfully relaxing week, Petersen family, you are awesome travel buddies! 

Pagel Family

Each Sunday morning I see these three little cuties walk in and out of church.  And you know, I do the typical adult thing- a little smile, whisper to my husband, "isn't that just the most adorable little family ever", and then I go on my way.  I have worked with their momma on a few projects at church, but mostly we just e-mail back and forth without chatting much.  So when she e-mailed me a few months back and said she would like to get some family photos done I was so excited.  I couldn't wait to get to know their family better and to photograph those 3 sweet little faces that I see parading into church together each Sunday. 

Our session did not disappoint!  These girls each have their own personalities and it was so much fun to see each of their unique characters play out during our time together.  One super girly chatting about bows and sparkles, one ready to take the lead and run down the path and get a little dirty, and the youngest with a big personality and believing with every part of her that she makes all the decisions :) I feel ya on that one sister, I sure know how that youngest personality thing goes! 

I have to say that my very favorite part of the shoot was watching how Hannah and Eric parent together.  I know it sounds kind of deep, right?! But so often photoshoots can be a stressful event for families, and that is not what I want!  I want them to be a time when your family can play and laugh and just enjoy time together.  I want you to get into the car and think well that was easy, now let's go get donuts to celebrate!  So it is so encouraging when both parents want to be at the shoot.  And they take care of each other's needs and the needs of their little ones without even thinking about it.  And that is exactly what Eric and Hannah did.  So thank you for making the shoot so enjoyable for me! I hope you had as much fun as I did, Pagel family!

Eldridge Family

I had a chance to meet these two little guys last summer when they were in town visiting, and we did a big cousin picture for their grandparents.  In all of the chaos that comes along with cousin pictures, I didn't really get to spend much one on one time with these two little guys.  I was so happy when their sweet momma contacted me and asked if I was available for some family pictures.  Their family has recently moved back to Michigan, so it was fun getting to chat with them about the adjustment and be able to capture a few image of this new chapter of life for them. 

We met at Booth Park in Birmingham on a very rainy Thursday morning. Luckily, the rain cleared about an hour before our session and the clouds provided the perfect blanket from the summer heat.  As long as we avoided all of the puddles, we were able to explore the park and had the whole place completely to ourselves!  These little guys didn't seem to mind having me tag along for their family adventure.  They were both so outgoing, willing to sit in front of the camera all by themselves, and each little guy displaying his own personality for the pictures.  This family truly loves being together and it was such an honor to capture the love they share.  Welcome to Michigan, Eldridge Family!

Kelly + Loren Maternity

This session was such a dream.  I took a chance on a new location (Maybury Park) and asked Kelly and Loren to come as early as they could so we could catch the morning light.  The sun was just perfect, there was no one else at the park, and when Kelly got out of the car wearing that dress I knew we were in for an incredible shoot.  These two are expecting twins, a little boy and a little girl due this fall!  I know right, you would never know by how glamorous Kelly makes pregnancy look.  

We spent our hour together wondering through the park and catching up on life and what soon to be parenthood looks like for these two.  Kelly and Loren are so incredibly comfortable around each other, and that made my job so fun.  They laughed with each other, talked about how excited they were for their growing family, and luckily Loren was able to watch out for the poison ivy that I continued to put us next to.  I will need to learn what the looks like for my next shoot! 

I am already looking forward to meeting these two babes when they arrive this fall.  But for now, enjoy this exciting season of life, Kelly and Loren! 

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!

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!