It's been far too long since I've blogged, but spring has arrived and I've been shooting a lot lately. I'm also *very close* to fully recovered from major knee surgery last year (more on that coming in another blog post) so I'm ready to start photographing families again! While Viggo competed in his very first chess tournament last weekend (you can see my Instagram post here), Leo got some quality time with his cousins. Documenting the day with his cousins was a great reminder that we can include extended family and cousins in your photo shoot. I would love to spend a morning or day in the life with your family, your littles, and their cousins. The cousin relationship is pretty special, whether they are all close in age, or years apart, it's such a fun, unique dynamic. I'm not sure which was more fun - 3 cousins in a bathtub or 3 cousins in a hammock. We have a bathtub (but the light isn't nearly as pretty) but I'm convinced that we definitely need a hammock. Back at the house after a long day of chess, Viggo sat proudly for a photo with his trophy before we all jumped into the converted horse trailer that is now a mobile sauna. We warmed up in the sauna listening to the pouring rain on the metal roof of the trailer, snacking on bowls of goldfish, when Leo shouted "chicken bawk bawk!" and sure enough we looked out the little windows to see one of chickens running down the alley. The kids all jumped out to chase the chicken but he was long gone, leaving four sopping wet cousins scrambling to get inside and warm up in front of the fire. It was everything that a day with cousins should be.
You know it's going to be a good session when you wake up to dark Seattle skies and a slow drizzle but instead of canceling, your client embraces it and wants to document life in their new city, rain and all. And even better is when you're greeted by smiling, giggling girls who can't wait to show you their baby sister. This beautiful international family recently moved from London to Seattle and the girls still have an accent that will melt your heart. The laugher that fills every room of their house is infectious, and families that embrace the silly will always have my heart. As a mother of boys, I love documenting life with girls and I'm always curious about the differences and similarities and make no mistake, these girls could give my boys a run for their money. They jumped, wrestled, danced, and scaled rock walls in the mud and rain. It was my kind of morning.
We met at t-ball, standing on the sidelines chatting and watching our boys clumsily chase after the ball, learning to throw and catch, all while being cheered on by their coaches and parents. My family quickly fell in love with Coach Caleb and his sweet demeanor, always patient with this gaggle of 4 and 5 year old boys with an easy smile. Sharsti and I fell into the habit of walking up to the coffee shop, with Abbi volunteering to push Leo in his stroller. I was thrilled that Sharsti asked me to photograph her beautiful family this winter at their gorgeous home in Montlake. The weather was terrible, utterly and absolutely atrocious. It was dark and gloomy and I didn’t think it was ever going to stop raining. I considered canceling - but this is what I love so much about this family - they just rolled with it. We do live in Seattle after all, and this is what life looks like in November in the Pacifc Northwest, and they totally embraced it. The rain let up a bit so we decided to take Bailey for a walk out to the Montlake cut. We watched boats go by, the kids hid in the weeping willow branches, jumped over puddles, and sang Macklemore songs with voices much better than my own. My kind of afternoon. By the end of day I felt like I knew the kids so much better and was able to see their different personalities (and voices!) shine through. I left admiring Caleb and Sharsti for how beautifully they embrace and nurture Max and Abbi's different personalities, loving them for exactly who they are. I can’t wait for more lingering mornings on the t-ball field with these guys this spring.
"A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” -Coco Chanel
I've been anxious to share this family session, but I wanted to give it a little time and distance or I likely would have included 100 photos. Words can't express how much I love this family and in a week where loss has been the theme, it felt really good to go back and focus on this beautiful family that I hold so close to my heart. Mikal was one of my first friends when I was the new kid in high school and though we drifted during our college years, we found each other again in San Francisco where I was lucky enough to witness Mikal and Mike's first dates and early months of head over heels falling in love. Within months they were engaged and planning their intimate back yard wedding. Fast forward a few years when they welcomed their first son Liam who I am lucky enough to call my godson, followed by sweet Henry. Although I have photographed this family for years, during weekends in Seattle, at their home in Oakland, or on San Juan Island, clicking away between conversations with my best friend or while trying to get dinner ready for the kids, this time I was focused entirely on them and it was magical. That morning in the Oakland hills, the fog swept over their house and the entire hillside was covered in mist, reminding Mikal and I of home in Seattle. The photographer part of me was so excited to photograph in the fog (I love me some fog!), and Mikal didn't let the weather deter her from being her glamorous self. Always one to throw on a dress and heels in lieu of jeans like the rest of us (okay, me), she played tennis and baseball with her boys, all while looking fabulous and so completely Mikal. It was a morning of jumping on the bed, close cuddles, laughter, a few meltdowns to keep it real, comforting embraces, and joy in the midst of all that fog and real life even though it may look a bit more glamorous than yours or mine.
I've known David and Alana for several years and I've even been on some pretty grueling bike rides with David. I was beyond excited to finally meet sweet baby E and see how well they've all settled into their new house as a family of three. They made it look effortless! Seriously though, they were such naturals at this new parenting thing and they had the calm demeanor of seasoned parents. I loved seeing David in his new role as dad and how E has already captured his heart. E is such a sweet baby and is already a great sleeper - no wonder Alana looked so gorgeous and refreshed. Of course no family session would be complete without a guest starring role from the family pets, in this case their hilarious cats "Chicken" and Max.
Documentary family photo session with family of four in the Montlake neighborhood of Seattle, WA.Read More