fresh48 :: agnes june

Before it was even 9 a.m., Agnes came quickly into the world, in such hurry and rush that her mama could barely catch her breath and the midwife barely made it in time to catch the baby. 

The very next morning, when Agnes was only 24 hours old, I returned to their room, finding them sleepily waking from their first night as a family of 4, and I made these photographs.

So tender I could cry.

vacation photojournalism :: kidder's cache

The truth is that I almost always turn down extended family sessions. Posing large groups of people is not something I'm great at. It gives me stress and it doesn't inspire me. But when Sarah reached out and asked would I please come to spend a day with her extended family at their multi-generation cottage built by her grandparents in the 40s and also photograph their daughter's first birthday celebration there while I was at it, I couldn't say no. She didn't want anyone to pose, she just wanted to freeze all those dear faces and that special place in time. And she wanted to mark the passing of her first year of motherhood. 

You see, it's sort of personal for me. My extended family owned a cottage very much like this one on a lake also very much like their lake. And all my happiest childhood memories happened there. When we sold it in my 20s, I wept. Every summer I grieve afresh for that place; I miss it almost physically. Going to Sarah's family's cottage was a little cathartic. I walked around seeing them all with the same affection I feel for my tribe, feeling the same sentiment for their cottage and lake that I felt for my own. And I tried to put all of that into the photographs. 

That's what makes photographs good, I've come to believe: when the photographer is able to see and feel what's in front of her. Because somehow that emotion and that ability to relate all gets crammed into the frame along with the strong compositional lines, perfectly chosen moments, and technical settings applied. Without the photographer's feeling and seeing, the images fall flat. 

But that's probably enough personal reflection on artist experience. I now put all of that aside and offer you a tiny selection of the hundreds of images captured during my day at Kidder's Cache, and the celebration of a beloved daughter (and granddaughter and niece and cousin) on her first birthday.

fresh48 :: aubrey jo

In those first 24 hours. It's all a magnificent blur. She'll never look quite this way ever again, so fresh and wrinkled and pure. That's what a Fresh48 is for. 

As a student midwife, I also got to be part of the team that supported this amazing mama throughout her labor. She embodied good natured humor and perseverance across many twists and turns and a few days of hard work. So to see her holding and enjoying her baby is really, really satisfying. 

Also, the HAIR on this girl! SO good.

family photojournalism :: the douglass family

Grilled pizza eaten on the patio, pool time (complete with water slide and being tossed into the air), popsicles and scooters, story time and Uno. This is the simple magic of childhood summers. And now the Douglasses have a sliver of that all frozen in time for their three daughters. 

Come along and see this playful family...

Now booking family photojournalism sessions for October and beyond.


personal :: my family by Cherith Hope Photography

Cherith came at the end of June, wielding her camera and her unique way of seeing the world. She photographed us at home, doing our ordinary things. She did for us the thing that I do for so many other families. 

I bought zero new clothes for any member of the family, but we did tidy up a bit and give the boys haircuts so they wouldn't have mullets. We flirted with rain all day, but ultimately ended up with sun. The popsicles didn't freeze all the way so they became piles of frozen yum in the bottoms of dishes. The cat made himself scarce and so wasn't included as I had hoped. The children's feet were dirty and their toenails too long. The darn white floor in my kitchen was dirt smattered (per usual). Maeve wouldn't go down for a nap in her crib, so she slept on Tim for half the session. My belly still pokes out because I haven't made efforts to shrink it back down postpartum. I look through these photos and see a million wonderful imperfections. This is the stuff that we are made of, the messes that drive me nuts, the conflicts that make me raise my voice... and all of it nearly brings me to tears. I'm so grateful. 

Thank you a million times over, Cherith, for the gift of these photos. I can't wait to make them into a big old album and gaze at them for lots of years. 



family photojournalism :: the steenstra family

They're six months old now, these darling babies whose entrance into the world was so rare and remarkable. And at six months old, they're exploring the capabilities and boundaries of their small bodies, developing very distinct personalities, tagging along to their mom's office with her every day, playing with their friendly chickens, trying out solid foods, and hanging out in the workshop barn with their dad. 

Here's a glimpse of a day in the life of Madelyn and Dirk, and their parents Jessica and Charlie.