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.

family photojournalism :: the srebinski family

Whenever I get to photograph a family for the second (or third or fourth) time, my heart rejoices! It's seriously such a joy to watch families grow and change over time, adding kids, moving to new homes, taking on new ventures (or pets)... life moves on so quickly and with such astonishing beauty and pausing to freeze a small section of it in photographs is such a great gift to give to yourself. 

Erin and Keith have moved AND added a child (who just turned 1!) to their family since last time I photographed them. They're feeling more settled these days, more rooted in a home that they really love, and more complete as a family of four. They're a fun bunch and I think these images clearly display their energy and connection as a family, from playing in their yard to tickling and popsicle dances in the kitchen. So much goodness. 

birth :: troy allen

"The birth went SO fast that there wasn't a whole lot of time to soak in the whole laboring aspect this time around. Jed and I went from doing our normal routine putting Spencer down to bed to sitting on the toilet feeling the urge to push and then the next thing I know, Yolanda (midwife) is here and things have moved to the bedroom where I didn't leave until Troy arrived." 

Those are Kati's summary thoughts on the home birth of her second son. She didn't even make it to the birth tub as she had hoped, and I didn't even make it to the actual moment of birth! Troy was born just a minute or two before I walked in the door to the sound of a newborn's cry, then around the corner into the bedroom where I saw Kati and Jed still flushed and looking a bit stunned over the reality of a baby so soon in their arms!

It's a common question that I get, by the way, the question of "what if you miss the birth?" And I have to tell the truth, which is that in spite of all my fast-action to get out the door, the advance prep of my camera bag and birth bag, and my efforts of quick response time to any text communication, there WILL be those times when I miss a birth and it isn't anybody's fault, it was just unavoidable. The good news it that that usually means the birth was smooth and all is well, as precipitous labors tend to be healthy ones. There is, of course, that little shoulder-slump of disappointment when I narrowly miss THE moment. On the other side of that brief set-back, however, there's all THIS: the fresh glow of golden hour with a still-wet newborn laid on his mama's heart, the first latch, the fingers of parents tracing every soft curve of baby's face, the tender newborn exam, and -- if we're lucky -- the moment the older sibling(s) meet the baby, too. It's not too late for any of that. :)

Without further ado, I offer you, the very freshest moment of Kati and Jed and Spencer with their newest family member, Troy.