family photojournalism :: the deboni family

They inspire me to no end, this family. They are wild + free, engaged and invested in things that matter in our city, they adventure together, and they are crafting a life of intentionality, sowing into dreams. 

I got a little emotional looking back at the last session I did for them, back in 2015 because oh my goodness, how much these little people can grow over the course of two small years. It reminds me why being photographed over and over again across time makes such a meaningful story of a family's life together. 

Come along with this amazing little crew as they go for a walk around their neighborhood, enjoy strawberry shortcake on the deck, play in the garden and yard, examine bugs, and read together. 

I'm scheduling for October now. Reach out!

fresh48 :: elias dean

The quiet hours of the morning after birth, tucked into bed with the new little person you grew on the inside, with whom you formed a bond for 9 months, but whose face you've only just seen for the first time and whose weight against your chest you're still getting accustomed to. This is the scene I got to photograph for Kristen, Micah, and their new son at the birth house where they labored and birthed him.

vacation photojournalism :: the P family visits MI

My home state is the vacation destination for many Chicago-land families we seek out the small lakeshore towns Michigan has to offer as a get-away from city life. This summer, Laura reached out to me about doing a family photojournalism session for her and her family during their MI trip. We met up in Holland for ice cream, picked blueberries along Us-31, then drove north a little ways to visit a farmer's market, taco truck, beach. 

Laura is such a great mom of boys. She loves them deep and communicates her cherishing of them and their childhoods by her quality of presence and using her cameras to record the happy life they're living in video and on film. As an inspiring hobby photographer, Laura rekindled my own old love of 35 mm SLR cameras! And watching her with her husband and boys reminded me to love out loud and to be present with my entire self. 

Truly an inspiring morning of exploration and play with these guys. And LOTS of photos to prove it. :)

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.