fresh 48 :: jacob lee

In the fresh afterglow of birth, when mama and baby are both so open and new (having just been born, both of them), a gentle, slow on-site photo shoot puts all of that into a static frame to later be revisited when the newborn haze is over and the desire to remember what those first days were like surfaces with urgency.

We don’t ever want to forget these moments.

In a quiet hospital room on a sunny day, here’s just-born Jacob and his mama Jackie and his papa, too.

family film :: the davidsons

It was when their son Eddie was a baby that I first began photographing this family. Over the years, they’ve invited me in closer to photograph them in various seasons and fashions: with extended family, in their home, mini-sessions, and even the birth of their daughter Veronica. This time, they also agreed to be among the first families to receive a Keepsake Film, one of my newest offerings here at Brooke Collier Family Photojournalism + Films. And I’m so pleased with how it came out. Loretta (the mama) said: “Makes me cry with joy!” Perfect.

This session was also a bit of a farewell session as at the time of the filming they had recently signed a purchase agreement on their first home, which means that this apartment in which both of their babies were born (hello fellow home birth mama!) would bot be their home for much longer. Besides all that, Veronica had just begun taking her first toddling steps (I love the characteristic wobbly gait of brand new walkers, don’t you?).

Enjoy…. (and after the film there are some still images, too).

In the midst of shooting film clips, I was also able to grab some still images. :)

family photojournalism :: the deboni family (again)

Every two years is a good interval for recording your ordinary life together. It’s what my own family strives to do. And you know when you’ll be the most glad that you’ve taken the time and made the investment to do it? When you’re about to say farewell to your precious first home, the one to which you brought home your fresh-born babies, seasoned your marriage, planted your gardens, and hosted more joyful celebration than you ever could have imagined when you signed the purchase agreement all those years before.

Because life changes in a way that reminds us of the impermanence of things. Work opportunities and family responsibilities both pointed arrows toward a new town and a new home, and so they are moving. With tears in their eyes and gratefulness in their heart, they put a For Sale sign in the front yard of this sweet home just a couple of days after I came by to document a slice of their Saturday morning at home together. These photos — combined with the ones from the two other sessions I’ve done with them whilst they lived here — mean that they can physically relocate while relaxing into the knowing that the details, the memories, and the emotions of their time there are packaged up neatly within hundreds of pretty photographic frames. And that’s everything. It helps so much with closure, doesn’t it?

I told this mama (who is a dear friend) recently that her family is “nothing but salt and light.” She replied that they are also a little spicy. I can’t deny it! So: Salt, Light, and Spice. Those are the blessed ingredients of this family, and I hope you can see glimpses of all of that in these images.

family photojournalism :: the howell family

Dinner on the back deck, baby in only a diaper, big kids living in swimsuits or play-torn clothes, the garden bursting with ripening vegetables, bikes and swings and climbing things. It’s a slow pace under a warm sun, and this family is relishing it’s laid-back glory. Fall is coming for them, and with it the structure and schedule. But at this moment, it is SUMMER in Grand Rapids, MI.

All this goodness bottled up in a single hour…

family photojournalism :: the diephouses

Adoption expands a family and that’s so worthy to be documented. Yet the very nature of the transition with all its intensity and cost and the steep learning curve means that photographs are often the last thing on the radar or priority list. Until one day you open your eyes and realize you have not yet had any photos made that include ALL of you together.

So this is a story I got to help tell for this family. The story of Caleb fully a son, one of the 4 that make up this home. Forever.

1st birthday :: miller

Can I just say what a JOY it is to have the honor of being invited to attend and photograph the 1st birthday party of a baby whose birth I also witnessed? What a privilege it is to be invited back, over and over again, into a family’s life like this.

Miller’s parents threw him a sweet first birthday party with a Where The Wild Things Are theme. There were amazing decorations, scrumptious cake, fun friends…. and lots of crying! Hah! For whatever reason, Miller was a bit terrorized by CAKE. But even that reaction is amazing and unforgettable.

Happy Birthday, Miller! And congratulations, Bailey and George, on successfully completing your first year of parenthood!