the occasion for this in-home session is an upcoming goodbye. ashley contacted me about it shortly before they put their home of the last seven years on the market (it sold within a week!). this home, which they thought they'd never leave, which has been the one to which each of their 5 babies was brought home from the hospital (or the airport, in the case of olive's adoption), where there have been a million home-improvement projects (some unfinished), and the heights of growing children recorded on the hallway walls. this home... so special, and filled with a gazillion memories, which ashley knew were likely to grow dim in the spaces and details of it weren't recorded somehow.
so, i joined the malefyts for the preparations and eating of breakfast-for-dinner, a final recording of heights on the wall, the reading of bedtime stories and the tucking in of the bigs, then the after-hours party the littles are still permitted to stay up for, and which included nursing and porch-sitting.
and all the while, i was smiling in my heart. this session made me want a big family. ashley and karl make it look SO fun. at first, they kept apologizing to me for all the noise and chaos. but the point is, it's HAPPY noise, happy chaos. and so beautiful to me. and what i hope these images can remind ashley and karl of is this (it is also what i hope to remind all of my family photojournalism clients of): that what they have been given, and who they have been given, is a tremendous gift.
as a side note: ashley and karl operate a hugely successful photography studio in the city, producing jaw-dropping gorgeous portraits of children and families. i mean, these are the sorts of portraits you blow up onto huge canvases and hang on your biggest walls. check them out here.
find out more about family photojournalism sessions here.