family photojournalism

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!

1st birthday :: felicity

All of life is full of stories, of moments both planned and spontaneous, scripted and raw, momentous and miniature. I encourage you to take a moment to take inventory of where there are stories in your life. Make yourself a list:

  • your family’s typical morning routine

  • your child’s baseball game

  • a hike in the woods on a saturday

  • homeschooling around the table

  • the weekly trip to the farmer’s market to pick up your CSA

  • your child’s birthday party…

And then ask yourself if any of these stories are begging your heart to be documented and turned into keepsake images, reminders to you for years to come of the gifts of this one wild and precious life.

For this family, they’re counted their daughters’ first birthday parties on their list of stories worth telling, and I’ve been honored to document both. I come to the party and make photographs of the amazing details this creative mama painstakingly planned and executed, the guests (who are the people dearest to them in this season of their life), and a few family portraits on the front or back end of the party.

Have a look…

Make your list of the stories unfolding in your life, then choose one or two that are begging to be told. Then give me a call, ok? I’ll be there.

family photojournalism :: the kuchan family 2019

I love this family’s funk and fashion. They’re so delightful, with creativity and nurture pouring out of them. I always feel right at home amongst them, and their steady life is grounding and peaceful. These are some of the reasons why I’m so glad they have another child. Thought I’ve known them since their Meris was a tiny baby, it was so sweet to meet Alaster and document some of what their life has been like now that he is in it.

Don’t miss the opportunity to make images like these of your own unique and wonderful family. Each family has it’s own flavor and culture and EVERY one is wondrous.

family photojournalism :: the s-t family in california

Sometimes life offers you an opportunity to head to sunny CA in the thick of a dreary MI winter. And if it does, of course you say yes. Yes to photographing the sweetest family whom last you saw and photographed when their son was yet in utero and they lived in NYC. Yes to spending a weekend in their in-law suite and enjoying a snippet of spring-like weather all by yourself — a break from mothering and running a household and wearing winter gear.

So here it is: the results of the long in-home session with this amazing family. They’re loving, smart, intentional, resilient and deep-soul people. And they are raising this darling son with such grace and so many beautiful opportunities.

So even if you aren’t in MI, there IS a chance I’d come to shoot your family or event wherever the heck you are! I usually do considerably reduced sessions if you cover my airfare and a place to stay for a couple of nights. I love the chance to travel and see how families live all over the country and then to help them tell their stories.

family photojournalism :: the dickert family

Saturdays are for slow starts, waking slowly to the light peeking through the crack between the curtains and across the family bed. They’re for stumbling downstairs in pajama pants to get the first cup of coffee, then playing on the floor. They’re for cuddling and conversation, and certainly no agendas.

And all of this is unfolding for one of the last times for this family in this home, for just after I left their house from shooting this session, they got to work on staging and listing it for sale. They’re saying goodbye to the home to which Miller came from the hospital so that they can pursue another, wilder and greater future home.

These sessions meant to mark the end of a season in a beloved home are amongst my favorite. This is the perfect excuse for an in-home documentary photo shoot.

Scroll through these normal Saturday morning moments and let them inspire you to see the beauty in your own family’s ordinary weekend rhythms. Then, after the main section of photos there’s a sweet little “staged” moment of another typical event in this family’s life, which is simply adorable.

Goodbye, sweet house.


Bailey and George also really wanted to reenact another treasured ordinary event that has to do with when George leaves for work, which he didn’t actually have to do during our session time, so we “staged” it. See, George works for the army, and each morning when he gets up and puts on his boots on the stairs by the front door, Miller crawls over and up, insisting on being held by his daddy as he laces them up.

Even if it doesn’t fit the story flow from the photos above, it was too sweet not to share…

family photojournalism :: the kerry family

Every season of family life is its own story, its own treasure.

I’m often hired to photograph families in their younger years, the messy chaotic years of raising tiny and totally uninhibited little people. But sometimes — as with this session — I also get to spend time documenting the life of a family in a different season. Long gone are the diapers and strollers and nap times… those blurry years now replaced by whatever varied interested the children are growing up into, their ever-clearer personalities in full effect, their wings unfurling as their independence increases. And the mom and dad, no longer so needed in such physical ways, get to take on a new role: that of adviser, facilitator, guide, and friend.

Seeing all of that in the Kerry family made me look forward with renewed excitement to the future seasons of family life. We aren’t here yet, but they make it look so special, and I’m touched by their affectionate connection which they’ve so intentionally nurtured through every season of their life as a family.

So hear this, mamas and daddies of older kids and teens: this is for you, too. This natural, unposed and unhurried documentation of your family story works for ALL ages. In fact, it’s probably the best way to get your reluctant tween on board, because ain’t nobody gonna make him/her dress up and pose in cheesy ways. Instead, each family member gets to do his/her own thing and be SEEN and documented and appreciated for exactly who they are, in the phase they are in.