family photojournalism

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!

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.