When I originally posted about wanting to photograph families in a lifestyle setting, I was nervous.
I wanted to capture the messy house, crying kids and tired parents. What I didn't expect was the huge outpouring of support for these sessions. The best part is that there is no need to dress up, no stress to get the children to smile on command and because it's in your own home, the kids open up more quickly. Of course there are tantrums, dirty diapers and tears. There are also those amazingly sweet moments where a father is reading to his child and then they sweetly cradle their fathers hand as they intently listen to each word. There are the moments where babies inevitably bump their head and reach for momma for that reassuring hug and kiss to make it all better instantly.
It's also a little scary to invite someone into your home for these moments. You don't know how your toddler will react or what meltdown might happen.
The best part is that none of it matters.
Every little moment, good and bad, forms the family bond.
I made it my goal to capture every moment, no matter how big or small, that make each day as a family unique. A lot of times mothers are busy capturing whatever memories they can that they aren't in any of the photos themselves. When I'm invited into your home for these lifestyle sessions, it's laid back and fun. You just do whatever you normally would be doing and I document as the time passes.
I realize that not every photo captured is frame worthy but when you unfold each photo into your family story, it's a glimpse into what your day was like together. Parents work so hard during the weekdays that the weekends because so important. It's the small amount of time that you have to get those snuggles in, play hide and seek or just grab a big family nap.
I have really fallen in love with these family lifestyle sessions and all of the beautiful, unexpected moments they have produced.
My husband and I drove to their home in York, PA so that I could photograph their family lifestyle session. In a message with Ashleigh, she stated this session brought everything full circle. I've now documented three huge moments in their life and I am so honored they keep choosing me.
When I arrived, it was lunch time for the family. Charlie took a little bit to warm up to me but after I showed him a photo of himself, he excitedly grabbed his camera and took a photo of me! This was definitely a first for me! After lunch, he was used to me and it was time to go burn off some of the energy by playing with toys!
Charlie played a few games of tic tac toe with his dad. He was the cutest little thing! He kept asking which move was the best and which one would help him win. Afterwards, he patiently learned how to pronounce and write names. He is an incredibly smart little boy!
Emily is the spunkiest little one year old. She lets her presence be known and doesn't miss a thing. I love how feisty she is!
After playing and learning for a little bit, they sat together on the couch. The kids loved being tickled and loved on by mom and dad. Then Charlie wanted to show me the special things he and his mom do before bed. It was super cool! They have a secret handshake that involves lots of different moves. The best part? It keeps evolving as Charlie keeps adding things. I imagined them doing this as he they drop him off the college! It was so sweet!
Emily took a small tumble and hit her head. After a few cuddles from dad, she was good to go. Nothing holds her back!
Charlie loved showing off his Curious George collection and listening to his dad read a book.
Ashleigh played with Emily in her room as we chatted about how life has changed since they were married.
Ashleigh asked if we could grab just a few snapshots of her and Ben. As parents it's hard to get time to yourself.
What you don't see in these photos is the baby crying at their feet or Charlie asking them questions. Together, they smiled and we laughed.
These ended up being some of my favorites of the session.
Thank you to Ashleigh & Ben for inviting me to visit in Pennsylvania to meet your little family. It was great to catch up with you again!
And thank you to Linda, Ashleigh's mom for the yummy shoe fly pie!