Tag Archives: Family Photography

Vacation

To go or not to go…that was our question. Seems silly now.

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We are fortunate to have family who have a series of cabins on a remote island in Maine. It is beautiful. Situated in a lake at the base of Mount Katahdin, the highest peak in Maine and the end point of the Appalachian Trail, it is out of cell phone range and without electricity. It is place where one can truly disconnect.

As parents of three children ages 11, 5, and 3, the dilemma was the drive. Eight long hours in the car plus a transporting our gear via small motor boat across the lake. We were also going to be using our tent on a tent platform, so all of our camping gear would be coming with us as well…

Already burned out, this felt daunting.

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Then a cabin freed up. Suddenly packing just our clothing a few blankets and books seemed doable. Also, the drive would be broken up by a night stay in a hotel a little more than half way up.

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Photographing my family takes on different intentions. One of them is the usual snap shot, usually taken with my iPhone 4S and shared via social media. These images are meant for immediate consumption. They tell the story of what is happening right now. I do take the time to develop them and make them pretty, but they are what they are.

The second type of photograph I take are the ones that are meant to document my family. These images are more about the history of our family. The images that we like to take out years from now and find ourselves back in the moment, in the place, in the body and age we were…this is what I tried to do while we were in this magical place. This is my pleasure and my way of disconnecting with the immediacy of everyday routine and life. I am connecting with the story of our family and the place we are experiencing together. Slowing down to observe…a true luxury.

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I want my children to have these images of them selves, their grandparents, their relationships as siblings. I want these images to transport them back to the quiet serenity and simplicity of the island where playing with sticks, digging in the sand, listening to the laughter of the loons, paddling in a kayak, preparing and eating dinner with extended family, listening to Oma and Grandpa tell stories, was truly a vacation.

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When I meet with families, attend weddings, and other special occasions, I am there to create images that will tell the stories of that family. What may seem to be an hour in carefully chosen outfits in a beautiful location trying to assemble that perfect family photo, in my mind is actually much more than that. I am there to work so that hopefully parents can relax and enjoy the moment with their children. So they can allow for that hour of their history to unfold. So that I can create those images that the children will inherit as pieces of their history. Images that are for “immediate consumption” …sharing and adding to holiday cards, but also are looked at again and again in order to return to that brief moment where everyone was together for the sake of documenting togetherness.

I know that may not be the intention my clients bring to their session, but that’s okay.

I am the one working…

Chill…

Somehow we transitioned from Summer to Winter without much time to savor the Fall.

I love snow, but…

Having scheduled a few client sessions this weekend, I was hoping that there would be enough snow to give us a nice wintery, holiday look, minus the wet, windy cold. As luck would have it, Sunday morning was beautiful. Maybe a bit too beautiful. there is nothing like snow and bright sunshine to cause all kinds of harsh lighting situations to work around.

These same lighting issues that can make portraits a challenge make landscape delightful. Gorgeous shadows. Fall foliage against the darkened lines of tree trunks and branches that have been dampened, frozen, and thawed. And no time to stop and play! I had a family birthday party to head off to.

As I was drivingĀ  past the boat yard, I had to stop. The boats were anchored and bobbing in the sunlight, stacked and covered in snow on their racks, but alas the shots weren’t right. I pulled out and got about ten more feet down the road when I saw this winter resting area for more boats.

This quintessential symbol of Summer layered with what is a quintessential symbol of Winter. Something about these hibernating boats made me realize that even though Summer (and now Fall) had passed me by, I still had winter to look forward to.

And that summer will in fact return before we know it.

Weekend Favorites

What a spectacular weekend for being outside in some of my favorite places in the Providence area…

These are some of favorites from various sessions, some scheduled, some not. My favorites are not usually the ones that you will find on the holiday card, but the ones you take in between trying to get your subjects to create the that (almost) perfect image.

Sometimes getting one child to sit still and smile (a real smile) can be a challenge, but getting three or more…I know. I have three kids of my own. There is always one in bunch who no matter what they are doing, what face they are making, you simply never want to toss an image.

Sometimes parents are reluctant to join in during a session. What I love about photographing this family is they interact so natural with each other throughout the session, that I end up with (literally) hundreds of images of an entire family. It’s as if I just happened to bump into to them and took an opportunity to document their Sunday morning at the park. At the end of the session, the kids were done with me (as they always are), so I asked the parents to stop and let me get a quick shot of just them. And then of course, someone (I thought was done) wanted to join in!

I love my niece. She is a whirlwind of energy entwined with quiet pensive moments…a delight to observe. Typical of an almost 7 year-old, she is either running away from me or dramatically posing when I get my gear out. If I hang around long enough, she gets bored with me and then I can take pictures at will and capture some of the quiet moments. But not this one. She’s on the run playfully trying to escape…I was almost fast enough!