Maternity Session - {Philadelphia, PA}

Wow.  What a night we had.  We had planned this session for that golden hour and the light beaming in, but mother nature had other plans.   It started to thunder when we started the session, then 20 minutes in, it started to rain so we sat in our cars praying it would pass.  When it finally did, we were left with a crisp creamy air with a touch of sky.  It was glorious.  And peaceful.  

I'm in LOVE with everything about this session.  From their outfits, to a new spot I choose at Valley Forge National Park, and them of course.   I can't wait to meet their little boy arriving this Summer.  <3

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Baby "F" Newborn Session - {Philadelphia, PA}

Where do I start with this family?  I love them.  They have been with me since the very beginning of my business when their oldest was maybe a year and half old.  At that time, I only shot on weekends when I wasn't working my desk job.  When they had baby #2, I had the pleasure of doing their newborn session and have seen them a ton with all my minis.   I can honestly say that when I hear from them for any session (mini or full) I get beyond excited because they are awesome.  

I truly adore them.  

They are the kindest, most down to earth people you will meet, so when she called about baby #3 I was overjoyed for them and couldn't wait to meet the newest addition.   And let me tell you, party of FIVE never looked so good.  How they pull it off with such ease is beyond me.  =) 

Baby Finn, you have the best older sister and best older brother a kid could ask for.  And your parents, well you are one lucky boy to call them mom and dad.  <3

Here's to Finn, baby #3.  

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Meet Lizzy. Puppy Session - {West Chester, PA}

Yep, this happened.  I officially did my first puppy session and I'm not going to lie, I LOVED it.  If I had to guess, I think this beautiful young lady, Grace, loved it too.  

A little back story, Grace is the daughter of one of my besties.  For her 13th birthday she wanted to have her party at the Brandywine Valley SPCA, which any mom knows that if you’re hosting your kid’s party at an adoption center, it's safe to say you are coming home with an animal.  It didn't take long before Grace made eye contact with this sweet 11 week old puppy and the "Mom, can I have her?  I promise I will take care of her." started.  I was standing right there watching this ALL go down.  I gave this look to her mom like "You are screwed.  You’re getting a puppy - omg, I can't believe this."  HAHA.  So, for her 13th birthday, this puppy got a forever home. 

Meet Lizzy.  Named after Grace's late grandmother.  <3

Then comes my brilliant idea… After drinking a glass of wine (or two) with her mom, I said "let's do a puppy shoot!"  Once that was said out loud, Grace and her mom, said "YES!"  A week later, they came to my home for a mini session and for my little ones to meet this sweet little thing. 

Grace, you are blessed.  You have a new best friend for life and the coolest, BEST mom ever for this birthday gift.  Happy 13th Birthday Grace.  xo

"Can you tell me the story about how you rescued me again?" - Lizzy 

 

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Baby "A" Newborn Session - {Philadelphia, PA}

Austin. Oh baby Austin.  You have the coolest nursery.  The coolest sidekick (aka Tag).  And the coolest parents.   I met this mom and dad back when I did their maternity session.  If you want to read why Austin's sidekick, Tag, is the coolest definitely check out their maternity post here.  

Their newborn session was laid back, so laid back that Tag gave the most hilarious look of "Yo, what's with this baby getting all the attention?"   (See below - the one with the dog looking in the camera)

But I can't believe it's been almost 6 months since meeting Austin!   Time goes by way too quickly, but luckily I get to see this family again for their milestone mini and I'm SO excited about it.  I'm sure they are still the coolest family on their block.  =) 

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Baby "C" Lifestyle Newborn Session - {Philadelphia, PA}

Remember the maternity session from the other week I blogged about?  You know, the one with the message in a bottle during our session.  Still can't remember?  Click here to see.  

Well, when it came time for their newborn session in Philly I couldn't wait because after having a maternity session like theirs I knew once again it would be amazing.  Baby Cole was a sleepy little guy and no complaints from me or mom about that.  =)  

And funny thing about this mom and me that we didn't figure out until after the END of their newborn session…  We went to college together....in OHIO!  We spent the entire maternity and newborn session not even knowing we are both University of Dayton alumni until I was packing up my stuff.  I don't know about her, but my mind was blown and to have taken pictures of a fellow UD Flyer was a dream come true.  I would love nothing more than to have sessions with my fellow classmates, but that is a little hard when I went to school so far away.  It was an early Christmas present.    

Anyways, enough of my side track ramble...cute baby Cole is below and you don’t want to miss out on it.

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Maternity Session - {Malvern, PA}

Hmm...what shall I say about this session?  Should I talk about the beautiful weather?  (And by beautiful I mean we were sweating our butts off.)  Or should I talk about how these two are the cutest couple ever?  Because they were.  Or should I talk about their dog, Tag, and how he was the most obedient and smartest dog I have EVER met?

Tough decision - so maybe I should just show you the beautiful images from this maternity session that we did late last summer and tell you about how amazing it was from start to finish another time?  Ok, ok.  I will do just that. 

Enjoy.  <3  

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Maternity Session - {Philadelphia, PA}

Sunrise in Center City Philadelphia is a magical time of the day.  I am not a morning person by any means (just ask my husband) but there is something about sunrise sessions.  The sun is beaming through the buildings while the city is just waking up.  It is peaceful and beautiful.  Then let's add this couple to that mix and the morning becomes that much more beautiful.  

The love and excitement of waiting to meet their baby boy were beaming from their faces.    I couldn't help but smile behind my camera during this session just watching them.  <3

And how to do you top off a perfect session at the end?  You find an empty bottle next to their feet with a message inside.  Yep, that's right!  I thought we were going to read a real life love story when we were opening the message but turns out they won a free bottle of booze.   Solid end to their session.  =) 

"S" Family 1st Birthday Session - {Philadelphia, PA}

Fun fact.  This family use to be our neighbors!  =)  I saw this little guy and his parents practically every day, whether it was walking into the house or just chatting on our back porches to pass time while our dinners cooked on the grill.   Either way, I felt like I kind of got to see him get older each day until the day we moved.  I have to admit I was sad with a few things about moving and this was one of them - leaving familiar faces that I enjoyed getting to chat with on a daily basis, plus seeing this little guy.  

When we moved Colin was just crawling around, so when I got the call about planning his first birthday session, I was shocked.  How could he be turning ONE already?  I felt like I just did their newborn session (click here to see).  

Dear Colin,   Keep being your sweet curious self and don't forget to keep your parents on their toes for me, ok?  =)   Happy 1st Birthday!

Miss all of you.  

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Baby "A" Lifestyle Newborn Session - {West Chester, PA}

I first got a call about sweet baby Alijah when he was first born and in the NICU getting stronger.  I remember his parents telling me that they didn't want to miss an opportunity to have pictures done but they weren't sure when or how it would work since he was born 6 weeks early.  After weeks in the hospital, they finally got to bring this sweet baby boy home and we began to plan right away.

During the time of their session,  Alijah was a month and a half old, but as you will see we still had the most perfect day shooting.  There was one part of the session that stuck out the most to me though and that was when Alijah was getting a little fussy and his dad said "can I lay down with him for a minute?  It calms him and we do it every afternoon together."  Of course, I was all "ummm...YES, I would love for you to do that because that is what these sessions are all about".  The moment was so peaceful.  So special.  And so quite.  They just laid there together, like they do every day and one day when his son is older he can show him just how much he was loved and how they spent their early days together.  <3

"When I look at you, I can feel it.  I look at you, and I'm home." - Finding Nemo

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Baby "C" Lifestyle Newborn Session - {Fort Washington, PA}

Meet baby boy, Cameron.   A super chill little boy which made perfect for our simple, sweet and relaxed session in their Fort Washington home.  But let me tell you, Cameron wasn't the only star of the show....enter Bailey.  The couple's boxer, who wanted to make sure she was also the star.  

I have to say, Bailey and Cameron sure make a cute duo.   Don't you think?  I also think Bailey might have put on 5 lbs of dog treats I gave her to get the posed family photo, but it's all good.  Better her than me.  =)

Update since my session with them:  Just a few weeks ago, I got a heart breaking email about their sweet dog, Bailey.  Bailey who was undergoing treatments when I met them sadly got sicker this late Fall and they had to say their goodbyes.  It broke my heart to hear and yet I was happy I was able to give them some keepsake images of Cameron and Bailey meeting.  THIS is why I love shooting in clients' homes for newborn or any lifestyle session because you get to incorporate your pets, aka "the other kids".   I always get asked "soooo, I have a dog.  Do you think we could maybe get a shot with them during the session?"  And the answer is YES, YES, YES!  

RIP Bailey.  You were a little sweet heart.  <3

 

 

 

"B" Family In-home Lifestyle Session - {Fort Washington, PA}

There is no secret that I love a good lifestyle session and I'm not just talking about newborns, but with sitters, crawlers and toddlers, and even older kids!  There is something so amazing and so real about shooting in a home of a client.  I did an entire post on lifestyle session and why I love them so much (click here to read).  So when I got a call about this little doll turning ONE and her parents wanting to capture her at this age, I couldn't resist.  But when I found out they didn't want your typical fashion cake smash, I fell in love with their idea and basically jumped all over this because how fun, right?  

It did not disappoint and we had a ball....sang a lot of songs, gave lots of kisses, took many airplane rides, calling her boyfriends (check out the phone picture), and even a little outdoor time.  The bonus in this session for mom - they never had to leave their house.  WIN. 

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Baby "D" Lifestyle Newborn Session - {Philadelphia, PA}

This family.  I love everything about them and I might just be a stage five clinger when it comes to them.  Their warm hearts and positive energy they give off, I just love being around them.  You can read more about my love for them on their maternity session blog by clicking here.   

When it came time for their newborn session, I wanted it to be perfect.  Not because I was forcing them to practically be my friends, but because this sweet baby boy, Declan that you are about to see, means more to his parents than he will ever realize.  After a rough few years they were blessed with this perfect rainbow baby.  And let me tell you - he was perfect.  

Oh and the bonus to their session -their kids had red hair.  Just like me.   =)  

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"M" Family 1st Birthday Session - {Philadelphia, PA}

Oh Emilia.  This girl's mom probably hears this all the time, but her daughter has the most kissable cheeks.  When you see the photos below you will agree.   I was so excited to see this family and especially this little girl again after I did an in-home lifestyle session in Philadelphia a few months before this session (that session can be seen here) just to see how much she has grown.   And just like I suspected, she looked older but that happy, easy going personality of hers was still there.  And if you're wondering...yes she loved to eat her cake but she also may or may not have wanted to eat a flower or two from her arrangement. =)   How can you not love that?   

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Maternity Session - {Philadelphia, PA}

You ever meet someone for the first time and you feel like you have known them forever?  Well, that is how I felt when I first talked to this mom-to-be.  Within 2 minutes of our initial phone call, I felt like I was talking to an old friend.  I'm not exactly sure what it was, but I felt this connection with her and her family before even meeting her.  And the bonus - her daughter sounded like my daughter's twin.   So the session couldn't have come soon enough.   

Then came the day of the shoot.   I pulled in and met them for the very first time.  It was like meeting up with old friends.  And you know what her daughter said to me within a minute of meeting?    "When my mom and dad told me I was going to be a big sister I was SO SO excited."  And THAT my friends is how I knew this session was going to rock.  Which it did.  

A beautiful night with a beautiful family.   

 

 

Baby "J" Lifestyle Newborn Session - {Philadelphia, PA}

James, James, James.  You didn't really want to sleep unless you were all bundled up, but that is ok when you are as cute as you are - with those baby cheeks and hair of yours, you could win over anyone.   You definitely won me over with your big sleepy yawns that I obsessed over and won best yawn (see below).  But seriously, how cute is he?  I want to kiss those cheeks of his.  

You are going to be a heartbreaker, baby James.  Miss your sweet face.  xoxo

 

Baby "V" Lifestyle Newborn Session - {West Chester, PA}

Finally blogging a session that was taken in May in West Chester, PA, with the one and only sweet baby Vivian.  She was so calm and sleepy for her session with the cutest hints of little smiles.   And her mom....an amazing woman.   I can already tell that these two are going to be best friends when she grows up.   I remember talking to her mom during her maternity session about becoming a mom and the anxious waiting game of wondering what she will be like.  And I now that the waiting is over, I have to say she is so perfect.   <3     

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Is a lifestyle session for me?

Let me first start off with telling you to go grab yourself a drink and snack because I might ramble a tad in this post but I PROMISE I will do my best to stay on track and keep this to the point.  

Lifestyle sessions have become near and dear to my heart.   Before I get into what a lifestyle session is and whether it is for you, let me give you some background.   I know you're thinking, "oh god, here she goes into a ramble," but this is important to understand why I do what I do now.  If you have followed me from the very start of my career you probably remember me offering studio sessions and holiday minis all throughout the year, but about almost a year and half ago I gave it all up and yes, I still get emails and calls about studio sessions.  

I love studio sessions and I follow other photographers all around the world that shoot those and adore them and even as far as doing a few for my kids but they aren't what drives me.   I wasn't feeling "connected" to my studio and as a mother myself what spoke to me was taking photographs of my littles in their environment and being drawn to their everyday life.  You know those every day moments that you never want to forget?  Messy bed hair or them playing with their favorite toy or just sitting in their room reading books.   But mostly when I look back at old photos, I want to not only see my children growing up, but to see myself and my husband there with them in our everyday life.  Lifestyle has given me the spark of passion I thought I was losing during those later months of studio sessions.   (And let me make it clear, I still shoot outdoors and LOVE being outside in those warm months with my clients).   

So hello Lifestyle.

 I adore you.  

You make my heart happy.  

So what is lifestyle?  Well to me a lifestyle session can be anything you want it to be.  They almost always happen in the comfort of your own home.  So yep....you don't even have to leave your house.  Whether it's a newborn session or a family session, I always ask the mom during our pre-session consult "what is the most important thing to get out of your sessions?"  And sometimes the answer is the same client to client, and sometimes it is completely different.  It can be what YOU want it to be.  If your daughter insists on playing dress up every single day and you want to capture that - let's do it!  Or you're about to become a family of 4 and life is about to get that much more crazy - let's get the real you with bouncing toddler and new baby and then all of you loving together as that family of four in your home!  Or is it you just want to capture life at home in whatever age it may be so you never forget these moments?  ( 6-8 months is the perfect age for those)

If you made it this far....thank you and I promise I'm just about done.   =) 

Is this for me?    I know, I know what you're thinking,  "My home doesn't look like Pinterest."   OR "My kids aren't babies anymore."  OR "I don't know what we would do during our session."   I get it.   But do you also take iPhone photos of your kids in your house DAILY and sometimes even of the stuff they do over and over and OVER again?  It's because those moments, whether it be the milestone of crawling or just watching your little girls have a dance party, you take them over and over again because they are timeless.  They are YOUR family and YOUR memories to hold onto.   So lifestyle is for you if you answered yes to that question.  They are for you if you think "gosh, I wish someone could take our photo together as a family all snuggled up."  Well...now you do.  

As I said before, I'm a mom.  I know that your little(s) are your life and that each day they get bigger and bigger.   Give yourself a moment to slow down and appreciate these days and capture them.    And let me say this...your children will appreciate these one day.  TRUST ME.   Not only will they love seeing themselves in their home but you in them as well.   Because years and years from now when you or your children sit down to look through them, it's the simple little moments that will bring tears of joy.       

To end, of course like any sessions, there is planning.  Whether its newborn or family lifestyle because each session is specifically designed for you and your family.  <3    Being a photographer means everything to me so thank you for taking the time to read all about my passion.    

And of course no post is complete without some pictures to enjoy so here are a few favorites from lifestyle sessions over the past year.  

"P" Family In-Home Mommy and Me Session - {Media, PA}

I swear I was just taking his newborn photos the other day then I blinked and this little guy is 7 months old already!  I'm sure his mom thinks it went even faster.    Am I right mom?   

So we had to reschedule this session for what felt like a lifetime due to weather (hello snow in March) but we finally nailed it down and boy oh boy did we have fun.   To Mr. Henry it was just another day of play and cuddles but for his mom it was all about creating images to stop time.   This is the PERFECT age to capture those amazing in-home lifestyle sessions.  Soon she will blink and she will be holding onto these images saying "oh my gosh, look how little he was!"     

"R" Family Outdoor Session - {Philadelphia, PA}

Oh this sweet doll face.  She was turning the big ONE so we did a mixture of cake smash and family time.  It was so perfect.  Not to mention they got one of those random warm days.  YAY.   

I think the best thing was getting to watch her try a cupcake for the first time.  I just love watching it because there is something so sweet and innocent about it.   Plus you never know what they will do.  Will they go to town on it or will they just stare at it and not want to get dirty?  HA!  I would definitely say she was a perfect lady about it....very clean.  =)

And oh the sun.  How I long for the summer months to come!  Want a little warm sun in your life...check out below.