lynn woods portraits

a day of life - m&d

in response to questions i often am asked about "day of life" sessions, i thought i'd share my notes and selected photographs from a recent session.

a day of life documentary is a story of photographs that speak to a particular time and place of one's life. while tailored to the distinct elements of each client, day of life sessions are generally set up in a way to include the activities and going's on of the day-to-day at home and in a nearby location - a park, a path, a playground - with the session lasting from a few hours at one time, to a few hours in the morning and a few hours in the early evening. and while my role is to discreetly  photograph moments and emotions as they naturally occur, i interact here and there, particularly to weave in portraits in ways that feel effortless and natural.

morgan | august, 2014

morgan | august, 2014

day of life - m&d

i prefer to meet before the session - particularly for families with little ones and pets - so they know who i am and i have the chance to observe their mannerisms and expressions. so for this session, i came by in the late morning before nap time to meet little girl and talk with mom. i was warmly welcomed by jake - a part st bernard part great dane gentle lamb that was most definitely the largest dog i've ever laid eyes on!

as we were talking, i learned that this is the last month these two will be together all day long as mom took two years off to be at home and will be returning to college in the fall and to work after graduation while little girl will be in daycare. as we were talking, she mentioned:

"it's kind of bittersweet...while i'm excited and ready for what's next, it's hard to process that two years have gone by and we only have a month left together."

it was this quote which framed it all and inspired the story i wanted to photograph - the longing to be at home among toys and tot mixed with the pull to return to the world of learning and working ... the illusion of an endless childhood and the need to linger on in each moment left.

this translated to photographing in two locations. at home - outside on the deck which overlooked a lovely pond - with little girl playing with toys, then running down to the dock to be on the boat - then a short ride to the woods nearby for a walk on the path through the trees in golden ethereal light, throwing stones in the water and climbing on rocks, and ending with lovely little portraits.

while i photographed a little during our pre-session chat to get a feeling of things, it was high noon and mid-summer which was too harsh of a light. by early evening though, it was sparkling and golden.

while i'm showing the images sequentially, most day of life sessions are finished in a book.

day of life sessions offer an experience of art and creativity and a time to just be with those you love and enjoy. it is a little printed memory of time that will be enjoyed for years to come.

interested? i hope so as these are my favorite sessions to create and  i think you'll find them surprisingly obtainable. contact me for details.


of late, life's felt like one big punch in the face - another in the gut - then a whallop over the head for good measure. what most people might experience over a longer stretch of time has landed all at once: a reduced income, a home situation nearing the finality of clarification, and a car totaled by a driver who was on their phone and of course, it was the five year old car with less than 20,000 miles on it, not the car that's in the shop again with 90,000 miles on it. all this in the middle of summer - the time of year i long for. a time when i'm usually out and about -  not inside hiding my eyes and crying finally opening them for a few days of blessed ocean peace only to crash into the next wave.

morgan | 2014

morgan | 2014

about a month ago, the day of the freakish tornado, one of the larger branches on a tree next to our house sort of cascaded off and remained nestled/stuck inside the other wild branches. this was a tree that was full and bushy and filled with little birds. it offered a sense of privacy and enclosure and felt enchanted - like a little part of the woods in our back yard. that was until the branch was stuck and the city came out to cut the branches out. 

what i was not prepared for, was the hack job that ensued  - one that left a beauty of a tree looking ravaged and scarred and dangerously lopsided. so when it rained heavily a few days ago and the leaves got wet, the tree had not choice but to let go of the other half of it's branches ....which also took out the entire fence line on our yard. no more privacy or shelter or woods in back yard. the hold left behind in the tree now only means more than likely the city will now cut it down.

at first i laughed. actually had a rather good laugh - and then that familiar feeling of despair descended; particularly when i looked at the tree realizing i felt how it looked - torn apart, opened up, severed. it hasn't helped that all the little birds that used to live inside the tree have been gathering on the tilted fence looking up - like wtf happened here? where's our little place to play. more than anything else, i feel really exposed; an emotion that can quickly descend to shame if permitted access.

this time around though, instead of hiding, i'm seeing there's a different route one can take which is the point:

life isn't so much what happens to me, to you or to any of us. it's what we do with it.

right now, at this moment, i'm considering options and alternatives - a different head space that feels a little more peaceful. while i believe that tears are there for a reason (and sometimes i need to cry them all out), while i may not always like the lemons life throws my way, i do have a choice with what to do with them. and today, i can add a little sugar to sweeten and a little water to lighten.