all together

As a season often marked by gatherings around a table - to eat, drink, laugh, share, remember, it's here that our memories are often born and shaped. So when I received an inquiry for holiday portraits for an extended family of four siblings with one in-law sibling & child + two cousins along with their grandparents, I had an idea to literally begin around a table with them sharing stories of holidays past.

As I try to consider ways to cultivate natural connections, this felt like a format that would help ease any awkward tension (particularly at the very beginning of a session) and allow me to slip into the background. As it was, I found myself asking questions and listening along to their stories, looking for angles which showed the details in their grandparents home and offered insights into the larger story - particularly given grandparents in their early 90s. So my belief is that this family will remember this day as one of laughter and sharing stories along with family photographs... from the youngest with tangible views of his little self and his great grandparents & their faces filled with the love and pride and gratitude that lives in their hearts to the grandchildren who can perhaps think back to other years and other times along with this fine day.

I will end by saying that I look for ways to offer an experience that extends into and beyond the photographs. While I seek the emotion that naturally surfaces when we are comfortable, I strive to offer clients an experience that is meaningful and memorable AND enjoyable. And as the idea I used here was visualized for a book - photograph on one side, a memory story on the other - it is one I'm going to offer more frequently for extended gatherings.

the lake house

"The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
― W.B. Yeats

Where do i begin with this experience for what began as a gift card from one lovely sister to another turned into a bit of a journey.

In an initial discussion, I was left with an impression of family, of love and togetherness. And while we couldn't really make the entire family gathering possible, we opted to focus in on those more immediate. Which sounds in theory easy enough, until you try to find time in three different schedules (four counting mine!), particularly as I advocated for gather everyone together than at the lake house in new hampshire.

Though a bit of a drive for me, I couldn't resist - the location sounded dreamy, and as I'd never driven out through the winding roads that way I was eager for the scenery to be seen along the back roads and by roads that wound to an enchanting (yes, I used that word) drive up that led to a house on a lake that I struggle to find the words for. While yes, the actual house was brilliant  - the craftsmanship of wood and and light and space -  but it was much more than that. I could see cousins splashing and running ... I could hear laughter, sense the story, feel the love shared among family which on this day revolved around a certain red haired blue eyed boy who dazzled and delighted with his many expressions and silly sounds (and non stop motion).

The adoration of two sets of grandparents, remy the dog, his aunt and his own parents are evident throughout. The documentary inside was what I'd hoped for, and the portraits were exactly what I knew they'd be. And I feel the entire collection speaks to this family and their clan rather well - the lightness of spirit, the fullness of heart. I can only hope they'll have me again  - preferably in a warmer season with more of them there ... I see their story and the richness of their connections with each other.

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.