children's portraiture

Dylan (again, at 4 months old) + Macro is amaze-ballz

I think it's about time I purchase a macro lens. I always rent it as needed, and just simply love it! You wonder where your investment in my photography goes? Usually, new equipment. Aren't these lashes just drool-worthy? Macro is a lot harder than it looks! You think you can just get up in on those lashes and click away? You still need to keep composition and framing in mind (and negative space). When I first used a macro, I was shocked that all of my photos weren't amazing, lol! Amateur! Like anything, you have to practice, practice, practice. Luckily I have some cute subjects to help out in that area!

the strange family // northern va

I love this family's last name—Strange! Isn't that awesome? As much as they are probably tired of the joke, I had to make that my punchline header ;) Meanwhile, they are anything but strange. They are super laid back, loving and smiley.

What an incredible last photo session to have in NOVA before my big move to St. Louis. I had one of those "Oh Sh%t" moments, waking up in the middle of the night and yelling "DANIELLE!", just like the Mom from Home Alone yells "KEVIN!". I was three weeks away from moving and remembered this adorable family that I had on my agenda to photograph. We just hadn't put it in the calendar yet. Thankfully, even though it was nearly March, there was still some pretty white snow on the ground—and they were not only willing to go outside, but they seemed to be energized by it (it was 30 something degrees out). What a true rural/country/farm, animal loving family. They have a pony (Little Legs- a.k.a: googly eyes), two dogs (Bert and Mikey), and a cat (Minnow). This is on top of having a toddler girl (Isabel) and young baby boy (Charlie). Hands full much? 

I approached this session more like a journalistic, story-telling event. I wanted to just be with the family for the majority of the day. To capture their everyday moments, inside and outside. To just sit back and be a fly on the wall (or the horses ear). I had such a blast, and got to know this amazing little family—that one of my good friends holds very dear to her heart. My friend also has the same exact voice as Danielle, the Mom… even though they aren't related. I kept thinking my friend Jessie was there, which made me feel even more at home. These two long-time friends are kindred sisters… and have known each other since 2nd grade (I think?)!

There are a LOT of photographs of Isabel, who has such a big, beaming personality. She is a rough and tumble girl, who also loves to dance (Taylor Swift), do her Mom's hair, and harass snowmen. Charlie has these dreamy, other-wordly blue eyes. He seems to have a lot of wisdom for a 6 month old. I wanted to ask him the meaning of life. Too bad he can't talk.

shae // wild thing // Hockessin, DE

Who says you can't do an outdoor photoshoot in January? My sister and I. When Amy and I get an idea in our head, you can't stop us! My sister and I took advantage of a brief opening in our crazy holiday schedule this year while we were visiting our family in Delaware.

The sun was golden as it went down, the air was crisp and our toes were collllllld. The boys were GREAT sports about it. Sure we may have had some more photos had the weather been 60, 40.. even 10 degrees warmer. Sure the boys would have been a bit more relaxed and smiley, had their faces not felt frozen. Sure the trees would have been greener and the light would have been a little richer. But the landscape turned out incredible, because it was so golden and neutral (great for lighting and skin tones). And that barn popped out just a bit more against the barren landscape. And had I not done this session, I never would have captured my Godson, Shae "Willy" shining as bright as a sunbeam, completely unfazed by the 20 something degree weather. He was a free as a bird (we also call him Shae bird), with boundless energy. I could not get him to stop smiling, or running for that matter. I cannot believe how much this little man has grown up, right in front of my lens. I captured his first week on Earth, in the arms of his Mommy. And editing just now, I saw traces of peach fuzz where his manstache will grow in. Where does the time go? 

Shae's younger brothers, Luke and Ross(y) were not as thrilled to be outside, but they were such good sports. I was SO thankful that Luke let me take a few portraits of him. I'm seeing hints of the little man that he is becoming too. It is thrilling and terrifying all at once. This "old soul" has incredible blue/grey eyes that hide behind his deep set brow. But oh do they twinkle when they catch the light just right. Since I photographed him backlit (with the sun behind him), for that juicy golden light, his eyes did not catch that twinkle this time around. I'll get them next time Luker! Maybe on a nice, hot, sunny beach day (in shade or indirect light of course).

Kids are incredible. Sometimes, the weather does not faze them at all (to a fault at times). Really, children tend to be unfazed by so much. This crazy world is always throwing things at them, and they continue to shine brightly. Can't we all learn so much from them? 

To see how tough this family is in cold weather, check out my post from our winter shoot on Lake Erie a year and a half ago.

Things to think about when doing a winter session:
• Consider waiting until Spring (Joking! Ok seriously, re-consider if it is below freezing- 32 degrees).
• The sun is lower in the winter, so "Golden Hour" shooting can start two hours before sunset, rather than one.
• Look for bright colors that are typically man-made objects (bright barns for instance, or see my previous post of Finn near colorful kayaks). Wear bright clothing, or bits of color in your accessories.

• Jackets, hats and gloves can be adorable. Plan ahead!
• Have the kids run around! Get the blood flowing!
• Scout the location ahead of time so you can get done quickly.
• Keep the shoot to around 30-45 minutes.
• Always try to follow a natural flow in a session. This was a family session that obviously ended up focusing on Shae. These shots were unexpected, bonus shots.

Aly turns 1 // Old Town Alexandria, VA

I did a photoshoot of this little beauty six months ago. I cannot believe how much she has grown! Yet she is still a tiny little peanut to me, especially compared to Finn. This little one has a big personality, regardless of her size. She doesn't hesitate to speak her mind and "shout" out to the world around her. Yet even her shouting is sweet and adorable. And you should see her pouty face– she would get away with anything in my house! One thing that I love about little Aly are her eyes. She has such incredibly beautiful eyes– that are also probably quite rare. Her eyes are some kind of hazel/green, but her left eye has a splash of blue in it. As someone who is totally obsessed with all things colorful, I couldn't get enough of these multi-colored eyes. You feel like you are looking into another universe when you look into them. Ok, deep thoughts by Ann ;)

She is smitten over Daddy, as beautiful as her Mommy and Babushka (Russian for Grandma) and best buds with Patton (her dog). How I love watching my little clients grow up!