lifestyle photographer

S TURNS TWO - Niles, Michigan Family and Milestone Lifestyle Photographer

niles michigan family and milestone lifestyle photographer

Once again, I got to hang out with this fun family and their two awesome little boys! Watching them grow from a family of three to a family of four has been so much fun. S is a super chatty and equally adorable little boy who loves to be outdoors. He’s so well mannered and just a joy to be around that it hardly seems like work to take his photos.

Can’t wait for the next milestone and family session with these guys! (Lookout world, because Baby L will be 6 months old!)

H FAMILY LIFESTYLE PHOTOS - Osceola, Indiana Family Lifestyle Photographer

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Well, I can’t really say enough about this fun family because they also happen to be our best friends! My husband and I have been friends with this awesome couple before we were even married. They traveled all the way to Florida for our wedding and now, many years later, our daughters are absolute besties and our sons, well, they’re too young to know it but they’ll be best buds, too.

I always feel a special privilege when friends trust you take their photos. Its such a special thing to be able to do for people and I always love a chance to get together with them. And of course, my own daughter had to sneak in and take some quick pics with her bestie, too.

H FAMILY AND MILESTONE LIFESTYLE PHOTOS - Michigan and Indiana Family and Milestone Lifestyle Photographer

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There aren’t many things I love more than being able to follow a family’s journey from the very beginning! And this family is a perfect example. I met them when they hired me to document the birth of their second son, who is now over a year old! Following his journey and seeing him turn into such a fun loving and energetic toddler has been so rewarding.

We had a blast on this cool fall evening for their milestone and family photo session. Full of smiles and not wanting to sit still long, we got to go all over the place and find lots of fun spots to shoot in. Mom and Dad surely have their hands full with these two handsome fellas, but there was no shortage of smiles and love. Can’t wait to see them again soon!

H FAMILY LIFESTYLE PHOTOS - South Bend Family Lifestyle Photographer

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There’s no question that I have a soft spot for this gorgeous family. Not only did we go to high school together way back when, but I also got to document their youngest daughter’s Fresh 48 and her entire first year. Now she’s a spunky toddler and we get to do full family sessions out on their amazing property. Not only are their kids absolutely gorgeous, but they’re equally as well mannered and fun.

This was hands down my favorite family session of the season as we had absolutely perfect conditions. Plus, Mom asked for some simple, classic black and whites of each kiddo to hang on her walls and they turned out gorgeous! Can’t wait to meet back up with them for another family photo shoot (or you know, just run into Mom and Baby L at Target…because that seems to happen weekly lol).

GENTRY'S MILESTONE PHOTOGRAPY - South Bend & Mishawaka Family and Child Photographer

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Oh Gentry <3

I’ve had the privilege of following her journey since her sweet family moved into their dream farm house that they are renovating. She is full a spice and sugar and has never met a stranger. We snuck in this mini session before her sister arrived and once again, she made me smile the entire time. Her love for life, the outdoors and animals was obvious and she definitely runs the show around there. Even her big, tough firefighter Daddy is wrapped around her little finger!

Thank you F Family for trusting me to document your sweet girls.

Y LIFESTYLE FAMILY PHOTOS - Nappanee Indiana Lifestyle Family Photographer

nappanee indiana family lifestyle photographer

Extended family sessions are always so much fun! I love watching young kids interact and when you’re not doing traditional “say cheese” photos, everyone has a great time (and usually lots of laughs). I mean, I don’t know which ones they chose to hang, but I would totally frame the ones with nose picking and scowling. Because that’s real life, right?!

This great group is growing every year and adding more and more babies. I hope I get to keep up with them and document some more fun moments along the way.

WELCOME BABY DAWSYN - Indiana Newborn Photographer

south bend newborn photographer

This family. Where do I even start?

They were my VERY FIRST family documentary clients! They trusted me before anyone else to capture memories of their sweet daughter in the throws of their dream-house renovation project. They quickly grew to be more than just clients but friends! Fast forward a few years and a few more sessions down the road and I had the privilege of documenting their sweet second daughter, Dawsyn.

I was so excited when I got Mom’s initial message inquiring about newborn sessions and the chance to see their oldest girl become a big sister. After Dawsyn’s arrival, I anxiously awaited the call to come and meet her! And when I did and I walked into their farmhouse, the first thing I thought: “Holy moly, they’re identical!” Dawsyn looks JUST like her big sister! My heart melted immediately. Big sister was so excited to show me her new baby and it was obvious that while she still wanted (and needed) Mom and Dad’s attention, too, she was a huge helper in the family now.

Capturing these moments for this family of four was such a joy and I truly hope I get to continue on their journey with them. Thank you, F Family, for allowing me into your lives all this time.

MOM & MINIS FAMILY - Lifestyle & Documentary Family Photographer, South Bend, IN

Beginning this photography journey has brought me many blessings; some expected and some not so expected. Two of those blessings are the opportunity to volunteer for House of Hopes which is an AMAZING philanthropic photography group and the other is meeting new friends. One of those friends I happened to meet through my work with HoH. While it was a sad situation that brought us to the same spot, I am so grateful that after 12+ hours in a L&D lobby together resulted in a great friendship with another amazing photographer.

When T reached out during one of our many photography and parenting centered conversations and asked if I would be interested in doing a documentary lifestyle session for her and her girls, I was beyond excited for so many reasons. First, her girls are awesome. Like they are legitimately cool kids! Second, I love having the opportunity to document families of all ages. Sessions tend to revolve around little kids and then taper off as they grow up and that’s so unfortunate. So to have the chance to capture some memories of school age kids was awesome! Third, I could totally relate to her reasoning.

She expressed how she was suddenly seeing all of these leaps and bound in growth and maturity in her girls and she recognized that they would soon be entering new phases and she wanted to commemorate the everyday innocence and routine that has been theres for a while now. Watching my own daughter grow at light speed makes me completely sympathetic to this situation and I was more than happy to capture their “normal.”

And so, with all of that being said, I just want to thank T for letting me into her home and her life and capture these moments of homeschool and girl bonding for her! I hope they bring a smile to all of your faces for years to come.

M & B ENGAGEMENT - Indiana Wedding and Engagement Photographer

This super sweet couple will be my first wedding after maternity leave and I couldn’t have chosen a better fit to dive back into 2019! Getting to know them at their engagement session was a total blast and between having totally epic light, a gorgeous dress on the bride-to-be and a fiance who was clearly crazy about his future wife, it was a perfect equation for some gorgeous photos.

As we talked about how they met and what their wedding would be like, we took full advantage of the changing leaves, golden fields and amazing sunset. I wasn’t especially fond of the snake that crossed our path when we headed to a different location and I may have shouted a few choice words and hoped it wouldn’t send me into early labor (can you tell I love snakes?) but they took it in stride and laughed at my panic. But it was totally worth it because just look at these gorgeous engagement photos they were able to get!

M & B, I genuinely can’t wait for your March wedding at Bread and Chocolate and I hope you love these e-session photos as much as I do!

WHICH TO CHOOSE: FRESH 48 OR NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHY? - South Bend, Indiana Newborn Baby Photographer

Ah, the tricky question: do you choose a Fresh 48 or Newborn session? Which one is right for you? It's a great question and I hope that this post might lend some thought points that may help you make the best decision for your baby! Here are some questions to ponder:

1. DO PHOTOS OF YOUR NEW FAMILY DYNAMIC MATTER MORE THAN PHOTOS IN YOUR OWN ENVIRONMENT?

When you think about what you want documented, one of the main things to consider is whether you want to remember those very first moments with your baby and as a parent to this tiny human or if you want to remember those first days in your home with the newest addition. It's a tough choice but one that is usually pretty clear in our minds when we stop to think about it.

2. WILL FRESH 48 "IMPERFECTIONS" BOTHER YOU?

As much as it pains me to put this one out here, it is worth considering. Some people prefer to give baby a few days to move beyond the brand-new-baby blemishes, head molding and their own appearance after having just brought a new life into the world. At the same time, many people love these factors and find them honest and endearing (this is me, just FYI). So stop and consider whether you find all of the tiny "imperfections," a beautiful and priceless thing to be remembered or something you'd prefer to skip and have the time to refresh and recover. 

3. DOES YOUR HOME AND BABY'S NURSERY HOLD SPECIAL MEANING TO YOU?

If you are one of those people who painstakingly choose every detail of their child's nursery (cough cough, me again) and strive to make it a place that they will immediately feel loved, cherished and calm, then a newborn session may be the best option for you. Hospitals and birth centers offer little to no control over your environment so you may end up with a bright orange wall in the background of your photos whether you like it or not. If this is something that gives you the shudders just thinking about that lack of control, a newborn session may be more fitting since you can document your own home and preferences that more accurately reflect you.

4. ARE THERE FIRST MEETINGS YOU WANT DOCUMENTED?

Often, there are specific family members or siblings who you can't wait to introduce to your new baby. If this is the case, a Fresh 48 session is the way to go. These are moments that you cannot recreate and are often so beautiful and priceless. Not to mention, documenting your own reactions as a parent seeing your other babies meeting their new sibling or to your parents holding their newest grandchild is a truly momentous moment that make a wonderful keepsake.

5. OR...JUST DO BOTH!

This is obviously my suggestion since I'm a crazy picture lady! It may not seem logical to have both Fresh 48 AND newborn photos taken because they usually take place within 10-14 days of each other. But hear me out first! If you have already had a baby, you know what I'm about to say is true and if you're a first time parent, take my word that this statement is accurate: your baby changes DAILY. In those first few months, you will wake up and smile down at your new baby and be amazed because somehow, they truly changed overnight. You blinked and they're a little bit bigger, a little bit more mature. It's uncanny (and slightly heartbreaking) but its true. Having both Fresh 48 and newborn photos allows you to see those changes and also lets you document those first sweet moments and also gives you the control of photographing your child in their own environment. It's a win win and totally worth it. 

 

BABY L'S NEWBORN SESSION - South Bend, Indiana Family and Newborn Photographer

Newborns are always born perfect. But holy cow, this little dude might just take the cake for most awake and absolutely adorable newborn ever! I was really excited when Mom contacted me about an in-home newborn session (and not just because I love shooting them). This family had only been in their new home for about two months and were still getting completely settled; we even had to reschedule the session once because their couch hadn’t arrived yet! I love getting to document families in the throws of a new chapter in their lives and two of the biggest changes you can go through as an adult is adding a new baby to the mix and moving.

As soon as I walked in the door, I knew this was a perfect fit. First, I was greeted by their sweet and adorable three-year-old daughter who immediately asked, “Do you want to see my baby brother?” Um, girl, try and stop me! So she lead me through their perfectly decorated home (seriously, I left this session wanting to go home and totally re-do my own decor) to her sweet, sleeping brother. He was the cutest little guy and she couldn’t cover him with enough kisses. Throughout the entire session, all she wanted to do was kiss and love on him!

Mom and Dad were equally as smitten with their new little guy. They took turns tending to him and snuggling him and it was pretty obvious he had been born into a family that had an abundance of love to give. I am so grateful to the O family for inviting me into their amazing home and family to document their newest arrival!

(Sorry, not sorry, for the overshare of this session but its a favorite!)

TELBY + TOM'S WEDDING - South Bend and Plymouth Indiana Wedding Photographer

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I adore how every love story is so different. You can shoot 20 weddings in a year, and none of them are like the other. This sweet couple stood out from the very beginning and it was so fun hearing their modern day love story. 

When I first arrived at Swan Lake on the wedding day, everyone was calm, cool and collected. The girls were having a blast getting their makeup done and prepping the little details (like my favorite "Don't Ugly Cry" hankies). Each bridesmaid seemed to take on a different role that helped support the bride in exactly the way she needed. The bride also got a few minutes to herself while she transferred her vows onto paper and then started her own personal prep. The guys were all a riot and everyone was set on having a great time!

At the non-first-look, the groom was so sweet and emotional and it was clear that this quick moment together was just what both of them needed before they said, "I do." Not to mention the adorable reaction of Dad to seeing his daughter in her dress for the first time. All the feels, people! And even with a non-first-look, the groom still got a little choked up when his bride was walking towards him. After a beautiful ceremony and some fun, traditional portraits, we moved into a truly wonderful celebration at the reception. SO much smiling and dancing! To say that these two have the love and support of an abundance of people would be an understatement. 

Telby and Tom, thanks for including me in your day!

Vendor information found at the bottom of this post. 

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Swan Lake Resort

Hair & Makeup Artist: MadeYaBlush - Jessica Trost

Groom/Groomsmen attire is from: Men’s Warehouse

Nail Salon/Specialist: New Nails, South Bend

Videographer: Green Line Media, Carter Surach

DJ/Band: Bov Knows Music, Scott Bovenkirk

Jeweler:  Mark Fischer Jewelry Designs

Cake: Martin’s Bakery