family

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

granger indiana family lifestyle photographer

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

plymouth and lakeville indiana family lifestyle photographer

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

south bend indiana family and child photographer

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.

HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY BABY K - South Bend Indiana + Michigan Family Photographer

Whenever I get an inquiry for a family documentary session, my heart does a happy dance! This one was no exception. This sweet family of three had such a fun story of their lives and they wanted to celebrate their normal through candid family photos.

When I asked Mom to tell me about her family, she responded, “P… and I have been together for almost 8 years, married for 3, and we welcomed our beautiful last November. P… is from Ohio and I am from Ireland, where K was born. We moved to South Bend … and P works at Notre Dame. I am at home with K full-time and also do some freelance writing. We are both historians, so there are a lot of books around the house and we read with K a lot. K is a confident, energetic, happy baby. He loves chatting, crawling around, going on the swing, standing up on anything that will hold his weight, and anything that won't. He likes to potter around in the kitchen when mummy is cooking or clearing up. He has his own kitchen which his grandma bought him for his birthday and which he really likes too (although not as much as the real thing...) His latest favorite activity is climbing the stairs, especially if mummy is chasing him, and he hates being prevented from doing so by the stair gate. He loves eating, pulling out all the kitchen implements and making a lot of noise, and "reading" his many books. His favourite teddy is Lion and he is very good at giving Lion hugs. He loves horsing around with his daddy which makes him laugh a lot, and he gets very animated when we play good music and he can dance along and clap his hands. He has also always had very good fine motor skills and he loves pressing buttons, playing with his ring stacker, etc.”

What I love about documentary family sessions is that they allow all of these sweet milestones, stories and moments to be captured in a beautiful way. Nearly everything mentioned above is showcased in this fun gallery and I hope this family enjoys looking at these as much as I enjoyed taking and editing them!

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.

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!)

A Day in the Life with the L Family - South Bend Family and Newborn Photographer

Normally, a Day in the Life (DITL) session includes me following a family around while they do their normal routine and daily activities. This DITL, however, was oh-so-different. And oh-so-wonderful! 

When Mom contacted me and requested photos of her newest baby, it sounded normal enough. Then she added that she wanted to also capture his baptism. Fantastic! Oh, yeah. And all of their extended family will be there during the day and for the baptism. How truly special is that? 

Baby Boy was an incredibly calm and alert little guy and it was obvious from the moment I arrived that this little guy was surrounded by so much love! It never stops melting my heart to see babies enter this world with such an abundance of love. Baby Boy was passed from grandma to grandma, uncle to uncle, grandpa to grandpa and he took it all in stride, just soaking it all in calmly...actually, sleepily!

Next, out came the Christening gown. In case a gorgeous white Christening gown isn't special enough, this one had a whole story behind it. This gown that Baby Boy was about to be baptized in was worn by generations of men before him, including his own dad. To have this amazing gown dawning so much meaning on his special day before God was probably one of the coolest things I've had the privilege of documenting. 

We ended the day at the beautiful church and huge baptism pool where everyone gathered and watched with emotion and pride as Baby Boy was promised to the church and to God. It was nothing short of beautiful and humbling. I felt so blessed to have been a part of it and I truly hope that these photos captured this family's day in an accurate and beautiful way. Thank you, L Family, for including me in this big day!