September Trip to Orange Beach

The 3.5 children and I took our annual trip to Orange Beach at the beginning of September. It wasn’t exactly a vacation, and perhaps traveling as the solo parent while pregnant was a little bit ambitious. All four of us got sick while we were there (ear infections and bad coughs), and I barely slept at all between the three sick little ones waking me up. I missed David’s help at bedtime, and at 5:30 AM when the little ones start to stir. But after having a few weeks to recoup and actually sleep more than 2 hours without disturbance, I am feeling more grateful for our time together. Most importantly, Dmitri, Damon, and Eleanor loved the beach. The sand, the ocean, the pool, going on adventures, seeing family- they loved all of it. And I know they hold tight to those memories. At the end of it all, Damon said, “Mama, you are the best mom ever because you took us to the beach.” For that, I am thankful. It was a lovely, albeit exhausting, way to celebrate the end of summer, and now we are fully embracing fall.

And maybe one day my idea of a beach vacation will happen, and I will be sad and missing these busy little ones!

A note about being a photographer and a parent at the same time: I have a little rule about traveling with my camera – I generally choose one day to bring the camera with me. I get the photos that I want to document our trip. And then I enjoy being present, hands-free and able to experience life with my arms wide-open with my three favorites, and the camera stays in the bag the rest of the time. I’ve done this on several trips, and it has worked really well. For shorter day trips and outings, I set a time limit on how long I will take photos, and then I put the camera away. I never want my family to feel like I am too busy being a photographer to be a parent. And that means, for me and my family, having boundaries. We are all much happier for it.

The photo of me is my first pregnancy photo with baby # 4. You know it’s your fourth baby when you wait until 21 weeks to actually get a photo. Baby bump continues to grow, and I’m feeling pretty pregnant these days. I am excited about meeting this baby! Less than four months to go!

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Graydon | Newborn

I had a relaxed, lifestyle session with baby Graydon and his lovely family. I loved the little interactions between Graydon and his proud, big brother, Birch. There is just something about brothers that pulls at my heart. I think Graydon and Birch are going to be buddies, and it reminded me a lot of my own two boys who are the best of friends now at 3 and (almost) 5.

This session really exemplifies what a lifestyle newborn session is about – photographing a family and capturing their life, beautifully, but also keeping it real. I love photographing all of the little awkward faces and poses that newborns assume on their own, the rambunctious toddler who wants to finish his work in the sandbox, and all of the love that is wrapped up in the simple moments. There is a place for photography studios, poses and props, but what really moves me and what I am passionate about is this right here:

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Wendell | 6 months

Wendell is back, and cuter than ever. This is probably my favorite shoot with him yet – I just love watching him grow and change through our photo sessions. 6 months old! What a fun age…exploring, happy, playful, and ready to go! I think he is going to keep his parents very busy. Thank you for being such a fun and happy model, Wendell!

Want to see more Wendell:
3 Months
Maternity

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To Market To Market

In addition to our session at their farm, I also photographed the Lopps of Native Sun Farm at the Athen’s Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning. This was a lot of fun for me, because it isn’t a Saturday without a trip to the market. Dmitri and Damon know that Saturday is market day, and they would never let us forget. As soon as the sun sets on Friday night, they squeal, “we are going to the Farmer’s Market tomorrow!” It’s one of my favorite parts of Athens, the weekend, and time with my little wildlings. I rarely bring my camera, between three children and all the delicious food- I need a shopping cart and an extra hand! So this was a special time to get to head to the market early, relax, camera in hand, work and have fun (I am so lucky to have a job where the lines between work and fun are non-existent).

We could not have asked for more lovely spring weather on a May day. It was a perfect morning. Photographing real life is where it’s at. I love it.

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The Lopp Family of Native Sun Farm

I met the Lopp family at their farm, Native Sun Farms, which is located in Bogart, Georgia. It’s a lovely farm, which is surprisingly close to Athens. (Actually, I don’t think it was more than 10 minutes from my house). We started the session with a few family shots, and the littles were just not into it. This was totally fine with me- I’m not really into having to sit still and smile at a camera either. And so we shifted gears and had a wonderful time touring the farm, and capturing real life with the Lopps. And we still got a few family shots that we snuck in there too! What a sweet family that is working hard to provide delicious food to their local community and enable others to live more sustainably. See you at the Farmer’s Market!

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