Bluebird House in a Slideshow & What I've been Up to Recently | Ferndale Metro Detroit Documentary Family Photographer
 

There's quite a bit for me to catch you up on!

At the end of the school year I spent time during nine different days documenting at Milo's school. I have been going through and working on the thousands of photos and I am loving the pictures I made while there. I am so happy that he is at the school he is at, it is such a good fit for our parenting and our family. The slideshow I am sharing below is such a good representation of what a day in his school is like. Watching it has brought happy tears to most of the moms who have seen it. (myself included of course) If you know me, you know that to me that is a success. I love you ladies!

 

I also recently, had a Day in the Life session, photographed the birth of my nephew, spent a couple of days with my photography mentor the amazing Kirsten Lewis in Denver, photographed two families there, came home and two days later spent Sunday at an all day retreat with the equally amazing Natalie Fuoco of The Designed Life and five other inspiring women, and then last night I met up with another group of inspiring small business owner women at The Spark Collaborative's monthly Happy Hour event.

It has been an inspiring and fulfilling few weeks!

I think now it might be time to plan to go camping, head to the beach with Milo, and maybe visit our friends while they vacation in North Carolina. 

Why Your Families Memories Might Be the One Luxury Item You Want to Invest In. | Metro Detroit Documentary Family Photographer Shelley Torgerson
 
 

The truth, is any kind of photography you have done could be considered a luxury by some. It is not something necessary. Just like getting a coffee, taking a vacation, buying nice shoes, or going out to eat. We can get by just fine without any of these things. But I saw a some pictures today that a friend posted on Facebook of her daughter who was turning 20 today. Some of the pictures included her and her daughter together, and of course those were the ones I was most drawn to. They really got me thinking.

I couldn’t help but think to myself, that I bet she is so glad that she has these photos, of her now adult daughter at the age 5 or 6 leaning on her back, both of them smiling together. These weren’t even professional photos, they were snapshots. But I know looking at those photos that they mean the world to both the mother and daughter. They are able to look at those photos and bring up so many memories and feelings about that time in their life. What did it feel like to be together? What did a day feel like in their house? As a mom, I know that the time it goes by so quickly, and each moment, each stage of our kids lives can be so different and feel so important. Looking back and seeing what it was like, feeling what it was like, it is such a gift to have the photos to take you back there. 

And then I saw a post from an acquaintance about moving to another country. And I thought to myself how I wish I had done a Day in the Life session for that family before they moved. To give them this tangible and beautiful set of captured memories of what it was like, in their house, in their city, in their current county with their child before they make such a big move, I think it would have meant the world to them and to me. 

This is why I feel so passionate about documentary family photography. This is why, although some people may call it a luxury, it is a luxury that I believe is worth the investment. What ever extras purchases you choose to make important are different for each person. That’s part of the beauty of the world. But, if you’re like me and want to preserve a little of what your family feels like right now, if you want to be able to look back and feel it again, then think about getting a session with me. You won’t regret it, I promise. 

 
Willow | Fresh 48 | Ferndale Documentary Newborn Photographer
 

The first few days after our baby is born it's a time when our babies and their smell and their faces are so new to us, but so familiar at the same time. The time when we are in awe each time we look at them because we can't believe they are finally here, but we also can feel that they belong here with us. When we suddenly can't believe we have this tiny baby to care for, but also cannot believe they were ever not a part of our lives. These first hours are so fleeting, and so much is happening, so much newness, so little sleep. I don't know about you, but for me, there was so much love, but also, so much going through the motions. My memory of this time is such a blur. It's such a whirlwind and then when we try to think back it's hard to remember, "What was it really like?" They grow quickly and it's hard to remember how little they really were.

A Fresh 48 session solves that for you, it allows you to remember what it felt like right after your new baby was born. All the tiny parts, how at only a day old, they already looked at you with love, how they already knew that you were theirs. The joy and the tiredness. The looks between parents while thinking "we did this, this beautiful baby is ours." It's all beautiful, all beautifully real. And it's all captured in photographs, forever.

Baby Willow has been a long awaited and welcome blessing to her family and all those who love them and now her. I am so honored to have been welcomed into this sacred and special time in all of their lives. Thank you Erin and Adrian. I love you all. 

 

 

 

 
The Molnars | Day in the Life | Ferndale Family Photographer
 

I'm not going to lie, I have loved every session that I have done. Every one. There are always the full range of emotion inducing moments, moments that make me grin, make me cry, and make me crack up, moments that are so relatable. Moments that remind me that I am not the only one dealing with whatever recent hard time Milo might be having. Moments that remind me that I'm not the only one who is having whatever motherhood struggle I am having. Moments that remind me again and again, WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME JOURNEY. We are all having the same struggles and the same wins. That is what is amazing about watching these sessions. Even if you are never going to get one for yourself, watch my slideshows. See all the moments that other parents are having and see yourself in their struggles, but also in their triumphs. When you see that five year old looking up at their mom with so much love, please don't look at that picture and think that maybe they are a better parent than you. Your kids are looking at you like that too! We, the parents, me included, just don't see it during the hustle and bustle of our everyday. So even if you think you are never going to hire me, (but do!) please watch these slideshows and then remember to stop and notice every once in a while how much your kids are adoring you. Even if it's in between their complaining about not having MORE popsicles, as they are eating a popsicle! (What your kids don't do that? Just mine!?) 

I started this off by saying that I love every session, and I do. And I wonder if each new one becomes a new favorite, I'm not sure... But I LOVE this session so much. I loved being with this family and I loved watching them interact and I loved the boys facial expressions. OMG, I love the expressions. And seriously, the youngest, he was eating ice off the floor at one point, no hands. I LOVE what kids will do to get what they want. I love the Erin & Alex's love for each other. I love it all. I usually will say more about the family, but I want to let the pictures tell the story here. 

 

 
Leora, Adi, & Shay | Moments of Motherhood™ | Birmingham Family Photographer
 

Omg, you guys, I loved this family and this session. I was so happy going through the images and had the hardest time narrowing down their images for their slideshow because I loved so many of them. The whole family made it easy to be there and for me to become engrossed in capturing their moments. When I first arrived at their house Shay was napping still so I got quite a bit of time with just Leora and Adi. Let me tell you, Adi is awesome. She is full of personality and seriously just a kid you want to hang out with. She is confident, funny, and herself without reservations. Exactly how all of us adults aspire to be!  Shay is a sweet baby boy who is so obviously madly in love with his mama. You can see how at ease and happy he is in her arms. This has been one of the great things for me to witness over and over again. Mamas your kiddos ADORE you, each of you, there is no exception. We (me included) get so caught up in what we are doing that we start to miss how they look at us and look TO us. I am here to give us a record of these moments. It is a purpose I am so happy to fulfill. 

Leora, you have some happy & fun kiddos. It was an honor to witness your family's love and your kiddos joy. Thank you for having me. xoxo

 
 

Toward the end of their session Dad came home and we quickly did some relaxed portraits. If you feel like you are really loving the idea of a documentary session, but keep thinking, "but I'd love just a couple of us all together", let me know and we can totally make that happen. Of course my favorites from this are still what some might call the "outtakes." I'm especially loving how mom and dad are looking at each other in the third one. <3

Milo's FIVE, the eve of his birthday | personal post | Metro Detroit Family Photographer
 

Milo recently turned five. FIVE! I love seeing how he changes as he gets older, how much he surprises us with the things he understands and says. We are in awe of how imaginative, strong, loving, and funny he is. We are those parents who can't believe how cool we think our kid is. But I’ll be honest, five is a BIG KID number and it kind of made me miss my baby a bit. My little guy I wore everywhere and nursed for years the one who wouldn’t sleep unless he was touching me and who totally tried to say I love you back one time when he wasn’t even talking yet. I found myself crying and sad and having so many feelings I didn’t quite know what to do with them.

On the eve of Milo’s birthday, after making his cakes, both blueberry and chocolate, and wrapping his presents, I went up to bed feeling a bit melancholy. Thinking I would watch a show or read a book to take my mind off of how I was feeling, I got into bed. Tim was still downstairs, so I was alone in our room. I ended up just sitting there for a bit, in the spot where five years before I was in labor, where I was at the beginning of my biggest dream coming true (and the beginning of the pain, I’m still real about it). I am a sappy human, if you know me, you know. So I was there, feeling all the feelings.

Every night Milo goes to sleep in his own bed, but ends up crawling into bed with us somewhere between 12am and 4am. It’s something Tim and I welcome him doing for as long as he wants to. He comes into our room all slowly, eyes barely open, if at all, and often grinning. I usually hoist him over my body and he curls up between us and falls right back to sleep. I found myself wishing that Milo were already in bed with me, but it was too early and I didn’t want to go get him and wake him. Plus I do like a little time to myself where he isn't cuddling me so closely you'd swear he was trying to crawl back into my body. At the very moment I was thinking about how much I’d love for him to be there, in he came, earlier than he ever does. He came in in his usual fashion, slowly and sweetly, but instead of wanting me to pick him up and put him in bed next to me, he crawled up and into my lap and fell right back to sleep. It was like he KNEW, he FELT it too. The universe knew exactly what I needed and delivered. It's hard for me to even express how this felt. Exactly five years from the time he was preparing to leave my body and join me and Tim, he sensed what I was feeling, or maybe in his sleep he was feeling the same, I don't know. Whatever the reason, however it happened, he knew. I held my baby, my almost five year old baby for the longest time. I soaked up his smells and basked in the feeling of our connection and how much I love him. Eventually I decided I was ready to go to sleep too and moved him over next to me, but I think otherwise he may have stayed there all night. 

 

iphone selfie of us on the eve of his birthday. 

Kiddo in my lap