Posts tagged documentary family photographer
Haley & Hans | Royal Oak Documentary Couples Session

While talking to Haley before her’s and Han’s session she told me something along the lines of, “My friends have told me I had better warn you that Hans and I are really gushy and lovey. They’re worried you might think that we’re faking it for the camera.” I am pretty good at spotting what is real and what it fake when it comes to how people are acting, but I thanked her for letting me know and got even more excited for their session. Seriously you guys, Haley and Hans are the cutest, most in love couple, and it’s obvious that they are the real deal. I joined them for one of their favorite morning rituals, walking up to the bakery not too far from their house. There was a moment when Haley went to use the bathroom and Hans looked at me, his face full of love, and said “Isn’t she just the cutest?!” The love is so huge and so real! Then we went back to their home and they made and drank tea together, something they often do. Simple, perfect, them being them.

Spending a couple of hours with them, really got me excited for more of this type of session. A family doesn’t only exist when there are children involved. Capturing love, silly faces, little glances, that’s what this is all about. Every family has all of these moments, whether there are children involved or not.

So here’s my shout out to all of you couples without children. Have your pictures taken together. Get a session done. Plan some time doing the things that you love to do together and have someone capture and show you your moments. You won’t regret it.



Haley’s response to her slideshow had me in happy tears:

“SHELLEY I AM IN LOVE WITH THESE PHOTOS!!!!! *swoon* Wow you are so talented. I have no idea how you captured that many good ones lol. It just felt like a walk but you captured the treasure. Wow. I'm in tears.”


**With any of my shorter length sessions I offer 10-15 mins of loosely directed portraits if that is something that a family wants. There are a few pictures in this slideshow that are not purely documentary. The love is real, their reactions are real, but this couple wanted to reenact something they’ve done together every year, so we made that happen for them.

Ami, Mike, & Cleo | Day in the Life | Detroit Documentary Family Photography

This wonderful family was about to become a family of four.

That time when you know your heart is about to expand with love for this new little addition to your family. A time that is so exciting, but also so bittersweet. Thinking about how it is going to change, how your first little love of your life won’t be your only little love of your life anymore. Wondering how it’s going to affect your first born, will they be okay, will they feel, sad, jealous, confused? Will your connection with this person who first made you a parent be affected? There are so many emotions that come with this time. In the end, we all know that it ends up being wonderful and beautiful, but that doesn’t stop all of those feelings from happening in the moment.

This is such a wonderful time to have a session because as much as I am always emphasizing that you can never get this time back, or your child’s age right now back, in the situation of a second child being born, this really is the last time to photograph your the relationship with you and your first kiddo with them as an only child.

I really am fortunate that all of my clients end up being people who I want to hang out with. Ami and Mike are no exception. I immediately felt welcomed into their home like an old friend. When they mentioned that they didn’t know who was going to stay with Cleo when the baby was born, I felt compelled to offer to help. Mind you, we had never met before this day, so I did hold back and didn’t offer for fear of seeming a like a bit too much. But I’m pretty sure I did still end up mentioning it to them some time later. AND to top off their hospitality, they sent me off after their session with a giant bag of yummy homegrown garden tomatoes. Ami and Mike, you’re two of the good ones. XOXO

 
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. 

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