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families

the moore family: welcome to the world, folger

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the moore family: welcome to the world, folger

"birth is the sudden opening of a window, through which you look out upon a stupendous prospect. for what has happened? a miracle. you have exchanged nothing for the possibility of everything." -william macneile dixon

a few weeks ago while in nashville, i had the joy of photographing my sweet friend, lyss and her family during this new season. they welcomed their baby boy, folger into the world a week or so before. i absolutely loved photographing them in home and on some family friends' property.

i always ask mama's their favorite part about motherhood - 

"my favorite part about motherhood is feeling my heart expand larger than i ever thought it could; the sweet newborn stage, but also watching my toddler be fearless and grow - and now seeing how my babies love each other makes my heart so full, I could cry!"

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"as it stands, motherhood is a sort of wilderness through which each woman hacks her way, part martyr, part pioneer; a turn of events from which some women derive feelings of heroism, while others experience a sense of exile from the world they knew." -Rachel Cusk

welcome to the world, folger . . . . 

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a rainy afternoon at home with the harman's in grant park

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a rainy afternoon at home with the harman's in grant park

back in january, i was invited into rebecca's beautiful 106 year old home to photograph her and her family.

i asked rebecca her favorite part about being a mother - 

"it's such a challenging question - i love seeing their personalities develop. my heart swells with happiness when i see them treat those in their life (and each other) with kindness and observing their special bond as brothers."

meet the harman's.

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at home with the williams family

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at home with the williams family

spent a beautiful saturday morning with the williams family at their home in kansas city.

laura is about to welcome a little boy into the world so we documented this season for them. did i mention she has the cutest baby bump of all time? seriously! just wait.

meet kyle, laura and their little babe, eloise wilde with a special appearance from their new pup, king.

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a morning spent with the harrison family in their treehouse bedroom in roswell, georgia

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a morning spent with the harrison family in their treehouse bedroom in roswell, georgia

i've been excited to share this family session ever since i left their home. they have a beautiful space that they have created and i had the joy of documenting this season for them back in january.

as always, i asked what chelsea's favorite part about motherhood is -

"my favorite thing about motherhood is that it's shown me strength i didn't know i had. childbirth, breastfeeding and parenting are much harder than anything i've done before. and yet somehow, i keep making it through. i feel like after this, i could handle anything."

meet sam, chelsea and their little, luc river.

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a cozy morning with the wears family

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a cozy morning with the wears family

last month, i spent some time with this sweet family in their home. josh and monique are part of a small church community and they both sing and play in the worship band - beautifully i might add. while monique was making me coffee, i could hear josh singing in his office and asked if he'd play for me while i photographed. that's where this shoot begins. 

before sharing their world with you, i always ask mama's their favorite part of motherhood and what mantra they choose to live by - 

"my favorite part of motherhood is how it is constantly changing me. in dark days my kids bring light. when i fall terribly short of ideal, my kids are so forgiving.  their love has changed me just as much as my love forms and changes them. 

so i love that these boys in their curious, wild, needy, joyful, disobedient, dancing, and loving selves call me up and remind me of something greater that i'm living for. - motherhood is so much about giving, so you are constantly confronted with choosing selfishness or selflessness. even when you fail you will still be presented with the opportunity to change and be selfless as well. that is such a gift."

as for the mantra - 

"well i have a quote that i have repeated over and over to myself over the years.  it reminds me that living for yourself keeps you narrow minded and without -

do not resent your place in the story. do not imagine yourself elsewhere. do not close your eyes and picture a world without thorns, without shadows, without hawks. change this world. use your body like a tool meant to be used up, discarded, and replaced, our comfort is not the goal in this life. "

motherhood can be very uncomfortable at times, days can be hard but it helps me to remember even on hard days my life is forming other human lives.  sacrifice is powerful.  sometimes mom’s resent when they are unable to to what they want,  but Galatians says to “use your freedom to serve one another in love; “  i have freedom to serve in love and this changes me and them.  that is pretty wonderful.

photographing this family was a complete honor for me - not only is mo a natural beauty, she is full of love, light and wisdom. you'll see this come out in the photos.

meet the wears family - josh, monique, jayden + siah .

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welcome to the world, river

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welcome to the world, river

flew to atlanta last weekend to photograph some beautiful families. one being my dear friend, morgan who i met a few years ago at the very first yeah field trip. og's. she just met her son a few days before. 

i was welcomed into her and andrew's home in marietta to photograph a sweet morning with them and their boy, river. 

always love documenting these first moments as a new family.

meet andrew, morgan and their adorable babe, river beatton.

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a nashville family session - the thomas family

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a nashville family session - the thomas family

while in nashville, i was lucky enough to photograph quite a few families -  first up, the thomas clan. 

since their home is in the early stages of getting built, we were lucky enough to shoot in the beautiful, wendell home located in east nash - it is minimal, warm and had the best light fixtures! it was the perfect space to document this season for the thomas family.

meet ryan, elizabeth, ollie + cedar . 

to book this beautiful home for stay or a possible shoot, click here or visit their instagram - @thewendellhome.

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smithville family session - welcome to the world, levi lake

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smithville family session - welcome to the world, levi lake

took a little drive to smithville to photograph the middleton's.

they were married in this very spot 11 years ago and are about to celebrate their anniversary here soon. they wanted to be photographed in a spot filled with memories and we couldn't have picked a better day--the light was golden and the environment was perfect for an adventure. & for the most exciting news, they just welcomed their second baby into the world, levi lake .

they reminded me why i love photographing families so much--they picked a spot that's nostalgic to them and one where they could wander and show their kids. i love this session so much and i am so so happy to share with you.

jamie, you are a maternal goddess and you radiate when you're around your sweet family.

welcome, levi - you're in good hands.

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an afternoon at trinity bellwoods park with amanda, paul + townes

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an afternoon at trinity bellwoods park with amanda, paul + townes

the first person i messaged when i knew i would be in toronto in june was my friend, amanda.

amanda has a beautiful spirit, she glows and she fills your heart with all the goodness that pours out of her. she taught me ceramics one summer back in college and ever since, i have found myself following along with her beautiful life. she has story after story from traveling the world and creating beautiful work.

three years ago, she invited me to watervale, michigan to photograph her and paul's wedding. it was a weekend full of magic and while there, i got to know paul a little better and celebrate the two of them.

fast forward to now and they have brought a beautiful little boy into the world named, townes - how great is that name? he's already so full of life just as they are.

while in toronto, i spent part of the afternoon with them in a charming little neighborhood near ossington + queen st. w while also walking through the gorgeous, trinity bellwoods park. 

it was a joy to document my dear friends and their little babe, townes at 9 months.

a + p + townes, these are for you .

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odin turns one: a sweet family session in columbia, mo

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odin turns one: a sweet family session in columbia, mo

it's always a joy photographing this family in their beautiful home in columbia. cheri has great style and has really made a cozy, light filled home for her and her family.

her son, odin is now one - my, how time flies! i photographed the werner's in their home on a sunny saturday in april. we ended the session at their favorite new park just down the road.

enjoy.

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a sunday at home with the ashworth's: meet bj, caitlin, worth and mills

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a sunday at home with the ashworth's: meet bj, caitlin, worth and mills

i spent a sunday in april at the home of the ashworth family. the same week of the shoot, i got a text from caitlin saying, "my son just asked who i was texting so i showed him your picture, he gasped and said, oh momma! she looks like ariel, i will be her friend." a willing subject he was.

when i pulled up, i saw worth staring out the window at me. he let me in and said "hi, i'm worth." with nobody else around, i got to know him immediately - he told me his age, he told me about his birthday party themes and showed me his room. this is always one of my favorite parts about photographing families - getting to know them. the real them.

caitlin and bj had shakey graves playing on the record player as i walked into their home to get a tour and i was immediately thinking, this is gonna be good.

we had so many moments together that made me smile and laugh and love my job. they have a lovely home with little touches of who they are and a cozy backyard with a handmade wooden table where they share meals, string lights, a hammock and a trampoline - all of which we utilized, just as they would if i weren't there. 

i won't ever forget pulling out of their driveway and mills and worth both yelling "bye!" and "see you later, alligator" over and over again, waiting for me to say "after awhile, crocodile." 

a memorable one, for sure. already looking forward to the next time i can photograph them.

after showing caitlin the photographs last night, she came back with "they're just so lovely and bright and we look like ourselves." that right there is the feeling i want all of my families to have after they see what they are like in my eyes.

i asked caitlin her favorite part about motherhood. "my favorite part of motherhood is the laughter. someone is saying crazy things, or their pants are falling down or they're making ridiculous faces. there is such a sweetness in the struggle of these early years. it's equal parts joy and sanctification, but the laughter is a constant soundtrack."

music is a huge part of how caitlin and bj fell in love and how this family came to be. the lyrics to a grady spencer song is part of their every day mantra - 

people are goin' crazy. slippin' and slidin' away, these days are lookin' so hazy and i gotta say today. i've never been so very happy. i've never been so glad. i never mean to sound sappy, but there ain't nothin that's bad.

meet the ashworth's.

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at home with the davis family: meet eric, grace, theo, julian and their littlest, zeke

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at home with the davis family: meet eric, grace, theo, julian and their littlest, zeke

"there is no single effort more radical in its potential for saving the world than in a transformation in the way we raise our children."

- marianne williamson

i feel as though i know so many mothers who have all boys. it's always fun hearing the differences in personalities. i asked grace about each of her boys. "i love how caring theo is. in my last few weeks of pregnancy, when i was miserable, he asked me how i was feeling and what he could do to help. with julian, i love his ability to make people laugh. he is super witty and everywhere he goes, people are drawn to him. he has so much life and heart in such a little body. we don't know zeke well yet, but i do love his little lip and his sweet little sounds."

i wanted to know the adoption story of their firecracker, julian. "honestly God gave him to us and there really wasn't a way out. we just kept knocking on doors and now were here. we got him when he was 18 months and then fostered him for 6 months before we finalized the adoption. adopting him and being an adoptive family has been hard, but we both have so much peace knowing that him being in our family wasn't some idea that we concocted and strove for - it's much bigger than that."

on their cozy home away from distraction -

"we dreamt of having a home where our kids could just run and play long after the sun goes down. to live less chaotic, busy lives and do life a little slower. i guess to be able to say yes to things that ultimately serve what we feel like our family is supposed to be."

this home is just that. i felt at peace and watching this family be is why i do what i do. all the unexpected moments that can happen in a matter of one morning makes the shoot all the more special to me - the gum getting stuck on eric's arm, the baby chicks, eric chasing theo around with hairspray to fix his hair, zeke's little smile in his nursery while grace rocked him and the whole fam running inside after it started raining. 

 

that said,

prepare your hearts.

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welcome to the world, madden

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welcome to the world, madden

in-home shoots have quickly became a favorite of mine to photograph. there is something about being invited into a family's home and watching them in their natural environment - seeing their every day and watching them be.

dani + abram welcomed me into their 1959 mid-century beauty to photograph their new baby girl, madden . 

here are a few favorites from our time together.

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