Kait and Winter

Mother and Child

I never approach a session that I am not wanting to be at my best. I start preparing hours (days really) before the time that we actually meet, thinking through poses and working out how to keep things moving smoothly and creating a rough shot list in my head. I troubleshoot and contemplate things like where the sun is going to be when in relation to where we will be. And I think about you. What angles will be most flattering, how to catch the light just right, the best ways to capture your connection with each other and how to make you comfortable in front of my camera.

Every. Single. Session.

But when you are photographing another photographer you really want to be at the top of your game. Even if you’re friends with the other photographer and have known them for practically half of their life. Even if you have done their senior pictures, hidden in bushes to capture the moment their love proposed, photographed their engagement pictures, bridal portraits and their wedding.

It helps on the other hand though because they really get what you’re doing. They understand the process and are pretty much up for anything, even letting their baby sit in a creek.

All that is to say I loved doing a mother and child session with Kait and her baby girl a couple of weeks ago! They were great and relaxed, there was cloud cover so we had fabulous light, and it was early in the day so the temps were bearable. You really couldn’t have asked for more out of a session.

There is just something so precious about the bond between a parent and child.

Our time together was really clicking along and Winter was about as adorable as can be. Her sweet little cheeks are so stinkin’ adorable, don’t you think? And she was so happy to be in the water!

Like really really happy.

Kait and I both knew as we stepped into the creek that the pictures were going to be phenomenal and after I got home I realised just how right we were. They are just about some of the best portraits I have ever taken. I mean, just look at her sweet little profile. How could they not be?

Kait, how special it was to do these pictures of you and Winnie! Thank you for the opportunity and please can we do it again sometime?


McElroy Sweetness

Mother and Child

I love when things come together in a neat and tidy circle. As I started back with photography I spent considerable time thinking about what kind of work I wanted to do, the types of sessions, the business I wanted to create. One of the the ideas that is deeply rooted in these musings is a desire to celebrate motherhood and femininity. The idea of doing mother and child sessions is certainly not a new one but one I want to keep crafting and developing. Thankfully I have friends that are willing to indulge me in this work and back in May I was able to share a few different sessions of this sort with two of them being sisters-in-law.

Because I like those neat and tidy circles, when I found out Chrisann, another McGee family mama, was going to be visiting I crossed my fingers that we would be able to do a mother and child session with her. I was conflicted over asking because I know time with her family is precious and I didn’t want to take away from that but she was agreeable and we made it happen and oh, dear goodness, I am so glad we did!

I have photographed Chrisann many times over the years in family pictures, some engagement pictures, and we even did a sunrise bridal session so there was something particularly fun about getting to photograph her in this stage of life too.

Just look at how precious her babies are!

I have other pictures of Sophia smiling but this particular shot just stops me in my tracks.

And Jonathon is just a great big chunk of love! His happy gets all over his face when he smiles and you just want to eat him up.

Elisabeth Elliot said that the process of shaping a child shapes the mother as well. Chrisann, motherhood is shaping you in beautiful ways and your children are precious. Thank you for letting us spend this time together so that my McGee mama circle is closed.

The First Time

Mother and Child

I love being a photographer. Especially when I get to photograph different families that are part of one bigger family. On Tuesday I shared a mother and children session and I am delighted to be sharing a mother son session today from within that same family. The two sisters-in-law are married to brothers and the little guy today is just as adorable as his cousins, don’t you think?

I actually did their session first when the wildflowers were more in bloom which made for such a lovely background. I have been so looking forward to sharing these and now that they have been viewed and enjoyed by their recipients for Mother’s Day you can bask in all of the gorgeousness of a mother and son.

I have known this sweet mama’s husband for quite a long time and it has been such a joy getting to know her when they moved back here after meeting and marrying while he was in Idaho for college. She has the most pleasant and gentle demeanor and is also a very talented artist. Her watercolors are just beautiful!

Little man was a huge fan of the grass and as I was culling through the pictures I loved how his little toes were peeking through.

I haven’t had the opportunity to do many mother son sessions but this next image will probably remain one of my all time favorites no matter how many more I may take.

He was also happy to sit in mom’s lap and read a book. Just how precious is this?

Elisabeth Elliot once said of motherhood, “A woman knows that no one can really say where the giving ends and the receiving starts.” There is a paradoxical beauty in mothering…it is both gentle and strong, an emptying out and simultaneously, a filling up.

I have so enjoyed the last few weeks of photographing mothers with their children! This session was just a little extra special though. I loved being able to be a part of her having something tangible to send her own mother and grandmother to mark in some way the transition of moving from daughter and grandchild to mother herself.

Mothering Little Ones

Mother and Child

For those of you who don’t know I am mother to five children. My oldest was born in 1995 and my youngest was born in 2006. The three middle children were born in 2000, 2001, and 2002. Yep, you read that correctly. I was pregnant three years in a row. As you can imagine the first five years of new millennium are sorta hazy to me. Parenting little ones is not for the faint of heart and requires a continuous watchful eye else the natives will stage a coup.

These dear friends of ours work with much grace, patience, and love to tend their young children and consequently they are a delight to be around. And the consequence of the consequently is this session was just so enjoyable! I had to wait to share their images because they were making their way to the homes and hearts of a couple of grandmothers but Mother’s Day has passed and I can finally put a few of my favorites here on the blog.

I have so enjoyed shooting at this particular field of wildflowers this year and although we did these on the tail end of the blooming season we had just enough color to make for a pretty landscape. I think the pretty flowers came in second place to the wild blackberries the kids picked and ate though. Regardless, the smiles were as plentiful as the berries and the pictures turned out just so lovely!

Whenever I do family sessions I try to make sure that among the group portraits I include smaller groupings as well. Individuals and just the siblings, just mom and dad, girls only and boys only, etc. This is probably one of my most favorite sibling images I have ever captured. Such beautiful children and since I know them personally I can tell you they really are a joy to be around.

I have three of my own so sister pictures have a special place in my heart. And honestly, have you ever seen so much beautiful hair?

And while I may not have brothers how can you look at these and not feel your heart flutter at the handsomeness?

The afternoon was so perfect with gorgeous light and happy cooperative subjects…it’s the kind of thing photographers dream about.

Dad is not pictured since these were part of my mother and child series but he is a teacher at my girl’s school. He and his lovely wife also run Fox’s Farmstead and it has been so interesting watching and learning about how they raise pastured animals and grow such an abundant garden. Right now they are raising chickens that will produce a clean high quality meat and soon you will be able to purchase them since they do sell to the public. They also have an abundance of goats and egg laying hens, and even a peacock and maybe a goose still hanging around. They practice regenerative farming and if nothing else you should check out their facebook page and see the amazing before and after photos of prepping their pasture land.

True story: last year they were raising pigs and since baby pigs are cute everytime people were over they wanted to see them. And they all came back talking about how these pigs smelled like maple syrup. I was skeptical but went on a pig smelling quest on one of my visits and sure enough, the big ol’ fat pigs did indeed smell like maple syrup! Apparently fat happy pigs who have plenty of room to roam give off the scent of syrup. Who knew?

Practically Perfect

Mother and Child

It is not unusual for a photographer to see a random spot and daydream about doing a shoot at that location. It’s how I have ended up in drainage ditches and such. (The pictures were fabulous from those sessions, btw.)

This session is a culmination of months of looking all starry eyed at the way light filtered through overgrown trees and brush around an old stone house that is next door to the home of some friends. The house actually belongs to a family member of our friends and they had let me shoot there before with one of my daughters. But there was something different in the way I was seeing the spot this year and I just couldn’t stop thinking about what kind of session I could do there.

But I also had this idea of taking the opportunity of Mother’s Day this month to do something specific that would focus on mothers and daughters. It all clicked together and since Heather just happens to live next door to the stone house and she has a precious baby girl who just happens to be the only girl with three older brothers I thought my chances were pretty good that my daydream would become a reality. I was excited when Heather agreed and it was as close to what I imagined and practically as perfect as it could be.

The light…the lovely green of spring…the beautiful mama and the most adorable little girl. This is how people get hooked on photography, y’all. Baby girl was a little hesitant at first but even that made for a sweet picture.

She warmed up to me though. Isn’t she just the cutest?

The whole thing from start to finish lasted maybe forty minutes but things just kept getting better and better and I probably could have kept shooting. It was so hard to stop.

I mean, just look at that glorious light spilling over these two!

But then we walked around back of the little stone house and even though the light gave us a completely different look I would be hard pressed to choose a favorite from either side. We went from light and airy to rich and creamy smooth.

All in all it was incredibly satisfying and I was so dang happy with the results! A great big thank you to Heather and little Miss R for being in front of my camera.