children

MINI SESSIONS 2018: WEEKEND 1

Family photo season is here once again! I love doing mini sessions for a lot of reasons — efficiency, budget, locations, and kid-friendliness. I often have parents say, “Well, I’m not sure that 20 minutes is long enough for my kids… They are kind of unpredictable.” Sister. Brother. Hold the phone and slow your roll. Let me tell you — 20 minutes is PLENTY for any child under 5. I have found that you get the best smiles and most cooperative toddlers and babies in the first 5 minutes, when I and my camera are novelties. Also, they start to doubt your bribes are really coming through after that (law of diminishing returns, I think).

My first mini session weekend was a smash success, and I think I found a new favorite location! I posted up at Raleigh Union Station, a gorgeous new train station in the coolest part of downtown Raleigh (which was not at all cool when I was growing up in the Raleigh suburbs). Rolling up in my Honda Odyssey amongst a swarm of 20-somethings on Bird scooters made me feel decidedly uncool, but I quickly forgot that and just enjoyed these sweet families, most of whom are my good friends. :)

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Let me know if you are interested in booking a session at this location, or anywhere else! The light here is great, there’s a cafe across the street, lots of good food nearby, and it is climate and weather controlled (praise) while still retaining great light! Win win win.

MINI SESSIONS 2017

Last December, I hosted my first weekend of mini sessions, and had such a blast! I was getting tons of requests for family photos for holiday cards and was literally running out of time/weekends in which to accommodate everyone. This ended up being a GREAT solution. I loved it, and I think my clients loved it too. Why? 

-Mini sessions are only 20 minutes as opposed to 40-60 minutes (wayyyy better for little kids!)
-Fewer options - sometimes we can be paralyzed by too many choices, in this case posing and grouping. A shorter time frame forces us all to focus and get excellent shots in a little window. 
-Budget-friendly!

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I had a great time thinking through details, especially things that would make it fun for the kids. I brought snacks and candy (bribery always works!) in my kids' little red wagon, with balloons attached so that I could just be a mobile photo station in Forest Hills Park and allow people to find me quickly. I had some goofy Christmas props, and every family got to take home a special Christmas ornament. 

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I will definitely do more of this this fall, probably in late October or early November, to give you ample time to get your cards ordered for Christmas. Stay tuned for more info!

ROBERSON FAMILY

This shoot came during a two or three week streak where I was in Downtown Durham ALL the time. Though it's not that far from us, I don't venture there very often, because I have this big mental block about city centers, chiefly because of parking. Thankfully, in Durham, it's pretty easy, and SO worth it! This city has so many cool little pockets and treasures, and I'm discovering new ones all the time. 

The Robersons are the new senior pastors of King's Park, and though I've known OF them for many years, this was my first opportunity to get to actually KNOW them while we walked around downtown. They are so kind and humble, and I was impressed by what attentive and compassionate listeners both Reggie and Bomi are, even while keeping their three sweet kids together. 

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I'm so thankful the Robersons were willing to explore downtown with me! We met at the bull statue and found pretty textures and patterns in the storefronts for their family photos. The historic Methodist church had the best tiny prayer garden that they very kindly let us use for some shots, which was a nice, peaceful break from the urban vibe we had going for the rest of the session. 

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These brothers were CRACKING me up the whole time... Every family has (at least) one clown, and I think you can see who it is here. I know family pictures can be exasperating for everyone, but I always have a great time capturing these hilarious personalities. 

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SWEETEST little Shiloh! Can you EVEN with these eyes!??!

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In addition to pastoring King's Park with Reggie and raising Nick, David, and Shiloh, Bomi also works at Duke with undergraduates. And ps, her dress is handmade, so all around #goalz. 

I loved getting to watch Bomi and Reggie interact with each other and their kids — I learn so much about parenting and marriage watching families like the Robersons. It's an added bonus to this already fantastic job!

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Robersons, it was such a pleasure getting to know you and capture the beauty of your family in this season! Thanks for giving me the honor of doing this with you. : )

KIEFER FAMILY

The Kiefers! I love these people. We've been in the same church together for a long time, and they serve on staff and bless the city of Durham so much. Every time I am around Charles and Tiffany, I am inspired, challenged, and encouraged. Tiffany has been like an older sister to me since we moved back to North Carolina, and has gently and persistently invited me into several different leadership/service roles, which I probably would not have pursued on my own. She has changed me and helped me grow so much as a person, wife, and mother in the last two and a half years. 

So I was super honored when she asked me to do their family photos! Look at all these beautiful babies!

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We spent a muggy October evening exploring the American Tobacco Campus (which is such a gem in downtown Durham), practicing our silly faces and high jumps. 

Also, how awesome are Joseph's yellow pants? I need them!

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I love seeing the broad range of personalities in big families — each one of these kids is so endearing and quirky and wonderful, and it's fun for me to try to capture these aspects of them in photographs. Also, they all have the BEST hair. 

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Kiefers, you guys are amazing and I am privileged to know you! Thanks for the honor of photographing your wonderful family. 

JONES FAMILY

This family is so dear to our family. I knew Matt & Jess before I moved to the West Coast, but since moving back, we've become great friends. They look to my parents for marriage/parenting wisdom, and now I feel like Dave and I do the same with them! These people are super humble, kind, generous, and HILARIOUS. Their girls, Lily and Ellie, are a trip, and are not only beautiful, but always overflowing with life and energy. They fill every room (and outdoor amphitheater 😂) they come into. In a word, the Jones family is FUN. 

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They have also been foster parents to two sweet boys since last year, and so some of the photos have their faces blocked for their privacy and protection. These boys, especially because of the age they are, had me laughing our whole session. Keep your eyes peeled for the best photo of the day when J threw up a dab. 

We spent an hour running up and down the stage and steps of Forest Theater on UNC's campus. This was a favorite spot of mine in college, and is a GREAT location for family pictures. If you ever have the chance to see a performance here, do it! It's always so gorgeous and entertaining. 

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These beautiful sisters!! Can you EVEN!?

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Matt and Jess both went to Carolina, and Matt was in the acapella group Psalm 100 while in college, so it was fun to have him playing music in this amphitheater on campus. The girls were WAY into the singing, and it turned into some screaming hilarity by the end. 

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I love you, Joneses!! Thanks for your friendship, and for the honor of photographing your beautiful family.