When I’m photographing a family session, I can feel the family’s energy and perpetual movement–and a low level of stress that doesn’t seem to dissipate. I know that some of this stress is related to having a photographer inside your own home, but when I think about my own family life, I realize that the hustle and fear are nearly always in the air. Some mornings it’s less than others, and some evenings it’s thick and disruptive.
As I look at these pictures, I don’t see the wildness that families fear will take center stage. I see the honesty. The kindness and comfort. I see a family experiencing parenting and life in the way that works for them. And over the years, they’ve learned to find what makes them happy amidst the mess that makes them human.
Meet the Green family and their version of perfect.
She turned one a few days before I arrived. Her birthday balloon floats above her high chair as a softly rustling reminder of how quickly time flies.
Her older brother is alive with more answers than questions. He’s curious, social, and sensitive. A surprisingly delightful combination. He’s already making his mark in this world. And if you ever have the opportunity to sit and listen to the thoughts he generously shares, I urge you not to waste the opportunity. He’s a wonder.
She’s like her brother. Inquisitive and expressive. At the same time, her energy is her own. It rolls and flows. When she’s older, I imagine she’ll have conversations that rival her brother’s.
After nearly ten years as a family photographer, there are a handful of pictures that stay with me long after I’ve clicked the shutter. The first picture in this collage is one of those memorable photos. I dashed downstairs to grab a different lens and saw a magical moment. And unposed, candid glimpse into their reality. Into their family dance.
No matter how disheveled these parents feel, they ground themselves in unexpected places. In a moment of quiet found in reading the book their preschooler hands them.
Or in the peace a sleepy baby and a warm bottle can provide.
This is their magic in their mayhem. When life feels fast, out of your control, and unstoppable, you take solace in the seconds rather than minutes–because sometimes that’s all you’ll find, and many times, it’s all you need.