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The final session with the Brandts

The Brandt family will always have a special place in my heart. I photographed them in 2013 in this session when they were just a family of 3 before dad, Bruce, was deployed, and mom, Amber, was expecting their long-awaited 2nd child, Mia.

Then, because Bruce wasn’t going to be able to attend Mia’s birth, I offered my services to photograph her birth, to be Bruce’s eyes for the evening. Mia’s birth story is here. We still talk about that shared experience in a way that makes me feel so privileged. And now Mia is 6!

There have been a few other sessions since in the remaining years but this one will now go down as being the absolute most special.

Amber specifically opted to take my last available session date so we could celebrate and put a period on the last 10 years with dinner in Historic Folsom. It was the perfect way to end MbyM and look forward to a new chapter in our friendship that maybe doesn’t involve me hiding behind a lens.

And, if you’ve missed the long goodbye, yes this is the last session for Memories by Michelle. I’m not putting the camera down, just creating some space for new and exciting things to emerge. For now, I’ll continue to take commercial, non-profit, and personal projects under my plain-ole name, Michelle Carter. So, if you know of something that fits that bill, please continue to refer me.

This space will stay active for a little while and I’ll share more details here soon about where you’ll see new work.

Thank you all for your support and enjoy the amazing, warm, generous, and joyful Brandt family. These people I have met in the last 10 years are the greatest blessing. I’m forever thankful.

the-final-session-with-the-brandts
the-final-session-with-the-brandts
the-final-session-with-the-brandts
the-final-session-with-the-brandts
the-final-session-with-the-brandts
the-final-session-with-the-brandts

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Downtown with the Rogers Family

If you’ve been following my work for a while now, the Rogers family are familiar faces. This was my 7th year photographing them (although we’ve numbered more than 7 sessions, at this point) and definitely one of my favorites, if not THE favorite.

What I love about Sara, Jeremy, and Nicholas, is that they want to blend more traditional family portraits with real life experiences and documentary shots. Which is how we found ourselves starting our Saturday evening off on the steps of the Capitol, strolling through Capitol Park, and then walking through downtown Sacramento to the seasonal, outdoor ice rink.

Fun fact, I used to take figure skating lessons when I was younger, and for several years. I was decent, you know, with some spins and jumps, and a good Foxtrot game, but these days standing upright is my goal when I’m on the ice thanks to my wonky pelvis and knee. That said, I did consider – for a millisecond – strapping on my white figure skates and following them around the rink. And then I realized how large the bill would be if I fell (camera equipment and personal equipment) and thought better of it, staying safely on the sidelines with a longer lens.

I’m glad I did. I totally loved the challenge of trying to capture them together as a family between the desperately clinging hands of scores of kids frightened to let go of the edge.

I will miss photographing this family every year but I feel like we went out with a bang. And now Sara and I are friends on Facebook so we’ll be able to stay connected, whatever the future brings.

Enjoy this downtown adventure with the Rogers family!

downtown ice skating photo session
downtown ice skating photo session
downtown ice skating photo session
downtown ice skating photo session
downtown ice skating photo session
downtown ice skating photo session
downtown ice skating photo session
downtown ice skating photo session
downtown ice skating photo session

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The Echeverria Family

Old Fair Oaks Village, CA

This family reached out to me after they saw a photo I took of my daughter’s overnight field trip on The Balclutha in San Francisco, posted on the school Facebook page. I knew their youngest from last year’s school production of Suessical the Musical (my girl is a theatre kid for sure) and it was fantastic to meet the rest of the family.

Mom, Kristin, and I had never met but I loved her right away and wish we had had more opportunities to run into one another at school. She has the biggest, broadest laugh, and such a carefree nature which genuinely rubs off on the rest of the family.

We had so much fun getting to know one another, walking down to the Fair Oaks Walking Bridge over the American River, and back again into Fair Oaks village. The weather was Fall-perfect.

Here are some of my faves…

Fair Oaks Village Family Session
Fair Oaks Village Family Session
Fair Oaks Village Family Session
Fair Oaks Village Family Session
Fair Oaks Village Family Session
Fair Oaks Village Family Session
Fair Oaks Village Family Session
Fair Oaks Village Family Session
Fair Oaks Village Family Session
Fair Oaks Village Family Session
Fair Oaks Village Family Session

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The Barbin Family

Johnny Cash Trail, Folsom

Johnny Cash Trail photo session Rainbow Bridge  Folsom

Welcome back to the Barbin family who I last photographed in 2014.

I think it’s fair to say the kids have grown a bit in the last five years. As they generally do, of course, but I almost did a double-take when Abby stepped out of the car in Old Folsom a couple of weeks ago. That sweet little girl is now a gorgeous young woman!

In 2014 we explored the trails of Apple Hill. This year we walked the Johnny Cash Trail in Folsom, catching some beautiful light, and ending back riverside, near Rainbow Bridge.

We had a ton of fun along the way, as you can see. So awesome to be able to compare then and now…

Johnny Cash Trail photo session
Johnny Cash Trail photo session
Johnny Cash Trail photo session
Johnny Cash Trail photo session
Johnny Cash Trail photo session
Johnny Cash Trail photo session

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The Fong Family

Old Sacramento 2019

If you’ve been following along for a while, it’ll be no secret to you that this family holds a special place in my heart. They were one of my first photo sessions ever, a decade ago, and are like family to me. I raced to the hospital to be one of the first to hold both Noelle and Gabriel after they were born, and consider their mom, my friend, Joy, to be one of the biggest-hearted, warm, and caring people I have ever met. Our friendship story has been told many times but the tl;dr is that we are the unlikeliest of friends and that, alone, makes our friendship special.

Noelle and Gabriel have turned into the most amazing kids: bright, funny, polite, confident, and loving. I love that they have a playful side, just like their mom, and I love seeing it come through in some of these images. They may be teenagers (or almost teenager in Gabriel’s case) but they are still sweet kids at heart.

I love them all so much and will miss our annual photo sessions.

Old Sacramento Family Session
Old Sacramento Family Session
Old Sacramento Family Session
Old Sacramento Family Session
Old Sacramento Family Session

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