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The Waterbury / Cravens Family – Fair Oaks family photographer

I have known this family since their oldest, Atticus, was a baby. I worked with his father, Brett, at Lyon Real Estate’s head office more than a decade ago now. I remember Atticus frequently sauntering up to my cubicle, his red-cheeked little face alive with curiosity and displaying a huge, naughty grin. Brett would follow shortly after, laughing, and yet a little proud at how social his son was.

He would tell me stories of “losing” Atticus in Starbucks while he was ordering, his son off at a table somewhere, conversing with a stranger. Brett loved his family and we would share many end-of-workday conversations in the spaces between cubicles talking about them and about life in general. We disagreed on politics but jovially so. Brett had an amazing wit and generosity of spirit that I always enjoyed.

When my daughter was born, Brett, his wife, Jessica, Atticus, and the then terrible-twos Micah, came to visit us in the hospital. I remember laughing so hard that it hurt because Micah wanted to grab and play with and climb on anything that wasn’t screwed-down (and possibly some things that were.) The main casualties were the barf bags. I remember her being obsessed with the barf bags, which we allows her to abscond with.

And then, one day, Brett was with us no more. Gone far too soon and far too suddenly. His Facebook page is still active and, occasionally, I will go to tag a friend on a post or something and a photo of him and Atti, taken by a good friend and fellow photographer of mine, will pop up. It still doesn’t seem real that he is no longer here.

I see him now in Atti’s smile and Micah’s cheekiness. I feel him in the innate joy and playfulness that he gave them. And I am thrilled that their family has once again been made complete with Whitney, who I met for the first time during this session.

Whitney’s warm, quiet, but large presence makes me feel like he has arms and heart enough to wrap around the whole family. You can see from the obvious easy affection between him and the kids that this is true. I know that Brett would want nothing more than that: to know his family is loved and cared for. 

I am so thankful for the opportunity to reacquaint myself with this family after too long being strangers, to meet Whitney, and feel the beautiful colliding with past and present, held together by so much love and joy.

Now booking newborns and intimate weddings for 2019

Know of someone having a baby or getting married next year? Please connect me. I have wonderful packages for newborn photo sessions in the Sacramento area that include gift registries and albums, as well as affordable coverage for smaller weddings in the Sacramento region and beyond. Get in touch here.

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The Pattersons – Orangevale Family Photographer

I know the Pattersons through my daughter’s school. They’re one of those families that just have their priorities straight. They welcome curiosity, playfulness, creativity, and adventure into their lives, while holding fast to their integrity and also letting slide some of the things that get the rest of us hung up and twisted around our own axles. I know they would disagree with my assessment because they are also, fundamentally, humble, but I stand by it.

Mom, August, and I met for the first time at Bounce U during one of the million birthday parties of school friends that we attended between Kindergarten and second grade. (Thank God those are over!) I loved her immediately. Funny, sarcastic, blunt, strong, powerful, compassionate, and genuine, she also happens to be my mothering hero. Four wonderful kids who are all the right mixtures of wilful, polite, caring, and fearless, and somehow she still manages to direct school plays, launch book clubs, teach as a sub, and volunteer all over the place. I couldn’t keep up with her, no way. I am inspired and uplifted whenever I hang out with her. 

Photographing this family is a joy. They show up, they participate, they throw themselves in whole-heartedly, and then, when let loose, they play without prompt. They make my job so easy. Add in some beautiful Fall light at Orangevale Community Park (one of my favorite places for a family session) and you get pure gold….

Now booking newborns and intimate weddings for 2019

Know of someone having a baby or getting married next year? Please connect me. I have wonderful packages for newborn photo sessions in the Sacramento area that include gift registries and albums, as well as affordable coverage for smaller weddings in the Sacramento region and beyond. Get in touch here.

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The Tings – Carmichael Family Session

The Tings are family, And like all good photographers, I get to photograph family almost never, being busy with sessions with other people’s families at this time of the year. So, I was thrilled that we were able to get something on the schedule this Fall.

The last time I photographed them, my niece, Adah, was possibly 4 or 5 with pigtails, and the photo of her leaning out of a car window ended up on the cover of a local magazine. Now she is almost a teenager, with more than a hint of her grandmother’s grace in her smile and stature. And, in her brother, Ezra, a week to-the-day older than my own daughter, I see traces of his grandpa James, mixed with his maternal family’s eyes. Seeing it all, and how a different family member flickers in and out as they grow – and even in a moment, as their expressions change – is one of the incredible things about watching children in your family grow.

Memories by Michelle Photography Carmichael Family Session

Memories by Michelle Photography Carmichael Family Session

Now booking newborns and intimate weddings for 2019

Know of someone having a baby or getting married next year? Please connect me. I have wonderful packages for newborn photo sessions in the Sacramento area that include gift registries and albums, as well as affordable coverage for smaller weddings in the Sacramento region and beyond. Get in touch here.

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The Evans Family – Orangevale Family Session

I have known the Evans family for five years and this is the first opportunity I have had to photograph them. Their youngest, Lily, goes to school with my daughter and I have enjoyed capturing her on field trips and school celebrations but the rest of her family have been a tad camera shy. In those five years mom, Nicole, has also become a good friend, and we share book club discussions and Halloweens together. It goes without saying that I love this family.

Families tell me all the time “we’re not good in front of the camera”. I totally don’t believe them. There really is no such thing. There are only bad photos of good people.

Now booking newborns and intimate weddings for 2019

Know of someone having a baby or getting married next year? Please connect me. I have wonderful packages for newborns that include gift registries and albums, and affordable coverage especially tailored for smaller weddings in the Sacramento region and beyond. Get in touch here.

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The Tongs – Auburn Fall Family Session

I photographed this fun-loving family 5 years ago now. Crazy! Not sure where the time went but so glad that I had the opportunity to connect again back at their grandparents’ family home in Auburn. Just like last time, we ran, explored, giggled, hugged, and there was even an explosive laughter incident complete with snorted boogers. (I spared you those photos but the moment was utterly priceless.)

I hope it’s not 5 years before we get to do this again because these kids will be teens and they’ll be far too cool for my antics.

Auburn Fall Family Session

Auburn Fall Family Session

Auburn Fall Family Session

Now booking newborns and intimate weddings for 2019

Know of someone having a baby or getting married next year? Please connect me. I have wonderful packages for newborns that include gift registries and albums, and affordable coverage especially tailored for smaller weddings in the Sacramento region and beyond. Get in touch here.

 

 

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2017 // 365

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”―Haruki Murakami

I completed the second year of my photo-a-day project on December 31st, 2017. When I started documenting my days on Jan 1, 2016, I never thought I’d make it through a year, let alone two. And, for sure, this year I almost gave up many times.

It was a really tough year. The toughest. On many days, I felt like a little rowboat caught out on the ocean in the perfect storm. I have never felt so adrift, so at-sea, in so many areas of my life at once. It brought me to my knees. It was energy-sucking, confidence draining, emotional nudity. It was humbling. I questioned everything, including myself, and I’m still not sure that I’m standing on solid ground yet. Have you ever got off of a boat after a long, rough voyage? For a while after you step on land, you find yourself still internally swaying, not sure if it’s the ground beneath you moving, or if your equilibrium hasn’t yet caught up to the fact that you’re finally off the boat. That’s how it feels right now. Shaky. Uncertain. But also a bit of a relief.

Looking back on these images was hard and helpful. Hard because it’s like I began the year in one life and left it in another. Helpful because I realized that, along the way, there were many moments I wouldn’t want to write-off.

And that’s why I’m going to continue in 2018. Who knows what the next 12 months will bring my way? Who knows what life I will be standing in on December 31st of this year? And who knows how grateful I will be for the reminder of the little moments along the way.

365 Photography Project

365 Photography Project

 

Maybe I can’t be with you every single day but I can document the flavor of your life in a documentary session. Trust me, every memory has its value, even the moments that don’t feel like they need memorializing at the time. Get in touch to learn more.

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