In my time dealing with chronic pain and injury, I have worked with three PCPs, two osteopaths, two massage therapists, an acupuncturist, two chiropractors, two orthopedic specialists, a neurologist, and no fewer than ten physical therapists.All had their own idea of what my body could and needed to do to find relief. And yet none of them have come close to providing the kind of relief that I find when I regularly attend a pilates or barre class at The Pilates Twist in Folsom, with owner, Hilary.
Hilary is an incredibly gifted person. She can casually watch 8 people arrive to her class, observe their gait and their posture, and then immediately tailor a routine that synchronizes with the physical needs of each person. When you’re in-class with Hilary, she doesn’t just go through the motions of teaching you en-masse, she’s paying attention to every single, unique body in the room and providing gentle guidance and adjustments specific to you, while challenging you and providing a great workout. I always leave her class feeling 3 inches taller and more physically free than when I went in. I also manage to get sore muscles without sparking pain cycles or injury, which is what happens with almost every other kind of workout I participate in.
So, when she asked me to capture her family as a gift to her father, I jumped at the chance.
We decided to keep it simple (which I find is generally the hallmark of all great sessions) and walk the trails behind her house to the local park with her husband, son, and two dogs. As the sun set into a beautiful, pink-hued sunset, we ran around the playground and enjoyed just the fun and easy togetherness of a regular family evening.
Let’s have some fun!
I love photographing families in Winter and Spring. It’s much easier to be fun and relaxed when it’s not 100 degrees. Get in touch to learn about my new Shortie sessions, which include a 45 minute session and all the digital images for a budget-friendly price.
Any time I get to spend with the Brandt family, I jump at the chance. They’re warm, open, playful, funny, and generous. So, when I had the opportunity to capture some of mom, Amber’s, extended family last month, I forgot I was supposed to be taking the month off and said YES!
I had met Amber’s parents a couple of times before but this was the first time I got to hang with her brother and his beautiful family. We met up at a small park in Folsom, did some of the “everyone get in the photo and smile” shots but then indulged my need for something more playful by playing games like red-light-green-light, a family chicken-dance, a group march, and finally some time on the swings. I know the group shots are what they came for, but I hope that in years to come they’ll be just as thankful for the candid photos of them having fun and being playful together.
I’ll admit that I generally am not a fan of shooting extended family sessions because it often turns into an entire session of wedding group shots that ends up being not a lot of fun for everyone. But since I know and have worked with the Brandt family many times, and knew they knew what to expect from me and how I roll in my sessions, I knew it wouldn’t be anything like that painful experience. If you’d love to get your extended family together and want something more than just the group shots, some memories of you laughing and playing and having fun together, then absolutely call me. I’m down!
I love capturing the unique spirit of families. I love finding *that thing* that friends and family know about them and seeing that come through in the photos so that people who have never met them before suddenly “get” them in a new way. It not only makes me feel fulfilled in the contemporary moment, the satisfaction that my client has photos that represent the best parts of who they are, but also in the historical moment, thinking about how these images may be found someday by their grandchildren or distant descendants who learn a little more about how they are from seeing these expressions, gestures, and places.
The Fong family have been friends of mine for 14, almost 15 years. It seems almost unbelievable that this is true but it is. They are a family driven by faith and dedication to doing the right and loving thing. They are also goofy and silly and prone to crazy faces and eye rolling and incessant bunny ears. As I was editing these photos, I cried a little because I felt I saw the people I know and love coming through each image and sharing themselves with me. I felt like I captured *that thing*.
Of course, the moment was extra special because these are my friends, my extended family even, but I can’t deny that there is an element of this in every session I capture for a family. I know it’s not “about me”. It’s most definitely about them, my clients, their family, but there’s a reason I picked up a camera instead of a paintbrush or a violin… and this is it.
Now booking 2018
Newborns – Intimate Weddings – Headshots
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Oh man, this family. They are like family to me. I photographed them 4 years ago for the first time, just before dad, Bruce, took off on his last deployment to Afghanistan. Then, found myself in the delivery room with Amber, acting as Bruce’s eyes from thousands of miles away, as his second daughter Mia was born. That shared experience somehow created a bond between us that I am so thankful for and that goes so much deeper than photography.
These folks are funny, playful, loving, full of life, energy, and love. Being around them makes me happy. We had a blast, cruising along the Humbug-Willow Creek Trail in Folsom.
Now booking 2018 Newborn Packages
I’m taking a shooting break the month of December to spend more time with family but am looking for families who are expecting a new baby in the new year. I have awesome 3-session packages that capture baby’s first days and milestones as well as all the family love and joy that comes from welcoming a newborn.
Click here to learn more
As much as I can’t imagine having four children of my own, I love photographing larger families. There are so many dynamics to capture, so much kid-like energy flowing through every moment. Often, we grown-ups lessen the joy in a session because we’re working so hard for perfect, for best behavior, for not messing up our Sunday best clothes. We stifle the moments of best connection when we’re worried about these things. When the moments between more directed shots are full of admonishments in preparation for the next shot, we miss something vital about who we are as a family, beyond the photo-ready smiles.
In larger families, I find there tends to be a certain surrender to the moment. Outnumbered and with life bringing you to the hard realization that you can’t control everything all the time, a certain freedom emerges. Not to let kids misbehave or be obnoxious necessarily but to stop controlling the moment to defend against the possibility. To let kids run and roam and climb and… be kids. Somewhere in this surrender, this liberty, I see the grown-ups relax too. I see honest smiles, I see real connection, I see the fabric of a family woven in front of my eyes and through the images they capture.
Thank you to the Patterson family for reminding me of how good that can be.
I have photographed the Rogers family every year now since their son, Nicholas, was born. The fun part of this annual ritual is seeing how much Nicholas has changed and how differently he responds to the camera.
When he was a toddler, it was very much about keeping him happy and engaged for the duration of the shoot. Then we moved to chasing him around as he defiantly tried to avoid the annoying camera lady. There was even this one time he crawled between a fence and into the path of an oncoming car in order to avoid having his photo taken. Good times. But then there were also water gun fights in the backyard and ice-cream dates with mom at the local creamery, leaf throwing fun with cousins in the park, and zoo adventures with grandma and grandpa. Every year, Nicholas keeps me on my toes while slaying me with his chubby little cheeks.
This year? He was ALLLLL about the camera. Cheesy-grin at-the-ready, he planned some of my shots, and hammed-it-up for me on every occasion. And then there was the time his mom told him that there might be a Saber Tooth Tiger on the trails at Effie Yeaw Nature Center. We spent the second half of our session searching fruitlessly for the tiger (thank goodness), looking behind trees, around corners, and in deep brush. The hunt was fun, however, and I hear that Nicholas wants to go back to see if he can catch that sneaky tiger unawares.
Love these folks…
Want to hunt some Saber Tooth Tigers with me?
I’m all booked-up for Fall sessions, sadly. But I’m booking for 2018. If Fall was too busy to fit your family session in, or if you have a milestone birthday or anniversary coming up, let’s chat about a cozy winter session. I’m thinking hot chocolate with whipped cream, hats and scarves and blankets, and maybe even some snow. Get in touch if you’re interested in summa that.