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The Leddy Family – Placerville Photo Session

When your photography mentor, the person who has pushed you the hardest throughout your career to up your game, has believed in you and your potential even when you were ready to throw in the towel, and who herself has a successful decades-long photography business built on a reputation for beautiful, high-quality images, asks you to take her family photos… first, you vomit into the toilet, then you hover over the “n” button on your keyboard, before scolding yourself for being a coward and then saying “absolutely, I would love to!” (Closely followed by a large glass of Chardonnay to slow down your heart rate.)

Lisa Richmond is an incredible person: caring, driven, creative, dedicated, funny, a true professional. And, in truth, despite my nerves, I was honored to have been asked to photograph her and her family this past December.

Lisa is also a take-charge type person (we have this in common) which meant that I had to walk into this session ready to run it and run it my way. We are both awfully nice people but, when we sense that their is a vacancy of leadership, we’ll step into the space and do our thing. So, I was determined that, no matter what she and her family ended up thinking of the photos I delivered, I would succeed or fail on my own merits. That meant no doubt, no jitters, no second-guessing myself, forgetting who was in front of the camera and focusing on getting in the flow.

It helped that Lisa chose the location (I had to give her something, hehe) and that the light there on this particular winter afternoon was absolutely magical. It also helped that her entire family laughed more than any family I have ever photographed, ever. Sure, there was some element of awareness around how their position and reactions would play to the camera but, in general, I don’t think I have ever been with a family for whom laughter was so clearly a natural part of who they are together.

Jaz and Ember are both in boarding school on the east coast (cool fact: the same boarding school that Lisa attended as a teenager) and so I know this session came at an important time for her, coming to terms with the empty-nest syndrome earlier than many moms who typically don’t see their kids fly the coup until college.

I also know that the girls miss home. They love spending time with their friends but not being able to “escape” (their words) from the drama of school can sometimes be hard

I hope these photos give them all a little comfort when they’re missing one another.

Our session ended with some photos of Lisa for her website, camera in-hand, as I’m usually experiencing her.

I loved every minute of photographing Lisa and her family. They made my job easy. The best reward was Lisa’s smile and thanks at the end of our session, her appreciation and recognition for the energy I put into my sessions to help my clients be in the moment, let go, and have fun.

This morning, I got an email from her after she saw her photos for the first time…

omg…
just took a quick run through.
I am absolutely never letting another year go by without doing this.
I LOVE SEEING my family….we’ve grown so much, we’ve worked so hard.
and we are still laughing..
and you caught it all. Thank you from the bottom, top and middle of my heart.

Mission accomplished.

Now booking newborn sessions and weddings for 2019

… as well as more family sessions and headshots. Click here to see my schedule

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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 Stephens Family – Sailor Bar Fair Oaks Session

It was a smokey afternoon before the first rains when I met the Stephens family at Sailor Bar in Fair Oaks. Friends of friends, the irony was that I had photographed those friends just that morning when the smoke from the Camp Fire had momentarily dissipated. It rolled in as the day progressed and cast a haze over the pond and river but didn’t stop us from having a wonderful session as the orange sun set.

Photographing two teenage boys was so fun. I loved making them cringe and snicker with dopey questions and mom kisses.

Sailor Bar Fair Oaks Session

Sailor Bar Fair Oaks Session

Sailor Bar Fair Oaks 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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