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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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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Sacramento – match portraits

I was so thrilled when the Sacramento chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters reached-out to me to photograph some of their matches this summer. I have been doing work with Make-A-Wish for several years and find working with non-profits to be extremely fulfilling and fun work. Seeing how your images are used to help raise money and encourage engagement feels damn good in a world where digital images are often passed quietly into the night between you and your clients, leaving you with no idea how or where you work is used, let alone appreciated.

I photographed a number of “matches” (Big + Little) over two separate days in Land Park this July and August and loved getting to know a little more about them. Some had been matched for weeks and some for months but the connection between them – the trust, the joy – was real and genuine. It was a great reminder that the best gift we can give our children – and I don’t just mean the ones we’re blood-related to – is our time and attention.

Scroll down to see some of the matches and, at the end, some materials that BBBS has already sent me, showing how some of my images will be used. So cool!

If you know of a nonprofit that could benefit from some professional photographs as part of their marketing and fundraising efforts (portraits like these or documenting their work), I offer a 50% discount on my hourly rate. Please connect us. I would love to help them!

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Sacramento nonprofit photos Memories by Michelle

cBig Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Sacramento nonprofit photos Memories by Michelle

TADAA!

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Gillian – Old Sacramento Senior Session

It was so refreshing to hang with Gillian a couple of weekends ago for her senior session in Old Sacramento. Gillian is bright, eloquent, unpretentious, and full of so much quiet confidence and grace that she hasn’t quite yet realized she possesses. She is, in short, a breath of fresh air and the kind of young woman that gives you hope for the future of our world.

Gillian is graduating this year and thinking about the future. That heady time that I still remember so well, rich with hope and the sweet sensation of the world being at your feet, your life stretching out before you in endless branches of possibility. And yet Gillian is far more mature than I was at her age, far more steady on her feet, and, I project, headed for bigger things than she can probably imagine right now. I think much of this potential and grace comes from her time in the theatre, and her mom, Carole, who is a neighbor to my sister-in-law. She not only bears an uncanny physical resemblance to mom but I sense that they also share that same interesting mix of inner strength and outer humility. I loved my time with them both.

More senior sessions like this, please!<3

Memories by Michelle Photography Old Sacramento Senior Session

Memories by Michelle Photography Old Sacramento Senior Session

Memories by Michelle Photography Old Sacramento Senior Session

Memories by Michelle Photography Old Sacramento Senior Session

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