Family

Lisa's Family Sesson

This session was one of my favorites, to date! Lisa found me on Instagram (yay!), and booked a sunset photo shoot. Lisa, her husband, and their two daughters were so natural in front of the camera, and let me capture some truly genuine moments. It was so much fun to work with them, and I am squealing at how colorful and beautiful these Colorado mountains and skies are! Enjoy!!

 

Elizabeth's Maternity Session

Elizabeth ("Liz") and her husband, Lawrence are welcoming their second baby girl in September. Their first daughter, Emmylou, will be turning five soon and is so excited to be a big sister! Harper (my daughter) and Emmylou actually go to preschool together, which is how Liz heard about my photography business!

We decided to go to Mount Falcon in Morrison, Colorado for a sunset session. I cannot stress enough how gorgeous and worthwhile it is to have photos taken the hour before the sun sets. The lighting and colors cannot be replicated at any other time of day. So even if you need to keep your kiddos up past their bedtime, IT'S WORTH IT!

Liz liked more posed photos while her husband enjoyed more of a candid approach. We incorporated both styles into her session and I could not be more thrilled with the results. Emmylou did a fantastic job the entire time, which is not the case for all children. I totally get how hard it is for kids to listen and be told what to do for an hour. As an anxious parent myself, I try to advise the parents to relax and just go with the flow when their kiddo isn't cooperating. We will still get awesome photos! However, Emmylou was seriously one of the best kids I have ever worked with, so no problem there!

Here are some of my favorites from their session. I can't wait to meet their baby girl in a few months!

 

Grace

Grace. Gracie. Oh my Gracious. You, little fireball, have surprised me time and time again. You are CRAZY, but in the best way possible. You test me time and time again, and you are arguably my most needy child. Or maybe it’s Harper. Or maybe it’s EVERYONE. I thought that since you were so quiet in utero, that you would also be this gentle soul once you arrived. When you were born, you had problems breathing. Well, you both did, but yours was more serious. I didn’t know how serious until several days later. I was wheeled back into my room with Izzy, while the doctors and nurses worked on you. Daddy stayed with you, but didn’t want to tell me anything so as not to worry me. So when you were finally delivered back to my room, I had no idea that there had been any extraordinary issues. Here are the notes:

NICU called to delivery due to twin gestation. Twin “B” with good cry and tone at delivery. Brought to warmer. Dried and stimulated. HR >100. Infant apneic (in layman’s terms, “suspention of breathing”). Delee suctioned to mouth and stomach for 2 milliliters of clear fluid. Infant stimulated but remained apneic. PPV (positive pressure ventilations) started at ~1.5 minutes of age with settings of 20/5 and initially room air started but oxygen was quickly increased to 30% based on pulse oximetry in the 60’s. Oxygen saturations improved to 75-85%. Infant with spontaneous onset of respirations at 5 minutes of age. Infant weaned to face-mask CPAP for 30 seconds and then to room air. Infant remained with regular respirations but oxygen saturations would dip to the mid 80’s in room. Infant given 30% blow-by oxygen at 22 minutes of age due to oxygen saturations in the 80’s. Oxygen discontinued at 25 minutes of ahe and infant’s oxygen saturations remained in the 90’s in room air for several minutes.

So there was that. Scary. We soon discovered that you had acid reflux, which meant you were in a lot of pain after eating. It was very difficult to helplessly watch you struggle, and after a doctor visit, several nurse calls, and a variety of medications, we found relief for you. Eventually you outgrew the reflux, but during that time we couldn’t go too many places comfortably with you. If we were going to be gone long enough that you needed to eat, we might as well stay home. It was a process to burp you and get you comfortable again, and you made quite a mess with spit up. With your twin sister and toddler sister also needing attention, it was just too much to handle in public. Your daddy and I would take turns for middle of the night feedings, and in the beginning you two slept in the swing or rock and plays next to the bed. You usually took a lot more time to feed because of the burping/spitting up/being in pain, so we would try to switch off with you every other night. And then I started to notice that you weren’t making eye contact…

When you were about 3 months old, I noticed that your eyes would “scan” the room, or seem to shake. You weren’t making eye contact with people or toys, and your gaze wouldn’t “follow” a toy we held in front of you. I contacted the pediatrician and we were referred to an eye specialist. You have a condition called nystagmus, which means you have uncontrolled eye movements. I was really worried because for some people with nystagmus, they can never drive or need surgery to correct the muscles. The verdict was to wait and see with follow up appointments every 6 months. I started taking you to a cranial sacral therapist in hopes that it would help. While your daddy was not convinced in its healing properties, I was willing to try anything. It is hard to say if it was the therapy or just time itself that lessened your nystagmus. You started making eye contact and reaching for toys, all to our great relief. You hit milestones within days of Izzy, if not before her! While your jerky/roving eye movements are still apparent, they have decreased in severity and have not seemed to affect your motor skills. It is still a waiting game with the eye doctor, and we won’t know how well you can see until you’re able to identify letters on a screen. Until then, I’ll continue to take you in twice a year.

I will oftentimes tell you that you are crazy because you get into everything. You climb on everything, stick your hands in everything, eat everything, all the while laughing because you know you’re not supposed to be doing it. You are also very accident prone, and I attribute that to your daredevil-ish and fearless attitude. I sometimes wonder if you actually get hurt more often , or if it just seems that way because you make a bigger deal of it. You and Izzy could endure the same injury and she would maybe complain a little and move on. But you would scream bloody murder and let everyone within 5 miles know that you fell down/bumped your head/tripped. We have a water table in the backyard that you like to climb into and stand in, then look up at me and laugh. On the other hand, if I turn the sprinkler on so you all can run in it (which you never do), Izzy will cry because she’s terrified. When I have taken you to the pool or the lake, you’ll walk right in without any sense of danger. You’ll try to run, fall (because who can run in water?), then laugh even if your face got in the water. Izzy will cling to me like a leech at the pool, but at the lake she will venture to the shoreline and play with the sand toys. I have to keep my eyes on you at all times, which is hard to do with two other young children running around. You’ve definitely been my most challenging child so far, but I’ve learned a lot from you.

You’ve started to get more snuggly recently, which is nice. As a baby, you didn’t particularly enjoy being rocked or prolonging the bedtime process. You go through phases where you are fiercely independent,  and other times it’s like you want to crawl back inside my uterus (no can do). You LOVE, and I mean L-O-V-E your pacifier and bottle. I have had the hardest time weaning you from the bottle, but it calms you down and makes you happy. I have tried to put water in it, but that pisses you off. It must have milk in it. You also have a bunny lovey that you’ve become attached to…so that’s three things. See what I mean about being needy? Only kidding.

You’re not as advanced as Izzy on the talking, but you’re picking up more and more words. Your most recent development is “cracker”. You keep me on my toes, that’s for sure. And I have a sneaking suspicion that you always will.

I love you, Grace Emelia.

 

Isabel

Isabel. Izzy. Izzy Bizzy Bee. You are bright, like the sun. You have a beaming personality and an infectious laugh. People always comment on what a great laugh you have. It is a deep, belly, genuine laugh. You can’t help but smile when you hear it. You have thick, blonde hair, and stunning blue eyes. You are the chubbiest of your sisters, but you’re “average” (50th percentile) according to statistics of other children your age. I’ve always loved your baby rolls and your round, full face. When I was pregnant with you and Grace, I could always feel you move more. You reassured me that you were there, and that you were ok. It gave me a sense of relief and joy in a time full of anxiety. Grace didn’t move as much, and I worried about her. But you, you were always there. Thank you for that.

Because you were the more active baby, we felt that Isabel/”Izzy” was more fitting. You were also the bigger one, but ever so slightly. You only weighed 4 more ounces at birth. From the get-go, you were the easier twin. Your needs were simple: eat, diaper change, cuddle. I often felt guilty that I couldn’t give you more attention because you were competing with two other children. Your twin sister had acid reflux, which meant she felt a lot of pain and discomfort right after eating. You, on the other hand, did not. I was thankful to not have two babies with reflux, but it also meant that Grace needed much more attention to help ease the pain. 

You took to a lovey very quickly. Your lovey is a bunny that was given to you while in the hospital, and you needed it to comfort you when I didn’t have enough arms to meet everyone’s needs.  It is still your favorite today, and you can now say “bunny”. I had to go on Ebay and order an extra one (darn limited edition), which proved to be a lifesaver when it was left at grandma and grandpa’s house one evening. There were times when I was alone with the three of you at bedtime before daddy got home from work. It was a juggling act, and I was almost always crying and/or sweating by the end of the process. As soon as you would calm down, Grace would cry and get you upset again. This would go back and forth, round and round. Eventually, I had to put one of you in a separate room and shut the door. Otherwise, neither of you would go to sleep. I regret not getting hired help for those early evening hours when I was struggling to stay afloat. I was drowning, but instead of feeling sorry for myself, I felt sorry for all of you. Sorry that I couldn’t hold and sing to each one of you individually, sorry that I got so frustrated and couldn’t handle the crying anymore, sorry that you had to split the attention when I so badly wanted to give all of you my 100%. But instead, someone got 30% here, 21% here, 49% there. I remember also trying to potty train Harper at the time, which was incredibly stupid and premature. I would give her my phone to play with out of desperation, and when I could finally come back to her, I’d find that she’d peed on the chair. I didn’t even have a moment to take her to the potty. I was trying to do it all, and I was failing. Even though you were just a baby, I thank you for being patient. I wish each of you could experience being my one and only child so I could spoil you.

You are my child that is the most affectionate. You used to go to anybody and when they picked you up, you’d rest your head on their shoulder. It made everyone’s heart melt. You really enjoyed being held and rocked your first year of life, whereas Grace preferred to be laid down as soon as possible. You have since become more particular about your snuggles, but you definitely enjoy being held, sitting on laps, and giving hugs. You love to read books and cry at bedtime when it’s time to stop reading and go to sleep. Your vocabulary is astounding, and it seems you learn at least one or two new words a day. You can say apple, mommy, daddy, baby, cheese, water, dog, and many others. You make me laugh when you run because your arms are out at your sides, and it’s more of a skip/gallop. You especially love it when I tease “I’m gonna get you!” Although you are more vocal in the sense that you talk a lot more than Grace, you can also be very quiet. When you wake up from nap or in the morning, you’ll make little, barely audible noises. You are content just lying there until I come get you. Grace, on the other hand…I’ll leave that for her section.

You and Grace have been playing together more and more. I’ll find the two of you looking at books together, playing with toys in the basement, or getting into the cabinets. You’ll laugh at each other about God knows what, and you like to lay together on the floor when you drink your milk. Grace will usually pick the spot, and you’ll follow and lay down wherever she is. Sometimes you’ll drag the dog mat around, find a spot that you deem worthy, and lay down on that. You also play with Harper a good amount, but you hate sharing my lap with anyone, especially her. Sometimes she’ll want to read a story with us, and if she comes to sit on my lap with you, you’ll scream and cry. You are also this way about other toys and other children. If you’re in the wagon and another child tries to pull/push it, you scream. If I do it, you’re content. 

You, like your sisters, bring so much joy to my life. You are always making me laugh, and I can’t imagine how I ever lived without you. I love you, Izzy.

 

Harper, Summer 2017

I wanted to break away from my usual blog posts and write something a little more personal...my three girls. I am constantly photographing them playing, and sometimes I wish I could stop being artsy and enjoy the moment. But I can't help it! I think, oh that would make for a great photo! Or, the lighting right now is perfect! My eldest was recently dancing in our backyard in her underwear, and I fear that if I don't photograph it, I'll one day forget about these carefree days and the magic of childhod. While I will spare her the embarrasment of putting those photos of her online, I will post some of my favorites from the summer this far.

You may notice a lot more black and white photos than color. This is because I simply adore black and white images. They speak to me so much more, and make me FEEL so much more. There is something so raw, unfiltered, timeless and real about black and white. It seems rare to find people other than photographers who share these opinions. But when I do, well, I've found a new soulmate! Ok, back to my children.

Harper is my first born. I was so ready, so excited, so....IMPATIENT. I wanted to have children ASAP. It was my goal and dream to be a mother. She was born the first week of January, and very shortly after her birth I started to recognize symptoms of postpartum depression. Depression and anxiety are things I have dealt with for many years, so I was aware that I could fall victim to these issues postpartum. I wanted to be a mom so badly, then when she was born I felt so ill equipped, isolated, overwhelmed, and scared. I was exhausted but I couldn't sleep. The pressure to breastfeed pushed me deeper into this dark hole. I didn't want to tell anyone for fear that my baby would be taken away, or that I would be deemed an unfit mother. It wasn't that I didn't love her, because I did, fiercly. I just didn't know how to handle those negative thoughts and waves of panic and sadness that rushed over me. I had taken anti-depressants pre-pregnancy, and I took it upon myself to start them again. Thank goodness I did, because I started to feel relief and normalcy shortly after. Nothing can prepare you for having a child, you are just thrown into it full force. People will tell you about functioning on little sleep, about endless diaper changes, about pumping, about hardly getting time to sit down and eat a meal. Despite being told all that, the reality of it still hits you like a wave. Eventually you adjust and it becomes part of life, but going from selfishness to selflessness is a difficult transition. I see the world so differently now that I have children. My interactions with people, with nature, with myself are all so vastly different, but in a good way. I fully recovered from PPD, but the experience was very grounding. And guess what? We had two more children...TWINS!

Before I get to my youngest babies, I would like to say more about Harper and what a positive influence she has been on my life, and what a kind soul she is. Even as a baby, Harper was very cautious. She had to assess a situation or person before deciding whether or not she wanted to be there. If there was too much stimulation or unfamiliarity, she would let you know. I started to wonder if there was something wrong because of how serious she was. But alas, I learned that it is just part of her personality. She takes a lot of time to warm up, even in school where she goes twice a week, and with friends that she plays with on a regular basis. Once she is comfortable, she'll let loose and have a great time. But, I always have to allow that extra time for her to adjust. Harper teeters beween being independent and wanting to be by my side every moment of the day. She is very much a mommy's girl, and goes through phases where only I can do things for her. While this gets exhausting, I know one day she may not want anything to do with me. In my opinion, Harper is an introvert. She enjoys going on errands or to the park, but she's also happy to stay home and play or watch a movie. I see a lot of myself in her, which could be why we connect like we do. I will often tell people that I feel sorry for her because we brought two newborns home when she was not yet two. It was a huge and difficult adjustment. When there isn't man on man coverage anymore, someone is going to get less attention. Because she wasn't a crying infant, oftentimes that meant she had to play alone, deal with interrupted story times, and not leave the house too often. Now she is 3 and a half and won't ever remember what it's like to not have siblings. I hope they grow closer and closer together, because sisterhood is so sacred. I love you so much, Harps. You've made me a better person. Thank you.

Next up, Isabel and Grace!

 

 

 

Natalie's Maternity Session

Natalie and her husband are expecting their first baby, a girl, within the next few weeks! Natalie wanted to do a lifestyle session in her home, which I LOVE! We also went around her neighborhood to capture some of the blooming trees. I can't wait to hear of baby's arrival and the name they choose (it's between Olivia and Audrey...awwww!!). Here are some of my favorites from this session: 

The DiEnno Family

Cara contacted me to do a mini session for herself, her husband Karl, and their soon to be one year old, Oskar. We picked a weekend in March and were able to catch some gorgeous light as the sun was setting. They were such a fun family to work with, and Oskar did a fabulous job! Babies and children in general burn out pretty quickly, so mini sessions are the best way to capture a mixture of fun and intimate moments. Oskar absolutely loved being thrown up into the air by his dad, and we were also able to get individual portraits and sweet moments with each parent. Check out some images from their session below!

The Dulin Family

I did a family session for Lindsey, Wes, and their 6 month old, Raeleigh on a chilly March afternoon. They all did wonderfully considering the weather conditions weren't ideal, and we captured some wonderful family moments! Lindsey and Wes met in college at Florida State University, so we spent part of the session doing FSU photos! They were so much fun to work with and Raeleigh was so easy going and sweet! Check out their session below!

The Aguilar Family

When Sienna contacted me about doing family photos as well as sibling photos, I jumped at the chance! Not only do I love family sessions, but I LOVE sibling photos! No matter what kind of a relationship you have with your sibling(s) growing up, you have a special bond that ties you together for life. I know having a sibling has had such a positive impact on my life, even though we didn't always get along as kids. I am so glad that I am able to provide siblings for my children as well, and it is so special to watch the love and closeness between them. 

Sienna and Peter have 2 year old Alice and 2 month old Sophia. I would like to stop here for a moment and ask, how cute are their names?! Alice was immediately friendly and chatty when I arrived, which makes my job so much easier. She was more than happy to have me take her photo, and one of the first things she wanted to do was read a story to her baby doll (cue the "awww's"). It was so fun and simple to capture her personality, and she did so well with her sister. We started with photos at their home and then moved to a park, and dividing up locations worked so well for this family session. I was able to get lifestyle/documentary photos in addition to posed family photos. I am so excited to share their session with you...enjoy!

Kingston

It was a gorgeous spring day when I went to do Kingston's newborn photos. He was due at the end of March, but made his debut at the end of February instead. I was actually supposed to do maternity photos for his parents, Crystal and Chad, literally days before he was born! He clearly had other plans! 

Kingston is the first born to these lovely parents, who were clearly head over heels for him. They have a gorgeous home with bright, natural light in several rooms (a natural light photographer's dream!). His nursery was one of the best I've seen, beautifully decorated with his name, a slew of board books, and a cozy rocker.  He is such a lucky and loved baby! I hope you enjoy taking a peek into his new life as much as I enjoyed taking these photos!