feels like home

Such a special in-home session with a beautiful family in Charleston. I love how natural their love was for one another and how incredibly patient these gorgeous children were. The connections were just natural and easy, a photographer’s dream. Can you guess which images are film and which are digital? Leave a comment!

Feels Like Home Workshop // pentax 645n & portra 400 processed by Photovision and digital Canon 50mm

Baby Philip

Meet baby Philip. The sweetest little man around. I was greeted at the door by the most outgoing, fun-loving, adorably proud big brother, Graham. He was full of laughs and made the session so much fun! Boy, oh boy, is Philip lucky to have such a wonderful family. Spending time in clients’ homes, documenting some authentic moments, brings me such joy. Baby Philip, you are so loved. Welcome to the world!

Spring Blossom Session

What an honor to photograph this beautiful family, who in a few short weeks, will gain another family member. What an exciting time it is, and to have photographs to look back on, is such a treasure.

Here is what my client had to say about Motherhood…

“Motherhood has been a wild, exhausting, and ultimately beautiful ride. Watching my son grow over the last two years has been such a rewarding gift, especially seeing his sense of self, personality, and humor develop. My philosophy as a mother has been to take it one day at a time... there are difficult phases throughout the newborn and toddler stages, but usually they are just that - a phase. The joy and laughter has always outweigh the hardships and tantrums, and we go to bed each night thanking our lucky stars for what each day with our little man has brought. We can't wait to expand our crew and welcome baby number two in a few short weeks! My ultimate wish for my children is that they are able to live their lives as their true authentic selves and have journeys filled with happiness and love. For me, that will always be what is most important.” 


Early Morning in Charleston

What a dreamy, cool walk through the moss trees in the early morning in downtown Charleston. This trip reinvigerated my love for the soft morning light and quiet surroundings. If you are considering a session with me, please scroll through this beautiful family session, and see why the sunrise idea is not so bad an idea at all!

{Taken at Feels Like Home Workshop}

Sunrise at Folly Beach

Charleston sunrise, you have my heart. I don’t know if it was the reflections in the morning tide, or the natural, sweet love that this family has for one another, but what a beautiful morning to be a part of. Let me just say, this was well worth the 4:30am wake up call.

Pentax 645n w/ portra400 and digital 50mm | Feels Like Home Workshop

Teddy

Meet Teddy. The most handsome little dude on the block. With an adoring set of parents and two older siblings, he’s got it made. When my childhood friend asked if I would document her last pregnancy I was so excited. Such a bitter sweet time I am sure, the closing of a chapter. But what a tremendous souvenir- photos to document this sweet time of life and the beginning of a grand adventure, with all their children. Viergutz family, I hope you look at these photos and feel truly blessed for your three sweet gifts. The days are long, but the years are short. #documentyourdays

Hall Family

What a beautiful journey! This sweet family has been so good to me. I had the privilege of photographing the announcement of baby girl Hall months ago, followed by her joyous arrival at the hospital, and now some new family memories in the comfort of her home. Can we just talk about how beautiful this nursery is?! I love being able to witness a family gain a new member, it’s truly incredible. It always amazes me how it looks as if they were always a part of the family. That is certainly the case with these 4. Oh, how they adore her! And I always love watching the older sibling take on their new role. My heart melted when Cameron mentioned maybe 100 times how much he loves his little sister. What a lucky girl she is! I hope that these photos will bring this dear family lots of joy now, and in the future when their babies are big and grown!

Harper

I had the privilege of photographing another precious babe last week down in the city. Meet baby Harper! She is just as precious in person as she is in these photos and her parents are glowing with pride. Harper, you have such an incredible family, and one day you will know how lucky you are. I remember when I was expecting my second child I wondered if I would ever have the capacity to love another child as much as my first. But the second she arrived, my heart quadrupled in size. It’s such a wonderful, miraculous thing. Harper, I pray you reach for the stars, little one! You are so loved!


Danny

Oh my heart. These sweet people are so dear to me, especially their mama, who has been a friend of mine since my teaching days. We taught together for 2 years and became fast friends. You know those people who come in to your life and you immediately know they are someone special? Well I knew Kallie was one of those friends and I am so thankful for our years of friendship. When we met, her oldest was clinging to her pant leg in diapers while she set up her classroom. Now she and her husband welcomed their third baby! What a precious family they are and I am so honored to do life together. I firmly believe every parent is equipped with their own unique strengths and weaknesses, and no parent is perfect, obviously. But when it comes to being a mom, Kallie models love, patience, compassion, strength, honesty, wisdom, and joy like no one I’ve ever met. I am constantly in awe of her, hoping that each time we hang out, she will rub off on me a little bit more. Thank you for all that you teach me about being a better human, friend. You are both incredible parents, raising incredible little people, who I have zero doubt, will make this world a better place. I am so blessed to know you!

Maternity

It may be your first or your last, or your miracle or your surprise, but that growing belly is such an incredible gift. It may not seem like it at the time, as your pants grow snug and the heartburn rages, but these are beautiful moments that only last a short while. What a joy it was to capture my friend, Tracy, as she documents her last baby and celebrates this chapter of her life. We can’t wait to meet you, baby boy!


Home is Where the Heart Is

I can’t believe I just met this family, because while I spent the morning with them, it felt like I had known them for a long time! These beautiful people just moved here, cross-country, and are embracing this new journey and change with such grace and poise and patience. Coming from small towns, this big city can be totally intimidating, especially with this polar vortex winter. But I keep telling them, all will be well in a few months. I am so honored to have been able to capture their new normal so that they can remember these days, years from now, when their kids are grown. They will be able to look at these photos and tell them all about their big city adventure. Documenting this sweet family made me realize that no matter where life takes you, home truly is where the heart is.

First 48 | Baby Ryleigh

What could be more special than welcoming a child into this world?! If you’ve been through it before, you know how crazy, exhausting, and incredible those first 48 hours in the hospital are. However, it’s all kind of a blur. At least it was for me. Allow me to be a fly on the wall and document these special details so that you can soak it all in now, but remember it all later. I won’t interrupt whatever is going on- feeding, rocking, shushing, sleeping, etc. I will capture those tiny toes, and little ears, and those sweet hospital swaddles. I want it to feel authentic and natural and unposed. I will be in and out so quickly, mom doesn’t even have to get out of bed. Not sure you want to be pictured in your hospital gown but don’t want to worry about packing something? I can bring a selection of soft, neutral robes you can throw on over, if you’d like! I got you, mama ;). “The days are long, but the years are short.” Let’s remember these beautiful days for as long as we can!

Welcome to the world Ryleigh Chase! You are one beautiful little human, and you hit the jackpot with your family. They love you fiercely and I have no doubt that you will make this world a better place. I can’t wait to watch you grow!

Sabrina Mamahood

“It’s the little memories that last a lifetime.” I can’t stress enough the importance of having photos taken while your little ones are still young. Don’t wait for the perfect weather or perfect house or ideal life circumstances. Do it now, in your pajamas if you’d like, cozied up at home- reading, playing, cooking. Whatever your normal looks like. However imperfect. I’d love to be part of documenting your days so that you can look back on them with a grateful heart.

I pray over each family that I photograph, that the Lord will protect and strengthen them, deepen their love for one another, and provide a light to those tiny feet as they grow and change and eventually go out into the world. May each one make this world a better, kinder place.

And there isn’t a kinder, more beautiful bunch than these three. What an honor to capture some authentic moments at home on a cold, snowy morning. Our memories don’t always serve us well, but I sure hope these photos will spark joy in the years to come.

night nights

We have become big pajama people, I don’t know if that says something about us, but we love them. And as a photographer who is focusing on photographing more in-home sessions this year (hint- I have a cozy new session option headed your way soon!), I needed to have some pjs that photographed well and were incredibly comfortable and worth the investment for my clients. I have found some quality pjs that have matching adult options (because come on, mom or dad need to be in a few), and that have timeless designs, colors, high quality fabrics, and that make me smile.

First up, meet the “Night Nights” from The Beaufort Bonnet Company. They are soft, fitted, and my kids have not wanted to take them off. Plus the classic designs make my heart sing. Margaux’s night nights are the same print wallpaper that I had in my room as a little girl, so it get’s 100% in my book.

Next up, the pajamas from Petite Plume. It’s definitely luxury sleepwear, such attention to detail, so soft, and I can attest that it does get softer with each wash. When I was hunting for Christmas jammies that weren’t red and green, I came across these pastel blue and pink gingham sets and I knew I had to try them. We’ll be able to wear them all year round. Bonus- they have matching robes, eye masks, and adult sizes. What more could you ask for?

Both of these are great options for photos. So go check them out! So soft, so classic. So… just scroll- you’ll see.

| small light pink bow: fourth + pierce | large pink bow: Tip Toes Boutique |

sunny january afternoon

53 degrees in January with bright sunshine, yes please! For those of you that are not from Chicago, this is NOT normal. I may not have been prepared to take some photos, as I was in yoga pants and no makeup, but some other photographers have inspired me lately to not worry about the whole look being perfect when it comes to your own family. Just document the days, as they are. So I threw on a coat and grabbed the first hat that I could find (which was totally smooshed) and asked my husband to go for a little adventure. Every time my professional camera comes with me, there is usually added pressure for some reason. So I promised, “no stress.” When we got there, the ground was just about as muddy as it could possibly be. And of course all my kids wanted to do was splash in the mud. So after the first few “no!”s it was clear that it was a loosing battle. And I thought to myself, this was not supposed to be stressful. Just treasured time spent together. Walking. Exploring. With a few extra loads of laundry on the side, so be it. So we let it go, and embraced the mess. I am so glad I have these photos, they just make me happy. Several of these might even make it up on the walls of our home, but if they don’t, that’s ok too. So don’t worry if your hair is 5 days dirty, and you have spit up on your sweater. Do whatever makes you feel good, and document the ordinary every once in a while. 

hoffman family

What a treat to photograph such a beautiful family! This adorable family is preparing and cherishing the final weeks as a party of three, before welcoming another little one. I can remember this time all too well, before we welcomed our second. It is such a sweet time and yet there is so much anticipation for what's ahead, and who this little person will be. I was always a bit nervous that the family dynamic would change so much. And it's true, it does change, but only in the best of ways. Especially when you watch your first child become an older sibling. It's just the best! I am so thankful this glowing mama decided to document these days, because we all know how quickly they come and go. So looking forward to watching this family grow! Thank you Hoffman family for allowing me into your home to capture some sweet moments that you will have to look back on! 

three generations

I had been keeping my eye out on an apple orchard right near my home for weeks, when one day I drove by and was ecstatic to see a magical scene. Pink buds and white blossoms and sunlight streaming through row and rows of trees. I knew I had to offer motherhood mini sessions to my clients and was so glad when it worked out! I love photographing this family and it was an even bigger treat to have grandma included this time! How special to have 3 generations, photographed together?! These photos will be cherished in years to come, I just know. And when your client tells you that these are some of the best photos she has had with her mom ever, you just smile from ear to ear! I am so grateful to be a part of making family memories. 

buordo twins

A few months ago, I had the joy of photographing this beauty's final weeks of pregnancy with her twin babies. Is she not just glowing? I'm pretty sure I never looked that radiant when I was pregnant with either of my babies. I think it's so beautiful hearing other mom's thoughts about pregnancy and motherhood in general, so read on to see what Julie said about this incredible journey. 

"I've been through three pregnancies, each having their "awe" moments.  Whether in awe over being pregnant for the first time, or in awe discovering we were having a girl the second time after having our son, nothing could prepare us for the awe we felt when we discovered we were having twins.  Why us?  We have no history of twins in our family and mothering has never quite fit into my natural aptitudes.  Never in our WILDEST dreams could we imagine this outcome.  But God thrust us into this new season of our life which included challenges and beautiful outcomes.  Being a mother has taught me to loosen my grip and let some things go. I've discovered more patience (and discovered what really pushes my buttons), that no matter how hard I push the vegetables, they're always going to prefer mac and cheese, that repetitive questions are an indication they want to be heard and valued, that kisses solve a lot of problems, and sometimes the background noise created with their insanely loud voices is actually a pirate adventure sailing the seas and looking for buried treasure.  At 32 weeks pregnant the shock has long worn off that we're carrying twins, but the awe still remains that God has entrusted us with four children to raise.  I pray that one day they can experience that same wonder!"

simple sunday morning

One of my favorite things about being a family/portrait/lifestyle photographer, is that I get to photograph a variety of subjects with a variety of desires in a variety of settings. Many families desire a photo of everyone smiling at the camera, and that is always nice to have, but it is music to my ears when a client is interested in the in-between, authentic moments. Because let's face it, a very small percentage of our daily lives are that perfect, especially when we're talking about parenthood. So remembering the real, the raw, the chaos, the beauty, and the joy, is so crucial in my opinion. We need to document these moments and cherish them. Because as moms and dads know, it's the toughest job.  The days are oh so long sometimes, but the years sure are brief. 

Meet the Dreyer family. What a pleasure to capture a snippet of an ordinary Sunday morning, chasing these little people around (or really just one little guy- he's quick y'all ;). I love the energy and warmth that radiates from their home. These precious kids have two of the best parents around and they are darn lucky. So if you're a fellow stay-at-home mama out there, sip your coffee, be a fly on the wall and enjoy scrolling through these authentic family moments. But if you don't get to do either of those things (because let's be honest, when's the last time you finished your coffee?), just know that you are loved, honored, valued, and certainly not alone. Embrace the mess. Find the joy. Kiss those babies.   #theartofmotherhood.