The Zachary family gets a medal for cracking the at-home-photo-shoot code: BAKE COOKIES!!! Who would have thought that such a simple idea would result in SO many too cute for words detail and giggle photos?!? And then while the cookies were baking, we explored the rest of the house: play room, tea party in the bedroom, even a cuddle puddle on the couch and about four minutes of chalk drawing outside (three-year-olds have short attention spans).
Move over, perfect beach Christmas card photos, the cookie-making family photo session is here.
Does this cute family of four look familiar? Maybe you recognize Mama Z's baby bump from a couple years ago >> My how these kiddos grow...
I've said it before and I'll say it again:
I. Love. At home. Photo shoots.
And here's why:
1. It's part portrait sitting and part photojournalism. As you can see, some of these photos are posed and Christmas-card or frame-worthy. Cool. Totally what most people want for family photos. BUT, lots of these photos are the "in-between" kinds of moments. The snacks on the kitchen floor. The diaper changing and "Let me show you my room!" kinds of scenes that only happen when kiddos are comfortable in their own space. You don't get stuff like this at a park or at the beach. This is magic, and it only happens at home.
2. It's a time capsule. Not only will you have photos of your little looking the way they do today, but you'll have a snapshot of your whole space. Years down the road, these frames will trigger a whole host of memories, from "Oh, I remember that painting!" to "Look how small the trees are," to "Whoa that was before the remodel!" These photos aren't in a sterile studio or impersonal park; they're in your home.
3. Everyone is way more comfortable. You. Your kids. Me. Your pets. No one is going to get a parking ticket. No one has to hike to the "shoot location." No one is worried about random strangers in the background. It's just all you, your family, and your love, in your space. So kick your feet up onto the couch. Take a break to nurse your child. Change your outfit if you're feeling it—because you can!
I've been loving these at-home shoots lately, even and especially when there's a newborn in the mix. There's nothing like taking a few minutes to freeze time, especially when it feels like it all moves way too fast.
The holidays, a new baby brother, a cool grassy backyard, a sweet scooter.... all good reasons to celebrate with a family mini session at home! Whitney (mama) is a dear friend of mine who is really good at remembering to schedule photo shoots at regular intervals, to document the ever-changing, picture-perfectly imperfect moments that make up life with little ones. (She's also really good at remembering to print those photos too... I know, she needs to teach us all.) This at-home session was sweet and unexpected and snuggly, just like I imagine life with two-and-a-half-year-old and newborn boys is.
I'm starting to like this family-photos-at-home thing and I really hope it's going to become a trend. Read the rest of this post to see the sweetness of the Collins' family's 6am home session, featuring snuggles, scratch-made pancakes, a few tears, Curious George, and some back porch truck driving.
I've known Jen & Cyrus for years. From working together at lululemon Calabasas with Jen, to photographing their incredible sunrise wedding, and now to watching them bring a daughter into the world, I have loved watching their lives unfold in beautiful chapters. These photos capture a moment in time at their new home, with Violet Vaughan at twelve days old. It was a joy to capture every detail, from her full head of hair and perfect little fingers and toes to the beautiful color and light of the new baby room.
Not only is Jen an incredible new (yet totally relaxed and confident) mom, she is also a gifted writer. Over the course of the past several months, she blogged updates about her pregnancy and the joys and surprises that came with it. Jen's blog is a great source of wisdom as Jen shares her pursuit of a smaller, slower life in the midst of this sometimes chaotic world.
Like these? Shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let's set up a portrait session.
I live in Malibu, Calif.,