This family of three adult siblings was not short on smiles, connection, humor, and flexibility. Two babes on New York and Ohio time with amazing and cool parents along with two girls just infatuated with the spit bugs. Which by the way, have you read about spit bugs, fascinating! It was a recipe for a tricky session but ended with me asking if I could join their family!
When I walked into this beautiful family's home, I instantly felt the warmth and love. The two big sisters were so proud and kind. Mom was patient and gentle. Dad was calm and playful. I left thinking that maybe we all should have three kids of our own because this family was so joyful about their newest addition. Then I came home to my two littles who were hanging on me and remembered that one leg per child was a good ratio for me.
This family welcomed their second baby this spring and I was honored to photograph their now family of four. Sweet baby brother was calm and relaxed just like his parents. Big sister was kind to her brother but also playful and silly with her parents while she bounced high on the ball and read books. She loved to help me and took the last photo of the session which I happened to love (and included below). This family is filled with love and I hope you see that in the images!
When we showed up to a park in early Spring with cool puget sound breezes, this mama told her son, "Auntie Anela's here" just like we'd say in Hawaii. He gave "honi's" instead of kisses and her plumeria and classic Hawaiian jewelry made the breeze feel just a little warmer. Their laid back style and flexibility to hike up the hill and play made this session so easy. I'm so excited to photograph this now two week old little baby in the morning!
Yes, it was a sunny, beautiful spring evening, but the beaming energy and joy came mostly from this family. I knew Betsy in high school and when she asked me to take her family's photos I was thrilled! I knew that I'd love her partner and I also knew her little dude would be one to reckon with. As parents they are so in tune with their little man. They let him play with rocks and sand, climb logs, and run free. They also gave him the sweetest hugs when he was sad or worried. I could tell this family's connection was strong. I hope these images show the joy that they radiate!
I was honored to photograph my baby, ahem, toddler's cooperative preschool last month. I've spent one day a week with this adorable group and was taken aback at how much better I got to know his pals by photographing each child for just a couple minutes. Their expressions are priceless. I hope that their families look back at these images remembering how squishy, sweet, and curious they were as toddlers.
It was our second attempt due to rain to photograph in the early Spring at a beach in Seattle. And it was cold. And it was windy. And this beautiful family was absolutely okay with it! We started at the water as promised to their little one and I got my workout trying to catch this guy. Then he'd check in with his parents and give the sweetest hugs and snuggles. They had the perfect balance of letting their almost 4 year old be free and joyful, but also safe and present for some calmer photos.
I hope these images show the joy of this growing family. I was impressed with how they stayed present with each other even when the weather was rough, the distractions were plenty (there were 20+ kite surfers there!), and their little man was fast, really fast.
As with any time I have the pleasure to see this family, I left our time together feeling better than when I arrived. My daughter went to co-op preschool with their little one a couple years ago so when I found out I got to photograph them, I was thrilled!
With a relaxed mom and dad, an energetic 3 year old, and a pup in the mix, our session had the perfect balance of energy, connection, and joy. Their daughter ran all around us, checked in for a tickle and a snuggle, then out to discover more again. My favorite image is when the loud train came and she snuggled in tight. Her parents' comforting arms and kisses were everything. This family is the definition of beauty and I hope that you enjoy seeing their photographs.
“You’re going to have to be strong, Anela. Those kids need you.”
When I got off the phone with my principal I went outside and stared at the setting sun. It had been just hours since I got word about Nyella and now I had to prepare to tell her 1st grade classmates why her spot on the rug was empty.
It was my first year teaching. I was 24 and this first job was my dream come true. I was so excited in my first day of school dress to meet my sweet little ones to show them their new classroom. It had a tree in the library, birds hanging from the ceiling, color coordinated wicker baskets with fresh crayons. The picture perfect start I envisioned quickly changed as the kids started running and I don’t think they stopped. I had no clue how to manage this group and while trying my hardest to be the teacher they deserved, I constantly fell short.
I took solace in the kids that would sit calmly and give me that “I’m here with you Mrs. Deisler” look. One of them in particular seemed to always be there for me. She was frequently first in line. Waiting with a smile after dropping off her kindergarten sister. On her birthday, she brought in cheesecake to share with me at lunch. She even brought back a princess ring for me when she went to Disneyland! She was the peace in my day.
Now, she is the peace in my heart. Sometimes she’s the motivation. Sometimes still just sadness. That June she died in a fire with three of her cousins and her aunt. Trying to process the loss of a child while also supporting her friends was something I could never prepare for. I know what I went through is nothing compared to her parents and sister; her mother and family are always on my mind. But I loved her and now as I think about her on her 15th birthday, I also treasure her school photo that still sits next to my bed. It reminds me of her kind smile and sweet demeanor.
~ ~ ~
I don’t take the privilege of taking school portraits or any portrait lightly. I know how fragile this beautiful life is and I strive to take portraits that capture the essence of the ones we love. I treasure that photography helps us hold on to the fleeting moments with an image of our most treasured memories. Sharing this story is difficult but I want to be honest and open about why I am a photographer. And now, I take a deep breath and head home to my precious ones. I'll surely hold them a little tighter today.
The sun was perfect, it was an almost warm early spring day, and this beautiful and laid back family was a true joy to photograph. I went to middle school with Alexis and Josh so I was thrilled when planning for their session. Yes, Josh and I both and blonde hair that turned orange circa 1998. Alexis recently gave me a list we made probably at a sleepover after doing makeovers that stated both of our "perfect boyfriends" would have "good fashion and would wear fisherman hats". Remember those? We've come a long way.
We celebrated that her second is about a month away with a sunset session where they cuddled and tickled their almost two year old. Then she ran laps and repeat. Having kids at the same time as this family is a blessing. Getting to photograph their family grow is everything. I hope you enjoy these pictures. They certainly are filled with joy!