Psst.. I'm spilling my best secret to photographing kids..

All of my beach photography sessions lately have got me thinking and pushing my own boundaries.  It occurred to me that I have a legit secret to photographing kids that might help you take pictures of your own kids that will make you swoon.

Here it is, my secret to photographing children, especially on the beach or in the backyard in the summertime or playing in their bedroom any day of the week. 

It’s pretty simple:  Don’t try. 

Say what?!  I know, to all of the overachievers out there (myself included) that sounds like absolute blasphemy.  But I swear to you, when I am not trying to make it all perfect, when I can let go and let my gut lead the way, when I am not preoccupied with capturing the perfect photograph, that’s when the magic happens.

So, this is my one-stop advice column for photographing your kids this summer.

Don’t try so hard.

Observe them.  What are they doing right now that you wish you could bottle right up?  Let them do that.  Try to refrain from interfering.   Be a fly on the wall.  Be patient.  Blend into the background and anticipate those quirky, thoughtful, lovable moments.

And just let it happen.  Let go of perfection: the perfect light, the perfect composition, the perfect smile, the perfect Pinterest boards.  Just shoot pictures from the heart and I promise you, in 15 years, you’ll be so happy you have these photos of your kids being exactly who they are today.

Here's a few favorite photographs from 2 beach sessions this month.  Many break the rules with composition and lighting, but sometimes the moment and the expressions are all that matter.  

Stony Lake / Lake Michigan:

kids bike photograph
lake michigan kids photography
lake michigan kids photography
lake michigan kids photography

Malibu, California:

malibu kids beach photography
malibu kids beach photography
malibu kids beach photography
malibu beach dance photograph

Oh, and the best part is that when kids are in their happy place, sometimes they’ll just look up at you with the best smile or glance and you might still get those perfect beach portraits...

Without even trying.

malibu children's portrait
malibu beach portrait

3 Reasons to Hire a Vacation / Beach Photographer & Happy Spring!

Spring is here!  Technically speaking, that is.  Somewhere beneath the last few inches of snow (here in the North, anyway) I promise you, Spring is near :) 

By mid-March, my summer dreamin' officially begins, and by dreaming, I also mean planning: up north weekends, beach days, camping under the stars.  Northern Michigan books up quick and you only need to learn that lesson once.  

What are you most looking forward to this spring / summer?   

lake michigan family photographer

3 Reasons to Plan Vacation / Beach Photography Sessions

1)  It's Worry-Free:  You can finally relax at the beach or pool without worrying about capturing your kids having the time of their lives or whether your camera is ingesting water and sand. (Guilty of the latter.) 

2)  YOU (the most important reason):  If YOU are typically your family's everyday photographer and collector of memories, you will actually be in the photographs.  You will not have to explain to your kids in 10 years, as you are looking back at your vacation photographs, that you actually were there.  They will see you with them, living it up, together.

3)  The Digital Aftermath:  Following your beach/pool/hiking/fill in the blank adventures, sitting at the computer, editing hundreds of photos, and creating a tangible masterpiece might sound daunting, or outright dreadful.  Handing the job off to a skilled photographer to create a thoughtfully designed, archival, story-telling keepsake, while you revel in the memories in your lazy-boy, might just sound fabulous.  
 

grand rapids family photographer
lake michigan lifestyle photographer
lake michigan vacation photography

Just think:  Some of your most carefree and happy moments on this earth will not just be documented, but an artful story will be curated and preserved for years to come.  You just have to show up.  Deal?

lake michigan beach photography
lake michigan beach portraits
lake michigan lifestyle family photography

If you are hoping to plan a relaxed, documentary photography session this summer, please contact me soon.  I'm also down with 'day in the life' sessions or capturing your family's 'vacation days,' from Michigan to California and beyond.  

If it's feeling too early, we can even pencil in a time-frame - leave the details for later.  Just don't miss out - summer will be here before we know it, and my schedule books up quick with photo sessions... and my own lazy beach days.  ;)  

(Things might also be a-changing around here at Teri Genovese Photography and session availability is limited.)

lake michigan beach portraits-2
lake michigan beach portraits -3

Sifting back through photographs from last summer, I realized one year olds at the beach make a pretty spectacular combination.  Hope these made you smile and look forward to the much greener, sunnier days ahead!  

hopeful words for a new year..

I have to admit, I’ve been proceeding cautiously into this New Year, until I read the following passage a dear friend in Los Angeles shared with me from her local Japanese newspaper:
 

"Unlike the 2013 Year of the Snake, which gradually shed its old ways,
the Year of the Horse will charge forward with unbridled energy.  
Seeds planted during the Snake year
will enable dreams and goals to finally come to fruition.  
Everything is possible and anything can happen."

 
2013 was a tough year for my family, but the gratitude and strength that I now feel is astounding.  To think that 2014 will “charge forward with unbridled energy” is exactly what I need to believe and I instantly wanted to spread these hopeful words to all of you. 
 
Cheers to a new year, to new beginnings, and for our deepest desires to come true.  

Here's a couple of moments from my recent California sessions that I found quite fitting for the "unbridled energy" ahead.

NewYear1.png
NewYear2.png

wishing you a peaceful and memorable 2014!

lake michigan's light | family photography

sometimes it rains unexpectedly.  and you realize, you remember, that it's only with the rain and clouds that such magnificent light can emerge.  

 Lake Michigan Family Photography
 Lake Michigan Family Photography
 Lake Michigan Family Photography
 Lake Michigan Family Photography
 Lake Michigan Family Photography
 Lake Michigan Family Photography
 Lake Michigan Family Photography
 Lake Michigan Family Photography
 Lake Michigan Family Photography
 Lake Michigan Family Photography
 Lake Michigan Family Photography
 Lake Michigan Family Photography
 Lake Michigan Family Photography
 Lake Michigan Family Photography
 Lake Michigan Family Photography
 Lake Michigan Family Photography
 Lake Michigan Family Photography
 Lake Michigan Family Photography

A special thank you to this sweet, gorgeous family for braving the drizzles and allowing me to witness and document a glimpse of their life and love.  It was a beautiful and memorable evening on Lake Michigan, for sure!

yep, i belong in a redwood forest // santa cruz, california

if i could live in two places at once, i would certainly move back to california and set up camp among the redwoods along the coast. i'm pretty sure i left a piece of my heart there last november with two crazy special groups of people. i was invited by this beautiful family that has grown so dear to me over the years. i've photographed them several times in Los Angeles, documented their vacation in Hilton Head, SC, and most recently flew to their new home in San Francisco to document their sweet baby #3 at just 2 weeks of age. it was a crazy special time, to say the least!

the only challenge was an immense amount of rain and fog that swept through the bay area and seemed to be timed ever so ironically with my exact arrival and departure. literally. there were rainbows apparent from my airplane as i landed and again when i took off, which i now believe was the universe winking at me.. as with everything, you roll with it.

thankfully, i managed to squeeze in one good, soggy hike in the redwoods with my great friend, Jill Fox of Awear Yoga and her sweet fam, who so graciously put me up for the weekend at their home in Capitola.. the cutest little beach town. besides the newborn photo session, this was the only other time i pulled out my dSLR that weekend and i'm so glad i did..

i am already looking forward to returning to this place.. rain, fog, and all.

 Santa Cruz, CA Redwood Forest - foggy landscape photograph
 Santa Cruz, CA Redwood Forest - Hiking Photograph
 Santa Cruz, CA Redwood Forest - Fine Art Documentary Portraits
 Santa Cruz, CA Redwood Forest
 Santa Cruz, CA Redwood Forest - Fine art documentary portrait
 Santa Cruz, CA Redwood Forest - Fine Art Documentary Portraits
 Santa Cruz, CA Redwood Forest - Hiking Photograph
 Santa Cruz, CA Redwood Forest - Fine Art Documentary Portraits

malibu.

last saturday in malibu, california.. there was no shortage of imaginary snakes and fallen branches to point high in the sky. there was also an abundance of love to be shared and a heavy dose of double-chin-grins to adore (the baby's of course..)

this was my 6th time photographing this family since 2008. beyond the basic intention of documenting moments as naturally and organically as possible, there were no specific goals or expectations from my client. so, my #1 goal was simple - to deliver the absolute best collection of photographs i've made for them yet. i'm pretty sure we nailed it ;)

 Malibu, California - fine art, documentary, lifestyle child and family photography
 Los Angeles, Malibu, California - fine art, documentary, lifestyle child and family photography
 Los Angeles, Malibu, California - fine art, documentary, lifestyle child and family photography
 Los Angeles, Malibu, California - fine art, documentary, lifestyle child and family photography
 Los Angeles, Malibu, California - fine art, documentary, lifestyle child and family photography
 Los Angeles, Malibu, California - fine art, documentary, lifestyle child and family photography
 Los Angeles, Malibu, California - fine art, documentary, lifestyle child and family photography
 Los Angeles, Malibu, California - fine art, documentary, lifestyle child and family photography
 Los Angeles, Malibu, California - fine art, documentary, lifestyle child and family photography
 Los Angeles, Malibu, California - fine art, documentary, lifestyle child and family photography
 Los Angeles, Malibu, California - fine art, documentary, lifestyle child and family photography
 Los Angeles, Malibu, California - fine art, documentary, lifestyle child and family photography
 Los Angeles, Malibu, California - fine art, documentary, lifestyle child and family photography
 Los Angeles, Malibu, California - fine art, documentary, lifestyle child and family photography
 Los Angeles, Malibu, California - fine art, documentary, lifestyle child and family photography
 Los Angeles, Malibu, California - fine art, documentary, lifestyle child and family photography
 Malibu, California - fine art, documentary, lifestyle child and family photography
 Malibu, California - fine art, documentary, lifestyle child and family photography
 Los Angeles, Malibu, California - fine art, documentary, lifestyle child and family photography
 Malibu, California - fine art, documentary, lifestyle child and family photography
 Los Angeles, California - fine art, documentary, lifestyle child and family photography