letting go of perfection // a “day in the life” photography session

Isn’t it fascinating how difficult it can be to let go… Letting go of perfection, expectations, and the pressures we place on ourselves is HARD.  Yet, it isn’t until we truly let go that we are able to see what is waiting to be revealed.  And often times, it is actually perfect... the kind of perfect we can’t expect or control.  It just happens.

It is not uncommon for me to prepare my clients in this way.  It has become a mantra for my work.  I truly believe that the best moments happen when we have fully let go of pressures and expectations.  Not only are children most at ease when adults are at ease, but my best photographs also happen when I am able to get lost in my surroundings without worry. 

As I prepared for this session, however, something was different.  My client didn’t need a lick of advice or preparation.  She gets it.  She wrote me candidly about her life’s potential changes to come and how meaningful it will be to capture some special everyday moments with her 3 year old son.  She told me how she loves the way they snuggle up in her bed first thing in the morning, the way they lie on their bellies… she expressed how they love to cook together and explore their favorite hiking trail. 

As we brainstormed ideas and planned our session, I quickly realized that I was battling my inner perfectionist.  I was worrying about not having enough light in the bedroom at 8:30am and ending up outdoors when the sun is so harsh.  But, perfection is not the goal, here.  Instead, my goal is to be fully present in order to capture true “day in the life” moments as they naturally unfold on this ordinary day, regardless of when and where the light will be “best.”  It didn’t take long for me to step back and take my own advice.  I needed to let go.

And the result – a perfection that I could not have predicted, planned, or pre-visualized.  So, maybe this 3 year old was in “bad guy” mode on this particular day... and maybe he put his shirt on backwards... and maybe he fought the getting ready routine, which resulted in sporting his bed-head hair for the rest of the day.  And maybe there was barely enough light in the bedroom and we ended up shooting outdoors at nearly high noon.  And maybe it didn’t matter.  We chose to not let it matter. 

In all of its imperfection; it was pretty perfect.  And that is typically how it goes.

Day in the Life Photographs, Fine Art Documentary Photography
Day in the Life Photographs, Fine Art Documentary Photography
Day in the Life Photographs, Fine Art Documentary Photography
Day in the Life Photographs, Fine Art Documentary Photography
Day in the Life Photographs, Fine Art Documentary Photography
Day in the Life Photographs, Fine Art Documentary Photography
Day in the Life Photographs, Fine Art Documentary Photography
Day in the Life Photographs, Fine Art Documentary Photography
Day in the Life Photographs, Fine Art Documentary Photography
Day in the Life Photographs, Fine Art Documentary Photography
Day in the Life Photographs, Fine Art Documentary Photography
Day in the Life, Fine Art Documentary Photography

mother + daughter / lake michigan / love.

we met the last evening of July along the shores of Lake Michigan. we walked and talked among the beach grasses tucked away in the sand dunes. they wandered off together and danced. turned cartwheels. skipped along the water's edge. we let the cool water splash our bare feet as we soaked in the cotton candy pink sky. we moved slowly without hurry. we took it all in. this mother and daughter revealed to me their souls and adoration for each other in such a beautiful way that i was touched for many days and still many weeks later. their vibrant energy was purely infectious. each time i look at these photographs, my heart swells and i wish i could go back 21 years to have photographs like this taken with my mom, when i was 10. at this realization, i feel an entirely new level of appreciation for the sweet people and joyful memories that photography has added to my life. it only grows with time.

Lake Michigan Beach Family Photography ~ Relaxed, Documentary, Fine Art Portraits
Lake Michigan Beach Family Photography ~ Relaxed, Documentary, Fine Art Portraits
Lake Michigan Beach Family Photography ~ Relaxed, Documentary, Fine Art Portraits
Lake Michigan Beach Family Photography ~ Relaxed, Documentary, Fine Art Portraits
Lake Michigan Beach Family Photography ~ Relaxed, Documentary, Fine Art Portraits
Lake Michigan Beach Family Photography ~ Relaxed, Documentary, Fine Art Portraits
Lake Michigan Beach Family Photography ~ Relaxed, Documentary, Fine Art Portraits
Lake Michigan Beach Family Photography ~ Relaxed, Documentary, Fine Art Portraits
Lake Michigan Beach Family Photography ~ Relaxed, Documentary, Fine Art Portraits
Lake Michigan Beach Family Photography ~ Relaxed, Documentary, Fine Art Portraits
Lake Michigan Beach Family Photography ~ Relaxed, Documentary, Fine Art Portraits

hilton head island // family beach vacation photography

hilton head island, south carolina

mid-august

10 adults, 11 kids (ages 1.5 - 17)

one big beach house

and the atlantic ocean

beach. pool. beach. pool. bbq.

repeat.

need i say more?

Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography
Hilton Head Island Family Vacation Photography

when one of my dearest long-time California clients invited me to document their extended family beach vacation in south carolina ("a day in the life" style), it was an instant 'yes.' to be a fly on the wall photographer in such a relaxed setting is when i am most at home with my camera. lift the pressure and expectation from both parties (the subjects and the photographer) and that's when the best moments are captured and the quirky coolness comes out.. that's when the magic happens. this working vacation to hilton head island proved to be such a treasured highlight of my year - thanks again y'all!

if you would like me to photograph "a day in the life" of your family's next vacation, whether along the shores of Lake Michigan, in Southern California, or anyplace you can possibly dream up, call me. seriously. i love this. :)

some days are a little bit extraordinary.

how i did not know about this amazing beach when i lived in los angeles is beyond me. is it not extraordinary? these photographs were captured this past november during my 3rd trip back to california since the move. and while i could kick myself for not discovering this beach sooner, i am beyond grateful that this family continues to choose me to create artful memories of their children. i will never forget watching the brilliant pink sky from the parking lot as we said our good-byes. this beach day was a breath of fresh air for all of us - a deep, long exhale - and if i could have paused time, i certainly would have.

it's because of times like these, there will always be a piece of los angeles that feels like home to me.

Malibu Fine Art Children's Photographer
Malibu Fine Art Children's Photography
Malibu Beach Fine Art Children's Photography
Southern California Beach Portrait Photography
Southern California Fine Art Portrait Photography
Los Angeles Documentary Fine Art Children's Photography
Los Angeles Documentary Child Photographer
Los Angeles Documentary Fine Art Child Photographer
Malibu Beach Family Photography
Malibu Beach Family Photography

beautiful ordinary moments, indeed.

"Twinkle lights are the perfect metaphor for joy. Joy is not a constant. It comes to us in moments – often ordinary moments. Sometimes we miss out on the bursts of joy because we’re too busy chasing down the extraordinary moments. Other times we’re so afraid of the dark that we don’t dare let ourselves enjoy the light. A joyful life is not a floodlight of joy. That would eventually become unbearable. I believe a joyful life is made up of joyful moments gracefully strung together by trust, gratitude, and inspiration."

- Brene Brown

NYC documentary child photography
NYC documentary children's photography
NYC candid family photography
Central Park NYC documentary child photographer
Central Park NYC children's photographer
Central Park NYC family photography
Central Park, NYC family photography
NYC fine art children's photography
NYC Natural Light Children's Photography
NYC natural light child photographer
NYC child portrait photography
NYC family photographer
NYC children's photographer
NYC documentary children's photography
NYC documentary children's portraits
NYC children's photography

When I first reviewed the photographs from my NYC portrait sessions, the irony leapt off the screen… my favorite images were not captured amidst extraordinary Central Park landmarks or sweeping cityscapes. The photographs that instantly grabbed my attention and tugged at my heart were the quiet moments when an honest glance seamlessly intersected with the click of my shutter. Upon this wise mom’s request, I was honored to document a simple glimpse of their “everyday.” Afterall, it is inside their fleeting childhood bedrooms and on the bustling city streets where life actually happens. Beautifully ordinary moments, indeed.

What is happening in your daily life right now that you never want to forget?