So I'm definitely one of those aunts who waits 2 months to actually share and post the photos from her nieces birthday. My excuses really don't cut it because while we are moving I'm choosing the craziest week (right now) to try and get caught up. No sense is being made over at the Hill-Destigter home! But this cutie turned 3 and had the sweetest Farm birthday party!
This Summer has been crazy for so many reasons and it's felt like maybe a week long at most. We are presently in the middle of packing up all our things to move in two weeks and I'm doing my best staying on top of everything else in my life. Along with sessions and running my business full time I've added mentorship to my list. It's been an awesome summer of growing up other women in the art of photography. For some it was to help jump start their own small photography business and others just to teach them how to understand their camera more.
A part of that mentorship was setting up a real session or two just to get behind the camera and show how I like to run my sessions and walk through how to adjust your camera while in a real session. This session was captured with my great friend Lyn of her long time friends the Hann family. It was laid back, fun and centered around capturing the sweet connections of Mom, Dad and their little boy. I loved getting to meet this fun family and just wanted to share some of the shots captured during our mentorship session.
If you have any questions about photography mentorship I would love to talk, so feel free to email me here or if you just want to get your family session in before the end of the Season I have a few more slots open and would love to meet your Family this Summer! Also stay tuned for Fall Mini Session dates because I will be back in both October and November to Check in with and photograph my awesome families.
Gosh sometimes little ones just need to get out in a field and explore. The cuddling mom and dad moments are sweet and quick and there are a lot of bubbles and trying to keep the little one out of the mud puddles. But those are the real and beautiful moments behind even the most posed and beautiful session. There are moments of fussy and moments of laughter all mixed in an hour long session. That's the beauty of getting a laid back lifestyle family session. there are no expectations on your little one to be perfect or still, just an attempt to get comfy in front of the camera. I think Max did an incredible job enjoying himself which is always the best kind of subject. I just making sure the little ones are happy, no forcing them to sit or stand or smile just capturing how joyful childhood gets to be.
Sometimes I think my families think i'm crazy when I say stop smiling at me and just focus on your little one or on each other. I think we are easily programmed that we are most pleased looking at ourselves when we are smiling at a camera. But capturing memories is about a lot more than that. It's about capturing the little personality growing in your child or capturing those sweet moments that will bring you back to joy when you see them. So heres to sessions with real smiles and letting photography sessions be something littles can enjoy.
I think it's pretty easy to look at birth and get sincerely fearful. You've grown up hearing from movies, television and your mom that its a crazy sweaty painful mess to be forgotten and while it's worth it in the end to have a little one, the build up is this terrifying unknown. I also grew up thinking that it was inevitable that since I was a pretty loud and talkative person that it meant I would also fly off the handle with anger and obscenities during birth. Because as I understood it, handling pain is almost impossible so you'll need to cuss and scratch the eyes out of every human around you. I was pretty sure I would not have any control over what happened. And that in and of itself is the worst assumption many people make about their birth; that they will have no control of what happens.
The birth of Luca was a beautiful example of a mother who chose joy during her labor. She chose to rely on her husband rather than use him to unleash any fear or pain. She needed him and he helped sustain them both through each contraction. There were moments where fear or worry flooded the room but their bond was the force that allowed peace back in. It was incredible to see. Her strength came out in her moments of laughter mixed in with her intensity to bring this little boy into the world. Whether she felt in control of these emotional responses I don't know but I can attest that she flawlessly was an example of grace and strength all through her birth.
Birth is so much more beautiful than culture gives it credit. It is indeed a sweaty painful mess sometimes but gosh, it also has a way of making time stand still. When Luca finally arrived the room felt like we were on pause and then we finally pressed play. There was so much joy completely unleashed into the room. And I've never experienced a sweeter moment then when Luca's big sister finally came in to meet him. She was welcoming him into the world singing "happy birthday" in the cutest voice and pointing at baby like her life was finally made.
These incredible unique pieces of each birth story are why I love being a birth photographer. Each mother is different and strong in their own fierce way and every support team plays a role of care and steadiness from the nurses to the husband to the mother of the mother. It makes me cry almost every time.
If you've ever thought about Birth photography or wondered if it might fit your ideal birth atmosphere I'd love to talk. It's a passion of mine to make birth photography a more normal and a more culturally understandable concept. I love being able to show the world the unique and beautiful ways each little life is brought into the world. Birth can be more than hospital gowns, pain and one cell phone photo, you can capture the incredible powerful images that tell the story of new life.
It's hard to sit here and describe the sweet joy and love that was shared on this day. Shelbie and Jospeh are true best friends and getting to be apart of telling their love story was an honor. Their day was filled with family, personality and excitement for their future.
We started the day at the Nelson Atkins Museum lawn, the same place we photographed their engagement photos only months before. They shared a sweet first look and morning together capturing their love story and goofiness. I always urge this intimate first look because it's so much easier to be yourself, capture true emotions and take your time easing into the day as a team rather than waiting till the ceremony.
Their day was etched with the resounding love of so many family and friends willing to contribute and love on them. You could just feel how everyone was there to come along side this couple, trusting that they were truly meant for one another. Capturing these relationships all throughout the day is always my focus, more than the event or the details but seeing the way people love on the couple, encourage them and celebrate them. From mothers and sisters to best friends, the way people love you and serve you on your wedding day is always such a beautiful thing to remember.
Along with capturing those personal connections I love seeking out the moments that make their day as special, unique and beautiful as their love story. Like how Shelbie and Joseph after the ceremony broke off to practice their first dance up on the balcony alone, they just wanted those moments to themselves , now as husband and wife, and it was truly a beautiful thing to see. Or how the bride and groom after cutting their cake spent a good chunk of time serving each and every guess. These little windows into their story are gorgeous and will always be apart of what made their day what it was, not just a wedding but a celebration of their relationship.
*Credit to my awesome Second shooter Rebecca with Rebecca Clair Photography*