families

Mattioli Historic Barn Family Session

On Saturday I connected with the Mattioli family who was looking for a red barn location for a family photo session. Discovering a historic park with brick buildings and a giant red barn was like hitting the photography jackpot. I will definitely be using that location for future sessions. I’m so glad I got to experience such a sweet spot for the first time with the Mattioli’s.

When I say three of the sweetest kids, I mean it. Julia, who is 10, told me that after our photo session, she wanted to get a DSLR and learn about photography which made me feel like a total superhero. Emma, at 8 was already a beautiful example of kindness and thoughtfulness. Each time we moved locations, she would help me carry my gear and when I told her that she is the best, she responded back sweetly, “we are all the best.” I think we all need a little more Emma in our lives. John-Julius, was doing what 5-year-old boys like to do - run around like a cute little crazy man, giggling, playing and loving life.

Without giving away all of my secrets, my methods are less than conventional. We may have yelled “POOPY” way too many times throughout the session and I may have bribed them with candy. I had some other tricks up my sleeve which worked out so nicely. It’s been great to connect with other photographers to learn what works in a family session.

Overall, I think my approach is what serves my families the best. I am not about getting those perfectly posed and smiling pictures. I mean, we’ll get that one but I AM more about letting kids run, play, be themselves and binge on candy. The best part is, I get to do the same. What is more fun than that?

 

Kafka's Country Field Family Session

6 years ago on October 2nd, my Aunt asked me to do portraits of her 4 children, Jasmine, Arianna, Isabella and Christopher. I agreed without hesitation. I had just graduated from college and was beginning grad school and photography was still just my hobby. Using my cousins as my subjects just for fun was a pretty frequent occurrence. We met at the beach and I captured some great shots of the kids playing, laughing and a few more formal poses. After they were posted on facebook, I had a handful of people reach out asking if I could do portraits for them.

I made a facebook page, added my signature in a watermark to put on my photos and grew really excited at the possibility of having a photography business. And then I deleted the page.

And then, I came up with every single reason why I couldn’t or shouldn’t. Some of them below:

I’m really not THAT good.

These were just for fun.

I would be too nervous.

These excuses kill me to admit. 6 years later, I did portraits for my Aunt once again and have to try not to dwell on the fact that I could have easily begun building my business a long time ago. But with time comes age, and with age comes wisdom. I have to admit, I like getting older. No, I actually love it. I’m a few days away from being 30 and 30 year old Katie is way more confident. 30 year old Katie has learned to say yes to things that make her happy and no to the things that don’t. 30 year old Katie has nurtured important relationships, resulting in deep friendships and a new marriage filled with so much love that I’m incredibly proud of and grateful for. 30 year old Katie has learned to let things go a lot easier than she used to and focus on the things that are within her control.

So let’s not dwell in the past by recounting the insecurities that accompanied my early 20’s or by referring to myself in the 3rd person (sorry, that was kinda weird). Let’s look at my cousins, because they’re pretty damn cute and I love them so much.

 

Batista Family Session

These days, I’m finding myself surrounded by pregnancy. It just seems to be that stage of my life that my friends are growing their families and I’m absolutely fascinated by it all. So I was delighted to hear from Ali who wanted to document her sweet growing family and growing bump. I met with Ali, her husband Nando and their daughter, Everly at my favorite spot in Loantaka. At 18 months, Everly was ready to run through high grass, stop to admire the wildflowers and follow whoever was holding the tin of Altoid mints. Some of my favorite shots of her were captured with mints shaking in my hand - whatever works! She was an absolute doll and total daddy’s girl. That combination made for photos that melt my heart into a puddle.

When I picked up my camera again with the intention of pursuing photography professionally, I always imagined weddings. Tulle, lace and all the beautiful things I fell in love with while planning my own wedding. But the finished product of these photos and the process of achieving them in the soft glow of an overgrown field took me by total surprise. Yes, weddings are absolutely beautiful and I will continue to squeal over a gorgeous florals and full tulle ball gowns but there is something quietly beautiful about photographing families.

When I look at these photos, I imagine Ali years from now with her two daughters, telling the youngest that she was in her belly and these photos were their first official family portrait. I imagine Nando looking back at them and trying to remember an exact time when Everly grew too big to fit on his shoulders or be tossed up in the air. I see a family with so much love and life stopped in a moment that they’ll look back on and smile when they say “Remember when…”

Those quiet moments of beauty...that’s what I’m after.