Looking back on 2023 with so much gratitude and joy! I want to thank all of my amazing clients for trusting me with creating your precious family memories. From silly faces to heartfelt embraces, these family portraits showcase the essence of love and connection I'm always striving to capture. Here's a look back at the top 100 favorite family portraits of 2023. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your family's journey!
FIVE YEARS down! I am in awe that I have just completed 5 straight years of this 365 project. These images stir so many memories and emotions leaving my heart in a bit of a whirlwind... I couldn't continue this project without the gracious cooperation of my family, my friends and my neighbors. Thank you ALL for supporting and allowing me into your lives through my lens. May your new year bring beauty and memories that you will treasure.
THIS IS US! For years and years and years I've been meaning to make THIS happen. Finally, right before Christmas 2021 we had the whole crew together to create the "White" family portrait. We're missing my dad, but while I was editing I noticed Courtney holding the heart shaped Christmas ornament from one of his flannel shirts... I know he was with us
I can't believe I'm saying this but...today marks the beginning of my third consecutive 365 Photo Challenge! Looking back at this slideshow of 2019, I realize that I cannot stop this project now. This need to create art for myself, while also capturing our own family history in photographs just satisfies my heart completely. It seems that childhood phases and changes come and go at lightening speed (as everyone warned :) and all of these moments remind me of other things that were going on in our lives, the news, the neighborhood and the world that day or week. Some day I won't recall these sweet, silly, crazy moments but these images will remain as proof of our precious time together. May 2020 bring you something that satisfies your own heart!
By January 1st, I hadn't totally decided if I wanted to commit to another year of picking up my camera EVERY. SINGLE. DAY yet I was having a hard time letting go. So I kept picking it up, waiting for the answer to come.
Now here I am 3 months into 2019 and realizing as I write this that I NEED this project in my life. Like meditation, accessing creativity soothes my soul. This project forces me to slow down, to see my children as the unique humans they are, to stay in the moment and to not rush life along. This project reminds me to appreciate the little things, to stay focused on what REALLY matters and to stay true to myself.
It is official. I completed the 365 Photo Challenge!
As I watch this slideshow from the past year, I can see how this visual journal was equal parts labor of love and necessary therapy. I learned quickly to keep my camera at arms length because the magic of childhood can show up and vanish in 10 seconds flat. But I also learned that potty training is exactly like love, you just can't hurry it. I hope you enjoy a glimpse into our version of parenthood, adventure, love and family.
This has been on my bucket list for 15+ years, so Im very excited to finally check it off! Instead of kicking myself for not doing this challenge sooner, I'm going to pat myself on the back and say "keep up the good work" - 2019 here I come.
This month was a true labor of love. As I inch closer and closer to my goal and the end of this project, I feel such gratitude that I've stuck with it. Each of these images bookends a memory, a conversation, a silly story/situation or sometimes just a mundane moment from our lives. I too have baby books stuffed in the closet. They are barely touched and mostly blank...Please, please, please let these images remind me of this amazing journey as my memory starts to fade and forget...
As I write this, there are 86 days left of this project. My toddlers have grown into little girls with big ideas, big words and big emotions. They are so full of love, creativity, silliness and drama, capturing it has been a joy and a struggle....
I'll admit, August kicked my butt! 10 Family portrait shoots, 9 Home Sweet Home selection sessions, Santa's Village, College Roommates, Birthday parties plus no school for F&P and a quick trip to Florida to see Dad. It was a struggle to pick up my camera to create personal images some days. I'm still happy to be doing this project, but there were 3 days where Savannah, my lighting assistant became my photo of the day and at least 5 self portraits due to laziness. Oh! and that crappy photo of the fish was with my iPhone (which I cringe to confess that I got up from bed because I'd totally forgotten to create something personal that day). Cheers to September and back to school, more mental space and cooler weather!
For the first time in 7 months I completely forgot create an intentional photo of the day specifically for this project! Fortunately, I did take a photo of my grocery list... so technically I guess it wasn't a complete fail. Still feeling happy to be capturing these precious moments.
Spring has sprung in so many ways! Cheers to me for completing 5 months of this project and still feeling inspired. I hope you enjoy viewing these images as much as I've enjoyed creating them. #365PhotoChallenge
Somehow the photos are still piling up like the snowbanks outside. Here I am 4 weeks since my last post and I'm beginning to feel stir crazy from creating images mostly inside. However, this week my new camera arrived and I am in LOVE! Suddenly my options for great light have increased by 3 to 4 Fstops which in the photography world is VERY EXCITING!
Week 6 & 7 and I'm still feeling the thrill when I see these moments through my lens. I'm getting keener on anticipating the direction things are unfolding as my little ones play. Keeping my camera on the kitchen counter is risky, but most of the time I need it pronto! When I grab it I pray there is enough time to open a curtain or door to let natural light in before that moment slips past. It's all about the lighting still - it will make or break a stellar image.
Some days it's easy to choose my one favorite for this #365photochallenge project and other days - not so much. So here I am, introducing The " B" Roll for those images that didn't make the cut but that still make me stop and chuckle, smile or sigh...
Week 3 and I'm still holding on... to my sanity. I'm trying to really just sit back and watch for moments that inspire me to pick up my camera. However as the hours tick on through the day, the pressure of this undertaking gets more real. Fortunately there are very few dull moments with toddlers! And it will be interesting to see how these snip-its of daily life evolve throughout the weeks and months.
During the first week of the 365 I was trying to figure out the best way to share this project. After some lengthy debate (with myself - ha!) I realized my blog was the way to go and then I could cross post this link onto other social media pages as needed.... HOWEVER, my blog was basically obsolete. I'm embarrassed to admit that I hadn't posted one single thing in almost 5 years! During the flurry of working through the kinks of posting/ workflow glitches that first week, my husband Tim said "Wait. Why are you putting this on your blog linked to your business? Aren't you doing this for you? Isn't that a lot of pressure for the images to be perfect if your sharing this with clients?" Honestly, no one puts more pressure on me and my images than myself. Photography is more than my work.... it's my joy, my love, my therapy, my meditation, my passion and so much more... When I pick up my camera I see magic and I FEEL magic. There's just no letting go of my own expectations for myself. As with my client sessions, my goal is always to impress myself first and to create something outstanding for my portfolio - something that excites me and exceeds my own expectations. When I know I've done that then I know my clients will be happy too.
If you've ever done portraits with me, then you know that the shoot is only just the beginning of our fun and our relationship. The hours we spent afterwards in your homes, with your families viewing, editing, sizing and designing where and how to display your family heirlooms, is time I truly enjoyed and value. Most of you were surprised to see me show up with my movie screen, projector and my big sample bag of prints, canvas wraps and albums. And almost every one of you swore it would not take you 2 hours to make decisions and you were right - it took you 3 or more! All that time spent in your living rooms, laughing and reliving the day, narrowing down the images, measuring your walls and taking the time to understand your wants and respecting your needs- that's exactly what I don't ever want to lose in this digital age. So, here I am now sharing a bit of me as a Thank You for sharing a bit of you over the years. If you are a future client, I want to sit in front of you and see tears of joy stream down your face because I've captured your loved ones just as YOU see them. I want to help you select the right images and sizes for your homes, your walls and your decorum. I do not want my images to sit online or in a box or on a disc somewhere with good intentions. I want you to walk by them in your living room or hallway every day and sigh with contentment and feel joy. I want you to enjoy the time we spend together creating and selecting images and I want you to feel that you know me when we finally meet in person!
Week 2 gave me a better glimpse of how this project is going to fly for the next 50 weeks. Mostly I was excited about my images day to day and desperately wanted to share more than one. However, in the midst of potty training, haircuts, preschool tears, breakfast and library dates, oh! and work, there were a few days when I barely had time to shoot or download/review my images and just wasn't sure if I'd pulled off something I'd be proud of... In the end, my favorite of the week is this image of my mom GramBear Marie J. White reading to Phoebe at the Lithgow Library. My mom reminded me that as a child I call it the "Lickable" Library and we all got a big kick out of that!
I've begun to realize that unless I make it happen, my children will have very few photos of us together during their childhood/lifetimes. So I broke out my wireless cable release and found a temporary fix for my long lost tripod (it's been 10 year since I lost it somewhere in Spain) and experimented while cutting Fiona's hair. It was definitely challenging but just like anything else, if I stick to it I know it will get easier!
Wow. I can't believe it's taken me 20 years as a professional photographer to finally tackle this bucket list goal. I'm so excited to challenge myself to pick up my camera every single day of 2018 to create and/or document the world as I see it. In the craziness of the past 3 and half years since Phoebe and Fiona came into the world, I've seen countless sweet moments and snip-its of our daily life just slip through my hands because I didn't take/make time to grab my camera to capture it. Yes, I've had my hands full raising twins, running a business, maintaining a meaningful marriage and generally trying to keep my head on straight! Yet still, I could feel the twinge of regret each time I missed a moment.
So, this first week of the 365 Day Photo Challenge was therapeutic beyond measure... It was a thrill to pick up my camera with the sole purpose being to create an image for ME. It was thrilling and soothing all at the same time. I'm excited to have to reason to take the long way home, a reason to just pull over, a reason to take that weekend trip, a reason to slow down and keep watching, a reason to leave to house with my camera in anticipation of what's to come!