I’ve know the Esmaels for quite sometime. I’ve followed the on Social Media and I have loved seeing their family adventures and also just watching them become the beautiful family that they are. So when Courtney reached out for family photographs I was ecstatic.
We had a blast playing and shooting in the tall fields. These kiddos were so sweet and they were like little bug encyclopedias. I most of all fell in love with the bond of sisterhood that is already so strong. This whole family is just so effortlessly beautiful. It was an honor to capture a little slice of that.
What an absolute joy was this family. They had the sweetest back story, and one of the amazing and most funniest things is that they both have the same name. They were a part of a Dockatot campain to celebrate all kinds of different families.
Baby O was so calm and beautiful. You could see that she knew just how loved she was. I hope you enjoy these images.
I can’t believe we are nearing the middle of September. Back in July I took part in this incredible shoot for Dockatot. I only wish I still had little babies to put them in the cute products they have. The Corrigan Family was a part of Day one, I’ll be blogging all of the incredible families here for you all to see. They have two little ones, with the most gorgeous red hair, and beautiful personalities to match. I hope you enjoy their galleries.
While I wasn’t able to be present during his birth, I heard all about her birth plan for him. His mom had all the confidence it took to educate herself and have the birth she always wanted. At home surrounded by light and love. She is definitely full of tenacity.
I should also point out that they were in a midst of a move and we chose a sweet spot to do this session at. Two walls and a window, so if you’re thinking an at home session isn’t for you because of your clutter and space, well I’m here to prove to you that it is possible to create beautiful images with very little.
Hey guys, today I am sharing some images from this spring. I took a little bit of time to photograph myself and my kiddos just enjoying one of our favorite things at our house, our little outdoor swing. My son suggested the swing and since then I’ve added a reboso swing as well. What I wanted to achieve in these images was a little bit of movement. Something that doesn’t always come natural in self portraits because you’re setting up the shot. Being intentional with movement can sometimes seem forced because you’re anticipating it. So I knew I would have to encourage the fun, because with out it we would have been so incredibly stiff. If you are wanting more movement and fluidity in your self portraits here are three tips for that.
-Pick and easy + fun activity to do with kids. Jump in there. If you use a timer, which I do. I have 10 seconds to set up my shot. I know a remote would be easier, but I keep loosing them. Do the movement once or twice before you press the shutter.
-Say no to shallow F/stop depth of field. With movement, focus is easier at f/5 and even f/11 Can you believe it (sarcasm) . Seriously try it. Capture you and your environment completely.
-Let go of perfection. This would have to be the number one tip but I put it at the end so it can be the last thing you read. When your learning what is important is what you learn from your failures. If that pushes you to create more than it means that being in your photographs is important to you. So go create.
“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t have strength.” ― Napoleon Bonaparte
I am in awe of this incredible mama. The grace and strength she showed during her incredible birth story was so powerful. This sweet baby decided to start making her appearance while I was away in Denver. On my last day of vacation, mama text’d me that her water had broke. It was 10 pm and I was to fly back to Chicago at 5 am. I was so excited for her , but nervous that I would not make it, and my back up would absolutely have to step in and photograph it. Things slowed down and I made it home. I had woken up at 3 am to make my flight and with all the chaos of getting home I didn’t sleep. At around 7 pm I was called to head over to join the birth team. I watched as she worked through her surges.
During the night her amazing team noticed something seemed different. The head midwife joined the birth and she accessed the situation. They determined that the baby was facing the incorrect way. If you’re reading this I completely act like a fly on the wall, I don’t ask questions, so the details are fussy and I’m just typing what I remember. I heard the words “face presentation” among other things. After trying so hard to change the presentation manually, and with a bunch of other incredible ways via her Doula. The call was made to head to the hospital for a C-section. You could feel the amount disappointment and sadness was so real for this mama. She had worked so incredibly hard, and now the reality was things had changed. This was my first C-section experience, and while I wish I had been able to capture the babies arrival, I still was able to see those first moments as she became the mama she was meant to be for a second time.
What an honor to be a part of this story. This is why I photograph births. It is all magical. C section mama’s your story matters. Your birth is just as beautiful.
Sometimes in this line of work you get meet some truly calm and powerful souls. The way in which she told me her birth plan was amazing, full of hope and steadiness. Nothing could rock her.
For her session we headed to the beach, probably the only available location due to the high temperatures, the typical icy lake turned Luke warm. It was refreshing. To say that she made my job easy would be an understatement. It like she was made for basking in the sun.
To give you an update she had her birth, that same one she told me about, she brought to fruition. Just like I knew she would.
Oh my heart. This sweet baby girl is basically the poster child for a happy baby. If I had a penny for every smile and coo she blessed me with during our session together I would be very a wealthy woman. She is just to loved. I could see that with every look from her adoring parents.
We headed to west town for a little urban session, which was a very fun experience. Plus I got to indulge and shop around this amazing Chicago area. I am a big fan of all types of art, the fact that we got to incorporate this incredible mural was exciting for me. The colors and textures were stunning. This family in front was just the cherry on top.
After multiple reschedules due to this crazy rainy Chicago summer, we finally managed to make this very special session in the South Shore happen. Although it was very hot for it being so early in the morning. The beautiful lake was empty and so still and beautiful.
This lovely family is waiting the arrival of it’s fourth member. A baby girl, due soon! They are anxiously waiting for her, all ready and excited. I hope you enjoy this gallery.
Catching up on my blogging, and this family has been a part of my photography journey since the beginning. They have grown into this beautiful little foursome. My husband and Ian, the dad have been friends since high school. That’s a long history and seeing each other’s kids grow up. Our daughters are even a few days away with birthdays. And actually I was at her first birthday pregnant and uncomfortable, then gave birth like a day or two later. How crazy is that.
For this session we got lucky with the perfect early morning calm skies and wind day. Actually I think we all worked up a sweat. It’s always an honor to capture their love.