These images were taken in September of last year in the beautiful Austin, Texas! it was a session led by the incredible Stormy Solis. Being in charge of a big event like this means I don’t really shoot a whole lot. But this light and beautiful family couldn’t be ignored, plus it was the last session of the day. It is always so much fun to see how other artists interpret the same subjects. I hope to go back to Austin someday and get to explore a bit more of that incredible city.
Throughout our whole session I felt so connected to their family story. It was so heart breaking to hear the longing to be somewhere else, to go back to their home Venenzuela. But truly the way I saw them, it felt that even though circumstances (much like my own) have forced them to migrate to other places, they truly felt at home with each other. They radiated the word home and belonging. Their children just were so connected and beautiful.
We chatted about how we struggle to hold on to our native tongues for our kids, and how so many words online have hurt us deeply. Home is wherever you are, that may be true. But I hope that they get to return and feel that sense of belonging everyone deserves. For now I get to make new friendships in this beautiful city. One which I’ve adopted as my own. Its my home.
“My mother groaned, my father wept,
into the dangerous world I leapt.”
― William Blake
The power of women never ceases to amaze me. This was by far the longest birth of my portfolio, and it was full of beautiful drama and a boy that surely made an entrance. She had a plan, and she fulfilled it. I saw as she transformed herself into the type of person that births fo gracefully. Apart from all tears of relief at the end, you felt an insane, huge wave of love just washing over everyone. No the journey wasn’t easy for this mama and she had to give it her all, but that boy was worth it.
If you live in Chicago you absolutely know that we could potentially experience all four weather seasons in one day. This is when client communication really can make a difference, another of the not so strong suits that I’m working on bettering. During this specific week, we experienced just that, the day we were supposed to shoot it called for a chilly 40 degrees. On this evening the temp reached a warm 70. It was shocking. Kelly and I immediately jumped at the idea of changing the shooting day. She had her heart set on an outdoor newborn session and we knew we just had to jump at this weather. The whole drive there was nothing but sunny skies, then the minute I park my car… rain. Thankfully Kelly and her family just roll with whatever life throws at them. They now have 3 beautiful kiddos. I am so honored to have been able to visit one of their favorite places in Chicago and to capture all of their beauty. This whale wall is just so much of everything I love. I hope you enjoy their beautiful gallery!
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I taught for the first time!
I photographed a REAL FAMILY in their ACTUAL home in front of other 20 + photographers. I was hella nervous, and not to mention, what the rest of my crew doesn’t realize is that I screwed up with Cate (the mama) I gave her the wrong date, and It could have been a catastrophe. Cate had cleaners over in preparation for the NEXT DAY! why am I telling you this? Well because to screw up is just part of life, and I am someone who rolls with the punches. Plus I had Brittany Dejesus on my team, she would have helped me knock on every door until we found a family willing to be our models if the Clifford’s had not been able to. As fate would have it my snaffuu worked out in so many ways, unfortunately, Cate’s grandfather fell ill that weekend, and the fact that we shot earlier made it possible for Cate to drive two hours to her family and to be together in such a tough time. He passed that next day. I am so so beyond grateful for the time Cate and her family gave us. Especially as she was so surprised to see me at the door.
They were so beautiful and their love can be felt on every corner of their beautiful home. I had my ISO set to 5000 and the light was all over the place, I missed some of my most important transitional images. But overall It was such an enlightening experience. During and even before my shoot I kept calling this session Hybrid, a mix of documentary + lifestyle but I’ve added the title of RHYTHMIC STORYTELLING to my work because I need, my images to make sense to me. That’s what I’m sticking to. That is how I am to shoot every session.
I won’t lie, it was chaos, and I probably forgot a million things I wanted to say, but it was an incredible experience. One I won’t forget.
INSTA LOVE < —–