The weekly roll {Fredericksburg VA newborn photographer}

Whew… gracious… WHAT. A. WEEK. it has been. For like a month. Okay… months. Alright… a year. Okey dokey… almost three years.


Friends, the road to adoption is long and hard and uphill. I used to wish that God would somehow show me the future so I had something to hold on to, but it’s a good thing he didn’t or I would have run away! hahaha🙂


This roll of Portra 3200 black and white film was calling my name because it’s such a moody, stunning film that evokes so much emotion. I needed to just sit down and admire the beauty that is right here in my home. To see the blessings that the Lord has given me through the lens of my camera, and hope for the ones to come, instead of feeling anxious that I will somehow be robbed of that opportunity just because it isn’t on my time.

So, when I heard my sweet boy practicing the cello, I knew it was the perfect chance to grab my camera and capture the beauty of now. We could all spend more time admiring the now, amiright?


the weekly roll

Some days are just what I call “macaroni days” and if you are a southerner, you know just what I mean. Baked mac and cheese can fix just about any ailment from broken hearts to menstrual cramps, and every family has their own recipe, as unique as their last name. It was the first real meal that I learned to make as a child and I love to make it with my kids, as well. I love, love kitchen time. Magic happens there. While you are assembling a recipe from a book or memory, children’s hearts open and spill out of their mouths. Last week you could find my second grader and I whipping this dish up and catching up on some much needed momma-daughter time.

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Speaking of one on one time, I had the joy of a lunch date with this cookie monster and it was such a precious few moments stolen away from an otherwise busy week. I love watching the age of two happen. They are in their own little worlds, but mommy is the center, and it can be both wonderful and draining to be so, but sometimes you catch a glimpse of just how precious a time it is and it makes the draining feel more rewarding. Watching this guy dance to the music while we waited for his cookie made my heart about explode because I remember a time that we didn’t think we would ever get to have him. Now here he is, in all his golden haired naughtiness. So blessed!


My other favorites from the week’s film:


The weekly roll {Fredericksburg VA newborn photographer}

I have incorporated film into my maternity sessions for some time now, but recently challenged myself to shoot and process a roll of personal film per week. This photographer’s kids are often like the cobbler’s kids with no shoes. I love what I do, but sometimes the last thing that I want to do is pick up a camera when I am not working. Film is so special, though. Aside from the beautiful imagery, I find that it really sharpens my skills as a photographer. You have to get the shot, there is no preview or second chance, so you have to be confident in your ability. It is also wildly expensive, both to purchase and to process, so when every time you click the shutter is costing you around $3.50, you tend to create more meaningful and impactful moments. In a world of camera phone imagery, I find it so indulgent to create timeless art of my family’s week in the same manner that my grandfather did when I was young. And, like so many things in life, that is the biggest reason of them all for using film: it takes me back to a time when I was the child in the viewfinder and it was my grandfather’s hand on the shutter. My connection to the past, while preserving memories for the future.

So, I decided to share my favorites from the week’s roll here. This week has extras because they came from two rolls, one from the week before school, and one left sitting from spring.

The images of my kids picking strawberries are precious beyond words to me. The morning that they were taken my family made a big adoption decision. My husband was flying out of town that very day so it was a rapid discussion and a “yes” and the whole time the kids were picking I felt excited for what strawberry picking next year may look like. I am so happy to have that moment forever frozen! {along with all that delicious freezer jam.. .helllloooooo delicious}

The park images were the last weekend before school was back in session. We ran the kids downtown for coffee and treats and then to the park where my hubby and I used to take our coffee when we were first dating and talk until it was too cold to stay outside anymore. It’s a sacred spot for us, and so neat to take the kids there. I am sure that when we sat on those benches all of those years ago, we never imagined what the family would look like now. Check out how the little ginger-haired boy watches his brother’s every move… he just idolizes him. So sweet to watch.

See you again in a week!


Baby C {Fredericksburg VA newborn photographer}

web 6web 5web 4web 3web 2web 1web 8.pngThis family is SO FUN. Boy moms have a unique way about them… chances are they have been there, seen that and cleaned up the mess! This momma is up for many more adventures with a third precious fella in her nest! {PS: how beautiful does she look so soon after giving birth?! ridiculous!}


Finding the light {fredericksburg va newborn photographer}

The number one question that I get asked during sessions is about taking better pictures of your own children.


As professional photographers, we are trained to see the light, but any mom can take beautiful and memorable pictures at home. Here is a little practice assignment…


For some reason, the best light in most homes can be found in the kitchen and master bedroom. My desk is in my kitchen, so my little one spends a lot of time in his highchair hanging with his momma. He was so cute this morning playing, so I grabbed my camera. Here is a pullback… super messy. This week has been ONE OF THOSE WEEKS so my kitchen game is weak today. Haven’t done dishes or picked up toys. But that doesn’t matter!

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You want light to fall at an angle, typically. Angle your subject, in this case my super sweet little Eli guy, so the light falls across his face. Snap. This is taken with me standing in front of the door.

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the other option you have is to stand directly facing the subject, which gives more defined shadows, my personal preference.

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These images are directly from my camera, with no retouching. The final images are below after editing.

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Now go take pictures of your own littles!

big brother {Fredericksburg VA newborn photographer}

I am so thrilled to be working with this beautiful couple! They are so sweet and excited to be welcoming their sweet son very soon. In fact, I would be surprised if momma made it to her due date in a few weeks. {I am no doctor but do have a little experience😉 }

Their little pup has been with them every step of their journey and is so dear to them. It was so fun and sweet to include him in a few of their special portraits.

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More coming soon!

Baby A {Fredericksburg VA newborn photographer}

THIS LITTLE ONE. All the heart eyes. I almost hoped that he would be a fussy baby so that I could spend extra time snuggling his perfect little self, but alas, he was absolute snuggly, sleepy baby perfection! Check out those lips… SO kissable. Congrats to the new family!

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baby C {Fredericksburg VA newborn photographer}

OH, my lands. This precious baby girl is such a love. I could have snuggled her all the live long day. She is new precious daughter of my daughter’s favorite ballet teacher and their family is so dear to us. It was such an honor to get to photograph their brand new addition. She is so dainty and lady like… I am sure she will be dancing along side momma so soon!

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Getting older {Fredericksburg VA newborn photographer}

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Today is my birthday. I remember thinking that my age now was super old when I was younger. I remember thinking that I would have myself totally together. I’d probably live in a posh home, with perfect decor, all white because my kids would be close to grown. I’d probably never second guess myself or feel inadequate or wonder if I will ever feel like I will never fully grow up.

The beautiful gift of getting older is that it isn’t at all what you think it will be. Life happens so quickly that all you can do is hold on and try to soak in the moments. I never imagined that at my age I would have a 5 month old baby. I never imagined that those older kids, close to grown, would make me so happy and proud that I never want them to leave, even in exchange for the return of my beloved white furnishings. I never imagined that everything I own would probably have seen better days and that I would prefer a love-worn life far over the well designed one that I had once dreamed of. I never imagined that I would continue to second guess myself every day, especially when I tuck my kids in at night and see their sweet, sleepy faces and know that the only thing that I want to do “right” in however many years I am given is raise them to a happy adulthood, filled with warm memories of these years that are happening right now.

Birthdays are sweet like that… you get to stop and look around at where you are and soak in what your years have given you. I am thankful for it all. I am not where I imagined I would be, so many years ago, but when it is time to blow the candles out on my cake, the only thing there is left to wish for is more of the beautiful same.

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