Andy & I started out photographing just weddings here on Cape Cod, where we ourselves said, “I do!” nearly 15 years ago. Still can’t believe it’s been that long…feels like just yesterday!
Love has always been the inspiration for us in our work, and getting invited to share in such a special, intimate day with a couple and their family & friends is just the coolest thing! Plus, having experienced disappointment with the photos from our own wedding, getting to document all of the love & celebration for other couples…the way we hoped it would have been done for us….feels like a great big happy do-over.
As many of our brides & grooms have become parents, we’ve been asked to document the next happy milestone in their lives…family. And, we just LOVE it!
Like our wedding photography, we wanted our family photography to be different…to feel REAL, EMOTIONAL and full of LOVE, not those stiff, everybody posed perfectly in matching outfits we’d seen so much of. Instead, we like to capture families as they are….playful, serious, silly, chaotic, quiet, happy, sad, exhausted, energetic, and perfectly imperfect.
Today, this style of photography has a name…lifestyle photography, and while I’m not too keen on labeling what we do, I think it’s a pretty accurate description of how we like to photograph families.
Although both Andy & I photograph our families together, when it comes to newborn photography, which usually involves going to a family’s home and spending a few hours photographing the baby and new parents where they are most comfortable, we’ve found that having two of us there can be a bit too much. And, being that I am obsessed with babies, it seemed only natural (this is code for I insisted) that I be the one to do the baby stuff. And, I think I’ve found my calling, at least that’s how I feel whenever I spend time with this family you’re about to see.
Julia & John have been in our lives for nearly six years. We photographed their bello love session (aka engagement session) and wedding here on Cape Cod and right from the first hello, we were smitten. But, just days before their wedding, we experienced some profound loss and Julia & John were amazing. We loved them before, but that really sealed the deal for me, and they will forever hold a special place in my heart.
So, when they called and asked if I’d photograph their son Brady in 2014, I was overjoyed. I’m not sure they fully appreciated how much sharing those intimate moments with them in their home, with sweet Brady, meant to me. Or maybe they did, because just before Christmas, they asked me to come back, to photograph their newest addition, Baby Chase, who like his big brother, quickly stole my heart.
I arrived in New York City, to their midtown apartment, late on a Friday night. We chatted until way past any of our bedtimes and in the morning, I began chronicling the life of young parents with a newborn and toddler.
It was interesting for me…I found myself wanting to provide the exact same experience for all of us that was had when it was just John, Julia & Brady, and yet, I didn’t want to take the exact same photos. But, I quickly discovered that life isn’t the same when three becomes four, so I shifted my focus, let things unfold naturally and documented Julia & John’s new life…which is just as beautiful, full of love and perfect imperfection as ever and as any of us could ever hope ours to be.
Although we don’t have little lovebugs of our own, whenever our nieces & nephews sleep over, Andy & I love to take a morning selfie of all of us snuggling in bed. Usually, the kids wake up and run into our room and jump in bed with us. It’s THE BEST! We chat, make silly faces, have tickle fights, and document these moments. There’s something about the stillness of the early morning, when we gather together among the pillows, where nothing else in the world matters, and it fills my heart with such joy. So I thought it would be fun to do this with these lovebugs and document their special morning moment…where the chaos and exhaustion melts away and all there is is love and family.
Looks like someone else loves morning silliness….Sweet Brady, aka Diaper Man, jumps on the bed as he plays with his new friend with the camera. Love this little monkey! Can’t believe how big he’s got since I took photos of him weeks after he was born. Click HERE for a look at that newborn session.
Family time….Mmmmm good!
All feet…big and small.
Making your way into the world only a couple of weeks before, and growing by leaps and bounds, takes a lot out of a little guy. Just love how babies sleep all snug in their swaddle. Love it almost as much as when they wake up and stare at you all sleepy eyed and curious about who this new face is before them. Those eyes…can we talk about it for a second???
Once again, Julia & John offered for me to stay with them prior to the session, which was so nice as it gave us all a chance to catch up the night before, and before the kiddos were awake. But, what made it really sweet, is I got to be there for the start of the day…when the sun just wakes up, the cartoons are on the TV, and babies big and small are in onesies, while momma feeds and chats and meets their needs. These are the moments that seem insignificant, but in reality make life worth living. Look at Brady’s face as he looks at his momma, like she is the bestest, funniest, most amazing person ever. Be still my heart!
It didn’t take long for me & Brady boy to become fast friends once again. He is everything good and lovely and I want to munch on those two fingers he loves to stick in his cute face. Can we talk about the baggy leg of the onesie for a second?? It’s killing me.
This next one just screams SUPERWOMAN to me….Julia is so gorgeous and such a good momma. Feeding Chase, while comforting Brady. Women are amazing, and moms…the most amazing women of all!
I love this next one of Chasey sooooo much!! That smile, that perfect little nose, the wrist chub, gorgeous head of hair, and that delicious baby shoulder fur….it’s too much!!!
I love babies. I love the way they smell, I love their big full bellies and eyes of wonder. I love how predictable they are and how their needs are simple. I love their innocence and purity and I love how I feel when I hold one in my arms. It becomes even more meaningful when the baby I’m holding and posing came from two people whom I adore and care for greatly.
I love me a sleeping baby and their beautiful bits….tiny knuckles and sweet little lips, faint eye lashes and fingernails. Oh, and how they can sleep anywhere, without a care in the world. Heavenly.
And, mommas and their babies….swoon! No one will ever love us quite like our momma. And, being a momma is no easy feat!!!
While Chase was sleeping, we asked Brady if he would come lie with his baby brother for some photos. I wasn’t sure how this would go down, figuring he wouldn’t want to lie still or be able to cooperate, being so little and full of energy. But, he gave me a good 10 minutes of this and I swear, my heart nearly exploded.
The eyes….I just can’t!
I love that we can take our time during these sessions and let life unfold…sure we make time for pretty photos like those above. And, I do love capturing these images. But, it’s the real moments that truly move me.While modeling seemed to amuse him for a bit, Brady was more interested in checking out his baby brother, and best yet…getting to hold him, like a real big boy.
Look dad…he’s smiling at me!
Being a great big brother is exhausting…sometimes you just need a furry snuggle partner and a little alone time.
Oh the simple joys…..
Hey watch this…you can’t see me….here I am!
The deliciousness continued with nudie bottoms and elephant rides.
And, quietly, in another room, Julia and Chase enjoyed a little snuggle time.
Momma and her babe….sigh!
While Brady napped, our exhausted parents and their newest bundle of love snuggle…..more happy sighing!
Love these beautiful, lovely, fabulous people!
Love this one too….”Hey, sleepy head, guess who missed you?” Meeee!
Before we all headed out to the park to relish the unseasonably warm late December day, Dad and his main man needed a quick shave…because what 2 year old doesn’t love to make a mess, especially if it involves pretend shaving with his Dadda??
LOVE. LOVE. LOVE!
All dressed and ready to head to the park, but first a quick peek at the city life below. Love how Brady had his face pressed against the glass….
….happy for some more alone time with his Daddy.
The quintessential NYC family….these four make walking down the street look cool! We had a little time to play in the park together before I had to head back home and say, “So long,” to this fabulous foursome.
Kisses for momma…Mmmmm good.
Julia & John, thank you both from the bottom of my heart for opening your home and your hearts to me in such a warm, love-filled way. Thank you for your friendship and for sharing your beautiful family with me! Andy & I love you guys and I feel so lucky to have got to share in these amazing moments with you, as you welcomed your boys into the world….Andy’s a wee jealous! Can’t wait to see you all again, hopefully this summer when you return to Cape Cod. Until then, may these moments and photos bring you as much joy as you all have brought to me! Love you to the moon and back, Chris xoxoxo