Category: Uncategorized

More Than Just “One Thing” {Southern Maryland Family Photographer}

So…I blinked and eight weeks flew by! Welcoming our newest peanut into the crew has been exciting, exhausting, and amazing. With each tiny human we’ve added to our family, a whole new set of adjustments comes into play. My Instagram feed has been light on work-related photos, and heavy on the personal. (To be fair, my littles are pretty dang cute if you ask me)

Some tasks move to the very top of the list, shift to dead last, or drop out completely. My previously for-the-most-part-tidy house is currently a little disorganized, a tad smelly, and a lot louder. Dry shampoo and topknots are heaven-sent. I won’t elaborate on that one. In this frenzy of doing, and going, and cooking and shopping, we can lose sight of the most important job on our list. It’s the one that’s never actually scribbled on that crumpled scrap of paper along with our other to-dos, or added to the grocery list in our cute floral planner.

Raise your hand if you scurry around, trying to make it all happen, then whisk your zoo to bed, flop down on the sofa, and breathe a sigh of relief that you made it through another day?..Then suddenly, you’re standing over those adorable little sleeping people, analyzing how many smooches you doled out, if you stayed in character well enough at the toy room tea party, or if you could’ve afforded to swing in the backyard juuuust a minute longer. We’re constantly trapped in the puzzle of how to get the Everest-high pile of laundry done and still make room for storytime snuggles.

Suddenly I realize that my oldest is eight. (Cue ugly crying) I blinked and overnight he went from a tiny tree frog on my shoulder, to a semi-independent kid on the verge of needing deodorant! To say I need to savor this stage would be an understatement. My sweet friend and amazing writer put it best when she said:

“I’ve come to realize, motherhood is not about being everything to everyone, but being everything to my child. Maybe I’ve known this all along, I was just too afraid to embrace it. Maybe I’m finally okay being just “one thing” all of the time, because if that one thing is being this little boy’s mommy, then I am pretty damn lucky.” – it’s little bird

Task lists be damned. That sky-high pile of oatmeal encrusted bowls can wait. I’m soaking up this moment as long as I can because I know what happens when I blink.

Photo credit: Amanda Adams Photography

Kevin and Maegan’s Lifestyle Newborn Session {Southern Maryland Newborn Photographer}

One of the best aspects of what I do is crossing paths with really fantastic people I wouldn’t have the chance to meet otherwise. Case in point: Kevin and Maegan. We had the best time capturing their first weeks as a family of four. (I had to count their first baby, four year old Great Dane, Gansett. Hello, handsome!) Before I even started photographing them, Kevin and Maegan brought me into their (gorgeous) home and we sat and chatted for quite awhile. They’re such a warm, down-to-earth couple, and instantly felt like great friends. Baby Charley is at that awesome stage where she’s still relatively small and new, but her personality has exploded. Her oh-so-yummy baby rolls are head to toe! I almost lost it when she sat in the middle of her parents’ bed, tilted her chin up, and cheesed so big her eyes almost closed completely. (Her daddy was telling her she was pretty. Is that not the cutest thing ever?!) This session was so much fun, I honestly could’ve stayed all day. I love that such a perfect baby is now part of such a wonderful family, with parents who were her biggest fans the second she arrived. Is there anything better?

Pinterest and the Counterfeit Love Obsession {Southern Maryland Engagement Photographer}

There’s something I’ve needed to get off my chest for quite some time. I’m sure it’s already been said in a dozen different ways, by a dozen other photographers, but it bears repeating:

I. Hate. Pinterest. 

Ok, ok, that was a bit harsh, and who am I kidding? I drool over all the cozy coastal cottages with their perfectly imperfect rustic kitchen tables, and chunky knit throws, draped casually across the arm of a bleached-white Restoration Hardware sofa. The 3-ingredient, better-than-your-grandma’s cookie recipe sits quietly on my “yum” board, never to actually be baked, but enticing me with its fail-proof promises, and mouth-watering photos. These dream-worthy boredom busters have a special place in my heart, and will continue to keep my impatience at bay when my time in a doctor’s office waiting room nears 45 minutes. BUT if you want a surefire way to shatter my heart on the spot, here’s the perfect recipe:

Your longtime high school sweetheart just popped the question in the most incredibly sweet, simple way, and you never saw it coming! You find yourself staring at that brand new shiny ring on your finger, in the middle of the day, too distracted to get any real work done. Friends and family gush, your cheeks ache from grinning, and you start planning your dream day. The date, venue, and general details start falling into place. Wedding dress shopping was a success and you found THE DRESS.

Then comes the excitement of engagement photos! We pick a date and location, and hammer out the session details. Through emails, phone calls, and maybe even a date at your favorite local restaurant, we’ve gotten to know each other well. We’ve added each other on Facebook, and I’ve gotten a strong sense of who you are. Most days you lounge around the house in leggings and t-shirts, but when you go out, you kick it up a notch: a little extra mascara, heels instead of flats, curled hair. I see that you love spending time with your family on the weekends, picking crabs in the summer, building bonfires in the winter. You’re a down-to-earth, all around fun gal, and I could totally see us getting together for a movie night in our pjs.

As your photo session approaches, we talk in more detail about styles and poses. Then, with all the good intentions of a well-prepared bride, you hit me with a Pinterest inspiration board. All your favorite poses and outfit ideas are laid out neatly for me to look over, in a lovely little grid. Suddenly, all the unique information I’ve gathered about you and your fiancee has been funneled down into one narrow cookie cutter formula that I’ve seen a thousand times before.

Now, let’s pause for a moment, before I further crush your board love.

Pinterest has its place in the photo session planning process. It’s a wonderful way to visualize tops and bottoms together, colors and patterns, all coming together to create a lovely, cohesive picture of you as a couple. It’s even a great way to narrow down what mood you want to capture. You originally thought you wanted a sleek, urban vibe with sidewalks, and skyscrapers, but Pinterest helped you fall in love with big open fields, and tall wildflowers.

The danger lies in one, tiny detail that can make or break your session. Viewing your photo inspiration as a checklist is a swift, simple way to ensure your photos are forgettable. In essence, what you’re telling your loved ones through photos is that you are a cute, cookie cutter couple, just like anyone else on the street. Imagine how hilarious it would feel to go up to a random couple on the street and say, “You guys look soooo cute together! Here, get in this box, so I can pack you up and take you home.” Even more hilarious would be looking at your guy, with all the sincerity of your romantic heart, and telling him, “They are just so adorable. I want us to copy everything they do, and we’ll have our photographer take pictures.” (The word “creepy” comes to mind.) Ironically, one of the reasons you probably love the photos you’ve pinned is because that couple didn’t have a checklist. They allowed the photographer to capture their emotions, and their love language.

I’ve photographed a wide range of couples in a variety of locations and styles, but the ones I loved the most were the ones who stayed true to themselves. One couple shared a Pinterest board with me, then called and said, “We just wanted you to get a feel for the vibe we want. We love the outdoors, camping, and hiking. The photos we pinned are great because they feel relaxed and natural, like any weekend we spend together. You know us. We trust you. Don’t put us in those poses, just give us that feeling.” Yum. Yes. Perfect. Because they gave me creative liberty, I felt excited, and energized by the entire process. We hiked through the woods, threw leaves at each other, built a campfire, and made s’mores. The whole scene was so real that the couple actually forgot I was there, and gave each other snuggly, gooey s’mores kisses by the campfire. THAT is what I love about photos! I love taking a mood, a tender emotion, and making it tangible. Three years later, that amazing couple is able to look back at their photos and say, “That is us, to a T.” If you’re looking for candid, sweet photos that reflect your absolutely one-of-a-kind style, the best thing you can do is put down your iPad. Stop overthinking it. Stop putting yourself in a box. You are unique, and beautiful, and full of life!

Your love story is yours.

 

 

 

Baby Levi’s Lifestyle Newborn Photos {Southern Maryland Family Photographer}

Ryan and McKenzie’s little piece of perfection stole my heart the minute I met him. He was so completely content, and cozy while we took photos, and barely made a peep! I absolutely loved watching his mom and dad kiss his tiny hands, and stroke his little feet. When I asked Ryan how he felt about being a dad, he said, “It’s the best. This little guy right here is so cute, I just want time to slow down so I can hold him all day!” Ryan has jumped right into parenthood, and loves every minute of it. McKenzie makes motherhood look effortless and downright beautiful. This gorgeous trio plans on soaking up as much down time as possible, enjoying being at home as a family. Can you blame them? With that baby boy in their house, what could be better?