Baby's Big Sister

 

Baby's Big Sister
April 17, 2018

The newest member of our family has gotten a lot of attention these last six months, but today I want to shine a light on her remarkable big sister.  

After a long day this past weekend, I put an exhausted baby to sleep a little earlier than usual.  I jumped at the opportunity to spend some quality time with my big girl.  We snuggled up together in mama and daddy’s bed and we read, talked, and sang songs until she fell asleep in my arms.  And while I was holding that big 5-year-old I spent some time reflecting on what these past few months have probably felt like to this new big sister.

My older daughter was my entire world for the better part of five years.  Everything revolved around what she was doing and what she needed.  All the love and affection I had to give was showered upon her.  Then one day she became a big sister and suddenly had to share all of that with her new sister.  All that attention cut in half overnight. 

It would be reasonable for a child to act out in frustration or show some resentment toward the new baby, but no.  This sweet big sister just opened up her heart to the newest member of our family.  She adores her baby sister and takes pride in her new role as a big sister.  While many kids would crave more attention, she willingly moves over and gives her sister time in the spotlight.  Naturally, there have been moments of disappointment when I could not be with her like I was in the pre-baby days, but she always finds understanding and compassion.  She has probably adjusted to the change better than both my husband and me.  It’s rather remarkable actually, because I know things could have gone so differently.

Maybe she is just wiser than we give her credit for.  She can see that she has gained so much more than she lost.  Now in addition to the love she gets from her parents she has a sister and a life-long friend.

 
 

Are These My Feet?

 

These Feet Belong to Me
March 21, 2018

Watching a baby's development is truly amazing!  They come into the world completely clueless and every day they make new discoveries as they explore all that their senses have to offer.  I want so badly to preserve the wonder that I see in my daughter's eyes with each new revelation, to capture the meticulous repetition involved in trying to figure out how something works.  I know it won't belong before she figures it all out and the wonder will be gone.

The day she found her feet, I probably spent a good hour just watching her.  She was just reaching around randomly in space like always when by chance she hit her foot.  She seemed utterly surprised to find something there.  Knowing it must still be there, she kept reaching for this mysterious thing.  She would grab it, but couldn't keep a firm grasp on it.  Over and over, she reached for it, grabbed it, and lost it.  Finally her big toe hit the heal of her hand in just the right place.  Carefully she wrapped her fingers around the whole foot, holding it tighter this time.  She gave her foot a little pull and felt her body jerk.  And with that jerk came a little more insight that this thing was attached to her.  You could see the delight and amazement in her eyes.  In her excitement she lost her grip and have to start all over again.  These feet belong to me.  What an amazing discovery!   

 
FeetPlusMore-5.jpg
 

   

Bloggers Block

 

Blogger's Block
March 20, 2018

I'm a terrible blogger.  I think that is painfully obvious, if only based on a) the number of blog posts I've made and b) the time that has elapsed since my last post.  Every time I sit down to write, I'm totally overwhelmed by blogger's block.  I can't find the right words to go with the photos I want to share, which is baffling and beyond frustrating because I think photos that capture real-life are so important!  The frustration feeds back into the blogger's block, and . . . well, you get the picture.       

Well this past September I had a baby.  While I was on maternity leave, I found myself frequently sharing my photos with family and friends.  Miraculously, I suddenly I had all the right words to go with each photo.  I think it's because each photo was a glimpse into my life.  I wanted to share the significance of each moment and hope that it came through in the photo.  And as I was putting words with my photos I realized, I've been going about this blogging thing all wrong.    

Maybe it isn't that I can't come up with the right words, it's that there are too many words.  I've been trying to write about entire days when a day is comprised of so many different moments.  If a single picture is supposedly worth 1,000 words, why would I try to write about so many pictures all at once? 

So I'm reimagining my blog.  I'm going to focus on individual moments - one at a time - however bold or subtle they may be.  Hopefully that will both help me be better with my descriptions and be a better fit for everyone's attention spans.  I don't know about you, but I'm tired already!    

 
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Asper Koop Family

 

A Day in the Life of the Asper/Koop Family
February 28, 2017

When I photograph a Day in the Life I really get to experience what it’s like to be in that family.  I get to see the daily routines, parenting styles, the individual quirks of each family member, and the activities that really bring the family together.  Every family is so different, but I fall in love with each and every one of them!   

On November 19th, 2016, I got to spend a snowy day with the Asper/Koop family.  This family was such a treat!  Lissa and Paul are the loving, laid back parents we all aspire to be.  And their daughters Linden and Rowan are adventurous, clever, and sweet! 

It was a fun day that began with a lazy morning in bed, breakfast in pajamas, and fun in the snow - including building a super cool snow fort.  Later it was on to dinner at a pop up Taco Shop and ice cream at Regent Street Co-Op.  They wrapped up the day with bath time play and sweet bedtime snuggles.  

I loved watching Lissa and Paul with their girls.  Like many families, there was a stark contrast between the way mom and dad play with the kids.  Lissa would gently snuggle the girls, shower them in kisses, read to them, laugh with them, and comfort them in a moment of distress.  Meanwhile, Paul would wrap the girls in a blanket and swing them high enough to touch the ceiling, whip them around on in a sled, and bury them in snow.  And the girls clearly love it both ways!

Linden is hilarious.  She makes wild faces all the time- sometimes to entertain others and sometimes just for herself.  And Rowan is a delightful tease.  She clearly adores Paul, but outwardly snubs him.  She constantly requests “Mama” while giving him a sideways grin. 

When I’m leaving a family at the end of a long day, it’s often bittersweet.  There is the sadness of leaving a family I've gotten to know so intimately.  But there is also the joy of knowing that through photographs that family will be able to hold onto that day forever.  Years from now, they will be able to see exactly what their family dynamic was at that particular moment in time time.

Mom and daughter in snow
Playing in the snow
little girl licking ice
snow fort
silly girls
sister love
diaper check
Zingo Game
diner time
bath time
story time
bedtime

A Day in MY Life

 

A Day in MY Life
February 14, 2017

I've been putting it off for far too long, but I've finally gotten my act together, and I'm ready to blog!  And what better way to start my blog than by sharing a day in MY life?  So many clients welcome me into their lives to photograph their intimate family moments, so I thought I would share some my life with you.

I have always wanted to go to Paris, and this summer that dream finally came true.  However, because my three-year-old daughter was along for the ride, it did not turn out to be the peaceful Parisian vacation I had in mind.  My daughter managed to have more temper tantrums in couple of days in Paris than she had had in her previous three years of life combined (nearly anyway) - this was in stark contrast to the well-mannered French children, which seemed to be the only kind they had!  My husband and I were completely shocked by our little travel companion.  Ours was a trip marked by extreme highs and extreme lows, and the documentary photographer in me decided to photograph it for what it was.   

We started the day with a lovely breakfast at an outdoor cafe.  

The kiddo thought the Eiffel Tower was super fun to see up close, but rather boring from atop the Arch de Triumph.  

Naturally, a stroll down the Champs-Elysees ended with an epic tantrum.  

Getting a ride from daddy helped move things along.  

Some exercise...and more meltdowns in Tuileries Garden.

Not so impressed by the Louvre Pyramid, but totally thrilled about a random set of stairs!

And tickles from daddy are always fun.  

Yet another tantrum.  My daughter was being so unreasonable that my husband finally resorted to carting her off over one shoulder.  Much to our disappointment, we never saw the inside of Louvre.  This is my favorite photograph from our trip, because it sums up what it felt like to be in Paris with a three-year-old in full-on monster mode.     

Calling it quits on site seeing and heading to dinner.  

Relief! My husband and I enjoyed a delicious and peaceful dinner as our daughter slept.  

This collection of images is a prime example of why I love photographing “Day in the Life” sessions.  It shows the highs and lows of a family’s day and how quickly the pendulum can swing from one extreme to the other.  It brings to light the humor in the situation even though frustration was pretty much the only thing felt at the time.  And when my daughter is all grown up and does not remember being in Paris, we will still have these photographs.  She will be able to see how much she loved and hated Paris at the same time.  And in retrospect, we will all be able to laugh about it and cherish times past.