Baby Emma | Seattle newborn photographer

On one of the last sunny mornings of our beautiful fall, I met with the Bethards family to document one of their last days as a family of three. Days of excitement, anticipation, joy, and perhaps a little anxiousness about the big changes to come. Katrina was positively radiant, clearly; and Audrey was full of the big emotions of a 21-month-old that were forgotten after a quick Snapchat interlude. 

A few weeks later, little Emma arrived, and their beautiful family was complete. 

Full arms, full hearts | Seattle family photographer

Right now, in the middle of winter, it is dark and gloomy. The rain is falling and pouring down the street in little rivers making this late summer day feel like a distant memory. There was ash falling from the sky and our mid-morning shoot had a hazy red tint due to the smoke in the air, but these two smiley six-month-olds didn't mind a bit. 

I have had the pleasure of working with several sets of twins and I am always impressed with the level of teamwork their parents display. Their arms are full of babies and stuff; juggling bottles, strollers, diaper bags, dog leashes, and extra outfits, but their words to each other are kind and encouraging and they are spoken with humble hearts and smiling faces. What lucky babies to grow up in the strong arms of these kind parents. 

My own 2017

I should have written this post weeks ago, as 2017 recaps are so last year (ha) but there are a lot of things I should have done two weeks ago and I'm still working on those things as well as Tuesday's to-do list (#momlife). So, I'm just going to do it now, cross it off of my list, and count it as a win. 

I struggled with work/life balance this year, and every time I thought of grabbing my camera to take pictures of my family, it felt like going to work. So I bought a different, much smaller and lighter camera to take on family adventures; something that would do a good job with photos, but wouldn't take up a lot of physical or mental space in our time together. 

My goal in photographing my family this year was to take pictures that capture the essence of our experience together. Something that, when I look at it, moves me to a feeling. Remembering the things we were doing, the laughter and/or tears (or often both) that accompanied the experience, and the way our relationships grew or changed because of those times together.  

I want to look at a picture of my kids and SEE my kids. Not just their likeness, but their spirit. 

Here are a few of my favorites from our time together in 2017. Time spent in our new house, at the beach, in the woods, and everywhere in between. These pictures and memories that accompany them will be cherished forever. 

A morning with the Davis family | Seattle family photographer

I have been taking pictures of the Davis family since little Etta was six months old. She has always been a beautiful, happy girl, and it is a shoot I look forward to every year. Her family just moved to a new (to them) neighborhood in Seattle so we decided to do the shoot at their home, on their block, and at the beach park they visit nearly every day. 

Last year, Etta was a little timid during their photo shoot. This year, she greeted me at the door with a smile, showed me her new room, and cried when the shoot was over. What a difference a year makes! 

We got a lot of beautiful pictures during our shoot, but my favorite is the one of Etta wrapped up in her mom's arms. Etta's dad had been chasing her and she ran giggling and screaming straight to her mom's open arms. Arms that closed around to protect and embrace. Arms that feel like home to Etta.

Etta's mom closed her eyes and smiled for just a moment. Enjoying the weight of her daughter against her chest. The feeling of home in her arms. 

2017 in the rearview | Seattle family photographer

What a year. As I went through all of my pictures from 2017 to pick out a few favorites for this post, I was reminded of all of the families I met, the time we spent together, and the beautiful memories we shared. 

What a gift it is, to be invited into your lives to capture these moments. It is my pleasure.