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How my life experiences influence the way I photograph families

I just wanna preface this blog post before you start reading by saying this is a little bit of a heavier post. However, I do believe that by talking about several of my life experiences, I can help you be more mindful about seeing the people + places that matter the most.

How my childhood experiences influence the way I photograph families


Both my sister and I were quite young when our dad Robert passed away (3 & 4). We were too young to have memories of him, or to even remember him. All we had left behind were photos and stories we were told about him. Not only did we not have any memory of him but I was given two photos of him and I together, my younger sister didn’t even get that. 

Photos serve as evidence of how tenderly we are cared for and love those around us. None of us know what the future holds.

There are so many of us who have already experienced loss and the regret of not taking the time to document those who mean the most. Photography that documents our everyday life gives those who have experienced a catastrophe or who worry about the possibility of one, the opportunity to be able to remember the little stories and special details of a loved one.


How my childhood experiences influence the way I photograph families

(In this photo, Melissa and I are helping my mom plant flowers. My mother has always been passionate about her flowers! If you look closer though, Melissa is looking at a car. It’s likely broken down, which meant we’d get to meet someone new, let them use our phone and sit and chat with them while they waited for help. )


Some of my favorite memories as a child were baking chocolate chip cookies from scratch with my mama, hiking around the little log cabin we lived in (with a dozen cats in tow), and going out in the woods to cut and drag our Christmas tree home.

The thing is, I realized that I only had one photo of the three of us something we loved.

There are recurring stories, traditions and details in our lives that become SO much sweeter if we have photos of them.  Photographs allow our memories to stay alive and breathing.


There was a particular year where we took a vacation down to the Outer Banks and I came home excited to edit photos I’d taken, but as I was uploading them in to Lightroom, I realized I wasn’t in a single photo.

There I sat, looking at my family running up and down the beach having a blast and I was no where to be found. It was almost as if I wasn’t there…or worse, I was no longer here on Earth with my family.

It was gut wrenching. A priority check.

I’d been waving off the camera because of my insecurities rather than jumping in with my children, having fun and loving them.

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All of these experiences have made me look at photography in a different way. To see how it can be used, the things it can capture and most importantly being able to revisit some of the most precious times of my life.

From your childhood, to falling in love, to parenthood and the family that you grow into together. I have a feeling you’re already thinking of some meaningful family stories but have never thought to have them recorded. If you’d like my help in documenting those memories, book a call, I’d love to chat about how I can help.

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