My not-so-secret 365 project, and documenting the richness of life as it is.
A relaxed, candid newborn photography session captured at home in Bridgeport, CT. Documentary moments combined with newborn and family portraits.
I was lucky enough to meet this wonderful family while teaching in Buffalo, NY at the Happy Heart Project Artist’s weekend. My dear friend (and one of the co-founders of the retreat) Erin Brant used to live in Buffalo, and when she told us about this magical family she had lined up as models for our in-home session I knew it was going to be an extra special session.
Family sessions at home are super important to me. These are the spaces where we literally make up our lives - the familiar creaking of the old steps in the same place every time, the way the light falls across the floor in the kitchen just so first thing in the morning. When we get invited into a family’s space, we get to see their story - and who they are - in a much more intimate way.
I loved every minute with this family. They were the kindest, most fun, most loving humans to be with all morning, and the energy in their home felt so cozy. I’m so grateful that all our retreat attendees (and all of us teachers) had a chance to capture these loves, and that we were able to share back images with them that really reflect what a beautiful life and love they have for one another. For me, that’s truly what this work is about when it’s all said and done.
A few weeks before Mothers Day, I had this totally insane idea. I called two of my dearest friends and said, “I want to do a bunch of mini sessions for Mother’s Day, but I want to donate a chunk of each session to support other mommas in Bridgeport. Wanna help?” Lucky for me, I have amazing friends and with less than three weeks, we pulled together one of my favorite days of 2018 so far.
I knew I wanted to find an organization that I could donate some of the mini session proceeds to, and I’ve long been in awe of the women of the Mercy Learning Center. MLC provides literacy and life skills training to low-income women in a super compassionate and supportive environment - and they are based right here in Bridgeport!
My vision was two-fold. I wanted to create a space that would let mommas and their kiddos feel super at-home and comfortable with each other in front of my lens, while at the same time taking advantage of a studio setting so we wouldn’t have to worry about weather. And, I’m such a huge fan of natural light, I wanted to be sure that we could create that feeling of home using window light alone.
My dear friend Marcella Kovac of The Bananaland was kind enough to volunteer her gorgeous studio space, which overlooks downtown Bridgeport from the third floor with huge floor to ceiling windows….MAGIC. Bananaland is pretty stylin’ all on it’s own, but I wanted to set up a few vignettes that gave my mommas a chance to be in the same kinds of spaces they’d be in at home - on the couch, cozy on the floor, and leave room for some space to shoot a few more traditional portraits against the gorgeous old white brick wall too.
Another super stylish soul sister of mine, Madeline Rhodes of Oh My Gemini, jumped in to help create the space that felt like what I envisioned - Maddie created a master plan for the furniture and adding cozy blankets and pillows into just the right nooks so it really felt like home. When I walked into the space after she’d worked her magic, I cried! It was so beautiful.
The last touch was snacks, because life. Selfishly, I knew I couldn’t go a whole day with some delish food, but I wanted to be sure that when my mommas arrived everyone felt pampered and we didn’t end up with any hangry kiddos! I reached out to the amazing Chef Raquel Pablo-Rivera of Pinch of Salt, and she put together a super simple and totally divine menu. I snacked all day, and so did everyone else. Totally delicious, and totally worth it!
We started at 10 and I shot until 4, and I had SO MUCH FUN. So many gorgeous mommas and grandmas, just hanging out and lovin’ on their kiddos. When the last family left, I definitely had one of those “life is so beautiful” moments where you catch yourself tearing up at just how good it was. We made some stunning images together that day! The best part - beyond the images and the magic - was the $546 donation I made to the Mercy Learning Center when it was all over. That’s an entire semester’s tuition for a part-time student.
I’m so excited to share some of the images we made that day. Momma’s don’t get in the frame often enough, and it was such a delight to capture them all with their kiddos. I’m already planning for next year’s Momma Love Day, and I hope you can join me!