I hardly ever do lifestyle sessions anymore. After I got my in-home studio set up, I thought WHY? Why would I lug all my equipment out into the world when I have this beautiful space? Well let me tell you, I may have remembered why.
My family got a little bigger (and cuter) this summer. My mom, who the kids call Grandmary (is that not an awesome grandma name? Bonus points if you get the reference. Throwback to when I was 10!), now has four grandchildren. I love the symmetry of her daughter having two sons and her son having two daughters.
Grandmary’s youngest grandbaby was born on July 18, ahead of her due date (as is true with most of the grandbabies). Josephine was greeted by dad (my brother Jason), mom, and of course big sister Caroline. You probably remember her from their amazing maternity session.
We planned as soon as she was born (before, actually) to do newborn photos. Due to my Chicago vacation, and life, it ended up not happening until Josie was exactly one month old.
My sister in law Christyn requested an in-home, lifestyle type session. Because that’s what they did when my first niece was born (way back before I became a photographer). They loved it so much, they wanted to keep this session consistent. I was cool with this, because family. Who says no to family?
But as it drew near, I sighed to myself. Crap. I was definitely going to want my studio lighting system with me to get the best photos. I’ve taken it out of the house before (for this awesome photo booth we set up at DeWitt Perry Middle School), so I knew it could be done. But what would it be like to move it from room to room in someone else’s house?
TURNS OUT IT WAS CAKE. I set it up in the corner of the master bedroom and it was perfect. We moved it only once more, to Little Sister’s bedroom to get some crib shots. (The photo of her feet is one their first photographer took of Caroline too, so a must-have shot for them for sure.) Other times I just winged it. Honestly, this session allowed me to get super creative, and it was FUN.
I’m really proud of these images. Not just as a photographer, but as a sister and aunt. Does my brother not have the most beautiful family? I could never have imagined them, and yet here they are. As I snuggled my niece before the shoot, I felt this surge of overpowering love. So strong I almost cried like a baby. (While holding a baby, ha.) I asked Christyn, “Do you think it’s strange? I feel like I love Caroline and Josie as much as my own kids.”
She confirmed it was in fact, not strange. That she felt the same way about her nephews. My boys. Ryan and Grayson. Isn’t that kind of love amazing? Family is such a powerful thing.
Every time we gain a new member of our family, it washes over me how much more complete we feel. Josie, we were all waiting for you to get here and we didn’t even know it. Love you, Little Sister.