A Year of Firsts...

Let me start by saying Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!!! Starla, it has been pure joy getting to know you and your family over the last year. I met her parents Gretchen and Jeremy through another client referral last year. They contacted me before Starla was born to set up a date to take her newborn lifestyle photos in their home. When she made her grand entrance in this world, Jeremy sent me a photo from the hospital of Gretchen and Starla and all I could think was, WOW. This woman looks amazing and she JUST gave birth. Gretchen had that new mom glow and I couldn't WAIT to meet them!! Gretchen and Jeremy are so easy going, and energetic! We had the BEST time during the photos!! We talked and laughed and shared those "first time parents" newborn stories. Newborn photos are such a special time. Maybe it's because my two boys are getting older and I can offer bits and pieces of advice to new parents. Maybe it's because I know how important capturing these moments are and how fleeting time really is. Maybe it's because I want the parents to have the best memories of these first few days at home. As most of us know, these days can go by in a blur between feedings, changings, loss of sleep and a complete change of lifestyle and I want them to remember their tiny hands and toes and their facial expressions as they yawn after a feeding and drift back off to sleep. Newborn sessions hold an extra special place in my heart as we celebrate these tiny humans entering the world.

A few months had gone by and we were on vacation in Florida. I was sitting in a cafe, having lunch with my family and I received a text from Gretchen asking if we could take quarterly photos of Starla to document her growth and changes over the next 9 months. I was beyond ecstatic that they wanted to do this!! I couldn't wait to map out the rest of the year with them and see Starla reach her milestones as she grew from an infant into a toddler. Her 3 month and 6 month photos were so adorable as she started smiling and really being attentive to her parents voices. By 6 months, she was sitting all on her own and smiling as her mom and dad stood a few feet away.

One of the best parts of being a photographer is relationship building with clients. My goal is to love and serve my clients, not just with the photos but also with the experience. I want them to love their photos but I also want them to feel confident and empowered during their session. I am so fortunate that this particular client relationship has turned into such a wonderful friendship. Getting to know Gretchen and Jeremy over these months has been a wonderful experience! They are a fun loving couple and we have enjoyed get-togethers over dinners and nights of great conversations.

Starla's 9 month session was super fun! It was a gorgeous day outside and the sunshine that was pouring into their living room made for the perfect amount of natural light. I joked with Jeremy saying, "So...how much do you guys like living here because this room would make the PERFECT photo studio"! At least by this point I had known them long enough that they didn't think I was a complete oddball! Starla was so happy and smiling the whole time. Her smile is the absolute cutest! They laughed and sang and read books so that we could capture these moments as she grows closer to being 1 year old. The bond that has grown between the three of them is one of love and kindness. They have hearts of gold and give their daughter the same kind of love.

It's here! Starla's 1st birthday!! This year though, since we are all social distancing, we had to wish her well through a birthday message phone call or text and wait awhile before taking photos. These past few months have been challenging for all parents but for events like milestone birthdays, parents had to forego seeing families and find more creative ways to celebrate their babes. I couldn't wait to meet this sweet family for these birthday photos and we decided to meet at Gretchen's sister's house. The property is gorgeous with budding flowers and trees, and gardens. And we certainly had a good laugh about the farm across the way where the alpaca occasionally gets out and pays the neighbors a visit! We strolled down the grassy path, listening to the faint sounds of the neighboring horses to a little pond to finish out our sunset session. Starla loved crawling through the green grass, picking up leaves and taking in the beauty around her. I watched her wrap her tiny fingers around her parents' hands and walk across the grass. Here's to an amazing first year of life Starla! I have loved spending time with you as you grow and learn about the world around you. Welcome to toddlerhood!!