This is WAAAAAY past due. Last year was the first (and only) year that I got this post out in the first couple weeks of January. I decided then that I would mark my favorites as the year went so that I wouldn’t have to go through every. single. picture. from 2016 to build it for this year. That happened for about 4 months and then I stopped. So now here I am, 41 days into the new year and just now getting around to sharing it with you! It takes a very long time to compile because a) there are SOOOO many pictures to filter through and b) I want to make sure and share my top three favorite portrait moments from the year and not just from my most recent portrait sessions because they are fresher on my mind. So I take time to remember back to the beginning of the year… and collect my thoughts before writing it. But still, my goal for 2017 is to have it ready the first couple weeks of January!
2016 was full of so many amazing moments. Picking my top three favorite moments has been incredibly difficult. But nonetheless, I had to narrow it down because lets face it, it’s already going to be a novel and the real reason you’re here is to scroll through the images, not spend an entire hour reading. So here we go, let’s just jump right into it:
- Back in the spring I had the opportunity to partner with Hope Resource Center to take some pictures of the families they served this year. I got connected with them through a bride of mine whose mom works there. I didn’t really have any idea what they did or who they were until this connection and when I learned, it made me want to serve alongside them even more. I wrote a whole post on what they are all about that you can visit here. I am not going to re-tell you everything they do, rather this is going to talk about the time we spent together off Cherokee Blvd one April afternoon. We had worked together to set up 6 different families to come do little 15-20 minute sessions with me. Two of the girls from Hope came down to keep me company, introduce me to all the families, and help get all the baby’s attention while I snapped away. We hung out under this huge oak tree while we waited for the first family to show up. Our conversation was light and fun, but I can’t tell you how much fellowship I felt in that small window of time. I saw how much they loved Jesus just by them sharing conversation. These women sacrifice so much to be able to save women from abortions. They love on these moms and dads and newborns like they are their own. They drop everything they’re doing to be there for any of their patients at the drop of a hat. They are literally changing the world. And they have chosen me to help preserve this memory. Who am I to be the one to get to capture these sweet littles that might have otherwise been aborted?!? It was such a surreal afternoon. So humbling. So wonderful.
- Just recently I had the opportunity to take newborn pictures of a little boy named Griffin. You can see his newborn pictures here! At the time of his newborn pictures I was 33 weeks pregnant and it was just starting to get very real that we were becoming parents. This was right before all of my baby showers started, right before I started going to the doctor weekly, and right before we really started working on the Nursery. I know Griffin’s parents through college and church and have developed a relationship with them over the past several months. Going over to their home to photograph their baby boy was such an honor. They trusted me and just let me do my thing. While I was picking him up, moving him around, squishing his little arms under his chin, folding his knees up, etc… I couldn’t help but imagine what it was going to be like to photograph Grayson. How excited and happy that made me in that moment that I was going to have my own little bundle of love to photograph in just a few short weeks. When Griffin’s parents joined me later, they so sweetly let me ask all the questions I could think of. They were not shy about it and didn’t judge me for not knowing some things that a 33 week pregnant woman probably should know. I can honestly say that I have some of the BEST clients and friends. I’m so incredibly thankful for them and for you reading this.
- I had four sessions this year where I was photographing a little 1 year old. 3 of those 4 sessions did cake smashing pictures. You never know exactly how these are going to go. All three of my cake smashing sessions had totally different reactions. The first one was Conner Claiborne. His family brought the most ADORABLE little studio set up with a mickey mouse theme. We did some one year photos of him before we did the cake smash. Once we brought the cake out though, we had to do it because he WANTED that cake. Like would not do ANYTHING else without getting some cake. His cake smash was the messiest. He didn’t care one bit to get his whole hand in it, his toes, his belly… it was all over him. Then we have Naomi Baloga. We did a similar type of session with her. Started outside in my yard, came into the studio look, then ended with the cake smash. She was a big more hesitant to just dive in, but once she realized what it tasted like, she got her hands in it. She even picked up the entire cake and was taking bites out of it. But I think we could have taken it away at any given point and she wouldn’t have fussed. Then there was Lilly Moyer. She did NOT like it at all. She didn’t cry, but she definitely let us know that this was not her thing. Mom even scooped some off and put it in her mouth to try to get her to realize it was yummy cake. Dad stuck her hand in it and the was just like ew ew ew get this off of me. Then what was really funny was when she went to back away from it she accidentally stuck her foot in it. Have you ever seen a dog or cat walk in the snow when they’re not used to it? They like keep their paws up and try not to set them down… that was Lillian. She was holding her foot in the air trying not to let it touch the ground and looking at mom and dad like guys! get this off of me! It was super cute. I loved all of these cake smashes and I thought it was perfect that they all three went completely different!
So that’s it… top highlights of the year with portraits! So scroll through below and see some of my favorite images from 2016 in the portraits category!