A Documentary Newborn Session with The Dotson-Kelly Family

I met the sweet Dotson-Kelly family back in 2017. They are both from Southern California and have so many connections to our sweet village of Claremont: from the high school drama department, to the violin maker (you know that adorable shop in the village!), and even to our summer CEF SLICE program where they both taught.

Well, they welcomed their second girl in November and were already pros at the whole parenting gig. Within a week, they were making coffee while holding a newborn (an essential skill) and reading books to their 2 year old while comforting the baby and making breakfast for their dogs. I wish I was that capable when I was a new mom of two under two.

I love that we were able to capture a slice of their real life with their new baby. Please enjoy their film and then the images below.



9:20am - Newborns and toddlers live according to their own schedule, so everyone was up (even the dogs!) and ready by the time I was able to whip out my camera.


Every newborn arrives into a family and is instantly part of a coalition that has existed for thousands of years. This new baby’s family has a past that goes on for generations. Though this baby may be a new fresh life, they are also continuing the priceless line of people who love each other as well as the baby. It struck me throughout this session how this new little girl arrived as the family was still remodeling their kitchen and figuring out where to place appliances and furniture. Life continues on as a new life begins.


9:30am - Time for coffee and to tend to their first babies: the dogs.


9:45am - Another outfit change for the littlest family member. These sisters are already creating that unique bond that should last a lifetime.


10:00am - Apparently it’s time for big sister to take charge and introduce her baby to all the toys and books.


10:20am - While her new “baby” naps, big sister soaks up the undivided parental attention.


10:45am - What do most families with newborns and toddlers often find themselves doing? Cuddling on the couch (with dogs too!) with many toddler-level books.


We marbled pumpkins - A Pinterest win!

We marbled pumpkins - A Pinterest win!

We actually did a Pinterest activity... and it worked!

Last week at my kids' school some of the other moms were talking about when they tried to dip pumpkins into nail polish to create a marbled look and how it failed so horribly. Out of curiosity, I looked the technique up when I got home. It sure did make some pretty pumpkins and did look pretty easy. Probably won't really work though, right?

Getting creative with playground photography

If you've been taking your children to the playground for 8 years like I have, you might find yourself getting bored with your photos. There are only so many shots you need of your kid coming down the slide.

So, what is to be done? Stop taking photos? Stop going to the playground?

A documentary photo of a boy playing on playground equipment in San Dimas, CA

I found myself here recently. I had even rented a 70-200 lens for a family shoot the following day and wanted to test it out with my own kids. However, once we got to the park, I was bored with all the shots I was making. Other photographers can make art with any lens and here I was with a beautiful lens creating boring snapshots. So, I took a step back.

A sweet photo of a girl on playground equipment in San Dimas, CA by documentary photographer Erica Faith Walker.

I blinked and looked with new eyes at the playground. Suddenly, I saw lines, geometric shapes, interesting shadows and compelling stories.

Sometimes all we need to do to break out of the photography rut is to just decide to see in a new way. So, next time you're bored with your park photography, try these steps:

  1. Close your eyes. Open them when you're ready to see in a new way.
  2. Take your camera out of your normal settings. Get out of your comfort zone.
  3. Experiment with new angles or slower shutter speeds
  4. When you get home, try editing them in a different style


This is a fun black and white photo of a girl on playground equipment in San Dimas, CA by Erica Faith Photography.

Happy Birthday to my baby

Happy Birthday to my 2 year old

My youngest just turned two this weekend and we had a small family party that was just his size. Decorations were colored and arranged (in rainbow order of course) by the big siblings.

Presents were also wrapped by big siblings and the cake decorated with "dirt" and random toys. Because, why not. :)

Happy Birthday to my 2 year old

I especially liked our mid-morning party break so the birthday boy could go on a walk and the grandparents could watch old home movies.

Happy Birthday to my 2 year old

Finally, we got to the present opening time. Isn't is cute having all the men of the house working together to open the box?

Happy Birthday to my 2 year old
Happy Birthday to my 2 year old
Happy Birthday to my 2 year old

As any child knows, as soon as you receive a jigsaw, you must. cut. everything.

Happy Birthday to my 2 year old
Happy Birthday to my 2 year old

Ah, he is officially two years old! My smallest little man. Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my 2 year old