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.


THE FILM

THE IMAGES

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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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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.

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What memories of your family would you love to preserve forever?

Let’s grab coffee and create a session that perfectly captures your family as you are now.

Short Story: The Early Mornings | Claremont Documentary Photographer

Everyday human stories and beautiful light inspire me. So, it’s natural that I’d lift up my camera to document the gorgeous morning light that surrounds my children as they wake up and start the day.

These are the normal, everyday activities that are common to every family and the routines that we may forget by dinnertime. But, they are important because I love these people. I love how small they are; how they just have to eat cereal without milk; how they have such adorable belly buttons.

We need to document the everyday activities
that we risk forgetting.
These activities are the ones that create
our sense of family and home.

 Documenting the early morning with a school age boy.
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 A child getting dressed.
 I love how the light lands on the tiny toys my children save.
 Breakfast with children
 Cereal without milk
 I love seeing the extreme differences between the warm inside artificial light and the cool outside sunrise.
 Sun flare and children are always gorgeous.
 The youngest and the slowest eater.

When we are surrounded by the people we love and trust…
When we’re doing the everyday activities we love…
That’s when we’re our truest selves.

Document and treasure those moments. They’re worth it.

Photographing Across Generations - Grandparents and their grandkids

As a parent and photographer, I am always wanting to capture the connections between people. I love seeing where we "came from" and who we're connected to. So, it's only natural that I'd bring my "big" camera on our near-weekly visits to the grandparents and attempt some documentary photography across generations.

As my children have grown bigger and louder, these visits to the grandparents have also evolved. We used to all sit in the living room and stare adoringly at the cute baby on the blanket. Well, now those three babies are running and screeching throughout the house and the grandparents tire out very quickly.

I took the opportunity one recent trip to capture what my children find to do in this "non child-friendly" environment. Someday in the future when my children have forgoten how they used to fit inside a kitchen cabinet, I can drag out the photo album to remind just how small they used to be.

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Do you wish you had more photos of you with your grandparents?

Wouldn't you like to create photos of your own children with their grandparents?

I wish I had more photos of my grandparents and of myself with them. So, if you're like me, let's grab coffee and chat about how we can honestly capture on camera the multi-generations in your own family.

Let's Talk

A Claremont Ice Cream Shop Photoshoot

If you aren't already following the food and mom blogger, Charisse Yu (Easy Toddler Meals), you need to head over to her Instagram right now and get on it.

I met her several months ago when she needed updated headshots and lifestyle photos with her adorable boys. We captured some fun photos walking through downtown Claremont and eventually we ended up at Bert and Rocky's Ice Cream Shop. This ice cream shop has been a fixture in Claremont for 40 years and I knew that we needed some photos of this food blogger there. So, check out Charisse's blog and then check out Bert and Rocky's! But first, check out our photos of Charisse with her boys.

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