A Morning With You | The Custatis Family | Oaks Family Photographer

My experience with the Custatis family has always been a rewarding one. Anyone who walks into their old, cozy house would immediately feel the love that lives in these walls as I did as soon as I came in that morning. Maggie (mommy) was a little anxious about what we would do once I arrived. Most Moms have this concern. I told her that in my experience, the kids usually take care of that for us. 

The kids filled it up with room tours, toy chest tours, dress up, anecdotes about how mom doesn't like when their teeth fall out (in a grossed out way more than a sentimental way), tower-building, banner-making, diaper changing, tickle-fighting, on and on. 

Courtney + Jason | An Intimate New Jersey Wedding

Courtney + Jason put a lot of emphasis on family, + spending quality time with their guests on their wedding day. Part of that was finding a photographer who didn't mind documenting the day + not posing the couple for a single photo. 

Hello dream wedding.

What I love about photography is the documentation of a life. Any life. So the more freedom a couple gives me to make it about them enjoying themselves instead of me making it about how my portrait portfolio looks, the happier + more fulfilling I feel in my work.

So, welcome to the wedding I have essentially been waiting 7 years to photograph. 

A Morning with You | The S Family

A sink bath. An alphabet puzzle. Hopping across the kitchen on what Dad thought was the dumbest thing the Easter Bunny could possibly bring. Keeping the sneaky dog out of the bedroom. A few choruses of, "I can do it myself." and "Where's his bottle?". A few minutes spent in time out, alphabet puzzle time again, feeding time again, lunch time at the table. Tickles in between bites from mom, side eye from Dad when tootsies make their way on top of the table. 

Typed out it might not look like much. And if you listed your daily activities you may not see the beauty in the minutiae of your morning. To see that, you'd have to slow it down; maybe even freeze it so you can take a closer look.

A Morning with the Baldasano Family | Boyertown Family Photographer | Almond Photography

"We got him that stool so he could brush his teeth, and reach the top of his dresser, and now he uses it for everything. Any time we're doing something, "STOOL!" He picks it up over his head and  uses it all the time. It's hilarious."

I had already taken a photo of Lukas tiptoed on said stool getting his space projector ready when his mother, Caitlin, laughed about how he uses his beloved stool for as many tasks as possible. It's just this kind of personal detail that has me so fascinated with photographing families in their home. Suddenly, who knows when, Lukas just won't need that stool anymore. He won't proudly carry it around over his head through the halls of the house. It's part of a milestone in his childhood at this time; the need to be independent but still (not that all children his age like to admit this) very dependent on his parents. 

The Sunday morning I spent with the Baldasano's was brimming with love and laughter. That sounds like a wooden DIY sign you might hang over an archway in your house, but in this case, it is true. Coming into a house like their's with such life and warmth to photograph is my absolute favorite. Thank you for having me. 

Berks County Family Photographer | The Dries Family | In-home family photographer

I really didn't want to start this post off talking about how I've been photographing this family at least once a year since before both of these boys were born, but that's sort of what this whole thing is about, so I don't see any way out of it.

That's the goal when you become a family photographer; to be invited back to document the LIVES of these children. I've photographed these boys since they were days old and it's honest-to-God so cool to see how they are developing. They're going to have such a comprehensive record of their childhood, and that is an amazing gift to give your children.

Jaclynn + Chris | In-Home Engagement Session

A few weeks ago, I was invited into Jaclynn + Chris's home for their engagement session. A home they only just moved into this past December. It's already been a host to a few family parties, + a forever home to their pup. 

I love doing these in-home engagement sessions. I know that Jaclynn + Chris will make many many changes in this space as they make it their own. They won't always sleep on a mattress in the spare bedroom. Not once they're done painting their bedroom. And how else would I know the little intricacies of their lives? Like how the Tigger Mug is the one they fight over using (every home has THAT coveted mug that everyone wants for themselves). 

Over time, my work has become all about the connections I'm documenting and less about where we are. As long as it's important to the couple, it becomes important to me too. 

Twin Newborn Session | Gwen + Porter | Philadelphia Newborn Photographer

Meet Gwen + Porter. They're twins who behaved like seasoned pros the day I came to photograph them at their home with their mom + dad. Weighing in (at the time of our session) at a whopping 3lb. + 5lb. , respectively, it's hard to stay calm and content when you're that tiny. It's hard to stay warm, it's hard to stay full; life in general is HARD at 3 + 5 pounds. But these twins were as serene as a 9lb. baby after a feeding. What a lovely present for Mom + Dad.

Elopement Photographer | Sandy + Tommy | Douglassville Wedding

Sandy + Tommy got ready in their bedroom, came downstairs to welcome the only two people who would be present to witness their ceremony (their photographer + their reverand).

I would have to guess that it's easy to brush off a small ceremony like this as something that does not need to be professionally photographed, but it makes me soar when a couple contacts me for an extremely private ceremony like this. 

These two got married in the home they've been sharing for over a decade. When they had their "first kiss" after the ceremony, I was the only one to throw my arms up + cheer for them. The emotion was palpable. Just as much, if not more so, than I have ever witnessed at a "traditional" full wedding that doesn't take place in the couple's home.

So why wouldn't someone document this day, no matter what it looks like? It is still important even it is small. Even if you baked the cake yourself. Even if you're going to get into sweats 45 minutes later and cook dinner. 

I can't thank Sandy + Tommy enough for inviting me into their home last week for the honor of being one of the very few to document this ceremony.

I hope if you or someone you know is having a small ceremony like this that you'll let them know that there's a photographer out there who wants to tell their story.

Glenolden Family Photographer | A morning with the M Family | Almond Photography

I threw my camera bag over my shoulder and fished for my keys in my coat pocket; another successful and fun family session in the books. “Thanks so much again for inviting me back, Jen. It’s so much fun for me to see all the things that are different-” “And how much is the same!”, Jen quickly added.

Her interjection caught me off guard in the best way. One of those moments when you can feel your mind opening up to a new perspective on something you’ve done/thought about hundreds of times.

I’ve had the privilege of working with this family since Jen & Steve were engaged a few years ago. Since then, I photographed their wedding, maternity photos, newborn photos, and now their first son, Logan, at one year of age. I’m always so careful to document the moments that I know are fleeting, and the traditions that will inevitably die out  when I come back into a family’s life for an annual shoot, but she brought up a valid point; so much stays the same.

How many times have you heard stories about a sibling, your parents, or your grandparents, (or maybe even stories and photos about yourself)  and with a knowing laugh, proclaimed the old adage, “Some things never change!”

Photographs are an excellent means preserving the everyday moments that will shift slightly over a short period of time. They also serve as a living testament to all the constants that have remained throughout the ever changing seasons in our lives.

What a beautiful paradox. Thanks, Jen❤️.

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