Read more from the Huffington Post about the most festive NYC-only holiday experiences here, and book your own "Live Like Kevin" by visiting the Plaza's website. *cough, cough* Might I recommend the suite??;)
lejdja, her husband, and her sweet little man were joined by some of lejdja's family for our shoot in brooklyn. the pictures (and being with them that day) sent my mind spiraling back to my childhood. i said this on instagram, but i just felt my mind flood with memories of my grandpa. of my grandparents. family relationships. uniqueness of our individual circumstances. the bonds we share. and the stories pictures can tell if we use our lens (like our eyes) to just observe and capture...
there is something so intimate about a shoot in someone's home. if i had to choose a place to shoot, homes would win, hands down, every time. homes are places of safety and comfort. they're where genuine love and happiness can be felt. the vibe of families who let me come into their space is tangible. it's so, so special! home shoots aren't nearly as common in nyc because most homes are small. belongings are more-so temporary. light is sparse. plus, the city is just so alive, home shoots tend to be few and far in between. naturally, when catie reached out and asked me to shoot her darling family, i was thrilled. i had no idea just how good it was going to be!!
little lyla is just days younger than harvey, so going into this, my heart was swooning at the thought of another gummy grin, and getting to pinch the sweetest of cheeks on that darling wobbly head!? 3 months old, guys. it's just so magical.
their welcome was warm. their apartment was lovely (to put it mildly). their brooklyn high-rise view was breathtaking. i can't get enough...
remember lucy?! (click here to see her 1st birthday party.) this time around, lucy was healthy, happy, and pleasant as could be. really, anytime i can get down and hang with small people and they offer to share their toy, i feel like we’ve bonded. you know? :) as we explored busy central park, lucy kept looking back at me- as i crawled around, snapping away with my camera. following her. making an insane amount of noise and hullabaloo as we pranced around. as one does when they're me.
and now, for our time in the park...
It’s incredibly rare to meet a family from Manhattan- legit, born and raised, and for more than 1 generation! When Alison and I talked prior to our shoot together, she mentioned wanting to spend time together in Riverside Park, in particular, on these rocks and at this playground since this is a special place to her kids & husband (he played here as a child, too!). It’s so fascinating- this job is- learning and being a tiny part of lives for an instant is such a joy. I realize my photography style isn’t for everyone. But I shoot the way I love to see the world- I shoot the way I want to be remembered. And I hope I’m able to grab an hour of the lives of others in a way that they’ll remember. The sticky, dirty faces. The sibling rivalries. The glances between partners. The way the blazing sunlight hits hair and freckles and wrinkles.
This is what makes photography magic to me- the relationships between others and their world. I can’t get enough!
trust me when i say that pictures are the best souvenir ever! it could be the pregnancy hormones, but man, this shoot just made every part of me tingly with joy and love and excitement. whether you're living in the city or visiting the city, i want to capture it all- let's meet up!! i also want to add that one of the best parts of these sessions together is that the pressure is off. no holiday card obligations. no perfect outfit searches. no forced poses or meaningless locations. it's about your family- your time, your interactions, your reactions, and your experiences together. it's FUN.
yana & her family were visiting nyc from holland, and i was thrilled when they reached out and asked to meet up in brooklyn, letting me tag along as they experienced a little part of new york city. clearly, they're BEAUTIFUL, but my gosh, they were the absolute kindest, most loving, genuine family. complimentary and gentle, and incredibly hilarious (in both their interactions with each other and with me).
here's a bit from our tour-o-dumbo + the brooklyn bridge just before dusk on a beautiful almost-spring eve...
melodie & her family are a photographer’s dream. they oozed style, class, and massive amounts of love and awesomeness. they were casual and fun, and truly let us do my favorite thing there is to do in nyc- EXPLORE (insert me stalking them with a camera;)
we walked and rode and ate our way around central park, bryant park, the plaza hotel, and more. it was a holiday dreeeeeam! also, we discovered probably the greatest hot chocolate i’ve ever had at no chewing allowed. in case you are in need.
if you’re in nyc and want me to get all up in your personal space, shoot me an email!
i said this already on instagram, but i feel like when young people imagine themselves with kids, they probably envision themselves as these guys (#cool). jenn was the first person to befriend me after we moved to the city- her husband worked with my boss in dc, so we were connected that way. (thank heavens for good connections!) jenn always makes me feel included and way cooler than i actually am. she’s my nearest neighbor, and she’s hilarious & a ridiculously fun mom. if anyone needs to know how to make nyc work for a family, jenn’s the girl you need to talk to.
now that january is here it's time to catch up on some reeeally fun shoots i did right at the end of 2016. starting with the phillips right here in our 'hood.
looking forward to all 2017 has in store!! ❤
you know those people in your life that literally ooze (for lack of a more eloquent word) goodness? the leavitts are some of those people. they are kind and sweet and genuine. they're humble and generous. they're thoughtful and sincere. jenny always has a smile on her face at all times- even through tears, that girl exudes light. it was such an honor to take their pictures as they prepared for their second (miracle) baby.
and to answer the question i know if on your mind, yes, that is jenny's hair.
and yes, it always looks that amazing.
Fall was filled with fun sessions- old friends and new clients- it was all that I hoped for. I was miserably sick during my first trimester and the only positive memories I have from October and November seem to be these sessions- as evidence of joy and laughter and family time (meanwhile, my kids ate Fruity Pebbles for every meal, rarely dressed, and watched more YouTube than any pediatrician would recommend during those 8 weeks... There are few photos to show Petersen existence). High five, Amanda!
Julie is one of the first people I met here in the city- she came right up to me, and I instantly knew she was amazing. She's warm, she's gorgeous, she's an incredible mom, and she has the most generous heart. She has taken care of me in every sense, and her kids are two of my VERY favorite. I adore these guys.
It was a total honor to run around for a bit and capture time of the four of them together in the place they've called home for years and years.
i knew of meg before i met meg- i worked with her mom for years (her mom is an equally fantastic human), and although i’m sure our paths crossed, it wasn’t until i moved to the city that i literally fell hard for this girl. megan and jon are gold. they somehow strike that perfect balance between, well, everything.
we walked all around their “spots” in central park on the prettiest fall morning, as the trees and surroundings peaked in their autumn glory. falling for new york city is easy to do, and even easier when you have the chance to follow people around, viewing the scenary from their eyes. it’s just the best way to crush on this dream land. it's also impossible to not get beautiful shots when pure joy is in the air!
meg, i adore you!
just before halloween i spent time with mari & her darling family, costumes in tow (how cute are her little monsters!?)- here are some of the photos from our morning exploring the festive sights around town...
krista & her family lived across the street from us when we lived in salt lake, and as life became increasingly complicated, her late-night talks and words of wisdom became literal answers to prayers. she was/is a god-send in my life!
she’s a brilliant scientist. she has street smarts, book smarts, and mom smarts. she’s funny and she tells it like it is. she’s incredible.
it was SO great to be able them again when i was in utah, and to climb up a mountain and take pictures on a chilly fall morning...
before i met lizzie earlier this summer, all i heard about her and her family were the best of things- the highest of compliments, and sincerest of praises.
all that talk was 100% accurate.
lizzie is kind and generous and giving. she's warm and polite and happy. she's the quintessential east coast girl. she's a tender and doting mom. she's an amazing person. i was over the moon when lizzie asked me to take pictures of her and her boys at the met- a place that is incredibly sentimental to her. it was a perfect morning- i followed her around and listened as she talked and taught and played with her boys. we explored and meandered all around the met, and then we sat on the steps and chatted while they boys ate a pretzel and hot dog. it was literally perfect, and probably the most amazing way to see this slice of new york city.
if you're in the city and you want a spot captured that is special to you, let me know!