The day we met up was actually moving day for this sweet family. A couple years ago, they moved up from St. John's County to be closer to downtown, which means they're closer to me, too! I'm always asking Leslie for restaurant recommendations in Riverside because there's always something new opening, and she stays on top of it. My kind of friend! :) So it was fitting that we chose to shoot in the hub of Riverside, Five Points. The girls explored for a while and we ended our time together with coffees and milks at Brew. My favorite images are the ones where somebody's sucking a thumb or playing with mama's hair. They'll grow out of those habits one day, but hopefully Leslie can still look back and remember those moments. I have way too many shots to share from this session!


This week we got our first taste of warm weather after just a few weeks of winter-like cold, and it got me excited for spring! There is always so much hope and energy at the beginning of the year, and I love documenting families after the rush of the holidays have passed. There's not the same urgency about getting the perfect shot for Christmas cards, but instead it's about capturing memories together as a family. I remember these girls had a fun day ahead of them--Disney On Ice was that afternoon. These low-key sessions are my favorite because they allow me to be a fly on the wall and capture the sweet interactions between parents and kids.

This family is so special to me. Julie and I first met when we were teaching together, years ago before we had children. Then, just after her first was born, her family moved away, so seeing each other weekly turned into visits only once or twice a year. Last year, I was so excited when they announced that the Click Away conference would be held in San Antonio. I booked my ticket and called Julie to tell her I was coming to visit. "I don't think we'll be here by then," she said. Her husband was interviewing for jobs all over, and I was disappointed. But guess what! They did move, right back to the same neighborhood they left four years ago. So this session had several purposes: to celebrate sweet E's third birthday, to get some great images for Christmas cards, and to document them as a family, at home in Jacksonville. Hopefully, this time they'll stay!

A few years ago, my friend and former student posted portraits of her family taken by Kate T. Parker, and I was so excited. I've followed Kate's work for a while, and she has such a way of capturing personality in her subjects. It was so cool to me that Natalia had had this opportunity, and then Kate photographed her daughter's birthday party! Again, gorgeous! So when Natalia messaged me and said she'd be in Jacksonville and would love for me to "capture the moments," I was both terrified and excited. I mean, she's been photographed by Kate T. Parker! We talked, and Natalia said something like "just do what you do with your girls," and I was immediately on board. She mentioned they might get ice cream or just walk around, and I'd be there to document their relationship. It was a relaxed evening, and Natalia and sweet A basically played together, and I watched them interact just like my girls and I do. I shot until my camera maxed out its low light capacity, and I came away with a full heart. These are some of my favorite images ever.

Last week, I was lucky to hear Kate speak at Click Away, a photography conference, and I just loved how authentic she was. I admire her images and the messages she stands behind, and especially the persistence she has put in to her success. My favorite thing she said: "The only thing you control is how hard you work." So true.

I've worked for years to be able to capture authentic moments like these for Natalia and other families. I hope you love them as much as I do!