“We want you to do what you do best.” Those were my instructions as I photographed this Chicago-area family that came to Muskegon for vacation late this summer. (I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to have someone trust your creativity with such conviction.) And, because of that, I photographed one of my favorite family images this year. Can you guess which one?
In June, we converged to the little-known town in the mountains of Lopez, Pennsylvania near the corner of Maple and Maple to meet my nephew who arrived just over three weeks before. Just like the harsh winters of Lopez leave the buildings with a perfectly weathered patina, my sister Leni’s labor could compare. Harsh. Long. Tough. In the end was this perfect baby boy for us all to love. We drove from Virginia and from Michigan and slept in tents and on couches to make room for all the extra overnight guests. Bonfires and porch swings seemed to have more meaning with a swaddled newborn passed from cousins, to dad, to grandparents, uncles, aunts and back to mom again. Even with 720 miles between our doorsteps, may our shared stories, photographs and visits forever keep us close.
“Children see magic because they look for it,” ~ Christopher Moore
I’ve known Henry for a few years now and, yes, he gets cuter every time I photograph him. But man, oh man, does his energy grow exponentially. I won’t lie I had a hard time keeping up with this little man but I love that everything is an exploration. A rock. A tree. A stick. (And next year, I’m wearing my running shoes.)
North Muskegon, Michigan
I’ve been lucky enough to photograph the Potts family three times now. Although, the first two I still haven’t blogged (shame on me) this one has made it by some sort of miracle. This first time I met the Potts, Lisa was expecting and four-year-old, Ella, was anticipating her little sister’s arrival. The second time, the baby had just arrived and we photographed the newness of what comes along with that. This last time was my very favorite. It was filled with “everyday” moments — Ella hugged and squeezed her now six-month-old sister like a loved toy. She showed me her hideout on the front porch of their home, she picked flowers from their garden and modeled her purple sunglasses.
I photographed this wonderful family last summer and boy what a difference a year makes! It was hard to keep up with sweet Henry but I loved his curiosity and playfulness. Thanks for having me back again.
Harbor Springs, Michigan
Most of you know that I took Mondays off during the summer to spend some quality time with Yuri and Harper. I documented my Mondays and blogged about them because I felt like I was photographing everyone else’s memories but ignoring my own. I kept up with the picture-taking portion but got quite behind on the blogging.
It may seem silly to see these images from summer when we are still up to our thighs in snow with single-digit temperatures still forecasted for this week but then I thought better of it. Being reminded of warm days spent with my children’s childhood friends who share their toys, play hide-and-seek with fervor, who hike holding hands and who rest on rocks to warm themselves after getting messy with ice cream is what we could all use right now.
(Don’t get me wrong, I love winter but our wood supply is unsustainably low. I’m asking for drastic measures, Mother Earth.)