A Day in the Life of my Life, Atlanta Family Photographer

From wake to sleep

Girl sleeps peacefully in a bed

I always like to start my year with an inspiring course that will challenge my growth as a photographer. For the final assignment of this year's course, The Documentary Approach, I had to do A Day in the Life of my own family. While I document my children every week as part of my Portrait of Play project, I had never photographed a day of our family life in its entirety. I went to bed with my camera beside me ready to wake up and capture the day as it happened all the way until bedtime. There was nothing special about the day. Nothing was scheduled, and we never even left the house. I took pictures like I would if I were photographing another family and also while nursing and vacuuming. It's safe to say that this is something I will continue to do every year as a way to record the things that stay the same and the things that change in our family life from year to year. The photos remind me of these things that I don't want to forget that define this time in our life:

-Winnie coming up to bed with us in the middle of the night every night. Waking up with her next to me.

-The furniture that James made for us that will be part of our life throughout the years.

-The exhaustion. Serious. Lack. Of. Sleep. Such is life when you have young children and you like to work until 2 am most nights.

-How much Roland loves James.

-The way my kids entertain themselves and me. My mom once said I should just record everything that happens here or stream it as a reality tv show. Their imaginations delight me.

-How Chuck sometimes wants to take showers by herself instead of baths with her sister.

-The little details that may go unnoticed to everyone else but are visually a part of our every day life: James' resistance band, the chalkboard wall, the rug, the coffee cups, the toys, the boxes from the car seats they will be in for the next several years, and the painting that is hanging in the girls' room. These are all things that make our house a home.

-The work that never ends, dishes, laundry, meals, pottying, nursing, changing, repeat, repeat, repeat.

-Atlas, the dog we had before we had kids, the dog who is not getting any younger.

This year has been rough. I mean, having three kids is crazy. In the same breath that I am already aching for the days I know I'll miss (that have not even passed yet), I am dreaming about 3 years from now when I will hopefully have more personal space, time to myself, and sleep. Because I know this day in our life will look different next year, I went ahead and printed these in a photo book so I could look at them without having to search through an old external hard drive to find them. My future self thanks me. 

While I was able to include my presence in these photographs, I am very glad my dear friend Anda Marie will be taking photos of our family this month. My family through my lens is different than my family through the lens of another. Plus, I want to be able to see myself with my children, and I want them to see me with them. My future self thanks me for that too.

Man yawns in a kitchen and a girl eats breakfast
still life of coffee and phone with a sleep chart on a table
Child puts hand into a plastic bowl of Grapenuts
Girl with a milk moustache laughs in a kitchen
Girl makes face at sister while opening the dishwasher
Child in red pajamas with head in the box while lying on the ground
Baby boy stands up in crib and looks in the camera
Girl sits in bath tup and puts her hands and feet together
baby slumps over in a jumper flanked by full laundry baskets
A girl sits on the toilet while another girl jumps on a bed
Baby holds bowl of yogurt close to his face
Girl in shower with tongue out of her mouth
Child stands on a stool and leans over into the washing machine
Man lies on a couch and looks at his phone
baby smiles and looks at his dad
Reflection of woman holding camera with a child on her back
Baby looks at mother while nursing as seen from mother's perspective
Dog looks at boy in a highchair in a kitchen while a girl reaches into a cabinet behind it
3 children play with pretend food in an oven
baby holds  on to child's shopping cart with a pretend kitchen
Mother vacuums while baby holds onto it taken from the mother's perspective
A child sits on a couch as a baby stands under a table and a girl sits in a laundry basket and talks on a phone
Girl writes on cardboard house with marker while sticking her tongue out
A girl gets ready to squeeze oranges as another girl looks over
A toddler sits on a potty chair in a bathroom with her arm stretched out toward the person taking the picture
A girl opens a door to go outside while a girl carries the top of a pineapple behind her
The top of a pineapple planted in a pot with dirt around it
A man and two children cut carrots with knives
A man lies on a couch looking at his phone while a child climbs on him and another child lies on the floor in front of him
A father puts pajamas on a baby who is holding onto his leg and another child leans on a couch beside him
A girl yawns as a father dumps pee in a toilet and another girl looks at the camera while brushing her teeth
A baby smiles at one sister while his dad sets him on another child lying in a bed
two children sleep in a bed

I'd love to spend some time in your home with your family. It doesn't have to be for a full day. You don't have to be at your prepregnancy weight. Your house doesn't have to be clean. Your kids don't have to behave. You just have to be you. 

three photo albums on a piano

Lake Burton, Georgia, Family Documentary Photographer

Sharing history, making memories

Image of father assisting son fishing

We spent some time with friends in Lake Burton, Georgia recently. Since it was too cold to swim, we set out exploring the neighboring Moccasin Creek and Hemlock Falls area. I'm always in disbelief when I realize such beauty exists within day trip traveling time from where I live, and then I'm slightly disappointed that we don't spend more time discovering these places. The Hemlock Falls Trail was a little ambitious for a group of young kids, but the hike went on with very little complaints. The kids scavenged for the best walking sticks, used them as swords and shooters, and then discarded them when a better one came along the path. Fishing, bubbles, and waffles with friends and family all helped make this the perfect weekend adventure. The south with its mossy forests, mild winters, and slow living completely has my heart.

Image of girl waving stick in forest
Image of boy and girl play sword fighting with sticks on gravel road in forest
Image of boy in stocking hat in forest
Image of boy running stick through a puddle on a gravel road in a forest
Image of girl with large stick on gravel road in the forest
Image of mossy fallen decaying log in a forest
Image of children resting on a bench in a forest
Image of woman wearing child in a forest
Image of three children running through a meadow
Image of woman carrying child on her back through a forest
Image of father and child on bridge looking down into the water
Image of group of people walking through forest
Girl with stick pretending to shoot something behind her on a path
Father carrying son on his back while daughter walks beside them on a path framed by trees
Mother pointing out something in the forest to her daughter
Image of girl looking at camera
Image of a stream running through the middle of a forest
Image of people standing on edge of waterfall framed by trees
Image of boy smiling
Image from above of son being held in father's lap
Image of girl in bear hat on path in forest
Image of boy sitting on dock fishing
Image of mountains and lake with reflection
Image of man holding fishing pole
Image of girl on deck blowing bubbles in pajamas
Image of boy blowing bubbles on a deck
Image from the inside to two girls outside looking over deck at lake
Image from above of girl sitting on dock fishing
Image from behind of girl sitting on dock fishing
Close up image of girl fishing from behind
Image of girl standing on dock waiting for canoe
Image from above of canoe
Image from above of girl waving at camera before getting on canoe
Image of woman and child on deck over lake
Image ob baby's hand poking out through deck over water
Image of baby looking back on deck with hand over heart