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
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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. 

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three photo albums on a piano
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An evening at home with the Schroeder Family, Atlanta Family Photographer


Songs, swings, and so much JOY!

Girl sitting on mother's lap while other children bounce on the trampoline

You can imagine my excitement when I found out I was going to be able to photograph a family with a 5 year old and 3 1/2 year old triplets. I love chaos, and big families, and lots of activity, and I knew it was going to be so much fun! While it was all those things, it was so, so much more. Each child was their own perfectly distinct personality that complimented the family dynamic. Of course there was a lot of activity, but as I watched Mom and Dad pushing the children on the swings, the kids were all singing, and it was completely calm. The swings would occasionally all sync up as the kids belted the melodies. The swings themselves were like the strings of an instrument, chords made of individual notes gently strummed by Mom and Dad. Okay, maybe that's a cheesy metaphor, but I really could have listened to this family sing and swing all night. I'm never not amazed by the families I photograph.

I know it's not easy to open your home up to have your daily life photographed. It's also not easy to get into the frame with your children. But, when you do, you give your kids the gift of being able to see how you jumped with them on the trampoline and how you wrestled with them on the couch. They get to see the ways you loved them with snuggles, and books, and color coordinated cups, and they will be able to see the joy they had through it all.


child with hand on window looking out of house
siblings hugging with child looking up and smiling
girl smiling and holding brother who is crawling
children in bedroom standing on bed looking at art on the walls
child smiling and jumping off a trunk
father snuggling child who is smiling
boy in pretending to kick another boy who is smiling
Boy dancing on the trampoline
Mom and Dad pushing four children on swings
Boy on a swing singing
image from above of mom pushing two children on swings
Image of girl smiling while swinging
Mom and dad pushing four children on swings who are all going at different times
Daughter and mother looking at each other while sitting with family
Mother and daughter jumping together on a trampoline
Girl jumping on the trampoline with her mom
Boy on his hands with his legs in the air on the trampoline
Two girls jumping on a trampoline
environmental portrait of girl lying on a trampoline
Boy and girl shutting screen sliding door
Triplets drinking out of cups
Triplets eating pizza
Family at a dinner table mom picking up cup that had spilled
Girl looks at herself in the mirror and makes fishy lips
mother reading book to four children on the couch
Girl snuggles with mom as she reads a book to kids
Kids drinking out of cups with straws in a kitchen
A family sitting on the couch with kids laughing and goofing
Dad massages child's back while girl climbs on couch and boy in front dances
Dad kisses son who is smiling and girl in background holds onto another kid's legs