An afternoon at home with Vijay and her granddaughters, Atlanta family photographer

A swim, a snack, and a sweep

Grandmother spraying her granddaughter with a hose while another girl walks towards them

When I walk into the home of a family I have never photographed before, I always get a little nervous that they will be expecting a portrait session, that their daily life will have stopped and they will be sitting there waiting for me to pose them. Of course I always communicate what to expect, but it's a fear I still always have. So, when I walked into Vijay's house and the kids were out back swimming in the pool, I was immediately relieved.

As I relaxed and started snapping, I got to hear stories about how Vijay's daughter and her twin brother used to swim in that same pool, and she would watch them just like she was watching her granddaughters. As I spoke with Vijay and her daughter Deepti about the kids playing at the house, I started to realize why I love extended family sessions so much. They make more evident how family photos document the present in a way that connects us to the past and creates a bridge to the future. This is easily seen when there is an environment that gets shared between generations. I feel it every time I take my kids back to the farm where I grew up. Seeing them play in the spaces where I grew up playing takes me immediately back to my childhood, and the photos help tie it all together from one generation to the next.

When we moved inside the home, the pictures on the wall told more history, and I loved hearing the details of medical school and a twin brother and personalities being passed down from mother to daughter. The girls sat with their grandma and stroked her hair, and I couldn't help but realize how special of a moment I was witnessing as Vijay will soon be undergoing chemotherapy and losing her hair. I was so excited to be able to do this session through Magic Hour, an organization that matches photographers with people who are fighting cancer for photography sessions. Vijay is so clearly loved by all. I am glad she will have these images to keep her company as she battles cancer.

Mother holding a swimming noodle with her daughter in a pool while another daughter watches
Child getting in the pool while mother and sister sit on the edge of the pool
Young girl in the pool peering over the edge
Picture from behind a young girl who is jumping into a pool where her sister is already swimming
Girl with goggles jumping into the pool
Picture of man and woman smiling on a deck
Grandmother spraying granddaughters with the hose
Children playing in the hose while grandmother sprays them and mother walks towards them
Mother takes goggles out of daughter's hair while grandmother sprays children with hose
Grandma sprays grandchild with the hose as another girl covers her face
Grandmother with arms around two girls wrapped in towels
Girl wrapped in towel after swimming looking at camera
Girl walking with arms inside shirt
Picture from above of girls having a snack, or grandparents watching, and of mother peeling an apple
young girl eating a cracker with cheese on it with mother's arms behind her
Woman sitting in chair looking at a young girl with another young girl sitting behind her
Woman smiling while two young girls play with her hair
Picture from above of girls playing with woman's hair
Family on a dock, man and child sweeping
Man and woman sitting next to each other on the dock
Image of woman looking at man while two children goof off in the background
A mother standing behind her daughter holding her hands
grandmother bending down to kiss granddaughter on the forehead
Mother holding and looking at daughter while grandmother holds her arm
Daughter reaching up and holding mother as grandma holds child's head
Portrait of a young girl, mom and grandma look down on her smiling

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