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These are the Blake children. Aren’t they so beautiful. We go off on the right foot and we had a great time exploring their home together. Thanks Annie for entrusting these portraits to me. I really do feel lucky to do what I do. I like kids and I like playing with them while working for their parents. Win-win!

When my mother died I inherited the majority of our family photos. My father, an amateur photographer, practiced photography regularly with my brother and me as the subjects. The photos he took are beautiful and so personal. Whenever I need a little inspiration I open one of the many deep boxes I have of prints from the 1980s. Here’s what I’ve learned from those boxes.

Photograph people in their environment. Homes change and as creative, observant kid fingers are constantly exploring their environment, making a record of their first explorations can be really powerful for them when they grow up. The fibers on the couch, the deep pile of a rug. I love seeing photographs of my childhood home- those visual cues bring back memories that are vibrant but hide dormant until photos cue the memories.

Leave a mess, a mess. One of my favorite contemporary photographers, Jessica Todd Harper calls this, “domestic debris”. I’ve written a lot about it, some of which can be found HERE.

Photograph natural expressions. I’ll bet this little darling makes this face ten times more than she makes a full smile. The expressions below are some great ones too. Great because they are fleeting and natural and they are hers.

Photograph toys and other belongings. I love remembering, “Ah! I begged for that for Christmas.” Photos are memory cues and help facilitate nostalgia. I happen to believe that nostalgia is one of the finest, most distinct emotions we can feel.


Jen - One of my favorite shoots you’ve done.

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