Finley’s 3rd & 4th Month!

I have been trying to get this post created for (obviously) two months ::face palm::. I have been making a concerted effort to get TONS of pictures of our life with Finley as she gets older. I’ve been taking my camera everywhere and unapologetically been demanding pictures because the cliche saying that they grow up too fast is too true – THEY GROW UP TOO FAST. I’m so glad I have these images and these frozen moments in time but now I have a back log of images to share :). A good problem to have, no doubt.

That other cliche saying of “I wish there were more hours in the day” is also very true of parenthood. In the hubbub of Fall Minis, a 12 week growth spurt, the holidays, Christmas shopping, and a four month sleep regression, I have found so many excuses to put off writing this post. The thing is, I WANT to share these images because in a few months, a year or more I will be so glad that I can look back on this post. I have been blogging here since 2011 and every so often I’ll go back in time and look at personal blog posts of what I was randomly doing. This place is like a scrapbook of my post college life and I LOVE it! So as much as I’m sharing these images for you to see – I’m totally sharing these images for me. 🙂

NOW the reason for the post – Finley updates!!

In the past two months she has really grown SO much! Not only is she significantly bigger but she also has a bigger and bigger personality! Between 3 and 4 months she became so much more interactive and you can see it in the pictures below. At three months she’d make eye contact, track us and smile but also had a real serious face (as seen below) and would still space out. Jump to 4 months and she smiles ALL the time, has tons of little facial expressions and even laughs! Even her doctor kept saying at her four month check up “WOW she is so expressive!” :).

I love that she LOVES being read to and will even grab the book and push to move the pages. She is OBSESSED with her play mat and all the things we have hanging from it for her to grab, chew on and feel. She found her hands and loves chewing on them. She LOVES the bath and makes a HUGE mess as she kicks like crazy – splashing water EVERYWHERE. 🙂 At 11 weeks she started sleeping through the night but has recently hit a bit of a sleep regression. We’re hoping it won’t last long but who knows. It’s hard that she struggles to fall asleep but I do love that she’s easily comforted by being held and snuggled, so I’m exhaustedly soaking up the snuggles.

I’m so glad to be sharing these images and want to give you fair warning that this is a pretty big photo dump. 🙂 We love this girl more and more and as hard and exhausting as it is – it is truly the so much fun watching her grow and learn!

Finley LOVES this fox. We named him “Mr. Fox” and she thinks he’s the greatest.
The face on the left KILLS ME – I’m DYING laughing!!

The next few pictures are from the beginning of October when Finley had just turned two months (and was in her third month – thus being included in this post). We had just taken the Perez family pictures and we hung back after their session so Sterling could get some pictures of me and Finley. She looks SO different here! It’s amazing to see the difference, she’s so much more interactive with people and her surroundings now.

One day this past October I was driving past the Maryland Agriculture Resource Council and noticed this GORGEOUS road that was tree lined with BEAUTIFUL colorful leaves. I came home and said to Sterling that we HAD to get fall pictures there before the leaves fell. Thank God we did because three days later I drove past it again and EVERY leaf had fallen off. We tried so hard to get a family picture together using my tripod but the distance was too far for the phone remote app and none of them turned out. I’m so grateful I got preordered a clicker for my camera to own for any future spontaneous photo shoots. 🙂

When we were in Richmond for minis Sterling’s family came over from Charlottesville to have a socially distanced lunch with us. Sterling’s sister’s family had never met Finley so it was especially nice. His mom even got a COVID test so she could hold Finley.

GiGi and her Granddaughters

FOUR MONTHS

Now for some iPhone pics

These bear outfits kill me 🙂
Holding her bottle for the first time. I only sobbed a little bit 🙂
She looks so much smaller here!!
My friend Jessie, Finley and I went to a park and walked around together. We took off our masks for a second to snag our own socially distanced pictures in front of this really cool painted barns.
Oh she just loves her Daddy
Happy Halloween indeed.

Perez Family Southern Maryland Fall Sessions

As I wrap up another amazing fall season with over 30 families served I have made a goal for myself to actually blog and share the images from this season! You see, every year I get so wrapped up in the hustle of the fall season and holiday minis that I always lapse on sharing the images! The Perez family is a perfect example! The images from their second milestone session last year were some of my favorites of the season but I never got to share them! So this year I cheated a bit and combined the images from their second milestone session from 2019 and this years fall session ☺️. You can check out their first milestone session here.

Julia and Chris are friends of ours from college and we have many a late night shenanigan story shared with them. What’s fun about our sessions is that we have recently tried to schedule them so that Sterling can come at the end and we can at least spend time together. This year with COVID we haven’t gotten to see them so it was especially exciting to get to take their pictures and meet up at a park to socially distance spend time together. Finley was only 2 months old so we planned for Sterling and Finley to drive with me and hang out at the park while I took these images. It worked out great because they got to meet Finley in a socially distanced way.

What’s crazy to see in this joint post is how much of a difference a year makes! Jackson looks SO much older in the 2020 images than from the year before! He’s notably taller but has lost some of his baby face too. Each boy is so uniquely different and great in their own way. Jackson is outgoing, adventurous and a strong leader. Ryan is observant, loving, sweet and independent. I had a blast walking through Black Hill Park near Gaithersburg Maryland for our session this year and downtown Frederick last year with this sweet family. We played games, used our imagination and laughed a lot!

Enjoy this joint blog post of our sweet friends and their precious family!

2019

2020

National Arboretum Spring Family Session

This session was the perfect POP of spring colors and fun!  Christina is a sorority sister of mine and I realized as I was driving down to DC that hadn’t seen her since we graduated!  CRAZY!  Last time we were together we were dancing about to pop hits of 2010 and jumping about in general 22-year-old excitement for life.  Now she is married with a 1-year-old little boy – Lincoln!

As I drove down to DC on Saturday morning I was a little nervous… it had rained the whole night before and was still overcast and drizzling.  I kept looking at the sky saying “Common now – you need to break up these clouds for me”.  Sure enough, as I got closer and closer to the location the clouds started to move apart and let that sunshine come through.  The day turned out even better than I could have imagined – bright sun, 75 degrees and simply beautiful!  Read More »

Pocahontas State Park Fall Maternity Session

What I love almost as much as Christina and her sweet family is the colors from this session!  What you can’t tell is that we are literally in a parking lot of the park but the trees in this small patch between lots had the most beautiful fall colors.  Christina came to the session in this deep blue dress that looked stunning on her.  Her little girl Florence was all dolled up in a velvet pink dress but the accent of her flower headband made her curls pop off the background.  Some of my favorite images from this session are definitely those of Florence and her Dad.  Tommy knows just the way to make Florence laugh and these two giggling together is everything I’d want from a picture of my (one-day future) children and Sterling.  They are so precious!  The colors are beautiful in these but more so you can feel how much these three (now four!) love each other!Read More »

Harrigan Family Session in Charlottesville

All I have to say about this session is that Sterling better WATCH OUT!  I’ve got myself a new boyfriend and while he may be merely 3, he is quite the gentleman!

This session was the third milestone session with the Harrigan family and it was especially exciting because I got to meet their newest little hunk – Ridley.  🙂 Our previous two milestones were when Roland (Ro) was much younger and while he was precious then he is quite the charmer now.  I can only imagine what this duo will be like when Ridley can talk too!Read More »

Rafferty Family Portrait Session

Rafferty Family Portrait Session

— Frederick, Maryland —

When we were debating whether to make the move up to Baltimore, one of the points on the pro/con list that came up with that this business had started in Richmond and had a large client base there.  Ultimately when we decided to take a chance and move, I have to admit that I was nervous about the future of this business.  I didn’t know if I’d be able to get clients in Baltimore or even if anyone up here would be interested.  And then we announced we were moving and I was blown away with gratitude when Krystal contacted me almost immediately.

Krystal and I were sorority sisters at JMU but hadn’t been in touch for a few years since we had graduated.  It was such a wonderful surprise to find that she had been following along in my photography journey!  Not only that but she wanted to schedule portrait sessions for her family!   She told me she was pregnant with her third baby and wanted to ensure she could get photographs of their family in this precious stage in life.  It was a great feeling, my first session in Maryland was going to be with an old friend who I already knew and felt comfortable with!Read More »

Beat the Heat! 3 Tips for a Successful Summer Portrait Session

Summer is the BEST!  Well except for the bugs… and the insane heat… and the hair frizz?…. and the humidity…?  Let’s be honest, summer looks like an amazing time to take pictures, and it is!  You may have a little more free time, your kids aren’t in school, you can get great outdoor images with flowers and lush greens in the background, PLUS your outfits can be a little more freeing and fun!  While all this is true, there is one big downer that can turn any summer portrait session to the dirt… the heat.  More specifically, the humidity which is just killer for us in below the Mason Dixon Line.  So what can you do to have a great summer portrait session that will beat the heat and feel amazing!  Keep reading!  I’ve got three big planning tips that are necessary to survive your summer portrait session (especially if you have kids). Read More »

Zedaker Mommy and Me Mini!

This girl is one of my favorite people!!  She joined our science team at Quioccasin my third year teaching and we became fast friends.  We would laugh our way through the obscure moments, cry through the tough moments (or at least I would) and she always had starbursts for me to eat.  I’ll never forget when she told me she was pregnant with Zack in the drive thru of Chick Fila as she looked at me and said “Oh yeah so.. I’m pregnant”.  I SCREAMED with delight!   Fast forward and she welcomes Zoe to the family making this one cute family of four.Read More »

Best of 2017

This year was a challenging one for me but one in which I got to do some new things that pushed me to improve.  To start I did more newborn sessions than any other this year!  Two years ago I was telling myself that newborns weren’t for me and that it wouldn’t be something I offered.  I quickly began to understand that if I wanted to be considered a “Family Photographer” I’d have to accept the challenge of newborns because let’s be honest – newborns are a huge milestone for families.

And so, this year I decided to say yes to newborn sessions!  It challenged me because since I’m a natural light photographer – I usually prefer to be outdoors.  With less access to the sun it can be challenging to shoot newborn sessions without studio lights inside.  I used to struggle to get good clean colors and skin tones with indoor photographs but with the help of an expo disc and having these sessions I feel so much more confident at getting great clean color.  Now I love the clean and soft skin tones of newborn sessions and the slower pace that feels refreshing.

I also offered two dates for holiday minis to accommodate more families and found huge success!! With a total of 15 sessions I got to work with amazing families and my bucket was filled after chasing around and playing with so many littles!

This year I also registered for some new and exciting educational experiences which I’m taking time in 2018 to dive into!  More about this to come!

I’m looking into 2018 with excitement and ready to grow!  But for now – here are some of my best images from 2017!

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