Golden Hour

On Thanksgiving Day, Jeremy + I drove by this beautiful field exactly during golden hour and we knew that we had to drive back there another day to take photos.  Last weekend, we asked our friends Justin + Torre if they wanted to take some photos at that field with us during golden hour and we ended up walking away with some pretty magical photos.  This reminded me that some of my favorite work happens when I decide to do a quick shoot "just for fun," so here's to making that happen more in 2017!

Honour's First Year

Because Honour just turned one a few weeks ago, I thought it would be fun to write (read: ramble) about some of the different ways we've documented her first year.  

I don't have a ton of photos from my childhood.  They all fit into a single photo album and one scrapbook that I started making in middle school.  My parents used film cameras throughout my childhood until high school when they upgraded to their first digital camera.  Using film cameras meant that there was a cost to each photo, so the camera was usually brought out for momentous occasions like Christmas, the first day of school, birthdays, vacations, etc.  The camera was also sometimes brought out at completely random times when one needed to take just a photo or two to finish off the roll of film to get it developed.  Because I have a somewhat limited amount of childhood photos, they're all very special to me and I enjoy looking through them.

Now that we live in the golden age of digital photography, it has never been easier to document not only momentous occasions, but our everyday lives -- which is great!  But I realized that it can also be overwhelming, because we can easily accumulate "too many" photos, more than we know what to do with.  I realized that if I were to take a photo of Honour every day, that would be 365 photos a year, which is more photos in one year than I probably have from my entire childhood.  I decided to be a little more selective of the photos I took of Honour so that I didn't wind up with a ton of photos that virtually look the same; I wanted to avoid duplicates.  I was really inspired by how photographer Max Wanger photographed his son's first year (which you can view here) and I loved how each photo is composed just a little bit differently, and the light and color seem to vary from photo to photo, and his son never seems to be posed in the same way.  I tried to keep that collection of photos in mind while taking photos of Honour this past year.  Does this mean that every single photo I ever took of Honour was a perfectly composed work of art?  Heck no!  Some of them were not even great photos at all, but they captured a moment in time that was important to me that I wanted to keep forever, which is the real magic of photography.  But for the majority of my photos, I did challenge myself to be creative, to try to make each photo stand out on its own and to be meaningful to me in some way.  Here are some of my favorite photos that I took of Honour this past year: 

Another way we ended up documenting Honour's first year turned out to be really fun.  During the newborn stage I found myself obsessively taking photos of Honour when she was sleeping because she just looked so incredibly cute and I could not handle it.  Honour would sleep anywhere.  I loved how she would get all snuggled up and how her arms would go limp, and sometimes her mouth would hang open.  I could go on and on.  Once I realized that I had started a trend of taking tons of photos of Honour sleeping (some friends would even joke about how we hardly ever took any photos of her awake for the longest time), I decided to make a hashtag for all of those photos (#sleepyhonour).  Creating a hashtag for this series was also partially inspired by a graphic designer I follow on instagram who started a series of beautiful photos of her daughter, Jane, playing in their tub (#janeinthetub).  Some of her photos would just show Jane's messy bath hair peeking out above the edge of the tub, or a rubber ducky perched on top of her head, or her feet resting on the edge of the tub.  I loved that you could watch her daughter grow up throughout a series of photos like that, so after taking probably fifteen or so photos of Honour sleeping, I finally decided to give them a hashtag to keep track of them over time.  Here are some of my favorites from this past year, and they are organized by age.  I'm also especially happy that I took so many of these photos because holding Honour while she slept has been one of my favorite parts of parenthood so far, and now that she is always on the move, these moments are fewer and farther between. 

I know!  You thought I was done with this post and I'm STILL writing!  I told you I would be rambling, but I promise you're almost to the finish line.  The last thing I wanted to mention is that I was somewhat disappointed with how few photos I took of Honour with my DSLR this year.  I took so many iPhone photos, which is great because my iPhone is actually a far better camera than my parents ever had when I was growing up, but I really wish I had taken my DSLR out more often.  It just felt like a hassle sometimes to take it out and then need to edit the photos later.  I want to be more intentional about taking my DSLR out for personal photos from here on out, but I'm not beating myself up about not taking it out more this past year because we actually have a few friends that are professional photographers that photographed Honour a few times throughout her first year.  I'm so thankful for all of the photos they took because they are truly stunning and they captured our family in a way that I couldn't have captured myself.

Here are a few photos that my friend Catherine took in the hospital the day after Honour was born:

Almost three weeks after Honour was born, my friend Ariana came over to our house to do our first ever family session.  

Then when Honour was six months old and Christmas was right around the corner, we decided to get some fun Christmas family photos taken at Goldmine's Very Merry Christmas Sessions by our friend Christina.   

And then our friend Justin took photos at Honour's first birthday party - and I'm so thankful he did because I didn't take a single photo at her party! 

If you actually read this post all the way through, high five!  I hope that it was a fun read and maybe even inspires you to take more photos of your family and friends!  


My husband, Jeremy, is originally from West Virginia and I'm originally from Washington.  We don't have any relatives that live near us, so for the last 7 or 8 years, we have spent all major holidays with a family that has become very, very dear to us.  Easter has always been my favorite holiday to spend with them.  They have the prettiest yard for Easter egg hunts.  I usually have my camera with me each year to get some photos of the egg hunt and its been so fun to watch their family grow each year in these photos.  This year was even more fun to photograph because it was my daughter's first Easter and I realized that next time she might be big enough to start enjoying the egg hunts herself!