Jen+Jon+Declan

If I ever tell you that I watched some weird horror movie recently but mostly talked about the themed food that accompanied it, chances are these were the other people involved. The best of those situations, in my opinion, was when we made assorted deviled eggs for the Easter horror movie about a giant killer bunny, and the worst was when we tried to put spaghetti in a plastic brain mold for Halloween Ends. They can’t all be winners. Jon makes amazing fried pickles, and Jen makes the best charcuterie boards. And there to pick up all the pieces that we drop on the floor, is SamSam, their… black… golden retriever? Long haired black lab? Fuzzy doggo butt? I don’t know what breed SamSam is but she is extremely cute and extremely fuzzy and likes to boop you on the leg with her nose when she doesn’t feel like she’s getting her fair share of snacks. SamSam LOVES it when Declan is around because Declan is a primary floor-snack source. I love it when Declan is around because he’s just plain funny and adorable. Usually he makes me food in his play kitchen, but during this photoshoot I was introduced to candle-sniffing Declan, which is apparently his favorite Target shopping activity. He takes a candle, opens it, sniffs it extremely dramatically with a scrunched-up nose face, and then runs over to you so that you can do the same thing. He’s precious. Then he smartly puts the candle in his Target shopping cart and off he goes. These folks are truly incredible people and friends, and I’m happy to photograph them again. Oh, and if you’re looking for a dose of Dad humor, Jon runs the best Dadstagram there is.

Kid sized Target shopping cart
Kid shopping with mini Target shopping cart toy
At home Target store setup for kids
At home Target store setup for kids
At home Target store setup for kids
In-home documentary lifestyle family photography in Raleigh
In-home documentary lifestyle family photography in Raleigh
Kid serving parents food at Target store in-home
Long haired black labrador dog
At home Target store setup for kids
In-home documentary lifestyle family photography in Raleigh
Kid smelling a candle
Kid smelling a candle
Kid holding a candle out for you to smell
Lifestyle photographers in Raleigh
Kid holding out a candle for a dog to smell
Child offering you a candle
Kid putting on his socks
Parents helping child put on his shoes
Family Christmas card on porch
Family Christmas card on porch
Family Christmas card on porch outtake
Family Christmas card on porch
Kid running through the grass
Parents throwing leaves with a child in the yard
Parents throwing leaves with a child in the yard
Parents throwing leaves with a child in the yard
Dad tossing son up in the air during family photos in Raleigh
Dad tossing son up in the air during family photos in Raleigh
Kid holding a stick during Raleigh family photographs
Dog chewing on a stick in the yard
Mother and son portraits
Mom spinning toddler son around
Mom kissing toddler on the cheek
Toddler with electricity hair
Toddler holding stick
Toddler walking with his dad holding his hand
Toddler holding his dad's hand and walking
Family neighborhood walk in Raleigh
Family neighborhood walk in Raleigh
Kid sitting on Dad's shoulders
Kid sitting on Dad's shoulders
Kid sitting on Dad's shoulders
Toddler going on walk with parents
Toddler going on walk with parents
Family portraits outside in autumn
Family portraits outside in autumn
Family portraits outside in autumn
Raleigh family photographer
Raleigh family photographer
Artsy family photographers in Raleigh
Artsy family photographers in Raleigh
Kid running through his yard during family portraits
Kid running through his yard during family portraits
Toddler hugging his dad
Toddler hugging his dad
Dad carrying toddler
Raleigh family portraits in the fall
Black long haired dog with tennis ball
Black long haired dog with tennis ball
Black long haired dog with tennis ball catches ball
Black long haired dog with tennis ball
Family portrait in Raleigh with dog
Woman kisses dog in portrait
Toddler laughing on the grass
Mom carrying her son across the yard
Couple laughing with fall leaves
Black and white couple laughing
Couple laughing with the fall leaves
Kid carrying pumpkin at family photos
Kid carrying pumpkin at family photos
Kid carrying pumpkin at family photos
Kid carrying pumpkin at family photos

Ohhh, I had SO much fun with this family! This is one of those cases where my client warns me repeatedly about how awkward and terrible they’ll be in front of the camera, but they end up being total naturals and the easiest people to work with. They were fantastic. Deidre, Eric and I clicked immediately – they have great senses of humor and appreciate the same great things in life like video games and Starbursts. Braelyn, however, took some convincing. Lucky for me, she adores her parents and they have zero qualms about turning her upside down, so we did get her to smile at them (before she remembered I was there). And she has THE cutest smile. Plus she’s like a baby savant. I knew she was only 1, so the chances of her walking were not great yet, but Eric set her down and she ran across the room like a little crazy person. Then she was shooting hoops with ease! And taking apart and putting back together my lens caps with incredible fine motor skills! She’s a smaaaart little baby. And so, so, so cute, just like her adorable parents. So happy to have done the first family photos for this great crew!

When I spoke with Katy over the phone before their portrait session, we got along quite well and talked for a long time about things totally unrelated to portrait planning. And Katy and Jereme are super funny people who have the same sense of humor as myself, so I was quite excited to meet them. And Katy was really talking Lucy up, the way you might talk about someone you’re trying to set your friend up with. “She’s really funny, you’re going to love her.” And she’s her mom and stuff, so naturally you’re going to think your kid is funny and that everyone will like your child (I think this about my cats), and I like children and I was sure I would at the very least like Lucy, BUT SHE WAS RIGHT, I DO TOTALLY LOVE HER. I think my jaw literally dropped open when I saw her. First of all, Lucy has the habit of staring very stoically at people in a quite serious way (which I was warned about ahead of time) but it is SO funny because she has the most INCREDIBLE EYELASHES that I have literally ever seen on ANYONE and this just makes her look so adorably cute that it is instant love. Like, I’ve never seen eyelashes like this. Ever. Well, maybe not in person because she is 100% like that guy that plays Richard on Lost that everyone thinks wears mascara on both his upper and lower lashes but actually just looks like that. It’s incredible and she will never need mascara or eyeliner ever in her life.

In addition to having beautiful eyes, she alternates between extremely serious expressions and THE CUTEST SMILE AND LAUGH that reveals exactly two bottom teeth and is seriously heart-melting. Someone get this girl an ad campaign stat. She loves both her mom and her dad, but I’m not sure I’ve seen any baby look at anyone the way this girl looks at her dad, which is also heart-warming and adorable. Her hobbies include chewing on plastic ducks, hanging out with her very good dog Sammy, waving like the queen as she walks her cart around the house, hugging her narwhal stuffed animal, mailing envelopes to her birthday party (THE CUTENESS), and being generally insanely cute. Her parents are in the medical field, and Lucy is named after a 98 year-old patient that Katy took care of. Grab the tissues and observe the cute.