Real Life

Hornbuckle Real Life Family Session | WNY Documentary Family Photographer

Time is such a crazy thing. It goes by so fast, and yet sometimes it feels like no time has even passed at all. It seriously feels like it was not that long ago that I first met Jes and Brian for their engagement photos. Yet since that day.. I've now photographed their wedding, the birth story of their first son, a mini family session, and now an in-home real life family session for their son's first birthday! Kind of crazy, but all so very, very awesome at the same time. It has filled my heart and then some to be able to watch their love and family grow, and to be able to provide them photographs for so many once-in-a-lifetime days/experiences/moments in their lives. And this latest session might just be one of my absolute favorites yet!

Why Winter Real Life Family Sessions Are The Best | Buffalo Family Photographer

The winter season is the perfect time of year to think about scheduling a documentary-style, in-home family session. For many families, the summer, fall, and holiday seasons are hectic and filled to brim with gatherings, activities, and (perhaps too many) things to do. But this quiet time between the new year and spring brings a welcome – and often much-needed – slower pace, allowing families to spend more quality time together in their homes. Families like the one I'm sharing with you today*, who spent a chilly December day together inside painting and playing, and who then even ventured out for some playtime in the snow!

Sooooo much fun, right?! Not only was I able to provide this family with lasting memories of the fleeting moments in their lives with toddlers, but everyone had fun while doing it! And the best part is, you can have all of this, too. With the cold, winter months, you're most likely going to be cooped up at home anyhow, so it really is the perfect time of year to make sure you have some of these precious everyday, real life memories documented.

Days with young children are constantly changing, filled with fleeting interests and hobbies, so why not preserve those moments with quality images that tell the story of what life was like for your entire family at a certain point in time? Seriously, I'd LOVE the opportunity to document your family and look forward to hearing from you soon! Inquire today!


*Dad not pictured upon request

Buffalo and Rochester Documentary Family Photography | The Achatz Family Real Life Session

I just need to start off by saying how much this session holds a special place in my heart. Kari is not only an amazing wife and mother, but she's an inspirational woman all around, a phenomenal art teacher and photographer as well. We have known each other since college, and her daughter, Isabella, was one of the very first newborns I ever photographed. Since that day, I have had the pleasure of photographing Kari, Adam, and Isabella on several different occasions for their family portraits. But it's been a little while since I saw them last, and when I walked into their home with Isabella greeting me at the door with the biggest hug, I could have cried buckets of tears.

Buffalo Documentary Family Photographer | Achatz Family

Where has the time gone, I thought? Since the day she was a newborn and even since the last time I saw them, it feels like it's only been a year at most. Yet someone now Isabella is this little person with a wild imagination of her own, a beautiful singing voice, and has a heart filled with so much compassion it pours out of her. These personality traits of a child are not always things I am able to see on a traditional family portrait shoot and that is why I love, love, love and firmly believe in Real Life documentary family sessions. Instead of being out at a park taking portraits for 60ish minutes, Real Life sessions give me the opportunity to spend time with families, photographing them in their home, doing what they love and do together all the time. For this session, it meant documenting Kari and Isabella baking cupcakes and playing dress up; Adam and Isabella putting together Legos; and time together with Isabella reading to her parents, all the while naturally interacting, enjoying the comfort of their own home. These are the memories I long to preserve in photographs.

But do you want to know something else I loved about this session? At one point not long after I arrived to their house last Friday, Kari said to me how excited she was to have photos around the house with HER actually in them, and how she always has these amazing photos of Isabella and Adam, or beautiful photos of everyone else with Isabella, but that she really doesn't have a lot of photos with her in them, especially photos of the everyday moments like this. It was sort of interesting that she said that, because she's not the first mom to tell me that. Two other moms have mentioned that to me in the last few months alone, and just a few days ago, another mom I know made a post on facebook sharing this link to an article about this very same topic. I could go on about this, but I'm just going to leave it at this (with a little shameless plug): taking photos of parents with their kids (mom especially) is a primary focus during all of my sessions, and there is no better way to capture the genuine real life moments than through a session like this.

So if you're still trying to think of the perfect Mother's Day gift, consider a gift certificate for a Real Life family session (I will have several available for purchase during the next 2 weeks)! Because having photographs of moments like this to look back on in 10, 20, 30+ years from now will mean the world not only to mom, but to everyone in the family.

The Bond Family's Real Life Family Session | WNY Documentary Family Photography

I'm all sorts of obsessed with documenting everyday moments of families in their homes, or as I call them, Real Life family sessions. And it brings me even greater joy when those sessions are with past wedding clients. These are the images that make my soul sing, and that make me squeal with joy and sometimes even tear up with all sorts of emotions of the tiniest yet most significant thing I know I'm documenting. These are the moments I want my clients to pass down for generations, and that I know will fill their hearts with so much joy for having images like this to show their children one day.

And with that said, I'm just going to dive right into the Real Life session I had with the Bond family last week. One thing to note... during this session, Maria and I discussed our obsession with all things white, black, and grey. So I make no apologies that this post is mostly black and white images because I know at least Maria would understand the pull black and white has on me, even in images!