Family chaos and lessons learned {Central PA Family Photographer}

Documentary sessions are scary.

I mean, the thought of a photographer coming in to document your family, as-is, can be really scary. Even for me, someone that does it for a living. What are they going to capture? My immediate thoughts go to the times I am raising my voice too much at the kids, or when they are desperately trying to get my attention and I just need a minute to myself... all the bad moments. I fail to remember that someone could come into my home and capture moments like this:


As humans we seem to be designed to think the worst of ourselves. I don't know if that was some great evolutionary change to force us to work harder to get better, or if we just have something fundamentally wrong with us that we can't help but see ourselves that way. 

My awesome friend, Hannah, decided to take the plunge into a mini documentary session with her kiddos. She scheduled it for the evening after their joint birthday party, on one of the hottest days we had in a long time, while she was in the middle of fixing up her home to prepare to sell. 

Yeah, she's pretty kick-ass. 

I arrived in the middle of the chaos of guests leaving, candy eating, and general craziness that only can come from having kids in a wide age range coming down from party bliss. As I got myself situated and talked to the kiddos to explain why I there, I realized, this session was going to be so much fun. 

Nothing beats documenting family game time. I loved seeing how much their family laughed together. Hannah is such a fantastic mom. She is everything I want to be- laid back, loving, supportive and willing to be just as goofy as the kids. I watched as they all played and the older kids tried to help out their littlest sibling. She is lucky to have them. It's not often your older brother and sister not only want to help you, but even want you hanging around. I hope she can look back on these photos and see how much she is loved. 


After some good laughs, it was time for some winding down. Everyone was visibly tired and worn out from the busy day, so it only made sense to relax on the sofa and talk. Soon talking turning into laughing, and then singing followed by a dance party. (I was taught how to do the floss.... yeah, I'm still pretty bad at it, but I can blend in with the cool crowd now that I know how to do it.)

I love that each session I shoot teaches me something different, and not just things about my clients or about taking photos. I get this remarkable chance to learn about new things I can do with my own family, new dance crazes and new songs to sing. Hannah and her kids taught me two very important lessons that day.

1. Chaos is not only beautiful, it's fun. The bad things in the chaos are really only visible to yourself- to everyone else they see this:


: the laughter, the fun and the love. 

2. Every family is the same, at the root of it. We are all bonded by love and laughter. Every sibling fights, every parent yells a little too loud sometimes, there is always the one kid that wants to play by themselves. Every family is beautiful. Even in the chaos.


So, are you ready to take the plunge into a documentary session? 

...If you want photos like this, the ones the kids are going to remember so vividly as they get older, the ones you know are going to be your favorite as the years pass, then let's talk. 

Let's do this. Let's document your beautiful chaos.