5 Lessons I Learned From Having My Own Family Photographed

5 Lessons I Learned From Having My Own Family Photographed

This past fall, I decided do something I had been meaning to do for the past half year: get family photos taken of our new family of three. Sure, I’m a professional photographer, but you’ve heard the one about the shoemaker’s kids, right? I have a million pictures of my son, my husband, and things I’ve eaten recently. I, like pretty much every mom I know, am never in the pictures. 

I don’t like to have my picture taken. But...I desperately wanted to be in the pictures. Since becoming a mom, I’ve witnessed how babies change in a blink, and how overnight they seem to wake up and leave little pieces of their babyhood behind. And if I didn’t step in front of the camera with him to capture a few of those moments, right then and there, they’d be gone and I would regret it forever. 

Baby B | Shadyside Lifestyle Newborn

Baby B | Shadyside Lifestyle Newborn

Because the moon? It’s far. It’s very, very far. It’s impossibly far away. And impossibly far is precisely the length moms (and dads!) go to to bring new life into this world, and to raise them in love. For sweet little Baby B, no one will go farther for him than his amazing mama and daddy.

Beth and Pat know that loving someone to the moon and back is a lifetime’s worth of love. A lifetime of right and wrong turns, bumps and bruises, exploration, discovery and joy. What a privilege and a joy it was for me to step into their home and witness some of the very first steps of that new journey as a family of three.

Baby L | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Newborn

Baby L | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Newborn

It’s a gift to document people on the best days of their lives— and to see how their definition of “best” grows and evolves over time.

Best doesn’t necessarily mean their most glamorous; although it can. Asia and Drew’s wedding day was pretty spectacular, after all. Asia was one of the most beautiful brides I’ve ever seen (and Drew, one of the most handsome grooms, of course!). It was an amazing day filled with the joyous celebration of friends and family.

But not every best day comes with the pomp and fanfare of ball gowns and bow ties. Sometimes, the very BEST days, are the most subdued. They are intimate, fragile. Precious.

Baby M | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Newborn

Baby M | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Newborn

Do you remember that old riddle about a man and his son who were in an accident and rushed to the hospital, and when they wheel the boy into the operating room the surgeon says, “I can’t operate on him— he’s my son!” and the riddle is all *h0w CaN tHiS bE?!?!* and then you were supposed to be stumped because, lol, moms aren't doctors! 

Little Baby M is never going to have trouble answering that riddle. When both of your parents are doctors, not only are you in the best of hands for all life’s bumps and bruises; you also have a pretty amazing example set for you that when you grow up you can be absolutely anything you want to be.

Stella is One! | The G Family at Hartwood Acres Mansion

Stella is One! | The G Family at Hartwood Acres Mansion

"Before having a baby…”

Ah, the volumes of hubris I could fill with just that one prompt. Things like:

“Before having a baby I thought people who were late were being rude!”

“Before having a baby I didn’t understand why parents would let their child scream in a grocery store.”

“Before having a baby I didn’t understand why a person would only take one shower in a week.”

Don’t worry, I have since had a formal reckoning on all of these misconceptions. And since “before having a baby I actually had time to read entire blog posts” also fits here, I’ll get straight to the point: 

Before having a baby, I didn’t really understand the point of first birthday parties.