The L Family | Pittsburgh Fall Family Session

Melissa warned me ahead of time that her family was a little loud and a little crazy. And I said: I sure hope so.

Because this is the kind of “crazy” I adore. The wild, frenetic, exuberant pace of children who are loved desperately and happy beyond imagination. The “crazy” that fuels curiosity and creates a safe space for self-discovery. Mamas, you know the kind of crazy. It is exhausting and exhilarating, and on your bad days can deplete what little energy you had left at the bottom of that cold cup of coffee. But on your good days— oh, on those good days—you find tiny moments to step back and marvel at the beautiful chaos and see it for what it is: a joyful childhood. 

As a photographer, this is the kind of crazy I live for. The kind that I will take every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Because I know that while you’re living it, the day-to-day can feel completely overwhelming. But when you look back and try to remember— what it all looked like, what it felt like— the memories are tragically elusive. 

That’s why it’s an honor every time I’m invited to photograph a family, especially one with young children. I want to dive into their version of “crazy,” to try to capture the spirit of their childhood in all of its silly, precocious, adventurous ways. The picture of everyone looking at the camera and smiling is definitely going to make it on the family Christmas card. But the picture of no one looking and everyone misbehaving— that’s the one that’s going to shoot straight to the middle of your heart. 

Melissa is an incredibly gifted and talented family photographer— (you absolutely must check out her beautiful work here:!)— which made the task all the more significant — and not just a little daunting. We mamas are never in front of the camera. And we mama photographers are never EVER in front of the camera (the shoemaker’s children and all that.) So this was a precious opportunity. 

Witnessing your family’s crazy joy, crazy happiness, and crazy love was an absolute gift, Melissa. The world needs a whole lot more of it. 

Rachel RossettiComment