The reason I’m not just your typical family photographer…

March 12, 2024

family photography toddler and mom


Can I share something with you friend?

I’ve written my story before, I’ve shared it outloud with a group… and yet it is just as scary today as it ever was and probably ever will be! But it is incredibly important for me to tell it for two reasons:

  1. It is the reason I pick up my camera every single day! It is the reason I shoot joyful, playful, authentic candid photos for the family’s that trust me with the magic of their family! It is also the reason I continue to come back to photography and I can never truly step away.
  2. I am compelled to share my story because I felt alone and we don’t talk about it enough. We are starting to talk about it and I think that’s incredible. However, if someone had shared a similar story with me… maybe I wouldn’t have felt so guilty or isolated.

When Linc was born it was amazing! I always wanted to be a mom, more than anything in the entire world. I loved kids. I worked at the Children’s Hospital as a Certified Child Life Specialist and I truly could not wait until the day I became a mom. I thought because I had a background in all things little ones that I would be a natural… wow was that naive. I thought because my mom loved being pregnant, so would I. I laugh about that now.

You see, before we have kids we think all these things… and then real life comes in and has a good laugh! What I wish I had known is that what I was doing to myself by “thinking all these things” was really setting myself up! In hind isight, I know now that the best thing you can do for yourself is to enjoy the moments for what they are (a lesson my son continues to teach me every day… and one I STILL have trouble learning!)

After my son was born, the feelings started out pretty slow. At first I thought it was because I was just a nervous mom and he came early! I thought because our labor was definitely not ordinary, I just needed some time to process. I don’t know why but I was freaked out! I was nervous around him. Then as a few weeks went by, I thought maybe it was because I had worked at the Children’s Hospital and I had never truly been around healthy newborns. I thought every little noise or movement was a sign or something terrible. When that realization didn’t fix my emotions and they didn’t get better after a few weeks, we thought “OK it must be the baby blues”… that’s normal right?!

But… it wasn’t. And it didn’t get better. I had post partum depression and it was a dark time. I really struggled. I had ( and still do) an amazing husband who swooped in and carried the load when I needed help. That’s what marriage is. When one partner is weak the other is strong and vice versa. I got better!

And then he had an unexpected deployment.

I made a promise to myself and to my husband that because our son was growing and changing so much at this time (Linc was a little over a year old) that I would take at least a photo a day and send it to him. This was when the wifi camera cards had just come out and they were soo cool! I could literally upload an image straight from my card to the computer and send it through e mail.

(Yes I know, now we can do that straight from the camera itself, straight from our phones and so much more… but back then it was pretty cutting edge!).

I didn’t want my husband to miss a minute of our son at this stage. He was incredible and FUN and wild and strong willed and silly and said the most insightful and crazy things. He was also HARD and angry that his daddy was gone, and he didn’t have the language to express it. So our life at home was beautiful and messy and chaotic and fun and raw and REAL! And I had my camera with me at all times to capture every single second of it. All the while still dealing with the same post partum feelings I had after Linc was born.

But I took pictures every single day. And I sent them to my husband and I put them in a folder for myself to look at when I was ready.

And I never expected that THOSE images would change my life forever. It was almost instantaneous that my perspective shifted. I thought I would look back on those images and see the HARD, see the short-comings. But instead what I saw was beautiful. I saw the real, and the raw beauty of parenting. I saw FUN! I saw love and laughter. I saw the beauty of real life in the stage that we were in and I knew that I would cherish those images when Linc was grown. I saw our life in a way I couldn’t see it because my mind was always racing with thoughts.

That’s when I knew I would never ever photograph family’s the same! I knew right then and there that I had to start photographing family’s the way that I had been shooting my family that year: real, raw, authentic, endearing, candidly, and without a doubt in a way that captured their own magic.

I want to give my family’s the gift of seeing their lives the way that their children see them: through a lens of pure magic and love.

As parents we have so many thoughts about HOW we are doing racing through our minds at all times but truthfully… our children are living in the moment! When we see ourselves through their eyes… the lens of raw love, joy, laughter, play and connection… it’s amazing. IT IS A GIFT!

That’s why I play at every session. It’s why no two family sessions are alike because each family has their own magic. (And I mean magic as in true wonderous magic that is a sight to behold!)

It’s why I spend time before our session getting to know you: over the phone and through questionnaires. And not just you as the parents but your kiddos too! I want to know what makes your family special. What you like to do, what you consider fun or boring or silly!

It’s why I shoot not just the “pretty” moments but the moments in between! Every moment with our children is special: the fun ones, the tender ones and the ones that may seem hard. Time moves quickly and before you know it, you’ll want to look back on those moments that may have frustrated you that now make you laugh… like when she used to pull out her pigtails, or how his knees were always skinned! I want to shoot those silly moments that you are dying to capture because you know this is purely something so cute that is just of this particular age!

This is why family’s are magic to me. That year changed my life and nothing describes it better than a quote by Michael J Fox…

“Family is not an important thing, it is everything”.

Isn’t it crazy how sometimes the toughest times of our lives can lead us to where we need to be? My life will be forever changed by that hard, difficult year but I wouldn’t change it for the world! It taught me strength, it taught me appreciation and most of all it gave me my purpose in life!

I would love to chat with you more…. or maybe capture your family!

So let me know if you need a friend, wanna chat or need someone to show you just how special your moments are! I”m just a click away!

family photography toddler and mom

All pictures taken from our life during a time that was incredibly hard and now I see was incredibly beautiful!

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ABOUT brooke










FROM THE journal



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Everyone wants photos that are timeless, magical, joyful and purely THEM!  Photos that not only stand up to the test of time, but when you look back on them you will say YES!! This was us!  This was our lives: beautiful, silly, chaotic and wonderful!  I can help you get that!  Check out my tips on how to get the best family photos!   And then maybe schedule a session!


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