(Our) Lifestyle: January Happenings and a Bit About Why I Do What I Do

Hello, friends! I'm back with my monthly-ish installment of photos documenting the life of our family, but I want to explain something this time. I've had some good conversations about business and blogging lately, and it occurred to me that you might think it's weird that I share so many pictures of my everyday life with my family on my business blog. Well, here's the thing: documenting real moments that beautifully capture the unique stories of families is my business, and it just so happens that my own family is in front of my camera the most, so they get to be the stars of my blog. :)

Mostly Afton, of course. She wore this adorable plaid dress on New Year's Day--yes, we made it church!

toddler girl lifestyle portraits, Ocean Springs, Mississippi

My favorite photos of her are always the ones by this window, and the same tends to be true when I do at-home family portrait sessions, which I LOVE. I always walk in and find the best window first thing. Look at that light! (And of course, the curtains are perfect for peekaboo, too!)

fun children's lifestyle photography - toddler girl playing peekaboo with curtains - Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Another Sunday, another cute red and black dress. And another window, too! She recently started trying to reach this bay window in the master bedroom, so we occasionally oblige and lift her up there. Yes, that is a Christmas ornament in her hand. We try to be liturgically correct around here, so the tree never gets put away until after Epiphany. ;)

cute toddler girl playing at home in fancy red dress

This coat was mine when I was her age! 

little girl in vintage fur coat - Ocean Springs children's photographer

Before we head to work and daycare, Afton and I have been enjoying a few moments of morning playtime outside. Mostly I chase her around and try to coax her into the carseat while she laughs at me. :)

toddler girl making funny faces - Gulf Coast children's photographer

She typically wants to climb up on the piano bench just so that she can try to reach the remote controls we are trying to keep away from her, but I love the way these photos capture this brief moment of actually "playing" the piano. Doesn't it look like she's practicing her scales and her toe-point at the same time? ;)

toddler playing piano - Ocean Springs lifestyle photographer

Weekends are when I take the most photos, and this particular Saturday was a big one for picture-taking, because it was quite an adventure! Afton and I explored the backyard while we waited for Daddy to get ready to hit the road. I think these Robeez shoes capture her spunky personality perfectly, and I'm glad I got a photo before she ripped out most of the laces. :/

little girl playing in backyard, Ocean Springs, Mississippi

We left the house with no real plans other than enjoying the beautiful day together, and we ended up at one of our favorite eating spots: Shaggy's!

Shaggy's Biloxi - food, Coronarita, playground, palm trees

We kept on going west until we arrived to another familiar and beloved town: Bay St. Louis! I love the quirky and relaxed feel of this place, and it was fun to capture so many of the brightly-colored details that tell the story of our visit.

Bay St. Louis, Mississippi photographer - colorful buildings and storefronts

Exploring the Gulf Coast is especially fun during carnival season! (More on this in another upcoming post!)

Mardi Gras decorations in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

We didn't get to stick around for Smith & Lens's celebration of Dolly Parton's birthday, but I did document a bit of this town's love for Dolly before we headed back home.

Dolly Parton inspired art in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

More Sunday toddler fashion...

toddler girl in fancy green plaid dress

We had a special visit from my brother Alex who travelled to New Orleans for a medical conference and squeezed in a few days of fun with us before and after. Afton and I had a day of fun with him, starting with delicious breakfast at Bayview Gourmet.

Bayview Gourmet, Ocean Springs - baby girl eating bacon

Then we had tons of fun at the Little Children's Park!

Little Children's Park in Ocean Springs, Mississippi Gulf Coast lifestyle portrait photographer

We walked from the park to Front Beach, which was enveloped by some serious fog. I had never seen the bridge completely fade away like this!

foggy day on Ocean Springs Front Beach with bridge and drinks at yacht club (OSYC)

Afton awoke from her stroller nap just as we were finishing our drinks at the yacht club, so our walk back up the beach was even more eventful. ;)

toddler girl walking and playing on beach with uncle

We take a lot of walks, but most of them are in our neighborhood. 

little girl being silly outside

Even though we tend to take the same route regularly, I always find new tiny details to photograph, especially when I bring my 100mm macro lens. It is still my favorite.

flowers, mushroom, leaves on nature walk in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Afton had so much fun playing with uncle Alex before he had to leave us! (And she looked so cute in her newest Matilda Jane--thank you, Sweet T!) :)

little girl playing with tricycle and toy car in driveway with uncle

It brings me so much joy to document my family's life through photographs. They aren't perfect, but they tell the story of our life, and that makes them beautiful. It's up for debate whether being a photographer makes me a better mom, but I'm quite sure that being a mom has made me a better photographer. I realize more than before how fleeting these moments are and feel more passionate than ever about making sure they will live on through photographs for future generations.

The older I get the more I realize how much of my sense of who I am and where I come from has been shaped by all the wonderful photos I've seen of my family members throughout the years. I used to spend hours leafing through the stacks of photo albums in my Granny's basement, and I hope my own child(ren) will have the same experience of exploring our legacy through images. If that sounds like what you want for your own family too, I would be honored to help create a lifestyle portrait session with you to document the real, beautiful story of this time in your own story, whether you just got engaged, brought home a new baby, or are sending the kids off to college. I'd love to help you capture the story in a way you'd be proud for your grandchildren to find in the stacks of albums in your basement. ;) Contact me to start the conversation!

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