The reluctant toddler…

This family came to the studio the other day to capture some newborn photos.  The parents warned me ahead of time that their toddler was not thrilled about the idea.  They didn’t have high hopes of getting any photos of her with the baby….or at all for that matter.  Of course…I am always up for a challenge!

BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-8One of the reasons that I encourage home lifestyle sessions when toddlers are involved is because my studio is small and hot.  It’s totally set up for the newborn which can make it difficult for the toddler.  I encourage parents to bring the sibling either at the beginning or the end of the session and then have someone else whisk them away.  That way I still have time to work with the baby in a more peaceful setting.  BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-5Needless to say….I was thrilled to capture one great photo of this sweet girl.  I also managed to get her into a few family photos and one absolutely hilarious photo that pretty much summed up our time together!BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-19Once we finished that up, we moved on to some baby focused photos with her parents.BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-17BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-12BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-21I love this one…two beautiful smiling ladies!BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-6BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-22BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-37I have some props that are fun to transition through the milestone photos and this crown is one of them.   It was too big for her head now but as she grows it can make an appearance at each stage, showing how much she has changed.BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-38BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-41BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-45BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-57BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-65BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-56Just look at this sweet angel.  I couldn’t decide if I liked this one better in color or black and white so I included both.  Slightly different shots of course.BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-49BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-48Newborn sessions still rock my world.  Snuggling babies makes my job the best.

Thank you for sharing your girls with me!

XO

Belmont Village…Hands of Love Project

(This is me trying to get caught up with the many weeks of not blogging…)

Recently I participated in an amazing project for Belmont Village, a senior living community that offers varying levels of care for our aging population.  I was on their radar as a photographer because my Mom lives in one of their neighborhoods geared toward residents with dementia.MaryWhen they approached me about being the photographer for their “Hands of Love” project, I was thrilled!  The project was a great way to combine my love of photography with my art background.  We discussed the parameters of the project and they gave me complete creative control of the photography which was wonderful.Frank Cummings 2I wanted to wait until the show had taken place to share some of the images and stories from the residents.  I love that this project really highlights the lives that they had prior to coming to Belmont.  People forget sometimes that these seniors who can’t remember things or get angry easily once had careers, families and hobbies. Eleanor 2I spent quite a few afternoons visiting with the residents and taking lots of photos.  They were excited to share their stories and to show me their ‘props’.  We even hosted an event where the families could come and take photos of their hands together with the residents.  This was a huge family who was very excited to have this photo as their loved one was just entering hospice care.Shirley TrudeauEvery person had a story…some were simple and some tugged right at my heart.  Here are some of my favorites…

Meet Bob…Bob HOlm 2Bob used to play baseball.  In fact, he once pitched a no hitter during a very special game.  This is the game ball which was signed by all of the participants.  This ball has been one of Bob’s most prized possessions.  Bob has a grandson who is also a pitcher on a baseball team.  Right before our session, Bob handed down the cherished baseball to his grandson. These are their hands.

Meet Merle…Merle 2Merle is 110 years old.  She has written 11 books, all in long hand in spiral notebooks and all since she turned 70.  She is a prankster with an amazing sense of humor.  My daughter was completely smitten with her when they met and often asks if we can go back to visit.  These are her hands.

Meet Christine…Christine KChristine is a fun lady who painted her nails just for our session.  She used to be a model in her youth and brought a photo from one of her sessions along.  She even offered to model for me, if I ever needed a “more mature lady”.  These are her hands.

Meet Fred & Carol…Fred Hoyum & CaroleThey live together here as they have for many years.  Their wedding photo was up on a high shelf and when I asked them if I could take it down to photograph it with their hands they said “I don’t know why you would want to take photos of these old ugly hands.”  These are their beautiful hands still holding on to each other.

Meet Rute…Rute 3In her youth she was a pianist.  When we asked her to play for us she informed us that she wasn’t sure how any more.  We told her that it was OK, just pretend.  But when she placed her hands on the keys they just seemed to know what to do all by themselves.  These are her hands.

Meet Jim…Jim z 5Jim was a pilot.  His son is also a pilot for the exact same airline.  The bond between them was obvious just in the short time we spent together taking photos.  The son holds his father’s hands because he was too shaky to hold the hat himself.  He is also wearing his father’s watch.  Such a powerful image of their hands.

Meet Mike…Mike JeswithMike was an architect in his younger years.  He wasn’t even going to participate in this project but I happened to see him reading the paper and I started up a conversation with him where I learned that he used to design buildings.  He shared that he had some cool photos of himself in front of a building that was special to him so I ran up to get them and he agreed to pose for this photo for me.  These are his hands.

Meet Bob…Bob MBob brought out his dog tags along with stories about his time in the military.  I love this photo as it speaks to an entire generation of men who were defined by their war time service including many of my own relatives.  These are his hands.

Meet Herman…Herman KampfHerman was a basketball player.  You can tell he is tall even though he was sitting in a wheelchair.  He even pretended to shoot the ball for me.  His love of the game was evident from the moment the ball was handed to him.  These are his hands.

Herb JSo many great stories…too many photos to post them all here.  A few weeks ago they hosted an opening where the photos were on display for both the residents and their families to see.  After the show ended, the framed photos were then gifted to the residents (or family members).  I was sad to see how many of the people that I had just met were already gone to higher level care…even my friend Bob the baseball player.  Much to my surprise…Bob and his family organized a visit to attend the photography show.  He is currently in rehab after an amputation but he begged them to let him go for the evening to see his photo with this family and they finally said YES!  It was touching to see them there.  Barbara DThis is my Mom’s hand holding the hand of my daughter.  This is the hand that changed my diapers, prepared the food that nourished me and taught me how to be paint.  And this is the hand of the child that I have done the same for.

Hands are a powerful thing.

XO

Benjamin.

One of the most wonderful parts about being a photographer is watching families grow and change and this family is no exception.  I first met this couple when they hired me to capture their maternity photos.  These are some of my favorites from that session.  IMG_1890IMG_1807IMG_1953Of course I was so excited to finally meet this little cutie during his newborn session.IMG_0072IMG_0200IMG_0304In a blink of an eye they were reaching out to schedule his 6 month session!  I couldn’t believe how big he had gotten when he came by the studio for his photos. IMG_9438Look at that smile!IMG_9456IMG_9474He wasn’t quite sitting up on his own yet so we had to be quick and creative with poses.IMG_9518 I love this shot!  And black and white photos of course.IMG_9449I love this shot.IMG_9610IMG_9598-2It’s always special when families bring along props that are meaningful to them.  Like this name puzzle.IMG_9842IMG_9812And Sophie the chewable giraffe.IMG_9763We even attempted one in my new vintage suitcase.  Tough when you aren’t really sitting up well yet but we did manage to pull out one cute shot.  Maybe for the one year photos!IMG_9680I am already looking forward to our next session when this little guy turns one!  Cake smash anyone?IMG_9568XO

Claire.

IMG_9706 copyWelcome sweet Claire. IMG_9777She was a bit older when we got together for our session.  Her Mom wanted a more traditional, soft, baby girl look.  I think we definitely accomplished that!IMG_9769She didn’t want to sleep for me…and I tried all of my tricks….but we finally got her to snooze just enough for some beautiful relaxed shots.IMG_9750I love this…she looks like a mermaid.IMG_9745IMG_9811IMG_9833I love the dramatic black I white shots…especially of those tiny fingers and toes.IMG_9880Just as I was about to shift her pose, she smiled.  I just barely caught it.  I love baby smiles!IMG_9903IMG_9916IMG_9686IMG_9864She did not like tummy time but we got all sorts of sweet & snuggly side poses.  IMG_9694IMG_9960In Mamas arms…the safest place to be.IMG_9750-3And, finally, one with her very special quote.

XO

Michael.

IMG_9568Meet Michael.IMG_9395I was lucky enough to meet his awesome wife on a local chat about having celiac years ago.  We had lunch, became friends, and we have shared many dinners, book clubs, etc since.IMG_9392Recently, we were out to dinner and chatting about photography when the subject of head shots came up.  I was sharing my thoughts about how important it is to have great head shots for your professional image when Michael showed me his.  IMG_9449It’s interesting to look at a head shot of someone you don’t know.  You formulate ideas about who they are instantly.  But try looking at a headshot of someone you do know.  IMG_9459Does that shot look like the person they are?  In Michael’s case…the answer was ‘No’.  I suggested that we do some updating and he was in!IMG_9506Anyone who knows Michael knows how appropriate it was that we met in downtown Wheaton at the Starbucks. I thought the urban/vintage vibe would be great for him.IMG_9467Michael is funny, quirky, super smart and interesting.  I wanted his photos to reflect all of those things with a more casual feel.  IMG_9404Of course, we had a few great outtakes….as I would expect with this guy!IMG_9406IMG_9630IMG_9386I told you…he’s a funny guy.  But, mostly, we captured some amazing photos that I think will give someone a sense of his personality long before they meet him.IMG_9631I also put together some photos just for him personally….cool black and white shots that are more artsy than the normal head shot.IMG_9444IMG_9434It was such a fun night.  He discovered a side of Wheaton he never knew existed (including my favorite alleyways) and I enjoyed his interesting and fun company.IMG_9477Thinking of getting new head shots?  Give me a call…I would love to put together a great portfolio of images that will make your LinkedIn page or website a more effective tool.

XO

Katy

I love maternity sessions!  I know I probably say it all the time but it’s true.  It’s such a beautiful time of hope, beauty, excitement and anxiety.  All of those emotions combine to create the most beautiful photos.IMG_5338Meet Katy.IMG_5323IMG_5304IMG_5348Katy was a winner in my 2017 Wheaton Moms Give A Way.  When we met for the first time I was surprised to find that we had a connection…her step daughter and my son were friends at school.  Small world!IMG_5214IMG_5255IMG_5280I was excited to meet her and her beautiful family for our photo session on what turned out to be a very warm and sunny but also windy day.  I was also excited to meet this little sweetie.IMG_5259We started out with a few photos of the whole family and then let the girls take off so that we could focus on the couple and their ‘bump’.IMG_5339We started our session in one of my favorite spots.  It never disappoints.  Gorgeous trees and green space combined with some nice buildings and a pond.  Then we moved on to my urban location.IMG_5488IMG_5517I love the vintage brick and architectural details and try to include those in the photos whenever possible.IMG_5476IMG_5556IMG_5563IMG_5609She had such a sophisticated vibe….like working with a professional model!IMG_5580IMG_5859IMG_5880A few of my favorite spots….the cool blue doors, a sweet alley (yes…I make people dance in the alley!), and to commemorate the area a little shot of the Wheaton Theater.IMG_5758IMG_5802She wanted to include a few items to honor her husband’s military career.  I love it when people incorporate special items into our sessions.IMG_5933Three locations, tons of great photos, one special couple.

I can’t wait to meet the new addition!

XO

Fun x 2….Twins!

I was recently invited to spend a morning with these two cuties!  We chose an In Home Lifestyle session to celebrate them turning 6 months old.  Sometimes lifestyle sessions are better for small children who are happier and more comfortable in familiar surroundings.

I asked their parents to come up with some fun facts about them at this point in their lives and then we made up these collages that can be printed like photos and framed.  It’s a fun way to keep track of the little things that you think you will never forget….but do.Elsie CollageTJ collage 2Lifestyle sessions are meant to tell a story.  The story of you.  I like to take some snapshots of things around the home that are meaningful to my clients or represent where they are at that time.IMG_0455IMG_0461IMG_0460Of course I also snap some great shots of the kids. IMG_0876IMG_0873IMG_1064And I always bring along some lights and simple props to get some more ‘studio like’ shots for framing.  IMG_0582IMG_0641IMG_0652IMG_0910Of course I like to include the parents.  Sometimes they protest….they aren’t looking their best, their hair isn’t great, etc.  But I like to explain that 1. I have photoshop. and 2. Your kids won’t care some day when they look back at these treasured memories.IMG_0777IMG_0756I love black and white photos.  A good black and white photo can elevate something simple to something amazing.  Little fingers….tiny toes…those long eyelashes….and, most importantly, the cute little butts!IMG_0846IMG_0805IMG_0463IMG_0860IMG_0928IMG_1024IMG_1097These two were simply the cutest!  They made my job so easy.IMG_1267IMG_1254IMG_1226I love this shot of them holding hands.  Sweet.IMG_1109Lifestyle sessions come in all shapes and sizes.  They can be an hour snippet or encompass an entire fun day.  If you are interested in exploring a Lifestyle Session for your family…let’s talk!

XO

A Family Session….

Time to catch up on my blog.  Good intensions.  It’s been such an uncharacteristically busy Spring….in a good way of course.  I am going to play a little bit of catch up and post some of my sessions from a few weeks ago.IMG_9551This little family is about to grow!  While they are excited to welcome their newest member, they also wanted to celebrate while they are still a family of three.  We snuck in a quick family session on one of our wonderfully warm days in the park.IMG_9583This sweet guy is a typical toddler….busy…busy…busy!IMG_9612  We decided that trying to keep him down was not in the cards so we did more of a lifestyle session embracing who he is at this moment.IMG_9750IMG_9628IMG_9747IMG_9811IMG_9843I love when people include their beloved pets in their photo sessions.  I always try to capture a few pet photos while we are shooting.IMG_9699And, since Mom never had a maternity session….I sent the boys away to play while I snapped up a few photos of this beautiful Mama.IMG_9725IMG_9710IMG_9733And back to the family for a few more shots before our toddler was done for the day!IMG_9686IMG_9843IMG_9857IMG_9853Now I’m anxiously awaiting their new arrival for our newborn session…coming soon!

XO