Kristen + Nathan's Family

This post was originally published January 6, 2016

Many of you know that in-home, documentary sessions are where my heart lies. I truly believe that the little moments are the most important moments, and that looking back at photographs of real memories bring us back in time in a way posed photos just can't.

Before Christmas, Kristen and Nathan took a big leap of faith and invited me to photograph them in their home in Albuquerque. This was their family's first experience with a documentary session, so I asked K to write a little bit about her experience.

"Being new to the idea of documentary photography, we were nervous that we wouldn't do anything sufficiently interesting, or that the photos might looked staged. The questionnaire Stacey sent ahead of time really helped us solidify which activities are the most unique and precious to our family at this stage of life.

The session was easy for us -- we just baked cookies, built blocks, and read books. Stacey's warm personality made us feel comfortable to be ourselves during the session. 

Documentary photography was so much easier and more fun for us than staged photo shoots, where we insist that the kids need to hold still, look at the camera, and flash a fake smile. Those instructions are hard for kids, and the best possible result is, well, a staged photo without any goofy looks. On the other hand, allowing the kids -- all of us, really -- to be ourselves and be active produces a much more authentic result.

Of course, it helps to have a skilled professional doing the real work! Stacey's photos are stunning and precious. They carry so much meaning and heart, and they stand apart from the quick cell phone images we're used to seeing these days. Seeing the finished product was emotional for us because she captured those sweet, fun, chaotic moments that pass all too quickly.  We will cherish these photos for years.

Actually, we would love to do another session with Stacey in a year or 18 months because she did such an amazing job of capturing how these years feel. It's hard, as a parent, to know how to strike the right balance between enjoying the moments we have with the kids, and writing down/video taping/otherwise documenting what they do. With Stacey's photography, we feel more able to enjoy the moments because we know someone else is doing a much better job of documenting than we ever could.

Thank you again!  This was such a great experience!"

It was a great experience for me, too. Kristen and Nathan have such a lovely family, and their children were such a joy to be around. It was truly an honor to deliver photographs that capture this exact time in their lives, filled with details they'll never want to forget. I had so many favorites from their session! Here are just a few of them: