martin family

what do you get when you combine four kids, two sweet and easy going parents, and lots of personality? FUN of course! i had such a great time photographing the martins. the kids are just adorable (those eyes!) and have such distinctive personalities. can you guess who is shy and who is full of energy? and goodness...mom and dad had such calm and gentle energy around their children! i mean, four kids! amazing. here are some favorites from our session! 

 

have a question about a home session? scroll to the end of this session!

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have you been thinking about having a photo session in your home? worried that your home isn't "picture perfect?" no worries! it's live in, it has children, it's home. that's what matters. all you need is a window with natural light. the best part is everyone gets to be themselves in a familiar surrounding...then leave the rest up to me! years down the line, you'll be SO glad you have photos in your home, with your children! trust me! :)

email me for more info: jennphatiphong@gmail.com  

or complete the form below and let's chat! 

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a life session | blair family

there was a time that i looked forward to waking up on weekends and snuggling with my two-year old in our bed. those days are long gone as i am up and gone before she even wakes up these days. and i wish i would have had more of those moments documented.  

shouldve, couldve, wouldve...sigh.

we, like so many families, live for the weekend where we get to take our time and be carefree at home - making breakfast, snuggling in bed a little longer, hanging out being ourselves, or eating a meal together without having to rush off somewhere. the weekends were made for families. as kids get older, the weekends get filled up with birthday parties, soccer practice, art lessons... and before long, it all becomes a blur. 

i was so excited when we decided to document a sunday morning for the blair family. i've photographed this wonderful bunch over the past several years and have seen their family grow. capturing what it's like to be them on a sunday was such a treat! i know these images will be priceless as the children grow and life will seemed to have passed in a blink of an eye. i mean, with three children, how do you remember it all? :)

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 interested in a life session or have questions? let's chat! 

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a happy medium | life session

i love social media and its benefits. however, for years now, i have been guilty of putting my best face forward. i tend to share things that are generally happy, useful, and pretty - basically the best sides of my life. sometimes i feel like i’ve crafted a false image of what an ideal life should be through social media, and i was starting to believe that my life should indeed be perfect.

from following world travelers, to great photographers, to fashion icons, and friends who seem to live an amazing life, i realized i was subconsciously contributing to my unhappiness and disconnect as more and more of my posts emulated those i admired. at times, i couldn't even relate to myself.

so i've been evaluating what i share and don't share these days. i've decided that i want to connect to others in a more meaningful way, and not just sharing ideals, but authencities as well. for such is my life...

in addition to  having great moments, i struggle everyday - dealing with fears i can’t tame, thoughts i can't control, disappointments i can’t shake, inadequacies i can’t mask, ultimately wishing my life was more like so-and-so's. but i don’t believe i have revealed that enough.  

i want to make sure that the image of my life as a mother, a wife, a daughter, and friend is more honest than it had been.    

there's a place that i have begun a more intimate journal, mostly for myself... this little space called instagram. for some reason, it doesn't feel as scary to share there. join me there for dialogue, growing pains, lessons learned, and lots and lots of pictures of my kid. ha. 

i also post sneak peeks from sessions there! 

on the topic of of being real, dolores is one of those ladies you can ask for honest input and you will get it. and i love this about her. we met through some mutual friends and i instantly felt comfortable around her and loved how easy she was to talk to. when we talked about this session, i told her it was more about documenting her family as they were rather than me creating my version of what i thought they should be. i wanted to capture what was uniquely them.. for everyone to be themselves at home. 

i was nervous at first as moving into a different style of photography brings a lot of unknowns and i have to let go of being in control of the situation (this coming from a control freak). but that's the beauty of a life session...i get to step back and let them be them. and the best part about this session is that i got to be a part of some of the most intimate moments, which, as i was going through the images, touched me deeply. i love how tender these moments are. everything about this session speaks being human, vulnerable, and being a parent... thank you, dolores and ron, for opening your lives to me. i hope they will bring you joy and fondness each time you look at them years from now.

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have questions about a session in your home? i'm delighted to answer your questions! 

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forgetfulness | first day of big kid school

i have a somewhat embarrassing secret... i am very forgetful. i have a tendency to forget who i went where with, and what i did with who. my husband will testify that this has been an ongoing ..uh, thing. some of our conversations go something like this:  "don't you remember going there together?"  he'd say, "um, no." and i would insist, "yes, we did!" and in the end, i had gone with someone else. or... he would ask me, "do you remember that time when we..." and i wouldn't be able to recall any part of it unless he gave me many specific details to jog my memory.

even though i think it's funny, i've been struggling to figure out why i have this problem. one day, he joked that he was nervous about growing old with me because in my old age, i might not remember things we've done together, or that he was my husband. he came to the conclusion that simply, i'm not present. instead of being truly in the moment, i am constantly thinking about the list of things that need to get done, or i'm busy worrying over something i have no control over.

and the that the fact that i take so many photos doesn't help. i tend to rely on having images to help me go back to that moment. in the age of cell phone cameras, it's become easier to record every detail of your life. 

this definitely explains why i'm so obsessed with documenting nearly everything about my life, especially when it comes to my daughter. i rationalize that at least i will be able to give them all to her one day and hopefully, she will treasure those moments that are often overlooked. and as for being in the moment, i'm working on it.  ;)

last week, my daughter started preschool, and that also meant back to work for me (more about my 'other life' in another post). i went back and forth on whether i should take the day off to be there. i use to think that preschool wasn't a big deal, that it wasn't real school until they started kindergarten. but several friends convinced me that it was a big deal - new school, new grade, new environment... and i had spent so much time preparing her for this day. i had to be there.

and i'm so glad i was because the morning was just precious from beginning to end. i couldn't help but feel sentimental while editing the images. my baby is growing up (big sigh)...definitely a bittersweet milestone! 

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interested in documenting a milestone? i would love to hear about it! 

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too scared to share | life session

this first blog entry is lonnng overdue. i started the process of rebranding my photography business late last year and decided to change nearly everything i was comfortable with.  you see, photographing families has always been something i wanted to do and it has turned into something i absolutely love.  but i've been afraid to share it. why?  why would i be afraid to share something i love so much? this bothered me for months.

then i realized the truth.

photographing families in their homes looks quite different than capturing them in an outdoor space, which is typically what i’ve done. but no matter how i tried to go in to a life session with a game plan and a list of images in my head (and sometimes in my pocket), i always ended up with something other than what i had intended.  i was discouraged.

then i realized a family in their home will look different each time because of their unique story and circumstances.  photographing them outdoors in an open field or at a park allowed me to control the kinds of images i took. but being in someone's home, well.. i had to let go of my plan and let their story be revealed. 

i learned to let the moments unfold before me, and as a result, i discovered that these moments were the most touching, heartfelt, and real.  and this terrified me.  they weren't the kinds of polished images i produced before.  and i was afraid i would lose my audience because of it.  

but i realized this was the risk in pursuing what i believe in, and what i love. and what i find authentic and special. 

and the everyday life, as mundane as some of it seems, those moments are special to the family. and telling the story of a family in that moment in time (…with all its chaos, oddities, and charm) that is the most special thing i can think of.  time passes quickly, and these everyday moments become more precious with each passing year. 

so there. now you know why i have been m.i.a. all this time. and you know what? i am back and photographing families in their homes - families who want to cherish this time in their lives. i am in love with how unique and special each story is. and this is just the beginning of my next journey. i hope you will join me on this adventure! 

the kitchens family is one of those families you instantly love when you meet them. they are warm, sweet, and a fun bunch. i met them several years ago at church, but didn't get to know them until only a few months before they moved up north. they left their cool los angeles home to start a new life in quincy, california, leaving behind dear friends and the life they knew. what i found amazing was that they were expecting their fifth child during this move. 4 kids, their belongings in tow, with a baby on the way. wow...it couldn't have been easy. but they sure made that transition look effortless. 

when i asked what they wanted to remember most about this time, matt told me that the time the family spent together in the mornings - making pancakes, having breakfast together, and doing their morning devotions - were very special to him because he no longer had to rush to work early each morning. instead, he now got to spend this time with his family. 

when i arrived at their home, the kids greeted me with sheer excitement. i didn't even have time to get my camera settings ready as they all came at me with questions and smiles. this image below is slightly blurry and less than perfect, but goodness...it's a perfect moment i can't forget! anyway...here is the first of many home sessions to come!

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interested in a life sessions or have questions? let's chat! 

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