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? :)

blair.family.2015.17.png
blair.family.2015.76.png

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

*

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.

allchin.family.9.png
allchin.family.55.png
allchin.family.65.png

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

*

a good friend | newborn lifestyle session

now that i am a mom, i often think back to a time when my friends first had their children. i was a bit immature and single then, and not the greatest of friends now that i think about it. i realize i was never really there for them... didn't really hang out at their homes and play with their kids, or spoil them with gifts. nor can i remember a time i called just to see how life was going. nope, i was pretty much living wild and free, oblivious to what their lives must have been like. i am reminded of this every now and then when my friends who don't have children (and the ones who do) shower their love, time, and care on me and my family. they take time from their busy lives to know what is going on in mine. and i am so grateful for them. this is the friend i wish i had been. thankfully, those ladies are still my friends today. and i do my best to make time, check in, lend a shoulder, or just say hey. 

i photographed this sweet family twice before but this session sealed my love for them. they are so easy to be around. you would think with a newborn baby and two kids, it would be a bit crazy. not one bit. everyone was so at ease. before our session, i told sue that this would be a lifestyle session. i would just come and document and capture their family as they were. no fuss, no stress. we wouldn't force anything or try to create the perfect scenario - everyone would just be themselves. it was exactly what happened. and it was awesome.

something i distinctly remember was how sweet sue and her husband dave were with each other. even after three children, they were so sweet and kind to each other in the way they spoke. i was so struck by this because you know, after a few years of marriage, not everyone has that sweet tone in their voice with their spouses. right? but seriously, i left the session more in love with this bunch than before. 

i also wanted to mention that this session was a gift from sue's friends and her sister. what a perfectly thoughtful gift for an expectant mama! congrats to this family beautiful family! 

moon.family.28.png

interested in a newborn session or have questions about one?  

*

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!

jennphatiphong.homesessions.6.png
jennphatiphong.homesessions.7.png
jennphatiphong.homesessions.9.png
jennphatiphong.homesessions.16.png
jennphatiphong.homesessions.17.png
jennphatiphong.homesessions.19.png
jennphatiphong.homesessions.21.png
jennphatiphong.homesessions.22.png
jennphatiphong.homesessions.34.png
jennphatiphong.homesessions.37.png
jennphatiphong.homesessions.39.png
jennphatiphong.homesessions.44.png

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

*