Baby Soraya (Newborn Home Shoot in San Francisco)

It's been a minute since I shared any new photos here... I'm here now and quite happy to share images from a serene newborn shoot a few weeks back. On the newborn shoot topic, it's always so interesting to enter the home of a new family - everything feels sacred and broken open (in a good way). If I were more of a writer, I would make an ethnograph of San Francisco parents as they begin their journey. But I digress... This sweet trio seemed so comfortably cocooned in their little plant-filled oasis. Baby Soraya was all about deep-in-the-soul stares and intense cuddling. Mama and Papa were happy to hold her and stare right back. Welcome to the world, little girl!

This is You at Seven (My Family)

Seven means wanting to do-it-all, have-it-all, see-it-all, be-it-all. Seven means almost always moving -  capoeira, parkour, skating, dancing, handball - taking short breaks for mostly still games of chess. Seven means taking pictures and wanting to be photographed (on your terms of course). Seven means showing a more thoughtful and observant side of your curiosity, though solid determination in all things has never wavered. Seven means taking your big brother job seriously and acting as manager, cop, and protector most of the time. I've watched you change so much this past year, Julian. In most ways, I am simply delighted and yet my nostalgia for the "younger years" sometimes takes my breath away. Mainly, I just see so much of myself in you. Thank you for being such a powerful mirror and the most forgiving of teachers. Happy birthday, my beautiful boy.

This is You at Five (My Family)

You are quick to say sorry and have the memory of an elephant. You notice beautiful things and like to point them out - tall trees, a nice sunset, emotional music, cracks in the sidewalk. You like to talk about your dreams upon waking. You are all about rolling on wheels - bike, scooter, and (soon) the new skateboard and roller blades. You are forever the maker - apartments built from cardboard boxes, Lego creations that reject the instruction manuals, complicated drawings of houses with many staircases. You are adamant that you want to be a robotics engineer and not an "architector". You are a fantastic weirdo - a quality we love and encourage and hope will always serve you. You are still our little cuddle nugget, though you're getting so big that we just want time to s-l-o-w down. You're our bright star, Sebastian Aster - happy birthday!

Our Summer Vacation (My Family)

My family and I recently took a 3-week trip to see family and a bit of the world. Our boys are fantastic travelers and they're finally at an age where we knew travel could mean something more than just a location change. This trip gave them opportunities to be curious about history, architecture, new foods, and sleeping in a place where the sun never sets.We started the trip with a visit to New York to see friends and Nana Hanna. Next, we landed in Warsaw, where we spent time with aunts, uncles, cousins, and of course our beloved Babcia Beda (my husband's 83 year old grandmother who happens to be a complete badass). We visit Beda in Warsaw every few years and our time with her always involves a lot of eating, drinking, laughter, and a fair amount of translation fatigue from my husband. Beda's English is slightly better than my Polish but we mostly communicate through smiles, hugs, and the Google Translate app.Beda accompanied us to Copenhagen where we explored for 4 much-too-short days (I seriously want to go spend weeks trekking around Demark - it's so beautiful!) and then we set off for a week in Iceland. Iceland was more beautiful than I could have imagined and I'm already fantasizing about our next trip back. It's a land that is largely uninhabited with vastly changing landscapes and a curious light that is almost always perfect for photos.Traveling with a 4 year old, 6 year old, and 83 year old was no easy task. My husband and I tended to collapse into bed every night with little energy left to reflect on the day. But I am so grateful for this adventure we took. My husband and I are serious wanderlusters and we hope to pass that curiosity on to our boys. Now, where should we go next summer...? :)PS - I shot everything on my new Fujifilm XT2 camera and a 35mm f2 lens. I LOVE this camera and what a welcomed difference it made to not lug around my giant Canon.

At Home in the Mission (Family Home Shoot in San Francisco)

This sweet trio has made a lovely sanctuary amidst the high energy beat of the Mission. Their home is calming and colorful - a perfect place for a 6 month-old baby to learn about things and people-watch from his window perch. Little TJ has already learned to sleep through the city noise that travels his way. He has also learned to love the camera, apparently, and was all about gazing right into my lens as I clicked away. It was so nice to spend the morning with you three. You've got a serious charmer on your hands.

This is You at Six (My Family)

Six means weapons and bouncing outside balls in the house and putting sriracha on every dinner. Six means drawing, drawing, drawing and costumes, costumes, costumes. Six means post-dinner dance performances and knowing how to swim.  Six means a developed awareness of looking cool. Six means running hugs at the end of day that almost knock me over. Six means clothing obsessed with a penchant for layering (3 shirts + 2 bottoms=totes normal). Six means your nickname of Juju has evolved to Jules because Juju sounds like a baby name. Six means listening to long reads as you're falling asleep and knowing you'll be reading yourself to sleep before too long. Six means young crushes: in the past month you stole secret kisses with two different girls and declared a school girlfriend. Six means loving the cat a little too much at times, failing to read the tell-tales signs that the cat is not into it. Six means sometimes you still go to that toddler place of full impulsive emotion, but mostly you are a true joy to be around. Six means confidence and determination and charisma that opens doors for you, which makes me feel proud and a little less worried about you navigating the world on your own. Welcome to six, my boy. I'm so glad we're here.

M Family (Family Shoot at MoMA, San Francisco)

I look forward to photographing this family every year. They are lovely, smart, creative people who I'm proud to call friends. Plus they're always game to do something a little different for their photo session. This year we shot at the SF MOMA. Telling a 2 and 5 year-old to be themselves but also not touch anything and use an inside voice was an interesting constraint to add to the mix but these kiddos did a great job on all those fronts (and they kept us laughing pretty much the whole time). Thanks, Menghermmans! Love you, guys and gals!

This Is You At Four (My Family)

You are still morning cuddles and missing me while at school. You are still trains but animals might be the next big thing. You are all arms when we dance and your air guitar face is fierce. You are all about mama right now but your obsession with your older brother has never wavered. You are over napping and into sleeping past sunrise. You are belly laughs and make-believe and blanket cloaks and belting out the song Tingalayo. You are all DOING IT YOURSELF. You have the emotional intelligence of an adult and the focus of a brain surgeon when given glue, scissors, paper.  You are blazing fast on your Skuut bike and probably ready for a regular bike. You are incredibly well-spoken, though you still call breakfast "brefkiss" and family "faminy", and exclaim before running "on your mars, get set, go!". You refer to the sun as "Mr. Golden Sun"; please don't ever stop doing that. You fart with abandon and announce the end of all bathroom trips with "I'M DOOONNNNEEE!". You are growing too fast for my liking but I accept that this is the way of it. You inspire me daily to be better, truer, more generous. Sebastian Aster - I couldn't love you more. Happy Birthday!!