Posts in personal
My Best Tip for Your Next Family Session | Washington DC Photographer

I have to share something really exciting that I did recently: I hired a photographer to take our family photos for the first time.

Yep, the first time ever. Crazy, right?

Over the years I've been the one documenting our family's daily life (after all, I'm the one wielding the camera), but I decided it was past time for me to get in the photos too.

And I'll be honest, it was an eye opening experience to be on the client side of a photography session for once. Leading up to our session I was a bundle of nerves.

All I could think was:
Would my son like our photographer?
Would my hair cooperate?
Was I wearing the right thing?

And the worst: Why didn't I get serious about losing 20 pounds earlier?!!?

Crazy nervous, I tell you.

But you know what happened in the end? I loved it. Every single second of it. Even when my son was being a cranky-pants, even when my hair was out of control, and even though I didn't lose a single pound first.

And even more, I love the images I have now that captured it all. Even better: I'm in the photos too. Because not only do I have these images to look back on, but now my son will have images with me in them look back on too.

And you know my biggest family photo tip? Relax and have fun. I know, I know. Easier said than done, but as soon as you let go and embrace your beautiful family imperfections (crazy hair) and all, the better your photos will be.

I hope that was helpful and makes your next family session much more FUN - because that is what it should be. If you have any suggestions for how you like to prepare for your sessions, or any other questions you would like answered, contact me and let me know.

What Would You Save in a Zombie Apocalypse? | Washington DC Baby Photographer

Not my usual subject line, right? But I promise, it has a point.

Sometime last year I did something pretty unexpected: I got completed addicted to The Walking Dead. Now, I totally understand if it isn't for you - it wasn't really for me either - but stick with me, I have a non-Zombie related point to make.

In the beginning of the series, way way back in season one, the main character, Rick, is trying desperately to find his wife and son. The city has been abandoned, zombies are everywhere, it's treacherous to travel, things are bleak.

The good news is, he did find them eventually (it was a very heartwarming moment in a show filled with zombies). But when he finds her, his wife asks him,
How did you know we were alive?

You know how he answered?
All of the photos in the house were gone.

In the middle of the zombie apocalypse, when she was rushing to escape with her son, to find safety, when she knew she would never be back again, she took her family photographs with her. Albums, portraits from the wall, they were all gone because they were that important to her.

When I saw that it struck a chord with me. Sometimes we forget how powerful images are. How much of a person is left behind in the photographs we have of them. It's how we remember the little details of how they were. It's how we see how they aged over the years. It's how we get a glimpse into their relationships and see how they smiled and looked at the people they loved the most.

With any luck (knock on wood) we won't be facing a zombie apocalypse anytime soon, but what if there was a fire? Or what if you had to suddenly move to a smaller place? My guess is you would save those photos at any cost.

I don't take these photos just for you | Washington DC Newborn Baby Photographer

It's been a whirlwind around here lately. I love photographing mothers and babies, so many gorgeous families, but I think it's time I confess something that might change the way you view what I do:

I don't take these photos just for you.

I love showing moms how beautiful and gorgeous they are. They, you, are my client and I will always take the opportunity to show you how amazing and wonderful you are with your children. But the honest truth is, I don't do it just for that.

I take these images for your children and grandchildren to have one day.

I take them so one day you can share stories with your children of how they were when they were small. So they know how you were with them. So they can see how from the very beginning they were loved so very much.

I do it so your grandchildren know what their parents looked like. To show how all of you have the same color hair, that dimple in your right cheek, or the same eyes. These images are proof that you were young once, just like them, and that you too were a parent who had no idea what you were doing, but you loved them so hard that you tried everyday to do better than you did yesterday. 

I do it because photographs aren't just images to be looked at. They are stories that you share. They are memories and shared histories.

They are how we remember and are remembered.

And I think that's worth capturing.

Dear Jackson | Letters to My Son | Washington DC Family Photographer

Dear Jackson,

You're turning two tomorrow and I'm already forgetting things. I'm forgetting how big you were when you were six months old. I can't remember when exactly it was that you first said "mama" or "dada." I can't for the life of me remember when it was that you got so big.

It's true what they say: the days are long, but the years are short. Having a child has been the most life-altering experience of my life. More than getting my first job or getting married. More than owning a home or graduating college. And I won't lie to you, it's been hard. I miss having free time and not worrying that the house isn't toddler-proofed.

But even with the chronic sleep deprivation, it has been so wonderful. You are amazing and so so sweet. And now, you're not a baby anymore. You're a little boy. You climb on everything. You sing songs. The first time we heard you sing we stopped and just listened to you. You get shy when you realize someone is listening, but I think, also proud. You like that we stop to listen. Your favorites to sing are Wheels on the Bus, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and your ABCs. You've recently discovered Elmo, so we already have half a dozen Elmo books ready to read at any given moment. If your current infatuation is any indication, I have a feeling Elmo will a prominent figure in your childhood.

I can't believe another year with you has passed. It feels like I was just coming home with a brand new squirmy baby, unsure of what I was doing. I wish so many things for your future. I want you to be happy. To be kind. To remember that you are luckier than most, and to pay it forward. I hope you never let go of your persistence, even if it does sometimes make parenting harder, because it's so important to shoot for the moon and never ever give up.

Happy birthday baby boy.

Love you bunches,

Washington DC Toddler Photographer | Kate Juliet Photography
Getting in the Frame | Personal Project

It's an ongoing personal project of mine to get photos of me and my son together whenever I can. When he grows up I want him to have images of us together. Mom + baby. Mom + toddler. Me + him. Proof that I was there, with him. That he's so fun and he makes me laugh and I make him laugh. Proof that I was young and he was small.

I'm behind the camera all the time taking photos of everyone else, but it takes effort to put myself in front of it. It's not easy. I barely have time to brush my teeth some days, so the task of setting up my tripod, making myself look halfway presentable, and then also making sure Jack doesn't have macaroni and cheese on his face can seem daunting.

But then things like this happen.

And it's wonderful.

Loudoun County VA Mother-Toddler Photographer | Kate Juliet Photography
Loudoun County VA Mother-Toddler Photographer  | Kate Juliet Photography