Family portraits at home

The Pratts | Lifestyle Family Photography | Austin Family Photography

baby in crib | lifestyle family photography in Cedar Park, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

Can I share my excitement with you today? This was a dream session for me (Melaina). I enjoy when a mama asks me to take portraits of her family. But this mama right here invited me into her home and asked me to photograph a day in her family's life. 

family reading book on their couch | lifestyle family photography in Cedar Park, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

You see, I always found lifestyle photography intriguing. The idea of having a photographer come into your home to document your family's life sounded like a neat concept. But then I became a mama myself and realized how precious those pictures truly are to a mama's heart. We have dozens upon dozens of folders on our computer of pictures we've taken of our girls on a regular day. Pictures of bubbles on the back porch, of little ones sitting pensively reading books, of playtime with dolls and play-do. And while I enjoy and showcase the family portraits we've had taken over the years, it's these folders of images forever captured that truly remind me of what life was like when my littles were little.

mom and baby playing on floor | lifestyle family photography in Cedar Park, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

So when my friend asked me to drive to her home near Austin, Texas to take pictures of her family, I jumped at the chance. We talked through what an average day looks like for her and her sweet family, the moments that truly capture their life. Then we moved throughout their home, capturing natural interactions that occur day in and day out, forever preserving this brief window of time in their family's love story. 

mom, baby, and family dog playing on floor | lifestyle family photography in Cedar Park, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

I photographed them spending time on their covered back porch, a favorite activity of their's to do in the summer evenings. My friend serves as a teaching pastor at her church in Round Rock, Texas, and spends time each week in her home office crafting sermons and creating curriculum, often with her sweet baby at her side. So we spent time in their home office, photographing her and her little one in their regular routine. We captured dad bouncing his little girl on an exercise ball, a bedtime ritual they do every evening. I photographed this precious little one looking out the window in her nursery, one of her favorite activities. And we moved room to room, telling the story of this sweet family of 3...well, 4 including their puppy. :) A story that is beautiful and magical and the reality of their now.

baby eating in kitchen | lifestyle family photography in Cedar Park, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
baby and mom in kitchen | lifestyle family photography in Cedar Park, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
family enjoying their back porch | lifestyle family photography in Cedar Park, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
family playing on their back porch| lifestyle family photography in Cedar Park, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
dad and baby playing on front lawn | lifestyle family photography in Cedar Park, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
mom holding baby and working at computer | lifestyle family photography in Cedar Park, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
mom holding baby and working on computer| lifestyle family photography in Cedar Park, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
baby sitting in mom's lap at computer | lifestyle family photography in Cedar Park, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
baby playing in bouncer | lifestyle family photography in Cedar Park, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
baby playing in crib | lifestyle family photography in Cedar Park, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
dad bounces baby on a ball | lifestyle family photography in Cedar Park, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
baby with doll on bed | lifestyle family photography in Cedar Park, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
mom and baby play on bed | lifestyle family photography in Cedar Park, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
mom kisses baby | lifestyle family photography in Cedar Park, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
mom reads to baby | lifestyle family photography in Cedar Park, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
mom and baby on bed| lifestyle family photography in Cedar Park, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

So thank you, Pratt family, for inviting me into your home and letting me be a fly-on-the-wall. Your family is truly beautiful and I hope you forever cherish this sweet time of life.

Philip | Waco Newborn Photography

There's something so special, so sacred, when a family of two becomes a family of three. Everything a couple has known about themselves, both as individual people and as part of a united whole, is radically altered in the most magical way. Your deep sense of self is pushed to the limits as you learn and grow and stretch into these new titles of mom and dad and parents.

Yet the tragedy of this profound shifting is that most of us who have traveled this journey don't realize what we've walked through until it is past us. We try to recall what it was like to birth and bring home that first little bundle of joy, and if we're honest, all we come up with are a few memories clouded in a large hazy blur of extreme exhaustion. Those late night feedings, surges of hormones, and avalanche of new information and worry which take over the brain leave very little room for permanent soul-shaping memories to be stored. One day you look around and realize you're a mother (or a father) and have been for quite some time, and you can't remember exactly how you became this new version of your self.

That's why I always hold it as such an honor to be invited into a family's home for a lifestyle newborn photography session, to document this special transition of two to three. By stepping back and capturing beautiful moments of a mama and daddy with their new little one, I'm tasked with the sacred role of memory-maker, recording this sweet time for the parents to look back on and REMEMBER.

When Kaitlin and Nathan asked me to come document sweet Philip joining their family, I was once again reminded of this amazing transition from life before parenthood and life after. As I watched Kaitlin and Nathan console Philip, as we talked about sleep schedules and nursing and spit-up, as Kaitlin's parents washed dishes and prepped for dinner in the kitchen, I had flashbacks of my own baptism into motherhood with our oldest daughter. And marveled at how I still had to think hard about some things to remember even what that season had been like for us. 

KK and Nathan, you may end up having fuzzy memories of this time. Try as hard as you might, you may not remember the first time you had to give Philip a bath by yourself, or what you said to him in the middle of the night feedings, or how his fuzzy-little head of strawberry blonde hair smelled when you cuddled him. But I hope looking back on these pictures, seeing these moments captured, will help you remember this sacred journey you are walking daily.

Thank you for the honor of telling this chapter of your story. 

Sweet Lucy and her family | Waco, TX

Everyone's life is a story, a beautiful story filled with twists and turns. The MAIN reason we love to photograph people at significant moments in their stories is the same reason we return over and over again to our favorite novels or films. When a story is good, you want to return to it again and again. Our sessions with families, or brides, or engaged couples are more than just "taking pictures," it's how we give our clients a way to return to the pivotal moments of their stories. 

And when a new character enters a story, that's worth documenting and returning to again.

We got to know Mark and Emily at our church here in Waco, Tx. They are such a great, loving couple, with an adorable little boy, and were adding a little princess to the mix. When it got near time for Lucy to make her entrance into the world, Emily asked me if I'd be willing to do a session for them to capture sweet Lucy in the wonderful newborn stage.

I was honored.

As a mom myself, I don't remember much of the newborn stage and what I do remember is covered in a hazy fog due to many sleepless nights. But when I see pictures of our girls, I'm taken back to those moments and marvel at how little they once were. To be able to capture some moments for Emily and Mark to look back on and remember how little their littles once were was a great privilege I didn't take lightly.

Lucky for me, they were such rock stars that it wasn't hard at all to capture such sweet moments for them. 

Welcome to the world, sweet Lucy. It's a wonderful place.