a sweet lifestyle newborn session | fairfield, ct newborn photographer

I love being able to go into people's homes to photograph them - it's where we all feel most comfortable, if you think about it. And when it comes to those early newborn days, it's where you spend your time nurturing, bonding, and cuddling around the clock. So, it seems only natural to me that when you look back years from now, reminiscing about that brief moment in time when they were still a tiny babe, you'll also want to remember the love-filled home where you spent it. Maybe you'll still live there, maybe you won't - all the more reason to document the real, everyday moments and spaces you lived. That is why I absolutely love in-home newborn sessions. They are definitely my fave :)

a stormy evening at Weir Farm | Fairfield County Family Photography

Sometimes you just know when you are going to love a new client - Anne and I had so much in common from the beginning including loves of yoga and gardening, being passionate about natural birth, among other things. She and her family were just the cutest and most laid back group I could've hoped for, especially when we showed up to Weir Farm one Saturday a few weeks ago and big dark storm clouds were looming. I know from experience that storm clouds can be a beautiful and dramatic addition to a session, but I always feel a little bit nervous about the unknown - will it start raining, or worse, thundering & lightening? Will the clouds make it dark much earlier? Will the colors look blah (though that time and time again my cloudy/stormy sessions come out soooo beautiful)? So I was super relieved that these guys were more chill about it than me, and for good reason - the session did turn out to be just perfect and those big, dark clouds added so much depth and beauty. 

fort stamford golden hour session | fairfield county family photographer

Pam and I met back when we were about 11 years old - those awkward middle school tween days when you're no longer a kid and not yet a young adult. We made up silly dances, crushed on boys, and screamed our cheerleader butts of on the sidelines of the football field. She was always bubbly, energetic and fun, and it's amazing how at our core we don't really change. Meeting up with her many years later for a family session, and now as a mom, it was great to see that she still has that fun and energetic girl in her, and has passed it down to her sweet daughter, Bella, who was an absolute little light. 

We met up at Fort Stamford, a beautiful little gem of a garden that many people don't even know about. I didn't know it existed until last year, which is crazy because I grew up just a few miles away! In any event, this gorgeous little garden is teeming with blossoming flowers and a trellis and patio perfect for an summer evening picnic. We had so much fun walking through the garden, exploring all of the different plants, chasing little rabbits and chipmunks, and running through the tall fields of grass behind. It was one of those sessions where the experience itself was so enjoyable, that the camera was just along for the ride. And those are the one's I love best because its where I capture the moments that are truly authentic, heartfelt and timeless.

the heart behind my work

I always knew I was destined to be a mother. As a young girl and even a teenager, I dreamed of the day I would hold my baby in my arms. And when that day came that my first son, Oliver, was born I was re-born, too. I loved him and his ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes with all of my soul and all felt right in the world. As that first year went by though, I began to get a little lost in motherhood. This little boy that I loved so dearly was so fragile and needy, and I was scared. Scared of something happening to him. Scared of not being a good enough mom for him. Scared that I was losing myself in finding him. Postpartum depression set in after about six months, and my days consisted of diaper changes, tears, and the four walls of our home. Slowly over the next few months, with therapy and self-care, I figured out ways to feel better and started to come alive again.  

And then, I was pregnant again, with another little boy to love. And I couldn’t be happier because I knew this time would be different - I had figured it out and this time it wasn’t about losing myself to motherhood, rather finding my balance. But that all came crashing down on me on December 21st, 2014 when at 39 weeks pregnant, I found out that we had lost our baby boy, Henry, and after giving birth got to hold him for just one day. Once again, I was lost, but this time it was in a sea of grief and despair. There were many, many dark days, but inside of me a fire had also be lit. A fire that whispered, “you are here, you get to live.” Slowly, overtime, that whisper became louder and louder. It told me that life is too beautiful to squander and that I have a chance now to live it for Henry. To honor him and celebrate him and make him so proud. I was no longer afraid to fall because I had seen the worst, and knew I was strong enough to survive. So, I started to take more risks and do the things I had only ever dreamed of - we started a nonprofit for called Anchors for Hope and I finally made my dream of starting a photography business a reality. Best of all, my heart was ready again to welcome another baby and in 2016 my rainbow, Theo, was born in what felt like the most miraculous and redemptive day of my life.

Motherhood has been the most challenging and beautiful and worthwhile adventure I could ever imagine. But I am not unique - every woman, no matter what her journey has been like, is changed to her core when she becomes a mom. And at some point, we come to realize that it’s the challenge of it - the messy, the mundane, the pull-your-hair-out days - that makes it so darn beautiful. That it is impossible to be perfect, and every day we are falling and learning and getting back up again, and that is precisely what makes us a good mom. No, actually, we are amazing moms because we keep rising every day, and keep coming back again and again and fighting for this love that has changed us so deeply. And our kids will see that and they will be alright - in fact, they’ll grow up believing that they have the best mom in the whole wide world. And when someday we look back at the family and the life that we’ve built, we’ll know that it’s true because we did our very best and we did it with love. And that is all that truly matters.

baby bum - laura barr photography

Behind the Scenes | Fairfield County Family Photographer

I absolutely love giving the gift of memories to mamas through my photography, but I also love empowering them to take better photos themselves. So, I wanted to start a new blog series called "Behind the scenes" in which I show how I make beautiful photos out of ordinary days. Last night was the perfect example of this - I almost didn't pick up my camera, but we were enjoying the first sunny day in what seemed like over a month and had just finished dinner outside. Oliver wanted to play more, so I decided to quickly grab my camera on our way out back to kick the ball around. I took photos for about 2 minutes, and I am SO glad I did.

And here is the pull back of where we were , nice but truly nothing special:

3 Tips for Achieving this look:

1. Light - photography really is all about light. The soft, warm light just before sunset is amazing to work with because it gives subjects a beautiful glow. Wait until evening time if you want that really warm glow in your photos. 

2. Framing - I used both the flowers and the branches to frame my son in these images, which draws your eye into the subject. Try to think about capturing your subject in a way that they are surrounded in a frame that draws you in.

3. Depth of field - the beautiful blur (called bokeh) is created because of depth of field in which the subject is isolated from the background making it go out of focus. To achieve this on a DSLR, you'll want a wide aperture (mine was set at f/1.4) to keep the focus and DOF very narrow on your subject. If you're shooting with an iPhone, try to position your subject so that there are some flowers close and some off in the distance. Select your subject as the focus point by touching them on the screen and you will get a blur in the background.

I hope this give you a little inspiration for the next (hopefully very soon) sunny evening!

and baby makes five... | newborn lifestyle photographer, fairfield county, ct

It was such a pleasure to photograph this sweet family of five last week! When Jennifer went into labor nearly four weeks early, she was sure she was about to welcome a baby boy into the world - thankfully, baby was just perfect and to their surprise, a girl! They're settled at home now, and seem to be handling life with 5 so well. Motherhood sure does look good on this mama...

Oh and be sure to go all the way to the bottom for a new feature I am trying out - video slideshows!

Weir Farm Spring Visit | Wilton, CT photographer

This past weekend, we had my 2 and 4 year old nieces up to Ridgefield  to stay over while my sister and her husband were away. It was just me and my mom since my husband happened to be traveling for business. To say it was crazy would be an understatement. Oliver and Sophia are absolute best buddies and major trouble makers. On Saturday afternoon we took them to Weir Farm National Park, one of my favorite places to visit in our area, which also happens to be a 2 minute drive from our house! For the past week, I had been driving by and staring in delight at the blooming lilacs. So taking a visit was not just a treat for the kids, but for this mom photog, too! Despite the gray skys, the gardens were alive with rich greens and vibrant purples. Absolutely beautiful!

All in all it was a fun and tiring weekend. As much as they drove me nuts and I raised my voice a few too many times, it was also filled with so much sweetness. Childhood is so magical, and I finally understand what it means to live vicariously through your children. Watching them experience the world is nothing short of wonderful. 

star legacy "let's not be still" 5k | ridgefield, ct

Pregnancy and infant loss awareness and research is a cause that is very dear to my heart, since we lost our son Henry in 2014 to stillbirth. Along our journey of healing, we created our own foundation - Anchors for Hope - and have also had the honor of getting involved with other organizations such as Star Legacy Foundation. Last year, I connected with Hilary Hughes who lives in my town and is the President of the Star Legacy Metro New York Chapter. She and her husband, Tyler, lost their son Oliver is 2013 for unknown reasons (very similar story to ours) and they have been working hard to raise awareness and funds for Star Legacy ever since. The event has a huge turn out, raising almost $100,000 and Lindsey Wimmer, the founder of Star Legacy, was there as well. This was an awesome and inspiring event filled with so much love and support, and I was so honored to be able to participate and help out through my gift of photography.