bake sale

Dottie, Matt and Lola: Family Life Photos

When my sister’s family was planning their move into a new house in DeWitt for this spring, I started to think about my own family’s move when I was two years old. I have a few very faint memories of that first house, and I always wished I had more family photos to see how my family lived when I was a baby and toddler.

Around the same time that I started thinking about this, I did a family photo swap with another photographer in the area. That inspired me to take family photos with my sister’s family around their house so that my two and four year old nephews could look back and see how they interacted together around the “old” house (I’ll post those photos soon—stay tuned). After the shoot, I asked my sister if she knew anyone else who would be moving soon who might want family photos to remember their house (my sister’s an awesome realtor in Lansing—shameless plug if anyone’s looking to move). She put me in touch with Dottie. Dottie, Matt and their daughter, Lola, will be moving to the St. Louis area later this summer. They’ve been in their house for five years. They renovated it, decorated it, turned the house into a home and brought their daughter home to this place two years ago. I love that I had a chance to capture them in their first family home, and I hope that these photos make Lola smile twenty years from now when she’s wondering what life was like in those early days before the family moved.
indoor family photos, lansing michigan photographer
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indoor family photos, lansing michigan photographer
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indoor family photos, lansing michigan photographer
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Melissa, Cory, Tilly and Gus: Home Life Family Photos

Melissa and I met a few years ago when I moved back to the Lansing area from Chicago. We’re both photographers, and since we first met, we’ve both become mothers. As photographers, we’re both used to being the ones behind the camera, which naturally means that we end up having tons of photos without us in them. We decided to change that this month by exchanging family photos. Melissa beautifully captured Zelda, Jeff and I, and I can only hope that she and her family will cherish the photos I’ve given them like we’ll cherish ours.

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home life lifestyle family photography, Lansing, Michigan
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home life lifestyle family photography, Lansing, Michigan
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home life lifestyle family photography, Lansing, Michigan
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Bittersweet

Last week ended up taking a very unexpected, bittersweet turn. I got a call from my mom on Monday night. My grandma Osmar had a stroke while walking on the beach that evening. She passed away on Tuesday morning.

I was back in Michigan by Tuesday evening, and by Thursday I was about ten hours north of Chicago in Michigan’s upper peninsula. It’s hard to express the range of emotions from the week—sadness and grief over losing my grandmother, relief and joy over being around so many loved ones and an uplifted spirit from reading the memoir that she had written about growing up poor during the Great Depression and then going on to raise eight children.

As sad and shocked as we all were, I think we all took comfort in the fact that she was on the beach of Lake Superior surrounded by such pure and peaceful beauty—a full circle back to her childhood on the great lake. As my uncle Ken said, “Sign me up for that exit.”

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(She would always puts little smiles in the “O” when she gave us birthday or Christmas cards)

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This next shot was completely unintentional—I was changing the settings on my camera, and I don’t think I even looked when I took it. But something about it strikes me. It’s such a candid and honest moment. My brother’s face really expresses the underlying feelings from the week.

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The view from Mission Hill Cemetery. Again, the setting up there is just gorgeous. That’s Canada in the distance.

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My cousin, Rose, and her beautiful new baby.

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And, of course, I got to see my favorite little nephew, Henry (here he is playing with my cousin’s little girl, Addison). Baby with bear ears? Adorable.

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Yes, we buried him up to his knees to see if he could stand. I think he decided he’d rather munch on rocks and dirt.

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Henry and his gramps.

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