Category Archives: personal

Documenting Everyday Moments

Starting a 365

Back at the end of January, I impulsively (as I do most such things) began a 365 photo project. I’m taking a picture every day over the course of a year. Overall, I am loving it. There are definitely days when I wake up and don’t feel like taking a photo and when taking my camera out feels like a job. But at the end of every day, I have found such joy in plugging my memory card into my computer and seeing what I got. It reminds me a little bit of how I used to feel developing a roll of film I’d just shot.

Photography Workshop Inspiration

One particular thing that helped me tremendously in starting this project when I did, was that I had just taken two wonderful workshops. I love photography workshops and I take one almost every year. There is always more room to learn and grow as a photographer and I also just love being surrounded by other photographers, on a similar journey.

The first workshop that I took in January, was Editing for Artists with Roxanne Bryant. As someone who is a bit of a control freak, it had always bothered me that my editing relied on tweaking lightroom presets. I wanted to know what to do to my photos to get them to look exactly how I wanted. This class absolutely came through. If you are looking for a really thorough course on color theory and lightroom editing, I cannot recommend this class enough. As a bonus, I actually like editing now. Hooray!

The second workshop that I took was The Magic of Light with Summer Murdock. This was the second time I took this course and it was just as inspiring as the first time around. Summer is kind of like a light magician…or maybe a scientist. The first time I took this workshop, it revolutionized the way I shot and approached sessions. And this time, even though the material was the same, I still somehow got so much out of it. Summer is a wonderful teacher. If you love photography – take this workshop.

365 – Month One

Little girl with straw hat, holding umbrella and looking out the window.

The photo that started it.

Black and white photo of toddler girl climbing on cabinet in the background with baby, older sister tossing doll and dog in the foreground.

2 of 365

Conshohocken photo of girl getting out of minivan with mom taking picture in reflection

I’m really going to try to get in more pictures this year. I’m starting off small.

toddler girl reading magazine at Goldfish Swim School in Fort Washington

“I’m reading about the peoples.” First swim lesson without me is in the books and not a tear was shed. In fact, she was so excited, she ran in without me and asked to go again today. My brave girl.

Two girls in martial arts poses with headbands on their foreheads.

“I’m a striker! I’m a fearless fighter!” … If only this photo could convey the sound effects that Florence was making as she struck her various fearless fighter poses. {Actually…scroll to the bottom to hear just this!}

Documentary photo of baby sleeping on her dad's chest with white dog sleeping on the bed next to them.

This baby…she keeps us tired. Demands to be held 24/7. Recently, Jason has taken over her bedtime while I do bedtime with the older two. Once Flo and Julia are in bed, I skip around the house doing all the things! Last night I did all the dishes, picked up the house, ran the vacuum and folded laundry! I never could have imagined how exciting that itinerary would be.

Documentary photo of mom reading books to baby and toddler girl on bed.

I’m in the photo!!! This is what weekday nap time prep for Julia looks like these days.

Conshohocken girl walking on wall at elementary school with green wall and windows behind her.

Most years, in January, I like to find a photography workshop to take. In the dead of winter, it’s sometimes hard to feel inspired and being in a classroom again with other talented photographers, even a virtual classroom, is a perfect way to start off the year. Right now, I’m taking The Magic of Light for the second time and it’s as inspiring as ever. Yesterday, Flo joined me on my light walk around town, looking for interesting light. The assignment this week was to take photos without people, but I couldn’t resist taking a few with Florence.

Documentary photo of baby being bathed in the sink, looking at the water running into her hands.

This was the first bath where Lou didn’t scream almost the entire time. She was just fascinated with the way the water hit her hands. What a delightful change!

Conshohocken Documentary Photo of girl with robot helmet on on sidewalk with large shadow

Florence made an astronaut helmet and wanted to wear it to show the bus driver yesterday morning. She’s been making improvements on the helmet and started on her space ship last night. Stay tuned.

Toddler girl standing in just a diaper while holding her clothes in front of her.

If you watched the Marie Kondo show on Netflix – like me, and most of the world it seems – then you might have an idea how beautiful all of our drawers have looked for the last month. Unfortunately, just last week, Julia learned how to dress herself. She has proceeded to put this skill to the test roughly 10 times each day – trying on not only her own clothes, but Florence’s. She also likes to pick out new outfits for Louisa so that they can match. It would seem that The KonMari method is no match for Julia.

Baby girl in exercauser looking up at the camera.

As of today, 6 months of this sensitive, sweet girl turning everything upside down in our house. We love her so, in spite of her rather strong opinions on how things should be and her very, very loud protests when we don’t live up to her expectations.

Toddler girl looking out through window with reflection of dog in the window.

I took a few pictures of Julia from outside like this and when I tried to come back in she said “awww…take more. I like it.” Someone is getting used to being documented at all times. I guess I should appreciate it while it lasts.

Closeup photograph of two girls holding hands in hazy sunlight

Last night I took some photos of Flo and Julia in that gorgeous sunset light. This one caught my eye immediately. That light and their two little hands. I hope they are always this close.

Little girl looking at the camera through sparkly streamers

This is a bit late, but we’ve had a busy weekend with this girl turning SIX yesterday! She’s sweet, sensitive, friendly, caring and one of the best big sisters around. I am so lucky to be her mom.

Photograph of little girl playing with legos with a lego house in the foreground.

Julia and a tiny, intricate lego house is like Godzilla in Tokyo. (And it certainly looked like Godzilla had struck after she was finished.)

Conshohocken snowy day toddler girl and dog looking out the window at dad cleaning off car.

Yesterday was my birthday and I meant to do a self portrait, but then I didn’t feel like it. Since it was my birthday I gave myself a pass. Plus, I’d already taken this cutie photo of Julia watching Jason leave for work on the snowy morning.

Two girls playing with umbrellas in the snow with umbrella in the foreground.

Snow day!

Reflection of little girl in puddle with pink boots and blue sky.

Puddles and clouds and a little Julia.

Little girl looking down at heart lollipop with her profile illuminated.

Heart day! Flo was eating this lollipop and I asked her to come stand in this pretty light for me. Right after I took this picture, she chomped her heart right up like the owl in the tootsie pop commercials. Glad I got this one shot!

Image of baby girl with red hair and blue eyes in harsh sunlight on bed.

Little Lou. I wanted to capture that red hair and blue eyes, in case either change.

Little girl bouncing on bee toy with toddler little sister looking on in the background in messy playroom

…bouncing into Saturday.

Documentary photograph of two girls sitting at the dining room table playing a game.

For a couple of hours in the morning, there is a small, beautiful pocket of light that lit up Flo and Julia’s game of Picture Lotto just right yesterday.

Girl looking at wall of art hanging on the wall in her living room.

Florence clearly got sick of my indecision about what to hang on our walls and has taken matters into her own hands. A small, hand-made plaque next to this gallery wall reads, “Florence and Julias art wall.”

Baby sleeping on a pile of different patterned blankets

When you don’t sleep at night…or at nap time…sometimes you just pass out wherever.

Little girl sitting on windowsill looking out at snowy scene with toddler girl playing legos

Snow day!

Black and white image of baby about to take a bite of a spoonful of food.

This baby has been less than thrilled with eating so far. Very on brand for her.

Image of toddler girl in crib having just woken up.

Post-nap rosy cheeked Julia.

Four kids dressed in saint patrick's day gear sitting on a step and hugging.

When your cousins bring the party.

Image of little girl blowing out three candles surrounded by blackness.

Three.

Image in Whole Foods Market of toddler girl peeking out from behind a pole in the background with baby girl sitting on a cart in the foreground.

Yesterday was the sort of day that started out with me running up and down our street, in the wind, collecting our recycling that had blown all over our neighbors’ lawns. Which is to say, it wasn’t the greatest of days. It was also Lou’s first time riding in the front of the shopping cart and Julia’s first time walking free alongside of the shopping cart. If you know Julia, I need not say more.

More, More, More

You will probably not be shocked to learn that I actually take more than one photo per day. So here are a few that I took in the first month of the year that I still love, even though they didn’t make the official daily photo cut.

Street photograph of brick wall with reflection in a window.Photograph of bridge underpass with a bit of sky and wires in the backgroundDiptych of two images shot at sunset on a small town street

Documentary photograph of little girl holding magnifying class with kids and dogs in the backgroundImage of little girl's eyes and hands peeking through mail slot of red front doorImage of baby with surprised face with older girl upside down in profile laying next to herdocumentary photography image of little girl in princess dress dancing with her dollImage of two girls standing in front of a window with their hair blowingPhotograph of little girl sleeping on a couch with an uneaten sandwich on her lapPhotograph of house through a window with raindrops on itPhotograph of a snowy dayblack and white image of mom on a bed with two little girls, one looking at camera and the other kissing herColor photograph of 6 year old girl looking at the camera and smiling surrounded by ivyReflection image of girl standing near a windowImage of girl blurry in the foreground with two dogs in the background reflected in a mirrorPhoto of little girl in a princess dress making an annoyed face Image of girl in hood smiling at camera at duskshadow of mom and little girl holding hands and tree on church wall with red doorDocumentary photograph of a family of five gathered around while girl blows out six candlesblack and white photograph of little girl in profile making a silly faceImage of little girl reading with her dogImage of little girl playing with a doll illuminated in a doorway with dog on the bed, dimly lit in the foregroundBaby and dad sitting together with dog laying on their lapsImage of girl and dad dressed up in homemade pirate gear with baby an dog sleeping

That’s it for month one. If you’d like for me to photograph your family’s everyday goofy moments, contact me and let’s chat! And if you’ve made it to this point in the post and aren’t following along with my 365, you can follow on facebook or instagram. I’d love to see you there!

 

Last but not least, a little video of one of those magical daily moments. Kids man, they’re kind of the best.

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Louisa Willow | Family of Five

Meet Louisa Willow! A couple of weeks ago, we became a family of five when Louisa was born. She is very sweet and little and we all love her so much. I almost don’t even mind that she prefers to be held while she sleeps. Who can say no to extra newborn cuddles?

At the moment, I’m taking some time off as we adjust to the chaos of an extra kiddo. But I’ll be back to work in September and can’t wait! **My weekends in September and October are almost fully booked. So if you were hoping to book a session with me this fall, contact me ASAP! katie[at]kmcmenamin.com**

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A New Kind of Home Movie | Documentary Family Films

As my love for documentary family sessions has grown, I have thought more often about how much video can add to a session. There are some things that still photos just fail to truly capture. The sweet coos of newborns, cute toddler voices, the funny things kids say – all these things that we wish we could bottle up. Sadly, photos can’t touch them. Inevitably, when I have added fusion films on to client sessions, it brought it to a whole new level. It has made me want to learn more, and to make video a bigger part of what I can offer clients, but also what I capture of my own kids.

Happily, I also happen to LOVE taking part in photography workshops. To be honest, I’m kind of a big nerd. And feeling like I’m back in school brings me great joy. It used to be that workshops involved travel and a huge investment of time and money. But now there are so many fabulous workshops online. It’s such a fun way to learn or refresh skills, take part in the larger photography community and to just get inspired. So when I came across The Film Workshop with Emily Mitchell, I was in. I just completed the class and it did not disappoint! I so enjoyed spending the last month not only photographing my family, but shooting video of them as well.

In the end, I created this little home movie with all the clips I’d shot. I have to say, I am in love.

I can’t wait to take more video of my own kids. But, I also can’t wait to create modern family films for YOUR families! Over the next month, I am going to be offering just a few discounted family films. If you think you might be interested, get in touch! I would love to chat!

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The Magic of Light | Conshohocken Family Photographer

the magic of light workshop sunset in windowSnow bouncing light onto little girl

baby crawling documentary photography

basketball hoop sunset
conshohocken lifestyle photographer

the magic of light workshop girl dancing silhouette
girl in dog pants

the magic of light workshop sunset dugout
the magic of light workshop little girl rim light and sun flare
the magic of light workshop window reflection
the magic of light workshop urban shadows on building
the magic of light workshop house sunset silhouette
the magic of light workshop swinging in the snow
the magic of light girl throwing snow

Sometimes, when I’m feeling like I need a boost of creative inspiration, I’ll take a photography workshop. I am a firm believer that there is always more to be learned. In March, I learned from The Magic of Light workshop.

This workshop is the hottest ticket in town. I feel so lucky and grateful to have secured a seat. It was inspiring and helped me to think about the photos that I was taking in a new way. I even (*gasp*) took some photos that weren’t of children and families. It was so freeing to walk around Conshohocken and to observe the way the light illuminated buildings and bounced and reflected. These are things that I never notice while I’m hurrying my kids along down the street or distractedly making sure that Florence isn’t running into the road. Honestly, I discovered that there is nothing better than calmly walking around town and just observing, all by myself.

Of course my kiddos are my biggest source of inspiration. But hopefully I’ll find time to make this sort of thing a regular part of my work as well.

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My name is Katie and these are my people. You can get to know us and see my family's story in pictures here. I would love to hear your story too. 

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