Family Portrait at Cleveland Museum of Art with Emily and Alex

Emily and Alex’s wedding at 78th Street Studios was one of my favorite weddings ever. So I was thrilled when they returned for a family portrait at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

One of the best things about being a photographer who specializes in love, is seeing people after the wedding as they grow their families. It makes my heart happy when couples come back for a family portrait–whether it’s with dogs, kids, parents, or just to celebrate them as a couple–I absolutely love it.

It’s never easy to get everyone together for a family portrait. In this case, one family flew in from Canada, and another from Chicago. Once everyone is finally in the same city, I know it’s tough to take time out of precious together time for a portrait. But it’s so important to document the way families grow and change and expand. Baby Bee was a little less than a month old, the family felt complete, and it was the perfect birthday present for Emily’s mom.

When I complimented them on their color theme for the shoot, they said they went shopping together at Old Navy to get clothes for the portrait session. Old Navy for the win! And seriously–don’t they look like they could be in an ad for them?? (Old Navy, don’t steal my photo)

I just love the way he’s peering up at his baby sister.

There were photos of these three looking at the camera and smiling. Totally adorable. And then there was this gem. I love all the personality coming through in this image. The older cousin dutifully following directions, even though the great expanse of the CMA atrium is calling to her to run through it. The big brother doing his best…dinosaur impression? I’m really not sure. But as a parent, this photo would make me smile every time I looked at it through the years.

It’s so tempting for parents to focus solely on the kids during family portrait sessions. “Just do the kids.” I hear it over and over again. But these photos aren’t for the parents; they’re for the kids. A family starts with two people in love, and when they share that love with a child…it doesn’t disappear. It’s amplified. And kids love to see photos of their parents. I know I would definitely love to have an image like this of my parents when they were young.

Thank you to Emily and Alex for allowing me to photograph your beautiful family. xoxo

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