Asher Fritz | A newborn family session

One of the things I love about doing newborn sessions in/at a client's home is the reality of it all.  There are no fancy props or elaborate setups, we simply use what they have and everything about the photos is meaningful.  Everyone is more comfortable in general, and I'm also able to connect with older siblings in a way that just wouldn't be possible for me in a studio setting. Sometimes I have a lack of words to accurately describe things, and this family's bond is just one of those things.  I told Sandy after their session that I just loved culling through these images.... her family just has 'it'.   Each family I work with is unique and there are lots of things that work for each of us.  With that said, this family has a special little spark.  I don't know exactly how to explain it, but I do know that it's very rare.

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Nicole DuMond is a lifestyle wedding and portrait photographer based in Stillwater, Pennsylvania.  Nicole offers portrait sessions on her family’s 9 acre homestead as well as on location sessions in Columbia, Luzerne, Sullivan, Lycoming, Montour, and Northumberland counties.

For more information on portrait sessions, please visit http://www.nicoledumondphotography.com/portraits-family/

For booking, please use the contact page or email Nicole at nicoledumondphotography@gmail.com

 

Letteer Family | Lifestyle Children's Portraits

I love chasing little ones around and letting them be themselves during a session.  It's so much more my style and it's a win win in my opinion... as a parent you get realistic photos that speak to your children's personalities and your children are actually willing to tolerate it (for the most part)! I consider my family portrait sessions lifestyle portraiture because the overly posed shots are probably not what my clients come to me for.  In fact, if a client really wants a lot of 'perfection' like that, I likely refer them to someone who is much more skilled in that area than I could ever pretend or want to be.  Yes, I will try to get a nice picture of your children sitting together and smiling (see below), but I will tell you, more often than not we get about one of those if we are lucky.  For the remainder of the session, I love focusing on how your children interact and the phase that they are in now.  That might mean playing tag, that might mean singing, that might mean a lot of things.  It might not be perfect to everyone but it's definitely perfect to me, and I hope it's perfect for all of the Mommas and Dads and grandparents that are able to cherish real photos of their children filled with joy!

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For more information on portrait sessions, please visit http://www.nicoledumondphotography.com/portraits-family/

For booking, please use the contact page or email Nicole at nicoledumondphotography@gmail.com

Three Brothers | Bloomsburg Family Portrait Session

Boys can be tough.  They can have tough exteriors, tough personalities, and they can be tough to photograph.  This was my second year with the May family and their three boys, who love trucks and mud and playing rough.  You can tell by their 'hugs' which may or may not resemble some type of choke hold that these boys mean business, and I have absolutely loved seeing how much they've grown this past year!  Perhaps it's because I have a rough and tumble boy of my own, but I love the spirit of these three and hope to see them again in the future!  Their Mother Megan always chooses awesome locations where the boys can sort of 'let loose' and we can just capture things how they unfold, which is exactly what we did at the Rupert bridge for this Bloomsburg family portrait session.  Enjoy! Bloomsburg Family Portrait SessionBloomsburg Family Portrait SessionBloomsburg Family Portrait SessionBloomsburg Family Portrait SessionBloomsburg Family Portrait SessionBloomsburg Family Portrait SessionBloomsburg Family Portrait SessionBloomsburg Family Portrait SessionBloomsburg Family Portrait SessionBloomsburg Family Portrait SessionBloomsburg Family Portrait SessionBloomsburg Family Portrait SessionBloomsburg Family Portrait SessionBloomsburg Family Portrait SessionBloomsburg Family Portrait SessionBloomsburg Family Portrait SessionBloomsburg Family Portrait SessionBloomsburg Family Portrait SessionBloomsburg Family Portrait SessionBloomsburg Family Portrait SessionBloomsburg Family Portrait Session

Mother's Day | Get in the Picture

As I worked in my gardens last night carefully spreading my 'natural fertilizer' and mulching around my newly planted broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage, my mind started to wander to last Spring.  What I was doing, where I was, what was going on.  I realized it's that time of year.... Mother's Day has crept up on me... again.  How this happens every year I have no idea, but it does, and it has.  Last year we traveled up to New York over Mother's Day to celebrate the many years of my husband's Grandfather who was undoubtedly a great man that influenced lives in a significant way.  Even amidst the circumstances and the fact that the weekend really had nothing to do about me whatsoever, it was one of the best memories I have as a Mother because of the moments I spent surrounded by my little family without the pressures of the daily grind.  I have quite a few pictures that I shot that weekend but only one of the three of us, which is the most important to me by far.

I know this might all seem unrelated to you, but this is how my mind works... often daydreaming from one topic to the next, connecting the dots in my own strange way, particularly when I'm working in the garden.  Reminiscing on Mother's Day weekend last year really got me thinking about what I could offer Moms and what I feel is so important for Mothers.  A Mother's work is so vital, yet often neglected because it's expected, with the exception of one day a year where we hopefully celebrate our own Mothers, the bond of Motherhood, and the influence that Mothers have in society.

This is where, for me, pictures really come into play.  Yes, I am so guilty of this just as much as the next Mom.  I take a ton of photos of my son and often prefer to not be in them.  Let's face it, at the end of the day I probably don't look so hot and I'm tired.  Aside from pulling it together for church on Sunday morning, I basically look like a hot mess all weekend long, working outside as much as I can and neglecting washing my hair more than I care to admit.  What Mom is thinking about posing for a pretty picture when they're ankle deep in horse manure?  I know I'm not.  But I also know who's going to wish I did think about it more- my kids.  I know this because I am one of those kids.  I sit in awe when I see a photo of how young and beautiful my own Mother once was (and still is...), regardless of whether she had any makeup on when she took me to World's End State Park and regardless of whether or not she was carrying around the battle scars of stretch marks or even a few extra pounds from giving birth to two sweet babes.

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For me, photographs have always attached memories.  Memories that I might not even remember at all had there not been some type of photo to document it.  At the end of the day, your children likely won't care if your hair was perfectly done all the time or if those hands were manicured, but they will care about the memories.  The memories are what they'll carry in their hearts long after us Moms are gone and what they'll tell their children about someday.  Yes, newborn sessions are adorable, and sessions with just the kids are tons of fun.  But in terms of the portrait side of things for me, nothing quite compares to when I get to document families, whether they be as a whole or just with Mom.  Yes, social media might be great for silly 'selfies' and snapping quick shots of the kids in every day life, but it's the real, tangible prints that choke me up and leave me speechless when a seemingly imperfect moment showcases the intense bond of love between a mother and child.

Moms of young children, we are currently everywhere in our children's lives, from the time they get out of bed in the morning to tucking them in with a bedtime story at night.  Let's make sure that we leave our children with memories of that.  They don't need to be perfectly manicured moments made for the world of pinterest or facebook, they can be anything you want them to be.   And I certainly don't want to teach my own children that they shouldn't be in a picture unless they are perfect; perfectly fit, perfectly put together, perfect skin and hair, perfectly perfect.  No, I'm going to want photos of my babies no matter how 'imperfect' someone else might think they look, because they are most certainly perfect to me.  There are so many options for hiring a photographer these days, and it doesn't need to be me.  Find a photographer that fits your style and makes you feel comfortable and special, because you are.  Find a photographer who cares about who you are and what you're going through and can give you memories to last a lifetime.  You can do a 'day in the life' session where you document everyday life with your kids.  You can book a 'Mommy and Me' session.  You can make a portrait session anything you want to make it, just do it.  Just get in the photograph.  And get the photographs in your hands.  Here's a crazy thought... go buy a camera!!  Get off the cell phone (as handy as they are) and don't even bring it with you to the park.  Go buy a point and shoot camera (which these days are quite a bit cheaper than the latest iPhone) and photograph your own life, and get in the photos.  Ask someone at the park to take a picture of you pushing the swing or catching your littles at the bottom of the slide.  I can almost guarantee if you ask another Mom to snap a picture of you being in the photo, she would never say no.  I know I wouldn't.  Then print your photos, put them in albums, hang them on the walls, safely keep them for your children to look through and be flooded with their own memories someday.

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If you are looking for the perfect gift for Mom this year, I will be offering a few specials on Portrait Sessions and Gift Certificates.  I'll be offering one free 11x14" Mounted Print with the purchase of any session or gift certificate for a for Mother's Day ($59 Value).  I'll also be offering a 50% off special on all Coffee Table Books (includes all photos from your session).  These can be purchased for past sessions as well as future sessions.  I want you to get those photos in your hands and off your devices!  For more information on my Mother's Day Specials, please contact me.  It's my hope and prayer to all of my fellow Momma's out there that you not only get a little deserved pampering this year for Mother's Day, but that you also make time to enjoy the simple things and let loose for the day, making memories and hopefully remembering to even document a few.

To wrap things up, here are some personal favorites of some very amazing Mommas who I have had the privilege to document over the past year or so, each of whom I admire tremendously for 'just' being Moms.

Hey There, Momma | A Momtographer's back to school photos

Hey there, Momma.  I see you over there, waiting tables in a crowded restaurant, beads of sweat forming on your pretty little face.  Remnants of food from the plates of families’ that are enjoying an evening out are starting to soil that shirt.  The one that you just grabbed out of the dryer before your shift, because you didn’t have time to fold the laundry yet.  Maybe you’re a mom trying to contribute to the family expenses.  Maybe you’re a single mom, trying to earn a modest wage while taking classes to finish that degree?  Maybe this is your second job, because one just doesn't quite cut it.  Maybe somewhere along the line you decided that you make more money waiting tables than you would if you ever finished that degree you used to be so passionate about, anyway.  Do you worry about what your retirement plan will be, or if you’ll even have one?  Do you worry about how to pay for health insurance?  Do you wonder if your hours will keep you from being at the sporting events or dropping your baby off at the movies for their first date someday?   Are you working late at night right now, and thinking that you’d give anything to just be home, even if it were to simply watch your baby sleep, because you know there’s nothing sweeter?  I know who you are.  I see you because I was you not long ago.  I haven't forgotten about you, Momma. Hey there, Momma.  I see you over there holding down your job, rushing home every day when the clock strikes five to do your best to prepare a meal that will make your baby grow big and strong.  Perhaps you are sitting at your desk wondering if you are doing the right thing?  Maybe you are wondering if you’re everything a Mom is supposed to be?  Do you feel guilty about not being able to go on the field trips or volunteer for all of the class parties?  Do you secretly shout to the heavens with joy when your baby has a cold and you have to call in sick to stay home because no one can cure the common cold like Momma can?  Do you know what it’s like to experience a sadness that sometimes seems to transcend into a physical pain when you say goodbye to your baby each day, leaving them in the hands of caregivers that you have no choice but to trust?  Trust that they are passionate about their work, and that they will treat your child like their own.   Do you know what it’s like to fight against the clock each day?  To leave your child at the crack of dawn each morning, only to return in the evening with only a small window of time remaining to teach them all they need to know about life, yet still have time to engage in play and be the kind of Mom you always dreamed you’d be?  I know who you are.  I see you because I am you.

My baby went off and entered the wild world of Kindergarten on Wednesday of this week.  I was in shock and in awe and flooded with emotions all at the same time.  People kept telling me that he’s had a great teacher up until that point.  Were they talking about meHave I been a good teacher?  Sure, I’ve read to him since the day he came home from the hospital, long before he understood any of the words I was saying, and long before he could request the same story.  Every. Single. Night.  Or were they talking about his preschool and daycare teachers, who spend hours with him every day, patiently teaching him the alphabet and how to count to 100, while I’m at work each day? I started thinking about a few of the things that I have taught him over the past few years.  In no particular order, here are a few random things that stuck out to me:

  • Flips on the trampoline?  Check.  He saw it here first, kids.
  • Cannonballs into the pool with no floatation device at the age of two?  Check.  Only if Mommy is in the pool to catch you, of course.
  • How to run?  Check!  I’ve been racing that boy since he could stand on his own two feet.  He still thinks he’s going to beat me every time.  Someday he will, but not yet, son.
  • How to make friends? Check.  Yep, I’m the crazy Momma standing back under a tree that has encouraged him to go right up to someone he wants to play with, introduce himself, and ask them to play.  You don’t need me to hold your hand, you can do it.  I know you can.

These might all sound ridiculous to you, but they’re not to me.  What do any of these have to do with actual learning?  Well, these things are what make me his mom, and they do teach him something.  When asked the question, “What is your favorite thing about Mommy?” for a Mother’s Day project in preschool last year, these are some of the things that prompted him to reply with “She’s silly”.  I’ll take it.  Being silly is pretty freaking awesome if you ask me.

Tuesday night, as I lay in bed with my baby, who is now growing into quite a little man, I asked him if there was anything that he was scared about.  He said he was “a little bit scared and like, excited or something”.  I knew he meant he was a little bit nervous but didn’t know what the correct word was for that feeling.  I explained to him what it meant to be nervous and told him it was okay to feel that way sometimes, and even Mommy feels like that now and then.  It can actually be a very good thing to be nervous sometimes.  I asked him specifically what made him nervous, and he told me that going to a new school with a new teacher, making new friends, and learning new things all scared him, “just a little”.  It all hit me that I knew exactly what I had been teaching him over the past few years.  I had been teaching him to be brave.

Through all the things I had been doing with him, I had been teaching him to be brave.  There are many things I am passionate about, even the silly things like racing the boy, dusting him off when he loses, and telling him to try again, like my dad had done with me for many years.  These things take courage and determination for a child.  I started a business this year.  Starting a business from scratch in a shaky, oversaturated market, in a profession that you taught yourself with what most would consider very little experience under your belt?  Am I crazy?  Maybe.  But I’m also brave.  I was easily able to give Aiden an example of being brave that he would understand and be able to use when he was feeling nervous while heading into his new classroom the next morning.  He smiled and nodded, acknowledging my story.  We said our prayers and as I tucked him in and said goodnight, it felt like a weight had been lifted.  He must have felt the same contentment because he fell asleep within minutes that night.  I went off to the kitchen to write him a little note with a Ninja Turtle on it that simply said, “Be Brave”, and added it to his lunch box for the next morning.  I knew that he would know what it meant.

Wednesday morning came, and Aiden shot out of bed, filled with excitement to start this new journey of his.  As we waited for the bus to come pick him up at the end of our driveway, I felt the emotions and memories flood in… where has the time gone?  As soon as he heard the bus, he excitedly started bouncing up and down anticipating it coming around the corner.  The bus arrived right on time and he was off.  He didn’t even look back.  He didn’t even look out the window at me, wondering if this whole Kindergarten thing was such a good idea after all.  He was off, and he was most certainly very brave, indeed. For once I was able to forget the questions and worries that we face as mothers.

Hey there, Momma.  I see you over there, with tears in your eyes because life is moving too fast and your baby isn't a baby anymore.  I know who you are.  Cherish these days, because before you know it Senior year will be upon you.  I know that because every mother says it, including my own.  Keep on being silly, Momma.  You are teaching them, even if you don't know it yet.  Here are my Momtographer style back to school photos.  Enjoy!

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