Philadelphia Family and Newborn Photography | Terri Collins Photography » Lifestyle & Documentary Photography for Newborns and Families in the Greater Philadelphia Area

This post has been a long time coming! I shot this lifestyle newborn photography session for Jenn and her family back in August last year! I was so happy to have the chance to get to know Jenn’s family a little better. Our kids went to the same school and I had a feeling they’d be my kind of people! Fun, warm, loving, and laid back are words I would use to describe them. Jenn is also a designer and I can attest to her excellent work! You can check her out on Instagram here. When I arrived, the older kids, Hudson and Evangeline, were feeling a little shy. But before long, they were showing me all the important treasures in their rooms and I felt perfectly at home exclaiming over rock collections, stuffed animals, and cardboard sculptures – you know, all the really important things when you’re 5 and 4 😉 Little Phoebe, the newest addition to this family of 5, was six weeks old. She was as sweet as could be and obviously already used to having two crazy older siblings running around the house!

Before my sessions, I send my clients a questionnaire so that I can get to know them a little better and tailor their session to fit their lives. When Jenn sent me her questionnaire, she said:

“I just really want to remember these children as they are now. By that I mean, Evangeline as her fire cracker self in her girlie dresses and dance outfits (which I’m sure she will have on since she changes her clothes all day long).

Hudson as his crocodile hunter self digging, catching things, and having fun in the back yard.

Phoebe just being the cutest baby.

Jamie and I just observing all this chaos around us. :)”

To remember them as they are now. Isn’t that what it’s all about? It sounded wonderful and I set out to document as much of that as I could.  I think I did a pretty good job of it. What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

This was my morning with the Moore family…

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Some friends and I are writing letters to our children in a monthly blog circle! After you read mine, click here to check out my friend Michelle’s letter next. If you click through each letter (all of which are full of parenting awesomeness and amazing photography), you’ll eventually find yourself right back here!

dear emily,

Well, it’s official – we are living in our new home in Springfield! It’s been a whirlwind few months. You and your brother (and mommy and daddy) are loving the new house. We still have a long ways to go before everything is “finished” (such a relative term – there’s always something to be done).  You’re currently sharing a room with your brother which isn’t such a terrible thing – you guys shared a room when we lived with Nai Nai and Apah.  Your room here still has some crazy wallpaper issues that we haven’t gotten to yet. That’s our next big project. And you are actually an amazing wallpaper remover! You love helping to scrape the wallpaper off the walls.

No doubt, your favorite thing about living here has been playing outside in the backyard with the neighbors. We’re very lucky to have such awesome neighbors!  Shane and Juliana live 2 houses over and they are 6 and 3 just like you and Wesley. The four of you have been playing outside every moment you get. Right next to us we have Ed and Rose who are a little older but are as sweet as can be with the two of you, always including you when they’re out there playing basketball or baseball.  And they don’t mind if you play on their swing set either!

And in the midst of all the moving excitement, you’ve been hitting your own milestones too. This past month you learned to ride your bike without training wheels, started playing tee ball, have grown at least an inch or two, and worked hard to create an amazing display for the Learning Through Literature event at school!  The bike riding amazed me. One day you asked to borrow Shane’s bike (which doesn’t have training wheels) and you just hopped on and took off. So of course, I had to immediately take the training wheels off your bike. I think back to when we first got that bike and how scared you were. It seems any time that you are presented with something new, you have a lot of anxiety about it. It’s tough those first few times and you usually cry and tell me that you can’t do it. But before long, you become determined and you slowly work through your fears until you’ve conquered it. That is an amazing quality! I hope that you always meet new challenges with that attitude.

You and the other Kindergarten students at Media Children’s House worked for over a month on your Learning Through Literature projects. You had to choose a book, read it, analyze it, and create a presentation complete with tri-fold board. You chose a book from the Magic Tree House series called Dolphins at Daybreak.  You did a great job reading it (I’m amazed at how well you can read!) and your presentation was awesome! You obviously love school and learning! And thank God that you got your father’s memory and not mine! 😉

We’ve also been dealing with some anxiety issues over the last couple months. I’m sure that a lot of it stems from the big changes we’ve had recently. One of the causes of your anxiety is your shyness.  You don’t have any trouble with talking to other kids your age or younger, but you become extremely shy when it comes to speaking with adults that aren’t family. I know you get this shy trait from me. I’m an admitted introvert – don’t even get me started on how terrifying public speaking is. I’ve been trying to push you out of your comfort zone a little bit and you’re not happy about it. One day you wanted to see if Shane and Juliana could come out to play. Their dad was sitting outside but you wanted me to go ask him. I insisted that you do it. This resulted in a complete meltdown. You told me you “don’t feel like yourself without mommy with you” and that just about broke my heart. But I know from personal experience that the only way to beat your shyness is to force yourself to deal with uncomfortable situations. You didn’t end up going over that day to ask Shane’s dad, but I hope that with time and taking little baby steps, you will push yourself outside your comfort zone. It’s hard, but you’re a tough chicky and I know you can do it!

Sorry for the novel today – you’ve had a lot going on!  Mommy and daddy love you very much! Next time I write to you you’ll be graduating Kindergarten and starting your summer vacation! Where does the time go?!

Love always,
Mommy

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In an attempt to share the beauty of everyday life and show people what family documentary photography is all about, I’ve decided to share a little more about what everyday life is like for me.  This is an attempt to show that life – in all it’s messiness and madness – is always beautiful. You do not need to live up to some ideal stereotype of what family life is supposed to look like. However you’re doing it – it’s perfect! And I’ve found a wonderful group of photographers who want to showcase what their lives look like too! Each month we’ll be letting you peek into our homes and lives to see just how beautiful the ordinary can be. So without further ado,

This. Is. Us.

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Again, it’s the everyday ordinary that is so beautiful in our lives. If you’d like to learn more about this style of photography and find out if it’s a good fit for your family, please reach out to me!

Click here to continue through the blog circle and see what’s happening in Elaina’s life.

  • Laurie - I love, love, love that first photo – pure perfection <3 <3 <3 Thanks for sharing a little about your family life!!ReplyCancel

  • Elaina - I love your words “however you’re doing it- it’s perfect”. So true!ReplyCancel

  • Jackie Kelley - These are great I love how you capture your kids my favorite picture is the first one with the blue hat! I really love your pictures each monthReplyCancel

Some friends and I are writing letters to our children in a monthly blog circle! After you read mine, click here to check out my friend Jackie’s letter next. If you click through each letter (all of which are full of parenting awesomeness and amazing photography), you’ll eventually find yourself right back here!

dear wesley,

Hey there buddy! Right now, I’m sitting outside typing away on my laptop and watching you and your sister as you play outside. It’s a beautiful day – the sun is shining and it’s finally starting to warm up (we made it to 60 degrees!). We even noticed some crocuses blooming this morning on our way back from church. I love to watch you and Emily play together. The two of you have such a great relationship! When you’re not arguing, pushing, or yelling at each other, you’re encouraging, friendly, and loving towards one another. 😉 You’re both at an age now when you can play so wonderfully together. When that happens, Daddy and I try not to interrupt. Your favorite games are any kind of pretend play – Paw Patrol, “mommy and daddy”, “parent and kid/baby”, kittens and/or puppies, Inside Out, doctors (we’ve gone through a million Band-Aids!), and of course, superheroes.

I think the worst of your winter sickness is over (fingers crossed). Since Christmas, you had pneumonia twice and a couple of ear infections. The worst of it was your behavior. Dr. Rao told us that irritability is a symptom of pneumonia and you definitely put us through the ringer with your attitude and temper. And the germs just seemed to go from person to person in an endless circle. But we’ve survived. I’m really hoping that since it’s warming up a bit, we can open the windows and flush out those germs!

We finally have good news on the house search! We bought a home in Springfield, Pennsylvania!!! We are all beyond excited! You are mostly excited to see all your toys come out of storage. We put offers in on 2 other houses before we finally had our offer accepted on this one, and as disappointed as I was in not getting the other two, I know God meant for us to find this house. It is truly perfect for us! The back yard is amazing and I can’t wait for you and your sister to be able to play out there. I don’t know how much you remember of our previous house, but the back yard there was asphalt, and more than anything I wanted an awesome backyard for you guys to play in in our next home. We make settlement in 2 weeks and the next few months will probably be a whirlwind of activity. It will be interesting to say the least!

The next time I write to you, we should be all settled in our new home. I can’t wait!  I’m sure I’ll have lots to share with you then. I love you, Bugaboo!

Love always,
Mommy

Some fun tidbits:

  • You saw your first movie in the theater recently: The Good Dinosaur
  • You’re still sleeping with your binky and you’re very attached to it!
  • You’re still napping during the day too. No sign of that going away yet. You love your sleep!
  • When we say prayers at night, you always ask God to bless Santa.
  • When you grow up, you want to be a police officer.
  • I’m pretty sure your favorite person in the world is your cousin, Asher.
  • You’re starting to show some interest in writing your name. You’ve almost perfected your W.

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  • Jackie Kelley - I love reading your blogs you are so talented and your pictures of your family inspire me to be better at taking better pictures of my own family.ReplyCancel

  • Holli - Aw, my boys both had pneumonia this month too! I’m glad everyone’s getting better. I hope you have a smooth transition moving into your new house!!ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Your photos are gorgeous as usual! Congrats on the new house!ReplyCancel

In an attempt to share the beauty of everyday life and show people what family documentary photography is all about, I’ve decided to share a little more about what everyday life is like for me.  This is an attempt to show that life – in all it’s messiness and madness – is always beautiful. You do not need to live up to some ideal stereotype of what family life is supposed to look like. However you’re doing it – it’s perfect! And I’ve found a wonderful group of photographers who want to showcase what their lives look like too! Each month we’ll be letting you peek into our homes and lives to see just how beautiful the ordinary can be. So without further ado,

This. Is. Us.

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Again, it’s the everyday ordinary that is so beautiful in our lives. If you’d like to learn more about this style of photography and find out if it’s a good fit for your family, please reach out to me!

And to see more of these beautiful moments, click here to continue through the circle.

  • Jackie Kelley - I lover your pictures you are so talented. I love your documentary pictures you have such a talent at documentary style picturesReplyCancel

  • Becky Collins - Well, these are simply wonderful. I am sending the link to all our friends. You are just a treasure, Terri.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - Agreed! The messy moments are often the MOST beautiful =)ReplyCancel

  • Lesley Worley - What special moments captured!! You do a fantastic job!ReplyCancel

  • Elaina - These are so wonderful, Teri! I love all the little everyday moments you’ve captured.ReplyCancel

  • aleta smidt - Thank you for thinking of us and sharing such wonderful photographs!ReplyCancel

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