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

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 Tiffany’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,

Happy 6th Birthday!!!

Six years ago you came into this world and made me a mother. And the past 6 years have been some of the most happy and challenging of my life! You continue to grow in height, talent, confidence, thoughtfulness, and love – and daddy and I couldn’t be more proud of you!

You’ve had a fun month.  For the most part, the weather has been nice enough for you to be outside quite a bit. We even had a major blizzard which you were completely thrilled about! I had a fun time building a snowman with you, although I think I need to invest in some waterproof pants if I’m going to continue playing outside in the snow with you guys 😉

Earlier in the month, you woke up one Saturday morning, saw an empty water jug in the recycling, and decided that you were going to use it to collect money for the children at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. You created a sign, got bundled up, and walked next door to the thrift shop to sit there and collect money from all the people entering and leaving. You collected quite a bit too! Next month, Daddy and I are going to take you to the hospital so that you can see the place and the children that your kind heart is helping.

Our house search continues and you continue to be patient and hopeful. It won’t be long now before we find our new home and begin a new adventure! I look forward to seeing where life takes us!

Em, my heart overflows with love for you! I hope the next year of your life is as wonderful and beautiful as you are!

Love always,

Some fun tidbits:

  • you like to speak in “baby talk” which drives me crazy
  • you’re super excited to have your first “friends birthday party” next week at Busy Bees Pottery Studio
  • you insist on giving me butterfly, eskimo, and regular kisses each night before bed
  • you told us recently that you were “finally in love” with a boy at school
  • your favorite toys this past month have been all the Paw Patrol toys and Inside Out toys
  • you like chocolate better than vanilla (hence the chocolate cake with chocolate icing for your party)
  • your choice of restaurant for your actual birthday was Ruby’s Diner (where you had a chocolate chocolate chip milkshake)
  • you plan to be a scientist when you grow up

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  • Holli - That is so sweet that she wanted to collect money for the Children’s Hospital! Also, I love the snowman pictures. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Gorgeous photos as always! And such a sweet kiddo you have.ReplyCancel

  • Jackie - You are so talented and I love how your photos tell a story. You have a beautiful familyReplyCancel

  • Brianna - I love these documentary photos! Your color edits are just beautiful. I can’t stop laughing about your daughter being “finally in love”. That is absolutely adorable.ReplyCancel

I’ve decided to share a little more about what everyday life is like for me. I know many people have a hard time wanting to hire a family documentary photographer because they think that life needs to look perfect for the camera. So 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.  Variety is the spice of life, right?! 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.

I had the busiest fall season of my business’ short life and I was so happy that the storytelling sessions were a success! Thank you to all the families who placed their memory-making in my hands. It was so much fun to spend time with you and document a small portion of your lives!

2015 was a great year for me, in that I really started to define the style that I love to shoot in. Documentary photography is where my heart lies and I can’t wait to offer the families in the Philadelphia region an alternative to their yearly posed family photos in 2016. Here is a small sampling of some of the pictures I took this past fall!

If you are interested in booking a family, newborn, or maternity session in 2016, I would love to talk with you! Please contact me soon! I’m booking sessions for February, March, and April now.

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 and wesley,

I decided to change things up a little.  I’d like to start out the new year by writing to you both. First of all, Happy New Year! It’s 2016!  2015 was a wonderful year and we had some big changes that happened. Emily, you started Kindergarten and Wesley, you started going to school for the first time. We also moved out of our house that was the only home you’ve ever known in your entire lives.  We’re still in the midst of that transition as we look for a new home and the two of you have handled the changes amazingly well! Daddy and I are always blown away by the two of you and we are always so, SO proud of you both!

Christmas was awesome! Even though we weren’t in our own home, we managed to stick as closely to our traditions as possible. We went to a Christmas tree farm, Emily and Nai Nai went to the Nutcracker ballet, and we just generally spent lots of time with our family. On Christmas morning, you both were very happy with your haul. Wesley, you got your nerf gun that “has darts coming out of it” – your one and only request from Santa!  Emily, you received just about everything you asked for including the Paw Patroller and all the Pups. You also received some really cool Inside Out toys which made you very happy!  Nai Nai and Apah are the absolute best!  They allowed us into their home and let us participate in (i.e. take over) their holiday celebrations. 😉 We are so thankful for them! What an amazing example of generosity and kindness they set for all of us!

It’s customary for people to make resolutions for the New Year, but I prefer to make goals instead. Here are two of the goals that Daddy and I have discussed for our family this year:

  • Find a new home – this is the big one! I’m really looking forward to finally feeling settled this year. I feel a little guilty when I think about the past few years and how transitional everything has been. The last 3 years or so have felt very unsettled. We were always in a state of preparing to show our house, or packing things away so that the house didn’t seem so cluttered.  I can’t wait to finally have a new house so we can create our home, our routines, and new memories.
  • To be more present with the two of you – this is another big one and another one that I feel guilty about. Daddy and I haven’t been setting a good example for you when it comes to screen time. This coming year, we want to cut back on the use of our phones and other screens when we’re with you. I think our phones have become addictive and I worry that you might think it’s normal for someone to constantly be looking at their phones because that’s the example we’ve been setting recently. It’s very easy to sit down and immediately pick up our phones and tune the world out, but it’s not right for us to tune you out. And so this year (and every year after), Daddy and I are really going to cut down on our use of technology in front of you.

2016 is going to be amazing! There are big changes on the horizon and who knows what other surprises are in store for us.  I can’t wait to make wonderful memories with both of you. I love you both SO much! My heart truly overflows just thinking about you!  We are beyond blessed!

Love always,

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  • Kasey - Although you were not in your home, It looks (and sounds) like you had an amazing holiday season! I agree about your goals too! Both of them actually (we hope to move, maybe not this year but in the near future) and the less screen time. So important! Thank you for sharing and I enjoyed looking at all of the fun in your photo’s! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Such gorgeous photos. Love your goals, too!ReplyCancel

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 wesley,

Well, I think most of my fears regarding you and school were unfounded. You’ve been doing so well these last few months! You’ve really settled in nicely and seem to be getting along really well with your new friends and teachers. There are times when you and your cousin Asher need to be separated (because you’d rather be playing superheroes than anything else) but overall, I’m so proud of you!

You’re becoming more and more independent and you’re so proud of all your accomplishments. These days we’ve been working on dressing yourself – always a challenge for a little guy. You’ve got the socks and shoes pretty perfect, and most days the pants are easy for you, but the tops still give you some trouble – especially getting out of them.  You’ve also shown me that you have a great amount of patience. Hanging out at Emily’s soccer games are never boring for you. You keep yourself occupied with that magnificent imagination of yours!

Christmas is coming and you are very excited. You’re sure that Santa is going to bring you presents (even when Emily insists that if you’re bad, you won’t get any).  You and Emily are thrilled that our elf, Karen, came the day after Thanksgiving. You love waking up and running to find her. Right now, the promise that Karen is telling Santa all about your behavior is not enough to keep you out of trouble – maybe next year 😉

I was just thinking today that what amazes me about you the most right now is how sure you are of yourself. I’d say 95% of the time you are unbelievably confident. It just oozes out of you!  I don’t think I have that kind of confidence now, let alone when I was a little kid! Sometimes your confidence is misplaced – like when you insist that a 3 is a B and refuse to believe otherwise! But other times it makes me smile. Like when I see you being a complete goofball and it doesn’t faze you in the least if people are looking at you strangely or laughing. You just laugh at yourself!  At those times, I imagine you as a teenager, refusing to give up on something you love even if it’s not “cool”, or sticking up for those who can’t do it themselves, and that makes me so happy! <3

I hope that you will always be perfectly confident in who you are, because I’m perfectly confident that who you are – is perfect!

Love always,

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