5. Transitioning between posed photos of their larger family, I turned and really saw Meredith’s sister and niece. Waiting. Just waiting for the next photo. In the waiting, the mind settles, the expressions relax, and the interactions are authentic in their necessity. It never fails that the least posed photos are the ones that speak to me the most. Like life, we can go in with expectations and pressure on the results, but it’s the micro-moments that happen in between that actually speak to our souls.


Doing as Mom asked. And putting bunny to bed.

4. In this session at the Tidal Basin years ago, Lucy stood alone for her photo. Although her mom was five feet away, she was as exposed as we all can feel, when we remember being that small. When we are aware that we may still feel that way, but have learned how to compartmentalize it. She was shy and she was so, so strong. But she had a tell.

00170104The next year, she put her bunnies down for a nap in the sunshine. She thought I might need to document that. She was right.

Lucy is seven now. She’s bright, lively, an artist, a creator, an actor. She’s as compassionate and patient as a big sister should be. She’s independent, and by all outward appearances, she doesn’t get as nervous anymore.

Too Soon, and Right on Time

3. This is an image of my nephew, Simon. One of so many that I love, because I love him so much that it’s sort of impossible to pick just one expression, just one moment. Simon was born on November 23rd, 2013. He was due to be born on February 6th of the next year. 0008

On the very day that Simon came into the world so unexpectedly, my husband of 12 years moved out of our home. The world collapsed all at once. My brother, my best friend, called from GW Hospital, and asked me with panic in his voice to go to their house to gather some essentials, and take their dog until they were back home again. Which wouldn’t be as a family of three for a long, long time. I hadn’t yet told him what was going on in my life, and wouldn’t until January, when I thought he was stable enough to take that on, too. In retrospect, he’s stronger than anyone I know (with the exception, possibly, of his wife) and had I told him, we could have just shared in the sadness and fear of the weight of the unknown together. And found strength in knowing that the sliver of light that leaks into the darkness just grows with time, opening the world up in beautiful ways that you never could have imagined.




2. I have photographed Kaarin since the early days of this business, when I was her yoga instructor and she was my student. Among other amazing endeavors, she started the epic podcast Pop Fashion with Lisa, and I was asked to create their images for social media and branding. They’re awesome, hilarious, and true to themselves.

This day, I made the ill-advised decision to wear boots with HEELS while working. Cause PBS was there, filming B-roll of our shoot for a possible show on these magnificent ladies. And my ego got in the way of my smarts because see: I’m short. And heels lengthen. And are globally known as uncomfortable enough that the PBS lady asked me at the end of three hours: “Do you always shoot in heels? Cause I’ve never seen that before in my life.” Headslap. Lesson learned.


The beginning

When I started out, I was terrified. Of missing a moment, of not knowing enough technically. But I’ve always felt at home with people. With emotion. To this day I walk into a shoot and watch people. Sometimes to the detriment of conversation, I watch the light, the way the client nuzzles their child, the way their fingers hang together as the partner parts to get a pair of shoes, to put the dog out back. My images are a reflection of these insights, these glimpses. These images are a creation of their story, and mine. Here are a few of our moments as I remember them.

1. Pamela is at the park, with her visiting parents, her husband and her daughter. It’s early morning, and it’s a 20 minute mini session. She’s jet-lagged and emotionally wrecked. She has returned from Paris in the wake of the 2015 bombings and needs a minute, but can’t really take one. Her best friend, a client of mine, has brain cancer. And it’s the worst devastation you can imagine. I ask her to squat near the picturesque lavender, and ask Lily, her daughter, to come over for a photo. Before I can direct further, she gives me this. She gives her mom this. This seven year old knows that Mom needs a minute. I love the way Pamela grips her wrist. I love the lens flare on the bottom of the frame. I love their profiles in tandem. This is love. This is family.