Tag Archives: WashingtonDC family photographer

Wow, well that was fun.  Thank you to everyone who voted and especially to those who nominated these four wonderful families.

There was suspense in the votes, it went back and forth a bit, but in the end the winner of the free family shoot is:  The Glorious Ladies of the Potluck from Jamaica Plain!


These ladies read the nominations and rallied their friends, but in the end they felt that they wanted to concede the photo shoot to the family in Lexington who lost all of their possessions in the house fire.  As they told me, “We don’t feel right enjoying this–despite the fact that we would treasure these photos–taking the shoot when there is a family who has lost everything.”

In recognition of this generosity I would like to gift both families with a photo shoot.  The Lexington family will win the grand prize  of a family photo shoot and portrait package worth up to $1000 and the GLOP will also win a shoot and some photos for their family members so that everyone will have portraits that reflect back to them the treasures in their lives.

I will definitely be doing this annually, so keep your ears open for some good nominees.  And congratulations to everyone who participated.

P.S.  May is filling up–if you want a spring sitting, please contact me as soon as possible to reserve your spot!  Use the “Write Lisa” link above to send me an email.

I have been told that my personal philosophy about photography is illuminating, so I want to share it with you. It can be summed up in this quote and how it relates to photography.

What we yearn for as human beings is to be visible to eachother–Jacqueline Novogratz

I know how strong this yearning is. I have seen it on many trips to the developing world (where cameras are not commonly found in family homes) and nearly everyone jumps at the opportunity to be photographed–even though they don’t know me and will never see the printed photo. This one was taken in Uganda:

I know this because children as young as 18 months come over to look at their own images on the back of my camera and shriek with delight when they find themselves in the LCD.

I know this because my own mother has a wall full of family photos spanning generations–many of people she never met but nonetheless make up part of our collective family story. I have spent a lot of time looking at that wall. There is a photo on that wall that, to me, looks just like my aunt, but is my grandmother. On the day that she began her 63 year marriage to my grandfather. Although I was lucky enough to have both of them around well into adulthood, the photo is of people I never knew. It was decades until we met. I can see their youthful beauty and their young love. I can see the resemblances that they passed on to their children and grandchildren. I can compare it to the wedding photos of my own parents and sister (my grandmother was able to attend that wedding about 70 years later) and watch the generations unfold.

And this leads me to the question, who are your photos really for? In the short term they show off how adorable your children are–a super special purpose, but it goes so much deeper. Photos remind you of how much they have grown. They recall for you their baby cheeks and toothless grins, and also your first amazement for and love of them. But that is only their first important role. The child in that photo will be lucky enough to have a record of their own development–to know that they were seen. Good photographs not only show the unique attributes of the individual, they show tell us something about their developmental stage. Give a child insight into their grandparents, show them their father as an awkward teenager, or how much their baby looks like their mom as a baby. My favorites often show special connections and relationships, capturing moments in which future-you can see how much you were adored, how others delighted in you. And, eventually, generations you cannot yet dream will look at them as cherished possessions.

This is how photography works to satisfy the most basic human yearning.

To illustrate I have put together a collection of photos from one family who I have worked with over the years since they welcomed twins into their lives, think about what a treasure they will be for generations: (and Stay tuned to the blog! On Friday I will have a super special announcement about how you can make another family feel seen!)

My how they grow!

I spent a chunk of my childhood living outside Washington, D.C.; where my father grew up and where his family still lived. My grandparents were there and my father’s two brothers and all my first cousins–and in the middle of that line up was me, my sister, and K. There was only one boy–older–not so interested in our games, and another girl who followed, years behind, who we nearly kissed to death as a baby. But us, the middle three, we were tight.

Fast forward a few years. The cousins have spread across the country and the family gatherings are more sparse. But those early experiences bind.

K was an exuberant kid and is no less charming and warm as an adult. She is always pursuing a new project, is a talented freelance graphic designer (see her work HERE), and generally projects enthusiasm for whatever life throws her way. (Fun fact: last week life threw her some BIG fun when Oprah’s producers called and invited her to be in the audience for what turned out to be O’s FAVORITE THINGS–and K got a cameo shot from the audience) But, by far, her favorite place to be is near her boys.

Ten years ago she married D, who is quietly smart and more reserved, but no less warm than K. He is easy and fun to be around. A great counterpoint to the, well, let’s call it, over-enthusiasm, that can be characteristic of K and my extended family. Together they had two boys, B and ‘lil K. B is older and a little more like his dad. Always thinking, totally handsome, and wicked smart. ‘Lil K is a flashback for me. He is us as kids. He is so completely a Seidel that I often joke with that K has given birth to her own dad. He looks just like our family (and his mom and grandfather) and is more goofy and a bigger showman than his brother. Both of them can crack me up and they are the ones who make their parents smile most broadly.

This shoot was K’s 40th birthday gift. She was excited, but when you see how photogenic and gorgeous these four are, you will realize that this was really a prize that I gave myself. It was so much fun to spend some time with them, chat with the boys, and watch them have fun together. And finally, to reflect their obvious love right back at them.

Happy Birthday K–I hope that you love your photos! I love you guys!

You might have to indulge me for a moment…

So much time as passed since I saw Stella, so that is what I did for my birthday–run down to D.C. to see her (and her mom and dad). And, my has she grown! The chicken legs are a distant memory, she is flirting with crawling, stranger anxiety is in full swing, she is eating all kinds of food, but remains mostly without hair. You will see that it is creeping over the crown of her head, but it could move just a little faster. Still, babies can totally pull off bald.

All I wanted was to hold and play with her, but she was really only into that when no parent was nearby…as is to be expected at 9 months. I got in the habit of rescuing her from every nap since she loved me best when there were no other options;)We did manage to get in some quality play time, and I broke out the camera. Her dad was never far behind–he is a photography buff (his work can be seen here)–so between us Stella must have thought that the paparazzi had arrived. She remained nonplussed.

Here is the Bean:

These two cuties are the grandchildren of a good friend of my father’s from high school. I remember their father at this age, and their parents remember me at three too. Cue “the Circle of Life.”

P, who is one and a half, burst into tears as soon as I appeared at the door. She was a sensitive to strangers because her parents were on vacation that week and she was a little unsteady. But it turns out she was a a model model once we got going. She sat right down, exactly where asked, and her gorgeous eyes shone for the camera. After just a few photos she let me pick her up and take her across the street to the cherry blossom tree that was losing its petals. We had fun under the tree looking at the leaves and taking pictures. You can see that she is just beautiful.

N, who is a fantastic three year old, had some of his own ideas for photos. He hammed it up for the camera, and even managed to take some terrific photos when he was try to thwart me by not looking at the camera. One goal of the shoot was to get a photo of N dressed up just like his dad had been for a shoot when he was three. He was a sport and took some great shots with the props provided. Hopefully one will look a lot like his dad’s photo and they will have a great inter-generational composite.

I have to say that I have not seen N and P’s dad since he was a ‘tween, and remember both his little brother’s being N’s age. This really is the joy and agony of growing up!

Here are a few examples of the joys of being young:

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