his. hers. ours. a blended family love story

I met the Doughty’s a few years back, working out in the gym. As I interacted more with Deek and Nikki, I grew insanely jealous of their overly-affectionate love for each other. Even in the gym, the PDA was full force. On the treadmill, lifting weights, there was no question who these two belonged to.

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Nikki and I’s daughters played together in the gym child care room, and I grew to adore her spunky (and very flexible) little girl, Presley.

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At first glance, her muscled up husband is intimidating. I was actually surprised to learn he was a dad, two girls and one boy, and a loving, affectionate one at that. There is nothing I love more in life than being pleasantly proven wrong in my initial judgments about people. Which is why I strive to keep them to myself, the wrong words taste gross when you have to eat them.

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Photographing people has changed me for the better. Observing people during a one-hour photo session teaches a person so much, if you’re paying attention. The body language, how they treat each other, how much fun they’re having. I’ve learned that a “perfect family” only exists on Facebook, in movies, and in that (misleading) part of our brain telling us we’re not measuring up.

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But happy, imperfect, doing their best and laughing with and at each other? Those do.

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Successful families take his and hers and call them ours.

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Thank you Doughty Family for letting me tell your beautiful story!

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the caenepeel family holiday session

As a mom to two girls, these sessions always tug my heart strings. The nostalgia is almost painful, although life is smoother here in older kid life.

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I’ve known Miranda for a few years and admire and respect the quality of parents she and Scott strive to be. They are playful, fun, interactive and adoring.

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And then of course, I can’t be around pretty girls without sneaking some individuals. I think I was a modeling agent in another life…

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I always tell people inquiring about my style that I am NOT a prop photographer. I’m a people person, therefore I don’t like to overshadow the people with props. But I do love it when families bring their own touches along.

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We ended the session with a dance party, something they love to do as a family at home.

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And snapped some head shots of Mom, who is a mover and shaker in corporate America.

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Thank you so much Miranda and Scott for sharing your precious family with me. May these little girls always know how blessed they are to have such incredible parents.

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tweens and toys

I often wish we could flash back to the era sans cell phones. When I heard a voice on the phone instead of deciphering confusing emojis. When I conversed face-to-face more often than I communicated through a keyboard. But I digress, that time is gone, especially when you live with an almost teenager.

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And that “tween” laughs at the icons of my youth. New Kids on the Block, Debbie Gibson and Cyndi Lauper. These days, fame comes from being funny on Vine. Yes, the new species, they’re called “Viners”.

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They get famous being funny and capitalize on that fame by designing a clothing line. That tweens beg for.

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She’s a good kid, though. Actually, she’s a terrific kid that makes me proud on a very regular basis. Even when she leaves her towels on the floor (repeatedly), her coat on the chair, and her shoes in my closet. She’s an amazing kid.

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And sometimes, I toss rational thoughts out the window and reward her with material things. Like said clothing line.

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Then I make her model for a session, so ultimately, Mom wins. Every time.