Monthly Archives: September 2011

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Maribel, Emma, Erik, Abbi + Izzi (and expecting…Lauren Marie) {adoption sunday-boston childrens’ photographer}

Our Adoption Sunday Boston area sessions are still rolling out!

Meet Maribel, et al. Surrounded by siblings, she lives with her family on a gorgeous, multi-acre property outside of Boston. There are ponies, goats, dogs, and ducks. Sadly, on that day there were two FEWER ducks thanks to the record heat, and even sadlier (yes, I just made up a word, work with me) both kicked the bucket DURING our shoot. There’s nothing quite as challenging as keeping a shoot going when it’s THAT hot, and as the call of “another one just died, Dad” echoes across the yard. IJS.

Can you say ‘center of the family’? (and obviously LOVING it)

An absolutely beautiful family, inside and out.  Even more special? The news that they are expecting! Lauren Marie’s referral from Ghana had just gone through when we met them, and we were able to snag a few very meaningful images at the end of the family holding her referral photo. Because of orphanage guidelines, we can’t share her photo here…but the story of how they came to find Lauren Marie gave me tears and goosebumps, and that I *can* share here. I hope it does the same for you (as told to Mandy Mulliez):

“We got into the car one afternoon after leaving my cousin’s house, floored by the news that friends of theirs had adopted four children from Romania that were now on the verge of adulthood…and all are HIV+. Why would they do that? Wasn’t it dangerous to bring a sick child into their household? We have five healthy, active kids – four biological kids in five years from our twenties – and one sweet girl through private adoption. We were young with our biological children and the decision to essentially start a second family as older parents was one we carefully considered. Having a baby in the house again brings a special joy and light that we had missed and our littlest is adored by her big sisters and brother.
The idea of adopting an HIV positive child was one we couldn’t shake after hearing our friend’s news. After extensive research, we learned that there has never been a case of transmittal between family members with normal everyday household contact. With the development of the drug cocktails now available in the U.S., most people with HIV have a normal life expectancy. The idea that this was in our family’s future stuck.
We now stare at a picture every day. It is a heartbreaking glimpse of our three year old Lauren Marie who waits in Ghana. Her eyes show pain and fear. But she is the lucky one in her family – she is being cared for by nurses and we will soon be able to care for her, while the rest of her siblings have been sold into slavery. It is sadly the reality of many children around the world, orphaned by parents who have lost their lives to HIV, but we are lucky enough to soon have her be a part of our family. And she will be loved.”



Rook, Libby, Chloe + Cy {Plano newborn photographer}

Newborn Rook is surrounded by a bevy of adoring fans, and it’s not hard to see why.  Not only is he the baby of the family, but he’s as mellow and chill as they come.  Fastest newborn session to date, ESPECIALLY for a newborn session with a toddler to boot. Which means that not ONLY do we give the 6 day old baby props, but BIG ones to sweet Libby for rocking it as well.

But first, sweet Rook. I try to give a bit of structure to newborn sessions with a general game plan (start with curling baby shots, then when they’re good and asleep, add in the family and go from there).  This one went in the opposite direction, partly because I really try to catch the toddler-4 year olds when THEY want to cooperate. Luckily, Libby was excited and involved every step of the way, and had her older siblings there to pull her out and entertain her when needed.

So, in OPPOSITE order of how we shot this (sort of)…Sleepy Rook (on a rockin’ grey bench that I am now in NEED of having):

I love grabbing little shots here and there as we get everyone situated and adjusted. Chloe and her dad cuddling Rook was one of those. Love.

One of the FIRST ones we grabbed (actually, the 2nd click of my shutter, just to give you an idea of how amazing Libby was)-the sisters! (and yay for gorgeous natural light!)

Another quick snap that I just love. Is there anything sweeter than this?

(see Cy’s face? There was a question about how long Rook’s bladder (or other end) would last. He made it ALL the way through our game of Baby Roulette, and baptized mama as she reached for the diaper at the end. Total rockstar (and a good natured mommy to boot!).



Bridget + Katherine {dallas childrens photographer}

Miss Bridget (of the famed) ‘Baby’ image had her 6 month session last week and it. was. divine.

First, and I think I’ve said this before, this family has been a favorite and REGULAR Sugar family for years. Katherine was 6 months old at her first session, and this time I got to hear all about Kindergarten. Yes, I had to pause for a moment and collect my emotions.  How lucky am I that beyond watching my own children grown, I get to watch other children grow, gain siblings, and morph from tiny babies to confident children? So very. There just aren’t words.

So Bridget is now at that fabulous 6 month stage. The big eyes, fascination, and easy going personality that I LOOOOVE.  Plus, she has an awesome big sister that has been there, done that, times a lot when it comes to Sugar.



I don’t know how many photographers would publicly mention a shot that they missed, but this next one KILLS ME. Why oh why did I not focus on her toes? LOVE IT.  (but maybe I love it because it’s not the usual ‘focus on the feet’ pic? Dunno. Regardless, it made the cut. And I love it so much. She is SO dainty.

This one actually made it onto my Instagram account, titled, simply “Nom”. And she IS delicious.

Miss Bridget wound down, naptime was eminent, and Katherine and I had a chance to finish the scavenger hunt she made for me (yes, I said that correctly…I arrived to the news that a certain Kindergartner had created a scavenger hunt for me…and yes, I fell in love all over again).

But first, I managed to snap this as she twirled in front of the hallway mirror on our way out the door:

Which then led to us heading outside, with the World’s Most Patient Dog (remember this?):

And at the end of my scavenger hunt…I won a prize. For being so fun. And it’s now occupying a place of honor on my desk, because this red jewel? Means a lot. And yes, I got a little sniffly.

I tweet a lot. And my work-related hashtag that epitomizes this session is #lovemyjob. Because I do. SO MUCH.



Meg {adoption sunday – boston childrens photographer}

I am woefully behind in posting recent Adoption Sunday sessions, and this upcoming batch of families is near and dear to my heart. We met during my first trip to the Boston area in July (during a record-breaking heatwave that I think I accidentally brought with me from Texas). They were all so kind as to not only still be willing to participate in this project, but even let me drag them outdoors.

Of course, I came out winning on all sides. Not only did I get to play with beautiful kids in gorgeous surroundings, but their parents told the most amazing stories (as happens when the topic of adoption comes up during something as intimate as a photo session).  Meg’s story left us in tears, and as part of the project we asked her to share a little bit of how she first met Meg with us…and also with all of you.

Meet Meg, and her mother Holly:


(as told by her mother to Mandy Mulliez:

“I walked into the hospital, 36 hours after getting the call that a baby girl had been born and needed me. “Hello, Mom” the nurse greeted me. “No, no, just foster mom” I said. In my years of being a foster parent, I had never imagined that my forever family would begin with a newborn, seeing myself rather with an older sibling group – sisters – a ready made complete family. “You are ‘Mom’, the nurse told me with a glance, “so what’s this baby’s name?” She was being called Baby Girl, the nurse told me, and she needed a name. In an instant, I spoke the name that had grown in my heart for as many years as I had waited to be a mother – the name I knew would be my daughter’s – Margaret Susan, after my grandmother and mother. I crossed the room to carefully pick her up and cradle her for the first time. She was a preemie, barely 5 pounds, sensitive to touch and sensation as her tiny body began to recover from what it had been exposed to during pregnancy. This was the first time she had been held in the days since her birth. I whispered my first words to her in Spanish “Hello mi angelita”…little angel. Only later did I find out that her first mother had come back to the hospital briefly in the days following her delivery to give her daughter the name she hoped she would carry with her…Angel.

And so she is Margaret Susan Angel. She has a giggle that bubbles from deep inside her. She loves to garden and swing as high as she can. She asks me where her brown skin comes from and we talk, honestly and openly, about her first mother who could not care for her, for whom life had not been easy, and from whom she has many of the wonderful qualities that make her the daughter I had dreamed of. Together…we are a family.”

(admit it. you’re teary)

Holly and Meg, thank you for opening your home and your hearts and sharing your story. xo, Jen and Mandy