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Magic of Details in Candid Family Photography in Kalamazoo Michigan

On a chilly January Saturday, with the thermometer at 1 degree Fahrenheit, I embraced the warmth of candid family photography in Kalamazoo, Michigan. A winter lifestyle photography session is a yearly tradition for this family, and this year, their youngest turned 1—just like the thermometer outside.


baby girl tasting birthday cake

family holding a newborn baby

Look at how she's grown! Just a year ago, she was a squishy newborn held in her family's arms in this post about capturing everyday moments in lifestyle photography.


baby in a highchair at birthday celebration

Two years ago I shared her big brother E's one-year birthday session while exploring perspective in storytelling through photography.


young girl playing with legos

This year, as I tell the story of another in-home documentary session and this special milestone birthday, let's dive deep into the power of detail in photography and how details convey intimacy.


children reading books together

A high angle view of a cozy sibling reading session gives us a unique perspective...


close-up of toddler's feet

yet, it's the intricacies of little toes peeking beneath the book that truly evoke a cozy feel.


mother reading books with her children

A wide angle shot of the living room sets the scene...


mother and child reading a book

However, it's the play of sunlight, painting rainbows and casting a warm glow on the baby's face...


boy reading a books in his living room

while warming big brother's shoulder as he reads his I Spy book that gives us a sensory experience reminiscent of our own childhood.


mother hugging a child

Details extend to the symmetrical expressions of shared joy between mother and child...


mother tying a strap for young girl

to the loose straps awaiting a mother's hand...

children being tickled

And the contagious laughter ignited by dad's playful tickles.

family building legos together

Capturing details involves noticing the genuine applause of a one-year-old, reveling in pure joy...


family building lego tower
young boy building legos
proud young boy looking at lego tower

and the look of pride on a child's face when they get their build just right.


boy jumping

Documenting details involves keen observation...


family playing together

It's about zooming out to grasp the broader perspective of a scene...


young boy placing blocks in dad's hands

and then zooming in to the small details like the little hands placing blocks in father's hands ---because those hands won't be little forever...


young girl eating birthday cake

it's the two bottom teeth in a gummy grin, the spongy texture of the birthday cake and the way a messy spoon fits into a child's hand...


close up of child's eyelashes

Details are found in the delicate grace of eyelashes...


young girl playing with window crank

and the discovery of a new toy in a window adorned with a child's playful use of scotch tape.


portrait of siblings

Details matter because we are much more than our portraits. While portraits capture our physical features, they don't tell the story of who we are.


boy turning pages of book

As we look back on our lives, we'll seek out the details, much like a child paging through a beloved I Spy book. It's these details— the exchanges with family members, the joy of immersing ourselves in beloved books, the sharing of celebrations, and the playfulness with cherished toys—that truly narrate our story.


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