I went to The Brooks Institute of Photography with every intention of coming out on the other side of three years as a fashion photographer. I was 18 and decidedly unfashionable. I think it was the seemingly artisticness of fashion images that had captured my fancy. It seemed like it would be great fun to photograph beautiful people in beautiful clothes in crazy situations.
About one year into my college career I was asked to do a photo session for a mother and daughter that one of my friends knew. It was my first ever paid shoot. The night before I slept restlessly, tossing and turning. I dreamed about the session…my subconscious thinking of all the poses I wound up using the next day.
It has been that way for every single portrait session I have done since. The night before I fitfully sleep and dream and wake up with ideas for the shots I want to capture the next day.
At 18 driving my convertible down highway 101 in Southern California I thought being a fashion photographer would be the coolest life. I pictured myself moving to New York and living in a tiny walk-up apartment in the middle of the hustle and bustle. The truth is though that Fashion Photography never kept me awake at night. My soul was never moved by that world and that meant I would never be any good at it.
I am not a mother but I have a mother’s heart. I read parenting books that I swiped off my mom’s bookshelf for fun at age 10. I nurtured every doll, my baby brother, and any younger child that I ever came across. At every portrait session I am reminded of how deeply the love of family moves me. There is absolutely nothing in this world that stirs my soul more then when a mama embraces her child in front of my lens. It is the language of my heart and therefore it is what I am good at and passionate about.
I have photographed this family six times since I first met them when Emma was just a little newborn. Every session the magic only grows for me. They are so loving, sweet, and funny. It is amazing to watch Emma grow. She is running and talking and laughs and cries and is just the most amazing little person. Maddox is so helpful. He always acts as my assistant and holds the reflector and helps me with ideas. He has a bright mind and a kind personality.
Stacey and Sean are so blessed by such a beautiful family and I am so blessed to have the opportunity to capture it.
Much Love, Kiana M.
I am often struck by how the concept of time seems to elude me. It either passes by way too fast and leaves me in a whirlwind or inches along so slowly I can never believe that it is actually ticking by at all.
I photographed this family a few years ago when I first moved back to Seattle. When I saw them again a few weeks ago I was shocked. Time had passed me by without me even realizing it. I expected Jack and Lucy to be the same and while in some ways they are in so many others they are so much more…grown.
It shouldn’t surprise me, but it does. Time passes. These sweet children are older, and as Stevie Nicks would say, I’m getting older, too. That is part of the magic that photography holds for me. The image that I capture doesn’t change even when the subject does. It’s so easy to get lost in the pause, for the false still to become my reality. So I am often shocked when children grow. I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to pause another moment of Jack and Lucy.
These were some of The Lambert’s favorite images from the session.
Much Love, Kiana M.
One of the most wonderful things about photographs are their ability to tell the most spellbinding stories. As I edited each image for this sweet family I was reminded of all the wonderful little moments that had occurred at their session.
Alina is from Germany, JP from South Africa and their little boy Jacob is fluent in German and English. The very first thing he said to me (In German, his mama translated for me) was: “How will you fit all of us into that little camera?”
It was one of the most philosophical questions I think I have ever been asked. How indeed can a camera do such a thing…capture all the love and personality a family has to offer. How incredible that it can portray it perfectly for the world to see.
Jacob asked me why I have a camera if I don’t have children. I am so excited to have little babies of my own someday. Until then I am so passionate about capturing the love that exists in other families. How parents feel about their kiddos…it’s the most beautiful story I can imagine. How blessed I am that it is my job to tell that story over and over again. Every time it is a little different but the plot is generally the same in its loveliness <3
When JP heard that Alina was pregnant he decided he wanted to grow something too. So he is growing his beard until the newest member of their family arrives 🙂
Near the end of the session Alina requested this pose. She has a picture of this same pose of when she was a little girl with her mama who was pregnant with her brother. I was so glad she requested this…not only were these my favorite pictures of the entire shoot but I think it is one of the coolest things I have ever heard of…to have a picture with your babies like your mom had with you. <3
These next two pictures sum up perfectly what photographing a toddler is like. I love to watch the range of their emotions. The strength of the laughter to the melancholy of exhaustion, each little expression so beautiful in their own way. Childhood is such a whirlwind and toddlers are the most wonderful tornadoes.
When Jacob put on his raccoon hat he came alive with happy energy. He howled with laughter as I asked “Mr. Raccoon! Have you seen my friend Jacob? He was just here and now he is gone!” He showed me how raccoon’s eat in the forest and then took a chocolate break himself. So much imagination, I just know he is going to be a wonderful big brother.
This family was so much fun. Alina was so radiant and just glowed with love. Jacob was so playful and expressive and JP was hilarious. It was such a joy to have the opportunity to photograph them. I had never met them until the session but they all let their personalities shine through so vibrantly from the very beginning, they were so easy to work with and I loved getting to know them <3
All this sweet mama wanted for her session was a little bit of sunshine. When we all got to Discovery park the sky was a decided gray. An unwavering blanket of clouds. The forecast had promised sun…I had checked it everyday all week. We soldiered on, not entirely surprised that Seattle’s weather was unpredictable in late September and frankly I was just glad that it wasn’t pouring. (Although I do love shooting in the rain, especially when kids are puddlejumpers!)
I believe in the power of wishing. That dreams have a way of manifesting themselves. And this mama, she was wishing and dreaming for sun.
Halfway through the session the clouds parted and the sun poured through and everything fell into place. It was absolute magic. It was a perfect moment of laughing kiddos and smiling parents and beautiful light and even more beautiful love emanating from the family for each other. It’s the kind of moment that I live for as a portrait photographer. The kind of moment I cherish. A moment of sun just for the Owens family <3
Much Love, Kiana M.