Some Very Big Changes | A New Look, a New Focus

Ever since I moved to the DC area a couple of years ago, my photography business has been…well…different. That’s hardly surprising, considering I became a mom not long after the move, but it’s taken me a while to sort things through in my head as to what I want Birchtree Photography to be going forward. Finally, I have a clear vision. I’ve been hinting about it for some time, but I’m now ready to unveil some big changes.

In the past, my focus has been on weddings and engagements…and I’ve loved it. I can’t begin to recount the wonderful couples, the amazing stories, and the beautiful events I’ve photographed and been a part of. I think those memories will stay with me forever.

But becoming a mom has changed my perspective a bit. Not so much on weddings, really, but more on families and photographing them. There are so many incredible and sweet stories (though with less lace and flowers and more crayons and milk) that happen everyday in the home that I want to start photographing more of them. From births and adoptions to baby milestones and kids growing up–those 18 years (ok, maybe more) of raising your kids passes quickly. I can already see it happening before my eyes with Harriet.

That’s why for right now, I’m shifting my focus to documenting families and creating meaningful portraits. Practically, this means probably not photographing any more weddings for a while (besides those I’ve already agreed to do). It also means a complete website update, which I’m finally ready to reveal! I can’t begin to tell you how hard it was to remove all my wedding photos–there were so many I love–but I needed to do it so my focus is clear.

Friends, long-time supporters, those who just stumbled upon this photography-blog-in-a-million, please welcome the new Birchtree Photography:

Go on over and check it out in all its glorious newness!

DC Family Photography | Nicholas is (getting close) to One

One of the great things about living in the DC area is that it’s a place a lot of people like to visit. This means that some of my Pittsburgh couples make their way down to my neighborhood from time to time. It’s a treat to meet up with former brides and grooms, especially when I get to photograph their growing family–as I did for Natalie and Steve…and now little Nicholas a couple of weeks ago. Nicholas is such a ham, and it was so fun to meet him.

Of course, one of the not-so-great things about living in the DC area is that it’s a place a lot of people like to visit…especially on July 4th. After much crazy driving around trying to get close to the National Mall, we finally gave up and met up in Georgetown, also a pretty neat DC neighborhood. Everything worked out just fine and we had a fun session. Here are just a few of my favorites of this cute family.

Philadelphia Newborn Photography | Baby Cora

Perhaps one of the greatest things about being a photographer is getting to see families grow. Literally. I recently had the privilege to photograph a former bride and groom’s newborn girl in Philadelphia, and it made me thankful for the work that I get to do.

Ali and Shailen are a couple you don’t forget. I so enjoyed getting to know them, and their wedding was so fun to photograph–so it was especially great to see them as new parents and to meet their little girl. Here are just a few of my favorites from their session.

Documentary Birth Photography | Baby Nathan

I couldn’t help it. I don’t normally share personal details with absolute strangers, but I just couldn’t contain my excitement. “My friend just had a baby! This sandwich is actually for her!” The guy behind the counter barely acknowledged that I had spoken. Maybe he didn’t hear me…or perhaps he, like most of us, think of birth as a rather ordinary event. After all, apart from making a sandwich, it wasn’t going to change his life.

Yes, a child’s birth is something both incredible…and in many ways ordinary. It’s ordinary to the doctors and nurses perhaps, ordinary to the people driving by on the street, ordinary to most of the world–but it’s life-changing to you. It’s a day you don’t forget.

Getting to be at a birth–let alone photograph it–is anything but ordinary to me. There is no show, no pretense…just raw emotion: excitement, worry, fears, hopes, dreams, anticipation–and work. Lot’s of work. It’s labor. And the reward is so sweet–a new life is ushered into the world, creating something that wasn’t there before: a new set of parents.

Baby Nathan’s birth story is especially sweet to me because his parents are good friends of mine. I eagerly awaited his arrival alongside of them, and I am so incredibly happy for them. Here are just a few of my favorite moments from their story.

Jenna - Beautiful, just beautiful.