Nick + Nicole | Jacksonville Wedding Preview

The W Family in Tampa | Orlando Documentary Family Photographer

My friend Heather is a strong ass woman. She may or may not disagree with this, but I hope she agrees. She better. Heather fixes tangles, de-escalates toddler battles and takes care of four kids on her own in an entirely new state while her husband is sometimes sent out of town for work. Also, as a fellow artist, she shares amazing photos of her life just as it is. This is why so many people are immediately drawn to her work. Constantly in awe of viewing a world outside the contained space of our fears of rejection and perception, like a deep exhale after a life of suspended breath. A view which seems daring in its honesty and transparency, yet what foolishness on our part to ever assumed there was a box we needed to stay in. 

Because there is everything beautiful and ordinary about this family, like donuts and plastic cats and robotic vacuums and laundry. And there is so much in common, like five year olds who love video games and how mesh screens are so damn impossible with kids around. The latter being the universal truth of all Florida rooms. 

I know she might not feel completely settled here, but I am so grateful that she and her family are so close by now. 

Lauren Mitchell is a Documentary Family and Wedding photographer in the Central Florida area. She tells the stories of all kinds of families with half and full day in the life sessions, as well as Disney World/Vacation day in the life sessions. For more information, go here! 

The S Family | Disney World Orlando Documentary Family Photographer

One of the best aspects of being a documentary photographer is the active hours clocked in with families. Eight hours? Yes. Two days? Even better. Sometimes I'm in awe of the patience and graciousness of having what essentially amounts to a curious stranger with a camera around them for that long. But that's the funny thing about doing these sessions -- you float into their lives as a (mostly) stranger, and soon get to know the ins and outs and intricacies of their everyday world. Even at the most fantastical, magical place on earth -- Disney World. 

You learn that being a parent means never going on vacation, even on your vacation. That despite the exhaustion of keeping it all together where there are wait times for even the bathrooms, you wouldn't trade a any of it to see the joy on your kids' faces. And that it takes a village sometimes -- lots of hands to provide parental relief, to keep wrist bands securely on tiny wrists, to nudge them along in roller coaster stand-by lines. 

I'm a documentary family and wedding photographer located in the Central Florida area, specializing in half- and full day in the life sessions. Interested in a Disney World or vacation session? I'm available for single and multi-day options at the theme parks. Go here for more information. 

The A Family On Vacation | Orlando Documentary Family Photographer

I'm a documentary family and wedding photographer located in the Central Florida area, specializing in half- and full day in the life sessions. Interested in a Disney World or vacation session? I'm available for single and multi-day options at the theme parks. Go here for more information. 

The G Family in Minneapolis | Orlando Documentary Family Photographer

The C Family in Delray Beach | Orlando Documentary Family Photographer

It's a lot of fun to come back each year to photograph a family, especially when there are new additions. It's not only about seeing the growth and the changes of the kids themselves, but the way the family grows and and changes with each other. 

I met up with the family at their home on a Sunday morning back in November. John had just had his 2nd birthday, which was completely themed around fruit. Not just to eat, but as decoration. Turns out John really, really loves fruit -- which I immediately found out the second his eyes came upon a bowl of berries. Sweet little baby Siena mostly hung around mom for the morning, as they spent some time outside and back in for pancakes. One thing I love so much about spending time in their home is that they have so many little things that have personal significance to them. Favorite chairs that are passed down from family, beautiful artwork on the walls, special coffee mugs and cherished family pancake recipes shared with a new generation. 

I'm a documentary family and wedding photographer located in the Central Florida area, specializing in half- and full day in the life sessions. Interested in a Disney World or vacation session? I'm available for single and multi-day options at the theme parks. Go here for more information. 

Yamit + Steven | Miami Beach Wedding Preview

I first got to know Yamit and Steven back in April, when I responded to a wedding notification via Fearless Photographers (future brides and grooms to be -- look no further than here). Looking back on her original correspondence, I see quite clearly that she described the two of them to a T: lefties, french-fry obsessed international travelers. Two crazy old souls who wanted to celebrate not only their love for one another, but their love for their family and friends who lived all over the world. They had planned to hold the ceremony at a beautiful little urban farm in the middle of the Little Haiti neighborhood of Miami, with a cake made by Yamit's grandmother, packed tightly in a suitcase on an airplane all the way from Brazil. Time and circumstance, however, had their own ideas, proving that even the best laid plans are just that. The farm was no more, but the cake made it through 3500 miles and even harder still, Customs. It was hands down worth the trip: guava filling between painstakingly thin layers of cake.

It was a site to see the energy in the room as the Hora began and Yamit was hoisted in the air and everyone circled around them, dancing, laughing and celebrating. Or witnessing the look on her face when Steven surprised her with a New Orleans brass band as the night progressed. A celebration of religions, cultures, nationalities, friends, family and memories all wrapped into one single day. 

A special thanks goes out to Yamit and Steven of course for allowing me to be a part of this day, and inviting me into your world. Also, a huge thanks to my amazing second shooter Heather of Heather Whitten Photography, who filled in all the beautiful nuances of emotion, life and moment while I was off chasing something else.