09.24.2014 | filed under: lifestyle

Sometimes a grey, rainy day is just what we need. Today I was supposed to be on the road for a lifestyle session in Charlotte, but the rain is giving me a chance to breathe in the quiet, take the time to catch up on blogging & galleries and put together welcome packages for my new couples. Speaking of, if you’re interested in a 2015 date.. I have 3 spots left to fill. And I’m completely blown away that October is booked solid for lifestyle sessions. My heart is on fire for documenting the beauty in the every-day of each family’s life. A few years ago it was a dream I never thought could be, and now my weeks are filled with lifestyle sessions all over the southeast. A heartfelt thank-you to the families that welcome me into their homes & let me into their most precious moments. You guys are the real deal. thank-you-thank-you..

Moving on to the sweet faces below. This family, ya’ll. I’m running out of words to adequately express the place they have found in my heart. Can hardly believe its been almost 4 years since I photographed Quin as a wee babe. In that time, he has become one of my favorite little humans. On this sunny day in August, he literally tackled me when I walked in the door. He was so excited to introduce me to his baby brother and give me a tour of his new home. And just as it happened with Quin when I first laid eyes on him, Ashton stole my heart right away. This tiny white-blonde nugget with perfectly pouty lips and tiny rolls of chub circling his wrists…he’s the perfect addition to their family. My dear friend Julia has always been a beauty, but to see her with her boys…she’s truly stunning. Motherhood is a powerful thing. Even in its messy, sleep-deprived blur, it brings an unexpected depth to life. A beauty so deep, you never knew it existed. I see that in Julia as she so effortlessly loves Jona and the boys. At random times throughout this shoot, I found myself smiling behind the lens. Partly because I love this family, partly because I love my job, but mostly because it hit me that I’ve documented Julia & Jona’s journey from two to four. And that…that is what gives this job purpose for me.

Julia, Jona, Quinny & Ash- thank-you for being you. love isn’t a big enough word…

Comments: 9    leave a comment

  1. I am obsessed with this session Kellie. You are right. Love is not a big enough word. So lovely.

  2. As if I could love any session more than the last time you shot them, here comes these images. So so beautiful and perfectly capturing this family. Wowzers. Just perfection.

  3. SO beautiful!! Love them!!

  4. Kellie, these are breathtaking! As soon as I thought one was my favorite I found another! What a lucky family to have these incredible images!

  5. I just love, love, love this!

  6. So incredibly gorgeous!!! The image of the baby feet kisses completely got me…gah…such an incredible session!! xoxo

  7. Kellie! You are so talented! Julia and her beautiful family will cherish these photos forever!

  8. These are absolutely perfect!!! Julia, your family is stunning & I am so happy for you!!

  9. Incredible set of photos you did an awesome job

07.25.2014 | filed under: lifestyle

I had a new client ask me recently what to expect from a lifestyle session & how to prepare for it. I smiled as I wrote her a response that went something like this: Lifestyle is a documentary approach to family photos. Its the everyday routine that you don’t necessarily see as exciting or beautiful until that stage of your life has passed. Its everything life is for families…joyful and loud, messy and real, but always stunningly beautiful in its imperfection. Much like life, the best way to prepare is to just be yourself…the truest version of you. No posing, no styling, just you loving your family and embracing all the beauty & madness that goes along with parenthood. And if the house isn’t showroom ready, or the kids refuse to wear the cute outfits you picked out for them, don’t worry. The house & the outfits won’t matter to you in 10 years. Being able to hold a print of your baby girl splashing you with the hose in a little plastic pool in your backyard, or your son’s face lighting up as you push him in the tree swing. These are the most stunning moments of our lives. They are priceless, and fleeting, and I absolutely love photographing them.

So there it is. What lifestyle is. To me, anyway. And the session below is a perfect example of how everyday moments can be filled to the brim with magic.

A little backstory before you start scrolling… Nicole is one of my oldest friends. Middle school days. High-waisted jeans (which seem to be making a comeback) and crop-tops (which are also inexplicably popular again) made more than one appearance in old photos from our tween years. A lot has changed since then. We’ve both seen our share of joy & heartache. We’ve become wives, and mothers, and artists, and given each other pep talks along the way. She’s one of the kindest, most selfless people I know. Photographing her wedding to Jon years ago & documenting Nick’s life as a newborn and one year old has been such a gift. He’s their miracle baby. With one open heart surgery down and one to go, Nicole & Jon have navigated the fear that goes along with having a baby with CHD in the most graceful, loving way. They are fiercely committed to their family and lemme tell ya, it takes a pretty badass couple to make 2 kids under two look like a breeze…and they do.

This session was meant to be. Despite Vivi’s fever the day before, the storm that was headed in the direction of Charleston, and the added bonus that my car was dumping water into the passenger floorboard, I had my bags packed and gear ready. Nicole texted the night before to say Vivi’s fever had disappeared, so I shoved a towel in my floor and hit the road. When I arrived late on Friday night, Nicole & I sat up and talked ’til 2am. About life, the loss of her beloved brother Matthew, how hard it is to find joy after losing your best friend, and the beautiful legacy he left behind. We laughed and cried until we were both falling asleep in our chairs. The next morning I woke to Vivi’s baby feet thundering down the hallway, and picked up my camera straight away. The second image featured here was the first frame I shot on this precious morning. Sweet Nick. You can see him taking it all in, in his own quiet way. The first ten minutes of photographing him playing trains in the sunroom were so soulful I almost teared up as he made soft “choo-choo” noises & welcomed me into his little world. There was an unspoken bond that formed between us in that moment, and although he normally isn’t a big fan of photos…he absolutely lit up in front of my lens. Once he decides he likes you, its on. That spark of fight in his eyes tells the story of a kid who’s had more than his fair share of battle wounds, and yet…he giggles and grins and loves the heck out of his mom & dad. And baby Vivi, toddling around with her smiley eyes and impossibly perfect pout. All drama & beauty with a tiny ball of curls on the top of her head. Even at a wee one year old, I’m putting money on the fact that this girl is going into acting. She gave a few Oscar-worthy performances on this sun-kissed morning. It took everything in me not to laugh as she threw herself on the floor screaming ( without a tear in sight..) only to pull herself up three seconds later & flash a drooly grin. Almost as if to say, “hey photo-lady..check this out.” I clapped and cheered and half expected her to take a bow. She is a gem of a toddler with the sweetest little spirit. Handing me toy after toy…even trying to make a few sit on my camera as I worked. As she tried to stuff her little people toy into my lens with her chubby hand, this overwhelming feeling washed over me. The feeling that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. And despite the fact that I can’t prove it, and you may laugh at the thought…I know exactly who made it happen. No fever, or storm, or floorboard full of water was going to get in his way.

He brought me to his sister. To tell her beautiful story the best I could. And I will forever be grateful.

Nicole, Jon, Nick, Vivi…and Matthew. thank-you. Love you all.

Comments: 4    leave a comment

  1. Can I be in love with my own story ? Love love love it. Thank you, Kellie! AND LOVE YOU!\

  2. Kellie….these photos of my precious family are beyond Amazing….. You captured their essence perfectly❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  3. The way you brought The LaRose family to us is a gift. So much beauty that it brought me to tears. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Wish you were in Greensboro. These are gorgeous and Nicole looks so much like Kathleen…

07.14.2014 | filed under: lifestyle

After all these years, this blog has become an old friend. The kind you can go months without seeing face-to-face, and when you finally reconnect..its still there. That connection, that spark that brought you together in the first place. Feels good to be back. Travel has been the theme of the summer. These few weeks of traveling & living life off the grid of social media have really refilled my creative well, so you just might be seeing a lot of backlogged work on here. Just maybe :) I’m not even sure how relevant blogging is to professional photographers anymore. More & more of my colleagues are abandoning their blogs to go the way of micro-blogging through instagram & facebook. I’ve considered joining them, but I love the actual writing part of blogging…telling my client’s stories with words, as well as images. So for now, I’m gonna spend a little time with this old friend & give blogging another go. Hope you’ll join me.

Oh, and I just finished a mini-tour of the SC coast & will be booking another round of lifestyle sessions in the Charleston area at the end of the month. Info will be posted on the studio’s facebook page, if you’re hoping to grab a spot. Spaces are limited, so if you’ve been dreaming of a day in the life session for your family..now’s the time!

The Hamlett family is the perfect one to bring this blog back to life. These four humans are crazy special to me. I’ve been photographing the girls since they were newborns, and they are two of the most splendid little souls I know. Their sessions are always a highlight of my summer. Melanie & Eddie truly get what lifestyle is and give every inch of their hearts to our sessions. They love their girls so fiercely, it literally lights up every frame. On this perfect summer night, they caught fireflies with nets, had a hula-hoop competition in the park, chased bubbles with squeals of little-girl glee and in every moment their love took center stage.

Melanie, Eddie, Isabella & Audrey- thanks for living big, loving huge and having me document the story of you. so much love to you all..

Comments: 10    leave a comment

  1. I absolutely adore these!

  2. Perfection!!!!!

  3. Kellie, I have no words. Pure heart.

  4. You’re my favorite. I cannot even handle the perfection :)

  5. love the light and love in these beautiful images.

  6. The simplest pleasures makes the sweetest memories. What a beautiful family! The pictures are timeless just like bubbles and hula hoops.

  7. Absolutely beautiful Kellie! Love love love your pics.

  8. The light is amazing in these photos! LOVE.

  9. Please don’t ever give up on blogging completely! Your words along with your photographs show your true passion for what you do. Your blog has become my old friend too. I love these photos, they capture sweet family time at it’s best! These will be timeless memories for this beautiful family! :)

  10. pure joy radiating from those black and whites…. so good. If you are ever near Idaho, please let us know :)

Kellie Kano Blog is powered by WordPress
blog designed by Will Keightley at Cobalt Kitty Design.