Curtis and Hillary’s Photobooth

The photo booth has become a mainstay of weddings…little booths with feathered boas and Viking hats. You cram in, make a mug and get a little strip to hang on the fridge. But to have an open stage on which to act up and only your crazy, kooky selves, your fun loving family and friends with which to create magic…that’s another whole level of fun. It goes beyond the phone images that saturate our lives, has a gravitas yet an irreverence that creates moments of magic. And for the wedding couple each one of those moments is a piece of their story, a coming together of the family and friends and the unique group that was them before and is celebrating them here and now.

Sarah and Robert’s Wedding

Sometimes its just a nice wedding. It’s all the things I imagine a wedding to be…good people coming together to celebrate good people. There is intention but the planning doesn’t overwhelm the principles (or principals). For me, this was exactly that kind of wedding. I’ll reiterate what I feel like I say time and time again…to be honored to capture their moments, not asked to stage and direct and choreograph but only to bear witness and document was an immense honor (and privilege).

As we are

Many times this friend has commented before a session about how the body or the hair or some thing that one might want to change, improve, modify, didn’t get done yet again in time for photos. And every year she lays that aside and takes photos regardless. And every year I commiserate (and think about the things on myself that didn’t get changed, improved or modified). And that sticks. Until I see the photos. And then all I see is that moment when he is still young enough to sit on the lap, to enjoy a snuggle or a kiss, when he holds her hand, when they look at each other still sooo deeply bonded and enmeshed and in love with each other. And I am so glad that she has the self compassion to continue to be in the photos because….

there is not one photo of my mom or my gramma that I look at and think that one tiny little thing about them should change.

Fair Fun!

The fair is their thing. Its end of summer fun…the kind where you say yes when you might say no, when you explore and pal around as a family. I was so happy to be invited to be part of the gang, to capture something that is in the now for them, the this time of their lives, the cotton candy and kiddie rides, the missing teeth and fauxhawk hair. Each year this family puts a little thought into something that is “what is happening for them in the now” even if it’s just as simple as the tree swing at the new home, the ferry ride to see cousins, the family bed where new babies are snuggled and each year I feel like its a snapshot into the now…figuratively and literally;)

It wasn’t perfect

They were running late, it was cold, the wind was blowing hard, the beach was full of weird trash, her nose was running like crazy….and yet it was perfect. You want to know why? Because no one minded, because they trusted me when I said it was fine, I trusted them when they said it was fine. And it was all so very very very much more than fine. Because your photos aren’t about perfect hair or noses or location, they are about you and your kids sweetness and your crazy mom monster and your willful yet hysterical child….they are about you. And it’s not perfect (but it is).


I’ve never been invited to dinner and I was a little nervous. I’m good when I know my place…photo Libby is a relatively well oiled machine but social Libby can often be a squeaky wheel. But when city clients buy a farm with tall grass and woods and fences, when they love golden light but know that pinning all your photo hopes for the after dinner hour with 4 year old twins might be crazy so we plan for some before and some after, when each year we do photos we are more successful, more generous with ourselves, more trusting…. well those are people that I’ll sit down to dinner with. And we talk about it. We talk about how I probably don’t realize how they, as clients, consider me a friend, our relationship as real. And I got to confess that I consider all my clients as friends, that my heart almost hurts when it’s clear I’m just the person pushing the button, that my greatest joy, my best photos are when we are more, when we share in a true way whatever short amount of time we see each other each year and that I hold you all in my heart until we meet again.

Adventure Awaits

If you follow my Instagram (@number1libbylewis), if you follow this blog, if you know me – you know that I want more. I want connection, I want to feel what it is to be a part of your gang, I want to see you, I want to feel your feelings, your love, your highs, your lows (well I hope for you they aren’t super low but I’m not afraid of your frustrations and challenges and sadnesses). I also want you to feel these things – which I guess is kind of bold – to wish my hopes and dreams on you. I guess what I mean is that I want you to see the magic in your family as it is right now, the specialness of these ages, these bodies, these experiences. So to spend a few hours on a grand adventure was magical. I want to do this for you, with you…honestly, just ask. Adventure awaits.