The Zikmunds!

Having American neighbours is a wonderful thing that I didn’t realise I had missed until the Zikmund family moved in a few doors down. A job at the hospital brought them here, and it’s been so nice getting to know them over the past few months. We’ve been able to help each other out in little ways that it has taken me literally years to get comfortable enough to ask of our Dutch neighbours, who are also truly wonderful people, but it’s been so comforting to just know that we’ve got each other’s backs without having to explain ourselves. When the leaves were still in full glory (for once) on the trees in the neighbourhood, we did a little mini shoot around the corner, and it was a pleasure to get to photograph this sweet little family.

The ever-growing Permentier family!

Oh, those Permentiers :) This fun, loving and game family has officially broken the record as my most loyal customers: this my fourth shoot with either the whole family or one of their kids' families, and there's new sweet kids every time. When I say game, I mean seriously game: one family member, a fellow American, who was brave enough to try out a pretty decrepit pier for a photo wound up partially falling through the planks! I'd like to say no one was harmed in the making of this photo shoot, but I can at least say there won't be any long-lasting injuries... and we decided against pressing our luck there, haha. From a newborn shoot to a wedding to a family session back when there was just one grandchild, and now a photo shoot with the whole bunch - and all of the colourful doors in oma and opa's home in Ferwert - it's always a joy getting to capture the way this ever-growing family interacts with each other. The weather has been century-record-breaking dry and warm of late, so it was a bit of a balancing act between finding good shady spots and basking in a nice sunny walk through the countryside, but I think we managed. Thanks, as always, for working with me, guys! 

Samuel!

It's been a couple of years since I got to do a newborn shoot for Jonah, the cutest tiny old man I've had the pleasure of photographing so far. Now, he's a big brother - and a big boy in his own right! His little brother Samuel entered the world with a bang on New Year's Eve accompanied by hours of fireworks, and I enjoyed getting to spend a couple of quiet hours with this sweet, newly bigger family. These at home shoots are my very favourite kind of photo session: relaxed and real. And Judith and Ton, the parents of these two sweet guys, have such a lovely home full of lovely light which was wonderful for another newborn shoot. I loved every moment of this shoot, but I think my favorite shot is Jonah stopping his ears as Samuel let us know in no uncertain terms that he was quite done with being a model for one day. Judith tucked him into a wrap soon thereafter and all was well with the world. Thanks again for having me, guys!

 

Benedictus 40th wedding anniversary

It was a pleasure to spend a fickle Frisian afternoon with the Benedictus family and their friends as they celebrated Jan and Tytsje's 40th wedding anniversary! I've done two family shoots with their daughter, Nynke, her partner and their daughters, but now I've covered just about the whole extended family. This was also the second time that my photography services have been given as an anniversary gift, which I'm a big advocate of. It may be a bit meta, but pictures are the way to look back on all the details and moments of celebrating life's momentous occasions. Fan herte lokwinske mei dyn houliksfeestje (of zoiets - mijn Fries is iets minder goed dan mijn Nederlands)!

Geelen family round 2!

Oh, man. An expressive, affectionate, playful bunch of people in a former sugar factory - plus water guns. These guys are the best! This is the second family shoot I've done with the Geelen family, and there are some new members of the crew since our last photo session a couple of years ago at the Suikerfabriek. That shoot ended in a pillow fight, so clearly we had to keep the tradition going: this time, the shoot culminated in a tiny, neon water gun battle on the roof of the factory.

It. Was. Awesome. 

Miranda + Richard + Femke + Ian + Alexander!

He's here! This past weekend, I took the now familiar train journey to Enschede to meet Miranda and Richard's latest addition: Alexander. We all just goofed off together in the house on a warm afternoon (with periodic breaks for my glasses to defog and to snack on stroopwafels), mostly creating the "after" versions of the "before" shots that we got during my last visit. This post is a mix of portraits, candid moments and a couple of photo illustrations (diptychs and triptychs of photos we've taken over the months and years). Enjoy! 

Olya, Chris and Casper family shoot

occ036 Olya jokingly referred to herself during our family photo shoot on Sunday as a "copy machine" in explanation for the clear Mini Me effect of her sweet son Casper - he is a tiny, rambunctious copy of his Dutch dad, Chris. Olya thankfully sought me out about a year ago to work with for a photo shoot, and luckily we have gotten together a couple of times since then, but this weekend's shoot was really special. The family will be growing by one in the next couple of weeks, and it was really a pleasure just hanging out with them in their well-lit and colorful house of love and occasionally questionable humor (mostly Olya and I)!

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Source: http://traciwhiteweddingsblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/occ022bw.jpg

Bryn, Cees and Tobin in Groningen

tobin014If Tobin doesn't turn out to be a sweet, geeky, hilarious guy, I would lose faith in the science of genetics. His mom and dad, Bryn and Cees, are two friends of mine, and their son was fittingly born into laughter: his dad was performing in the English-language improv group, Stranger Things Have Happened, monthly show back in October, and his mom was laughing so hard at their nonsense and hilarity that she actually went into labor early! I was very happy to finally get to spend a few hours with this new little family in their house with wonderful window light and, naturally, lots of laughs.

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Source: http://traciwhiteweddingsblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/tobin014.jpg

Rebecca, Alain & Ilya: family shoot in Heusden

These guys are some of my favorite nerds, and they've started the important work of spawning the next generation. I've known Rebecca and Alain since I first studied abroad in the Netherlands in 2005, and since then they've gotten married, started a business together and started a family. Their son is a clone of his dad, and they're expecting their second child soon. They technically meet my unofficial international criteria too, since they are a Dutch-Belgian family, and both my fiancee and I were really happy to have a good excuse to spend the weekend with them, hanging out, eating copious amounts of baked goods and watching "Scott Pilgrim versus the World." I always appreciate it when my friends want to work with me, and I love to work with people that I know won't think I'm truly crazy for my suggestions - in fact, they're often crazier than me, which I love.

The ministry of funny walks is genetic.

Permentier Family shoot in Ferwert, Friesland

It is always especially fun to work with clients who are a little bit crazy in a good way, and the Permentier family definitely set a new standard for hilarity during our photoshoot a couple of weeks ago. I know Irene through Stichting Didi, and I had a great time with her sister-in-law, Christy (a fellow American in the Netherlands) and her brother Matthieu when I did a newborn shoot for their little girl, Eleanor, this spring. She has gotten even cuter since our first shoot, and she's a healthy, smiling addition to a family that is big on smiling.

From the point-of-view of a baby, all grown-ups seem even crazier than normal :)

...which they are!

Remco and Jessy have two sweet dogs, so I did a mini session for them back at the house.

After the full family shoot, Christy, Matthieu and Eleanor had a sweet shoot unto themselves in the woods.

Roar!

Poelman Family in Stadskanaal, Groningen

I had a lovely time spending the afternoon in Stadskanaal with the extended Poelman family, thanks to my talented friend Jet inviting me to do a family photo session. The town of Stadskanaal is right on the border of the province of Drenthe and quite close to Germany, so it's surrounded by lots of big open fields and beautiful forests, both of which are great places for a walk and a laid-back photo shoot. Thank you, Jet, for letting me hang out with you guys!

Before our official shoot started, I just took some candid photos of the grandkids and their grandmother in and around their playhouse, with bubbles, puppets, and tea parties.

D'Arrigo-Wit family photo session at the Noorderplantsoen in Groningen

Cristina and Ernst met in a place neither of them were from, and this beautiful Italian-Dutch family that has travelled the globe is now calling Groningen home. Their beautiful and goofy daughters, Carolina and Isabella, made my work so easy on Sunday morning in the Noorderplantsoen. We got really lucky with some nice spring weather in my very favorite place in the city!

Mother's Day Weekend in Zeeland

This weekend, I was a gift! My friend Jeroen, whose awesome wedding I shot a couple of years ago, was brainstorming about what to get his mom, Josee, for her 60th birthday and Mother's Day, and luckily he and his sisters decided to give their mom the gift of an afternoon of family photography. It was a really fun and beautiful time, the family rented a house at the Noordzee Résidence De Banjaard near the seaside town of Middelburg, and it was my first time traveling to this unique area of the Netherlands. I was welcomed warmly, with generous plates of pasta and Belgian pastries (dessert with lunch, now THAT is a vacation weekend), and was lucky to get to photograph such a nice family in this idyllic setting.

This scene really just felt like walking into a magazine cover, for a story about family and enjoying quality time and good food. It was awesome :)