When I get ready to photograph a family, I have a list of goals or priorities that are uppermost in my mind. First, I obviously want to capture beautiful images that will help families remember their life at this particular moment. But I also want the experience of a family photo session to be fun, joyful, loving and, above all, relaxed. My goal is for families to feel like they’re hanging out with a friend, rather than performing for the camera.

I’ve asked some of my clients to share their thoughts about what it’s like being photographed by me and I’m so happy to share the first of these guest posts with you today. Without further ado, here are the words of a client and friend, as well as some of my favorite photos from the sessions I’ve done with them over the years.

“Catherine has been our family photographer since our daughter Yonit was 3 months old (she is now 3 years old!).  Right before Catherine arrived at our house for that initial photo shoot, my husband and I had been bickering about the cleanliness of our house, what we should wear, and how late we were running.  I appreciated how Catherine, as a mom to two young children, was able to help normalize how exhausted and overwhelmed we were feeling as new parents, as well as help us celebrate the love that we had for each other and our new daughter.  Over the course of that session, Catherine’s kind and gentle manner allowed us to relax and enjoy just being together as a family.  She spent a wonderful amount of time visiting with us and photographing us while we cuddled, nursed, and laughed with our new baby.

I value having photographs that capture precious intimate moments of connection, and yet have often found myself freezing in nervousness during prior photo shoots with other photographers.  Catherine has such a gentle and unobtrusive way about her that I have finally been able to relax and allow myself to be seen and photographed in the way that I have always longed for.  We enjoyed that first session so much that we chose to have her document our family’s journey 5 times over those first two+ years of our daughter’s life.  We have precious photos that really capture our family in a beautiful, fun and authentic way.”
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Catherine Hilcove Photography: Family Photography, Madison WI