* Julian and Eloise


Earlier this week, I was fortunate to sneak away to visit one of my very first childhood friends, Rachel, in Providence. Rache (as I call her) and her husband Matt welcomed twins Julian and Eloise into the world a little more than three months ago. Although it was my intention to lend a hand, I couldn't help but bring my camera and take just a few pictures, too.

This is Rachel. I'll never forget how lucky I was to grow up with a path through the woods connecting our houses and the zillions of memories we made as young friends then, continuing right through our adult life. When Rachel first told me she was pregnant, I was ecstatic but admittedly my heart sank a little that our children wouldn't have the same experiences we did seeing that a) I was not also pregnant and b) we no longer live close enough to one another to have a path through the woods. Regardless, I am quite confident we'll be friends for always no matter what the distance.

This is cutie Julian (appropriately sporting his Maine-made Life is Good bib) and fantastic hubby & father Matt.

Precious quiet.

There wasn't an opportunity for your typical side-by-side teeny weeny twin pics. We were busy! There was always something to hold, wash, feed, burp, pick up or put away. This is real life. Thankfully, Rache and Matt are very organized. They use a web application, Trixie Tracker, to document every feeding, diaper change and nap. It's genius. I don't know how parents could remember this with just one baby, let alone two.

They can use their iPhone and iPod Touch to update each baby's status.

One of the things that amazes me most is that Matt and Rachel have taken a photo of each twin since the day they were born (except for Day 4- they said it was out of focus) and post it on their blog, www.sparveys.com. It's a highlight in my day to see the latest, and watch them grow. Here's beautiful Eloise!

I happened to be visiting on the twins 100th day! Cause for a special photo opp. :) Isn't Eloise's face just priceless (as if she's saying, "Come on, Dad, this is embarrassing!").

I opened up my camera bag and Matt tried out some of my favorite lenses. I showed Matt how natural light adds some drama and contrast to a photo (model Eloise nuzzled in a plush pink blankie from Auntie Em. Can you guess what color Julian has?!).

In telling their story, I wanted to also include their beloved cats. Here, dear Fluster looks, well, flustered, a seemingly constant state since the babies have arrived. Babies are an adjustment for pets, too.

The beauty of photojournalism is story-telling in a single image. I love how Rachel is nurturing baby Eloise and also petting the cat, and the added detail of the burp cloth dangling from her waist. Without ever seeing her face, you know she's a mom doing a great balancing act (ironically she's also balancing one foot on the ottoman). And a darn good one!

Details are very important for storytelling images, too. They show scale...

Details tell the obvious story without the main subject present...

And sometimes images speak their own caption!

Using different focal lenses give your images visual variation. You can shoot standard...

...or wide.

Each night after the babies have gone to sleep, Matt and Rachel edit their images from the day and update their blog.

Supporting elements in a storytelling image can report time.

And who says blurry photos aren't allowed? When done correctly, blur creates a welcome motion of action.

Rachel and Matt, I am SO proud of you! Julian and Eloise are just perfect and you are both doing so well. I want to come back and see you again real soon. In the meantime, I'll be following your blog. Now, go sneak in a little shut eye! Hugs!


  1. Anonymous2:45 PM

    What beautiful babies and so lucky to have Rachel and Matt for parents! A fun photo story to follow-I learned some photography things from this post!!! And I loved the story about that path to Rachel's house-such fun and happy memories for us! Kate

  2. Emilie, thank you for this wonderful recounting of the weekend. Rachel has told me how hard you worked to help them out with their myriad chores; she so appreciated and enjoyed your visit. I'm glad that, in the midst of it all, you had time to take these pictures, too. They are beautiful, and the narrative is lovely (and informative!). Nothing can replace good times shared in childhood. I stood at one end of the path and your mom stood at the other as you girls trotted through. It was sweet. Best to you--Grammy Julie

  3. Emilie~
    I followed Rachel's link to your blog from Sparveys.com. These are beautiful photos. I love love the picture of the hands in focus with little Ellie bean blurry in the background. Beautiful. =)

  4. Anonymous10:54 AM

    Hi Emilie! I can't help but comment on the coincidence. I went to college with Rachel and Matt! (Well, Brian and I both did, but I sang with Rachel.) It took me a sec to put two and two together. I'm so glad to see pictures of the twins.

  5. Em, as fantastic as these pictures are, they are just a (big) bonus to your visit. It was wonderful to catch up with you. How far we've come since the path through the woods! Looking forward to many more great times together. Come back soon!


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