February in Fairbanks, Alaska is a time of little daylight. Only four to five hours of sunlight per day places logistical constraints on scheduling a family session. That doesn’t stop photographer Sarah Lewis from making the best of it in this light filled, sunny home full of joyful expressions of love for each other, straight from her clients’ home on the banks of the Chena River. A modern fairytale in the making, new mom Alyson, an Australian native, came to Alaska on a grand adventure in her wanderlust-filled youth, and, in her own words, couch-surfed her way to Fairbanks – where she met Jesse, and never left. Now they have a beautiful family in their marriage and their baby boy. The family just embarked on the long trip back to Oz, where the word is, Baby Jackson did wonderfully on the long flight.
We asked Sarah some questions about her photography process and approach and she graciously shared with us.
LTK: How do you get your clients to relax and create intimate moments in your presence?
SL: The main thing I tell my clients is that I will tell them what I need to do…and that if I’m not saying anything, it means they’re being PERFECT. I just want them to enjoy their baby, and each other – and to try to ignore me as much as possible.
LTK: We love the way you capture connections between family members. What is your favorite lens to use in a session like this?
SL: I shot this entire session with my “nifty fifty” Nikkor 50mm F1.4. which I think I would have to name as my favorite lens. I love the range of depth of field it offers, and of course that bokeh.
LTK: Do you have a favorite image out of this set?
SL: I think my favorite image from the session might be one of the breastfeeding images, where Alyson is smiling down at her baby and just soaking the moment in. It really sums up the quiet, intimate, and important moments of parenthood: though the quiet moments might be few and far between, when they occur they simply contain everything in the universe, in the best possible way.
LTK: What do you hope your clients see when they look back on these images in the years to come?
SL: When they look back on these photos, I hope it gives my clients the opportunity to pause and remember – and enjoy – their family as it was at this particular moment of time – to treasure each portrait as an authentic overture to the beauty that was always there hiding in the everyday moments.
Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your beautiful words, photos, and approach to family photography.