whatever you want, Winnie Bruce can rock it

image of mother making breakfast daughter helping kitchen by winnie bruce

Before Winnie Bruce picked up a camera and before she came to California at fourteen, her family owned coffee and coconut farms in the Phillipines. She comes by her love for coffee naturally not that she seems to need any caffeine. Her energetic, positive disposition shines through in her photography and her attitude towards clients. Unsurprisingly, her clients quickly turn into friends.

photo of young freckles red hair boy arms crossed on table looking at camera by Winnie Bruce

As a military spouse, Winnie was fortunate to stay on the west coast for almost a decade until last year when duty called over yonder to Maryland. She said good-bye to the only house her two young sons, Elliott and Finnegan, had known and an established photography business. Two days after she and her family landed in Maryland, Winnie posted a message on Facebook from her new, empty house saying that she fantasized about going back to California to shoot. Within hours, that dream was a reality. She had booked enough sessions to make the trip a reality. While it snowed on the east coast, Winnie flew west to shoot families like the Butler family.

picture of dad grinning at camera kitchen table with kids breakfast by Winnie Bruce

image of mother and father at kitchen table smiling talking coffee cup by winnie bruce

photo of mother from behind holding young daughter black white kitchen by Winnie Bruce

Meet the Butlers. This wasn’t the first time Winnie took pictures of the Butlers; but it was the first time that they chose an at-home lifestyle over a standard portrait session. Their daughter had developed sensory issues that made clothing choices and poses uncomfortable so the relaxed unstructured session fit their family. Instead of well-ironed outfits and a flawless location, they chose breakfast at home which unexpectedly led to a water fight and ended in a grown man in a wolf costume. You just never know what will happen.
picture of two young red headed children boy girl playing with water in driveway by Winnie Bruce

photo of father pouring water on young son back in driveway by winnie bruce
photo of two young red headed siblings water fight in driveway by winnie bruce

Nothing from the session was planned. We had coffee, breakfast, Evan went outside with a little tupperware, Mason joined her with his legos. All of a sudden, a water fight erupted! Tyson disappeared for a few minutes, then out come a wolf! I’d have to agree with them as well that out of all the sessions we’ve done, and I think there’s been about 6, this is my number one favorite. It was a great change, and just shows all of their personalities!

picture of young red headed girl looking into camera smile by winnie bruce

image of two red headed siblings brother sister planning water fight by winnie bruce

photo of young girl pink orange bokeh in foreground by Winnie Bruce

photo of man in wolf suit spraying two young children with hose in driveway by winnie bruce

In accommodating the Butler’s personal needs, Winnie managed to shoot their favorite session to date. While we all want that shot of our perfectly coiffed family looking dashing and blissful atop a heavenly mound, what a gift the mundane reality of our lives is. Especially if there’s a wolf involved.

image of man dressed in gray wolf costume in front of trees by winnie bruce

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  • Susan Butler says:

    I’m so thrilled to see Winnie Bruce get the recognition she deserves. She has really changed my understanding of what family photos can be and has evolved our sessions based on the needs of my children. If you get an opportunity to work with her, you should. She has made connections with my family that are so unexpected and treasured, and we have gotten to know her as well…the images she produces are a byproduct of the beautiful way she looks at the world. We love that she embraces our weirdness instead of trying to edit it out. It’s a true blessing that she’s catching our authentic life in the crazy, short time we have our children.

  • Maddie says:

    Too cute! You do really fun work, I love it. These are great.

  • Patty says:

    So fun! Everyone should have a session that captures their unique and “mundane” moments. It really is the stuff of dreams. Brava!

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