How one family proves that good design AND kids are a perfect match

Client session | Toronto Real Life Family Photographer

Before we had kids of our own people were always telling us, ‘oh, enjoy your nice stuff now — once you have kids you can’t have anything that’s worth anything until they move out.’ Yet another slew of really awesomely uplifting parenting advice. As a photographer (and someone who likes home style and design), this seemed crazy — but also frightening. No more nice furniture. Nothing breakable. FORGET about art.

What if my future life was doomed to be a slightly-better-but-not-really version of a university dorm room?

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A life surrounded by cheap modular furniture, mass produced poster art and zero accounting for taste? Sounded more like a life sentence than a "practical” decision.

But like most things in our life, we took a wait and see approach. Let’s see what this first (and eventually second) kid was like. After all, they don’t come out writing on the walls with crayons or eating strawberries on the white carpet (thank goodness).

Here’s what we found: most newborns (up to at least six months if not later) can survive even the swankiest of pads. You carry them everywhere and even when you put them down they don’t move. Enjoy your midcentury teak dining table. Keep that white couch in your living room. You’re still in control.

Shockingly (not really!), we quickly discovered that kids ADAPT to the life you’ve surrounded them with. Within reason, of course, but we did not have to sacrifice our penchant for style at the expense of our children.

We hung beautiful art from our travels on the walls. We bought the furniture WE wanted, keeping in mind that any of us might spill on it — not just our kids. And we designed bathrooms and kitchens that we wanted to spend time in. Heck, we even had (and still do!) a glass coffee table in our family room from when our son was less than a year old. It can be done!

And so it was such a delight (and validation) to meet this beautiful family who very obviously are living the same ethos we do: beautiful design can be perfectly complementary to life with a family.

In many ways, the space and lightness that beautiful spaces often have create wondrous places for kids’ imaginations to thrive.

This family’s modern, light, bright and inviting home held reminders of family live everywhere. There was no doubt this was a home where children lived. Where a family loved. And where the parents were beautifully content by their surroundings.

One of the main reasons I continue to love capturing the real lives of families is precisely what I discovered with this family: that no two of us are alike and yet we are aligned in our desire to create memories that are based on the reality we’re living. I could make all my families pose the same, show up to the same spots, wear the same types of clothing. But I don’t. I can’t. There is something in me that always wants the real story of a family to shine through and that can only be done on their terms, in their space. No matter what it looks like.

This is beautiful real life family photography.

Ready to book your real life session? I can’t promise you perfection, but I can promise you photographs you will realize you cannot live without.