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Lehigh Valley Photographers: The Macus Family

A bouncing high-energy toddler, adorable newborn and a couple that I started working with for their *engagement photos*…

What I treat to watch this beautiful family grow!  Ashley and Joe chose to have me capture their engagement, wedding, baby and now family photos…

When I asked Ashley and Joe why they keep choosing Rhinehart Photography they both agreed, “It’s the vibrant, crisp/clear photos with that creative flair and emotional impact.”

Ashley added, “I also love your bubbly personality and that you are always willing to go with flow and go the extra mile to ensure that you capture the best shots.” Joe added, “It’s that wow factor. When I see a photo that strikes me, it generally comes with the heart watermark on it somewhere!”

I’ll start out with this super crisp/clear photo of baby Christian…

 As I photographed Christian, the family dog, Jake, seemed to have this reverence for him.  Can you see that in his expression?

Ashley shared, “Jake has been the most patient, sweet dog for the boys.”

Ashley shared, “We wanted to have a few photos that captured Christian as a newborn- because if he turns out anything like his dad or brother, we will need a good reminder about just how small he used to be, haha!”

Again the detail in this photograph really capture not just his baby face, but also his little rolls, his tiny hairs, so incredibly sweet!

I asked Joe if there was anything he has learned from being a father of two that he’d like to pass on to other soon to be parents.

He said, “I would say to trust your instincts, and also to be patient.”  It is so sweet to see this strapping well over six foot firefighter cradling a newborn!

Every photo session we’ve had, we incorporated firefighting in some way– this was no exception…

Joe explained, “We also really wanted you to capture a genuine, relaxed feel that captures the emotions and everyday happenings that a family with two little ones experiences. Sometimes it’s those little moments that are just taken for granted and we wanted to be able to look back on these times.”

While most of the opening “sleepy baby” photos are more traditional portraits, as soon as Joey woke up from his nap, I quickly moved into photo-journalistic (action!) mode, capturing those little moments.   Here he’s playing his own version of hide and seek with his dad…

Joey!!!

Joey and dad crawled on the floor, wrestled…

tickling may have been involved…

I like how there are airplanes in the background and Joey takes flight…

Ashley and Joe’s home is stunning.  I complimented the beveled glass panes, crystal chandelier and large windows.

Ashley explained, “We designed our home from scratch. We chose the lot (making sure it was close the firehouse of course), every light fixture (down to switch location), every paint color, floor tile, brick color, fireplace, bathroom fixture, etc. Everything was custom chosen and designed by us.”

You could tell they had put so much thought into it…

Ashley shared, “My biggest challenge in family life has been transitioning from a full-time teacher to a full-time mom. As hard as it was to make the decision, it was important for to me to be able to spend these integral first years raising and “teaching” my boys.  I wouldn’t trade the rewards of kisses, giggles, and extra smiles for anything.”

She continued, “Time and time again, I’ve heard the mantra, “The days are long, but the years are short.” This couldn’t be more true, and for that I thank Joe for being able to give me the gift of spending these days at home.”

I know Joe and Ashley like when I get play around artistically and get a little creative, so I brought the crystals into this photo of Ashley and Christian…

I asked about their free time.  They both laughed, as if to say, ‘what free time?’ then shared, “We love taking walks together, playing outside, reading books, and going on vacations and day trips with the boys.”

Haaaa Joey started vacuuming the house like a pro, moving furniture to get behind it properly etc, it was the cutest thing!  I used a slow shutter to capture his movement.

I knew how much they would appreciate a family photo.  It was on their list of wants, but we knew how hard it would be to pull off with an infant and toddler involved.

I have to say, guys, I’m very impressed with this one:

Ok, so I probably went a little bit overboard with these photos in Joey’s bounce house, but the cuteness, the color, the lines, I really couldn’t help myself!

I thought this perspective was interesting and like the lines, shapes and colors here.  It also captures his little toddler ears, hands, feet so sweetly…

Joey stopped occasionally to show his parents something cool…

But for the most part he was bouncing non-stop!!!

He would try to involve Ashley however he could, throwing balls out to her…

Come-on mom!!!

Are you coming?  I liked this pattern, framing and texture as Joey looks for Ashley…

Joey coaxed Ashley in and they bounced together it was pretty much the cutest thing.

Little tikes if you are looking for bounce house models, ahem, these two are perfect… 😉

Joe commented, “Ashley is so devoted and attentive as a mom, spending every day “on the front lines” with the kids, and the successes we have had as parents and as a family are because of the routines she has established with the boys.”

Ashley is incredibly dedicated, she’s literally willing to do whatever it takes, and I think you can see it here when she went down the slide to show Joey how it is done, haha!

When I asked Ashley about parenting advice, she shared, “For me, some of the best parenting advice has come from my teaching career. One of the things I was taught to do as a teacher was to focus on the positive interactions I had with students. The goal was to always have 5 positive interactions for every 1 negative interaction. I try to aim for the same with the boys. I aim to build up their self-confidence and say, “yes” as much as possible, as to try and not limit their curiosity and excitement. “No” is reserved for things that would cause harm, are dangerous, or are just not negotiable. So I focus on the positive and encourage creativity and curiosity in our boys.”

After seeing mommy do it, Joey was game!

Joe said, “There is no replacement for the feeling you get when you see a huge smile on your kiddos face.”

If you look in the background you can see one of the canvas prints from Ashley and Joe’s wedding in the background!  Yes it’s the one with the fire truck!

Ashley and Joe, it was great to catch up with you two ad watch your family grow!

If you’d like to see more of these cuties, check out some of my other blogs here.

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