Milla C. Photography » documentary wedding photography by Milla and Brad Chappell

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Sara and Andy are very in love, and Sara is very pregnant!

Sara and Andy are expecting their first child in a few months and they contacted me to ask for maternity photos to document this time. We took some studio pictures for them to enjoy and then we headed outside for some natural pictures in the beautiful West Park.

Sara and Andy were a joy to hang out with, and I must say, Andy is hilarious and certainly knows how to make his wife (and me) crack up!

Thanks, guys, for allowing me to photograph this amazing time! I so enjoyed it.

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I don’t think I’ve ever met a happier 4-month old than this sweet little boy.

I got to hang out with D and his sweet mom (who is also a wonderful friend of mine) this weekend to document his baptism week. He was happy and grinning most of the time, that is until we blew straight through his normal morning nap-time. The last few pictures show his “please put me to bed” faces!

Thanks, guys, for having me out to document this very special time in the life of your family. We love you all very much and couldn’t be happier for you.

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People often ask me my approach to photography. And, I always hear myself saying the same words: natural, fresh, relaxed, real, etc. etc. etc. So, I want to write a few blog posts explaining what I mean by these words. I’ll write about different types of photography separately – child and family photography, engagement photography, and wedding photography.

Let’s start with child and family photography!

In order to actually explain my approach to and LOVE of child photography, I’ll tell you where I first got my inspiration:

My dad.

My dad is an excellent photographer, and my sister and I are incredibly blessed to have hundreds of natural, candid pictures of our childhood years. One of my all-time favorite pictures was taken of me and my sister holding hands, walking towards the beach in our little swimsuits. My little belly is hanging out and my hair is all messy. My sister’s swimsuit is so awkward (as was her smile at that age), but I LOVE that picture because it’s so “us”. It captures something priceless: an unposed, unscripted, completely natural moment between the two of us.

That picture exemplifies exactly what I want to capture in my photographs: natural, authentic moments. I don’t want to stand your precious little girl in front of a cheesy backdrop, hand her a teddy bear, point a light box at her, and ask for a big smile. This type of photo is stiff and doesn’t tell the story of your child. In fact, when I see this type of child portraiture, I cringe a little. Okay, I cringe a lot. :)

When I take pictures of people’s children, I want to capture a little bit of each child’s essence – her smile, his sense of humor, their interaction with each other. I work hard to interact with children and put them at ease, and when they finally break through and show me the “real” them, I am ready and waiting with the camera to capture the moment.

So there you have it. I want to create photos for your family like my dad created for my family. I want to capture something real and fun. Here are just a few pictures I think show the type of realness and authenticity that I want to capture in every child photo session:

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  • May 1, 2009 - 11:36 am

    Steph - I just seriously can’t get enough of these pictures!ReplyCancel

  • May 1, 2009 - 11:48 am

    Amanda - All of the pictures are so crisp and clear. Their eyes are all beautiful!ReplyCancel

When Adriel first emailed me to talk about wedding photos, I knew that she was a girl after my own heart. We discussed brownies and working out and photos and wedding planning. And after only a few email conversations, I couldn’t wait to meet her.

Adriel and Neal are just as wonderful in person as they seemed through email – they are a happy, genuine couple who are also very in love. And, Brad and I had a blast taking their engagement photos this past weekend.

We will get to hang out with them again soon, as we will be documenting their wedding day on September 19th at Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, WV.

We truly can’t wait! Thanks guys!

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It’s the end of April and it’s finally spring here in the great state of Pennsylvania.

We have been working inside for months- looking for great big windows, learning studio lighting, praying for a little sun. But, not any more, folks. Not any more.

Now we can get outside!

Julia is making her first communion in a few weeks, and Brad and I got to hang out with her in the beautiful sunlight to document this big step in her life. She is a sweet girl who is so grown-up for her age, and we were lucky enough to enjoy her beautiful smile for a little while last week.

Thanks again Julia and Christian and Elaine. We so enjoyed our time with your sweet family.

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  • April 20, 2009 - 2:14 pm

    Emily Lilley - omg, that is one beautiful child! great job, milla!ReplyCancel

  • May 4, 2009 - 10:43 am

    chrissie k - those eyes are breathtaking.ReplyCancel

  • June 28, 2009 - 7:20 am

    alison - This girl could be a model. She is stunning.ReplyCancel

Jack has quite a sense of humor.

And you wouldn’t know it upon meet him, as he seems reserved at first. However, give him just a few minutes and he’ll be telling jokes and showing you his dance moves.

Brad and I were lucky enough to hang out with Jack and take some pictures to commemorate his first communion, which is taking place next week. Jack got a great new first-communion suit, and his mom and dad reserved an amazing little chapel for the photos where we could work inside and out.

Thanks again, guys. I thoroughly enjoyed our time.

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Happy Birthday Phin!!

This weekend, I had the privaledge of hanging out with some very cool kids (and very cool parents, too!) while photographing Phin’s third birthday party!

The day was perfect; it was 70 degrees and sunny out, and the party took place at Phin’s great-grandmother’s home in Verona. We all enjoyed a little food and sun, and the party was a wonderful time filled with family and friends and an amazing Curious George CAKE that his parents made.

Here are a few pictures from the fun event…thanks, guys, for letting me come hang out!

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Hannah is a beautiful, happy, genuine person who loves others deeply. And, I think you can tell it just by seeing her smile.

Hannah is beginning a new job search in acting and broadcasting, and she asked me if I could take some studio headshots to help get the search started. Of course, I was thrilled to do it, and as it turned out, we got to hang out on her birthday and take these pictures.

Thanks, Hannah, for hanging out and smiling until your cheeks hurt! I really enjoyed it.

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I met Naoko when we started graduate school 4 years ago – we took classes together, we studied together, we traveled together, we spent holidays together, and we became wonderful friends. During her stay in the United States, Naoko always talked about a wonderful man who she was best friends with – Masaki. While she was away, their hearts grew fonder, and when she went home, it was always him she wanted to see.

Naoko and Masaki got married yesterday in Tokyo, and I was lucky enough to be there as a bridesmaid and a friend. It was an amazing event – a traditional ceremony in an ancient shrine, a reception and the Tokyo Opera House, and an after-party overlooking Tokyo’s “Times square.” What a night. I am busy traveling again today, but I do want to post a few quick photos of the day before I go.

You were a beautiful bride, Naoko. Thank you for asking me to be part of it all.

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  • March 16, 2009 - 8:08 am

    Emily Lilley - Beautiful photos, Milla!! Congrats to Naoko.ReplyCancel

To follow up on yesterday’s post, after we took pictures of Ryan and Kara, we got to hang out with Adrian and Jenny!

Adrian and Jenny are new friends who are getting married in June – they’re having a wedding here and then going to Taiwan to have a reception with Jenny’s family. We’re so excited for them – these two really are beautiful in so many ways.

p.s. wasn’t Jenny so incredibly brave to wear her beautiful summer dress in Febuary?! That’s what I like to see… forward thinking… spring spring spring.

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Yesterday was a very fun day. When I first opened my eyes in the morning I looked out the window to find ZERO clouds in the sky.

Heaven.

Then, Brad and I headed out to take portraits of two wonderful couples. At nine, we met Kara and Ryan at a nearby park. They were amazing! It is a little out-of-the-ordinary to ride swings and to snuggle and to crawl into kid-sized holes first thing in the morning, but they did it! Here are a few favorites.

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  • February 26, 2009 - 12:23 pm

    The Gentrys - These are wonderful Milla!ReplyCancel

I have been in a bit of a photography funk lately.

I have been staring out my windows at the cold gray sky and thinking “SPRING, please please come.” I am so tired of doing photo sessions inside. I am can’t wait to take pictures outside again!

Or I guess a more accurate statement would be, I can’t wait to take pictures outside again without losing all feeling in my fingers!

Well, Nate and Bridget were such a great cure for my funk. They picked a great location to have pictures taken and then braved the sub-freezing weather like pros (well, they are from Boston…)! Here are some favorites from the shoot. Thanks again, guys.

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  • June 28, 2009 - 7:27 am

    alison - i searched through many of your old posts to find these photos b/c i want to say how memorable they are to me. the heathered colors, their beautiful faces w/ character, their eyes, her scarf, his sweater… so nice. very natural, just my style. great captures through your lens! best wishes to this couple.ReplyCancel

One main purpose of my photography is to document interaction – whether it be wedding photography or child photography, the same principle remains:

Interaction between people is what matters. It’s personal touch that makes life full.

When you look back on photos of your children, it will be nice to have photos of their smiles and eyes, but I think it’s sometimes even nicer to have photos that remind you how tall he was, how she loved snuggling in your lap, or how his little head fit perfectly on that spot on your shoulder.

Here are a few examples of this type of interaction from my photo shoot yesterday with Mr. Aden! He is about to turn two years old, and he and his mom have a sweet relationship. I hope that years from now, these photos will remind his family of a few of the small things that meant so much when he was this age.

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