Brooklyn Family Photographer Raquel Frechette Features Susannah Ludwig in Mornings with Series

I met Raquel Frechette a few years ago and have been inspired by her and her work ever since. When she mentioned her new photo project to me and we discussed our participating, it was an easy yes. 

Image by Raquel Frechette,   Mornings with Series  , 2018 

Image by Raquel Frechette, Mornings with Series, 2018 

I think Raquel has an exquisite, intuitive eye and working with her was easy and filled with fun. It was moving and interesting to experience being on the opposite side of the camera, but she made it comfortable and fun for me and for my son. I didn't feel self conscious - and as you can see in the images, neither did Jack.

I had the feeling that my son and I were given the opportunity to learn from a master. And I feel grateful to have had that. Raquel and I share the same professional/life philosophy, namely that these small, everyday moments of our lives are the ones to cherish.  I am so thankful that Raquel took the time to cherish our moments. These photos are a gift - one that I will hang onto always and that I feel privileged to share with you. 

Power of Storytelling: Moms Need to Tell Their Own

I was interviewed for an article published in Forbes featuring Portraits that Move and talking about "how to capture the best moments of your life."  Through the interview process and seeing a piece of my own story - and the story of Portraits that Move - in print, it reinforced how powerful the act of telling your story is.  And, also how many stories each of us has to share.

The Forbes article on Portraits that Move focuses on my life as an entrepreneur mom.  It tells of my inspiration for the business, my work, and my commitment to the families that trust us to share their stories, to share their children's voices, observations and experiences with them.

Reading about Portraits that Move in Forbes Magazine, I see the story of moms and dads who, like the article's author, Carrie Kerpen, want to shine a light on the fleeting moments of childhood and family life, to return to those moments, to celebrate and share them, and to live them to the fullest. 

So share your stories, in some way, every day.  And allow us to help you be part of the story not watching it from behind the camera. We want to give the gift of presence to you, with love, with joy and with celebration. 

Business Travel: How a Working Mom Can Stay Connected to Her Kids

I’ve been traveling a lot for business lately and I am reminded of how important it is to stay connected to our children when we are separated by distance and how lucky we are to have technology that allows us to do so. 

On my most recent trip to LA, my son and I took full advantage of Facetime, talking together once, and sometimes twice, a day.  It is by no means perfect, and can be difficult to get your child’s attention when you’re not in the same room together (then again, it can be difficult to get their attention when you are in the same room together).  But overall, I was so impressed by and appreciative of the way that Facetime helped us to connect while I was so far away.

Having an image and being able to look into someone’s eyes, makes it so much easier to connect with our kids.  While it can be hard to have a real conversation over the phone with my son, Facetime helped us to connect with and really listen to each other.  For him, at seven, the fact that it was digital and a little techy made it exciting and more fun than holding a phone to his ear.

More than any other time, these business trips have emphasized for me just how much of a role technology plays in keeping us connected and close.  So often, parents bemoan technology and the ways it can fragment, or separate and certainly, this can be true, but in this crazy pace of life, we really are fortunate to have this kind of technology in that it can also keep us together.


They Need to Know You Are OK

One thing I have realized as a working mom who travels is that our kids need to know that we are safe and comfortable when we are away from them.  My son needs to know that when I leave home I am not just out in the ether.  Anything that we can do to help our kids visualize where we are and how we are, anything that provides context for them, helps to ease their minds – and gets them excited about the adventure we are taking, the adventure we are sharing with them as best we can.

My colleague Rebecca sent her daughter daily photos from our set and snapped pictures of the airplane before we boarded all of our flights.  All of this helped her daughter to see that mom is not just away from, she is out doing, and she is happy to share that with her. 

I Facetimed my son from my hotel room every morning (in spite of the time difference that had me up before 5 am) and took him on a tour so he could see the desk where I was working and the view from my window. He could see what I see and know what I am doing.  We could share moments with each other.

We Need to Know They Are OK

The challenges of business travel for working moms are not limited to managing the emotions, and the expectations of our kids.  We need to feel anchored to our children, to know that they are safe and well and thriving.  Knowing this makes it easier to be fully present in our work. It provides us comfort and security. It is essential to the success of our work.

My son’s annual field day was held while I was away and I was struggling a bit, knowing I would miss it.  But his dad shot video of him jumping hurdles and playing with his friends and sent them to me.  He recorded my son’s messages to me.  I cherished all of it. 

The videos made me feel connected and helped me to feel confident that, no matter what, my son and I share a bond.  And that I can still celebrate in his joys, even when I’m not right there on the sidelines.

Thank you - The Best Prayer Anyone Could Say

“'Thank you' is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.”

-Alice Walker

This month marks a year since we publicly announced the launch of Portraits That Move, and what an incredible one it has been.

Who could have predicted that, when the inspiration hit me – in the middle of the night, no less – how deeply meaningful this work would be for me and how much passion it would inspire in me on a daily basis.  It has been completely amazing in all senses of the word.

yearofjoy

So, in celebration of our first year, and in consideration of the quote above from Ms. Walker, it’s my turn to offer up my sincere gratitude for the Portraits That Move adventure so far.

First, I am so grateful to the kids who have let us videotape them. It is not always easy to have someone asking questions and a camera there- but all of the kids were incredible. They were present and joyful, they were honest, and they had fun. I laughed and learned at every single shoot.

girl drawing year of joy

Second, thank you to the parents who have become our clients - for trusting me with your children and for believing in the importance of documenting our lives. It has been with tremendous joy that we have done this work. Thank you for allowing us to do it and for spreading the word to friends and family, and for supporting us in all the ways that you have.

As well, thank you to the whole Portraits That Move team – the best team ever. Every one of you is special and crazy talented, and brilliant, and energetic and generous. I am grateful for all of you. The teamwork makes the journey even sweeter.  

family documentaries

Of course, without the backing of my friends and family, I would have given up 11 months ago.  Your support has been limitless and there are not enough words to tell all of you how much it means to me.  Thank you!

And finally, I am most grateful to my son. To be his mom every day - to see the world through his eyes and his voice - it is truly the greatest gift of my life.

city kids striped sweater brick wall

Thank you all for your words of kindness, for joining us on social media, and for being a part of our community.   Stay connected for special offers, new announcements and sneak previews: join our community mailing list today.

With much love,

Susannah