Cherishing the Chaos: The Story Behind our Meaningful Family Photoshoot with Allebach Photography

Family photoshoot, philadelphia

My Journey With Allebach Photography

I’ve been following and admiring Allebach Photography since the local newspaper I was working for at the time (about 11 years ago now) tasked me with photographing Mike for a feature story. I was fresh out of college and totally intimidated by the thought of photographing such an experienced and, to be honest, seemingly badass, photographer. Mike, however, could not have been nicer and more down to earth and was super easy going. At the time he was marketing himself as the “tattooed bride photographer” and though I was in awe at how beautifully photographed these women were, since I, alas, am tattoo less, I didn’t think too much about ever getting the opportunity to be one of his clients. 

I did however, continue to follow his work online and we eventually reconnected a few years later when he was looking for a writer to manage his blog. As I began writing about his clients and their stories, I noticed he wasn’t just gifted at photographing offbeat weddings; he had an impressive portfolio that included family photography, professional headshots, engagements, and most recently, boudoir. It seemed that no matter the milestone, the venue, the people, he had the skill for not just capturing but creating beautiful moments in time. As silly as it sounds, it wasn’t until then that I realized I had to experience Allebach Photography for myself!

Mom and kids, studio family photoshoot North Wales
Dad and kids, family photoshoot

Our Family Photo Session

When my husband and I got pregnant with our third child, I realized that this was the perfect opportunity. They say that when you know you’re done having children you know and halfway through my pregnancy I realized that this was it for us, for me and that made this session all the more important. I was so excited for these photos, I booked our session months in advance and just a few weeks after my son was born, we loaded up the mini van and came into the studio.  

Dad and newborn son

As someone with a bit of experience in family photographer myself, I was a little nervous at how our session would go down with three children under the age of five. As anyone with children can tell you, you can’t “make” them do anything they don’t want to! 

Luckily, Erika, who took the lead on photographing our session, is phenomenal with little kids. During our initial consultation, she took the time to learn about each of my children and their personalities. She learned about their favorite activities and shows, and brought out bubbles to get the kids relaxed and having fun before we really got started. She played the album from one of my son’s favorite shows, Number Blocks, and had him singing the times tables. When the kids playfully ran out of a shot, she played along with them, chasing them back into the photo. 

The more my kids ran, laughed and played, the more I was able to relax. They were having fun and we were capturing exactly what it means to be a family of five. Our session was at times both chaotic and precious. One second my husband was wrestling my two older kids on the bed, the next second they were tenderly hugging and kissing their new baby brother. 

One of my favorite parts of our session was at the end, when my older kids were tapped out and snacking. Erika pulled out some accessories, draped me in a rich magenta robe and a crown and took some really precious photos of just me and my new son resting on my chest, as if he’d just finished nursing. I nursed all of my children and knowing that this is the last time just made it all the more memorable.  

The Photo Reveal

I honestly didn’t know how well all that chaos was going to translate into photos, but when I sat down with Erika for our photo reveal and the photos popped up on their projector, my heart just melted. Mike and Erika were able to capture the chaos that felt both tender and very real, which is exactly what I wanted. Did I want that photo of the five of us looking happy and smiling at the camera? Of course, who doesn’t? And we got that. But I also just as much wanted the ones where my kids were running after each other, making silly faces and just being themselves. 

It was harder than I thought it would be, but I really enjoyed creating our family album with Erika. Though I literally loved every single photo, we were able to narrow it down to the strongest photos and I think it’s truly going to be a beautiful family heirloom that we’re proud to share in our home. I’m so happy we got to document this important milestone in our family’s life and there’s no studio I would have trusted more with this experience.

If you’re looking for authentic photos of your family, I highly recommend giving the studio a ring! You can chat with Mike or Erika at 610.539.6920 or visit to book your own free consultation. 

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