I was introduced to Korri when Paigely (now 6) was 2 months old. We were living in the city and I was just starting to come out of that “new-mama-what-just-hit-me-haze.” I thought pictures of our newborn, who was no longer a newborn, would be nice to have (can I get things to think about before birth for $100 Alex?) Korri arrived carrying a camera, a baby walker, and her 1 year old son. She placed him in the walker and started shooting before we even said hello. She was young. But the confidence she had with that camera suggested she had been doing this for 50 years. You know when you just know someone was born to do something? Korri Leigh Crowley was born to be a photographer.
“This is hard” I say as I watch her climb onto a chair to get a better angle. “What is?” she asks without averting her eyes from my baby. “Motherhood” I sigh, realizing I didn’t have very many adults to talk to during the day. “I know, it really is” she sighs and looks back at me in camaraderie. Little did I know Korri was a single mother supporting her son with her craft.
“Get on the bed with her, facing me” she directed, down on her belly now. “Oh no, these are just of her, I don’t want to be in them” I suggest, tugging at my shirt, still self conscious from delivery. “You have to be in them” she told me in the most friendliest of ways, “You’re her Mama.” You see Korri doesn’t just take pictures, she documents stories. And wasn’t I a part of this story? Here is that image from 2011. I framed it.
Since then Korri has been capturing our family “stories” in a way that I could never have imagined. She just gets it. She gets me. I texted her before she came over to shoot Riggs’s newborn photos and said my house was a disaster – did she have any backdrops? “Not my style” she replied. Right, I knew that, I thought. “Stand in the window right there, turn a little to the left” she coaches, taking pictures with one hand while playing some form of dodgeball against Decker (who she’s also known since infancy) with the other.
Paigely is over the entire thing and wants no part of it. I’m bribing her with God knows what but it’s not working. What the hell did we get? I think after our photography sessions end. Yet every time I get back her images, my heart turns to soup. Because you know what she excels at? The in-between. The moments that are fleeting and real and raw. My favorite pictures of hers are the ones you would never use on the cover of a birth announcement. My favorite photos of hers are of the things I love to write about. She’s the butter to my bread. Thank you, Korri, from the bottom of our hearts …that you have a habit of capturing again and again. Here are my favorite outtakes from Riggs’s shoot, I’ll be doing another post with the formals.
All Photos: Photography By KLC. Check out her new website!