Channing Johnson Photography » A Photographer's Journal

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Five Years

Brooke married me five years ago today (photo below taken by our dear friend Yoon). A few things have changed since then. Brooke worked hard to transition to a great new career. We have a mortgage and a place we plan on calling home shy of forever. Oh, and we’ve created human life. We have a beautiful son that embodies our love and will see our connection live on in at least one more generation if not through countless branches. Going from two to three has been the biggest change in the past five years, and some of that transition has been really hard for us. When you stand up in front of your friends and family and make a pledge to someone that will cover the next 60 years, you can only imagine the rest of your life abstractly. Our vows five years ago didn’t cover the self-doubt and frustration you take out on your partner when your inability to soothe a screaming infant frightens you. And I’m guessing there will be events in the next 55 years that are unimaginable to the current me, let alone the 28-year-old Channing. But I’m going to pat myself on the back for choosing a damn good partner (and being lucky enough she chose me). We’re different people in more than a few ways, but there’s no one I have more trust for, no one with a stronger instinct to support and nurture, no one with a better set of values, and no one that could be a better mom for Ellis. She also gives the best kisses. But! The trust, the values, the ability to nurture (I might require more than Ellis) all make a pretty good foundation for someone you’ll never stop getting to know. Brooke is good for me. I’m trying my damndest to be as good for her.

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Connie and Ben

I’ve known Connie and Ben for awhile. This past year we became co-workers (they let me share their studio space). When I moved into the space I assumed the perks would be having two of the best photographers I know a chair swivel away for valuable advice and second opinions. I didn’t realize we’d become such close friends. And even though we got to know each other well in our “efficient” working quarters, I learned even more about them when I went to St. Francisville, Louisiana to shoot their wedding. I learned how emotionally present they can be, and I learned (even more) how much they truly adore one another. The weekend and the whole trip was so special. Not sure when I’ll get back to Afton Villa and such a charming town, but I sure would like to return. Congratulations, Connie and Ben! And a quick shout out to Apryl and her beautiful floral designs and to Donna who did a wonderful job coordinating. Both are also friends with Connie and Ben here in Boston.

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Sean Lorenz - Wow! Just…wow.April 19, 2014 – 7:37 pm

kelly lorenz - I expect nothing less, and yet with every photo I am awed.April 19, 2014 – 7:34 pm

Laura - THE. BIBS. ARE. PERFECTION. Wonderful set!!! Teary-eyed.April 17, 2014 – 2:53 pm

Marko - Gorgeous Channing, you captured their day and spirit perfectly.April 16, 2014 – 7:47 pm

Krista - Oh my goodness, these are beautiful! I just LOVE the one of them right after the ceremony with their heads together – so wonderful. Great job Channing! And Congratulations Ben & Connie!!!April 16, 2014 – 6:04 pm

Christina - Everyone else said it already, but these are amazing. I want to be a guest at this wedding!April 16, 2014 – 5:31 pm

megan spelman - So, so good.April 16, 2014 – 3:58 pm

Marcella Hoekstra - this just made my day, so wonderful. I bet Virginias toast was epic! ;)April 16, 2014 – 2:57 pm

Leah Haydock - Seriously Channing?!?!? I kept thinking that I had a favorite and then I saw the next picture. There are no words that can say how amazing your images are and how happy Connie and Ben look. Perfection.April 16, 2014 – 2:57 pm

Ashley O'Dell - I expected no less, everything you touch is perfection!April 16, 2014 – 1:46 pm

mikhail glabets - Beautiful wedding, awesomely captured!April 16, 2014 – 1:17 pm

Yun Young Bae - It was a beautiful wedding. Congratulations Connie and Ben.April 16, 2014 – 12:22 pm

lisa rigby - This might be the best ever.April 16, 2014 – 11:59 am

Dahlia - These are unbelievable! What a gorgeous couple, wedding, and images!April 16, 2014 – 10:13 am

Sarah Bastille - SWOON. Channing, these are beyond beautiful…April 16, 2014 – 12:55 am

Three Months

Ellis started daycare this week. Which means Brooke is back to work. I’ll leave out the picture of Brooke crying after we left him in the care of (very sweet) strangers for the first time. It’s been an emotional week. But it’s also been one with lots of promise. Unlike much of the first two months, we seem to be flirting with a stretch where everyone seems to be moving to a similar rhythm. For the moment.

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Katie Quack - Brooke – it gets better, and easier, I promise! You will resent work for wasting your valuable time for awhile, but you will come to love his daycare teachers for loving him and helping you. You’re doing the right thing! This baby is gorgeous, by the way ;)March 14, 2014 – 4:42 pm

Megan - THAT is a beautiful baby!!March 13, 2014 – 3:45 pm

Melissa - That first picture of him all wrapped up is adorable!March 13, 2014 – 1:28 pm

Jamie Daniel - What a beautiful little guy! I love the one of him and Brooke in the snow.March 13, 2014 – 12:49 pm

katie b. - Great photos Channing! He is so adorable!March 13, 2014 – 12:49 pm

Nikki - How bitter sweet all these moments are!March 13, 2014 – 12:47 pm

Erin killian - He’s truly a beautiful baby.March 13, 2014 – 12:37 pm

Best of 2013

I’ve been a professional photographer for 10 years now. Six of those years I’ve been a wedding photographer. After 200 ceremonies I’m glad to say I still really love my job. Every wedding has the same outline, but each one has a new set of people and relationships. And to experience intimate moments usually reserved for those closest is the greatest privilege. It influences the way I live my own life and often encourages me to be a better son, brother, husband, and now, father. Below is a bunch of favorite memories from 2013. Not all of my favorites, but a bunch of them. Enjoy.

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Jamie Daniel - Amazing photos Channing, as always. You really capture the love in some beautiful moments.
(BTW: the side eye that baby is throwing in one of the early photos is possibly THE BEST I’ve ever seen. We should all take note.)March 13, 2014 – 12:48 pm

Katie | Dreamlove - I love that luna moth shot!! Pretty sure if I could somehow be a nature-wedding photographer, that would be my dream. Lovely work, such joyful moments… Hope 2014 is just as amazing for you Channing!February 22, 2014 – 10:16 pm

Michelle Russell - Me hitting JR in the eye (oopsies!) was one of my favorite moments ever, too! I kept begging him to not cake me, but when he did….I had to bring out my ninja skills. Thank you for capturing that. You’re the best Channing….a part of our crazy family now…we love you! :)February 17, 2014 – 8:45 am

Anna Tabakova - Such a great set of photos. Love the grannies, they are wicked cool, and on one of the first photos with the baby he is like saying “what is this, a cookie?”. AdorableFebruary 14, 2014 – 2:15 pm

Joe Woodberry - You have such a good eye. I can see emotion in each of these photos.
That is a true talent.February 10, 2014 – 9:32 pm

Getting Acquainted

Ellis has seven weeks underneath his belt. He seems to digest things (a little) better, cry less, sleep (a little) longer at night, and he’s even starting to smile at the absurd noises and faces his two giant roommates make. I felt a connection to the kid from the first time I saw him. But the fatigue, frustration, and the burden of such a bizarre, life-changing event is slowly making room for an incredible love for someone I barely know.

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Nikki - Bravo to a GREAT year of photos! Thanks for sharing.February 13, 2014 – 5:50 pm

megan - As usual, your photos are beautiful and full of emotion. Your words are killing it too. Your son is so lucky to have his story told so well from the start. P.S. You made it through the first month! It’s all uphill from here.January 28, 2014 – 6:02 pm

Joline - Beautiful true to life images!January 28, 2014 – 3:55 pm

kristin - The matching clothes are killing me. I feel like parenthood can be summed up like this: You’re assigned an alien who knows absolutely nothing about our customs and it’s your job to teach them. I try to remember this when I’m cleaning up a kitchen table painted with tomato soup.January 28, 2014 – 12:59 pm

Tyler - I cannot recall a more challenging time than the first year with our oldest. Even with three under two, the first venture into arena of fatherhood was more than I expected. Many people said to us, “It gets better” and It does – but I think it’s more true to acknowledge that loving something so fragile is hard, hard work.January 28, 2014 – 12:54 pm

Brenna Jennings - Look at you in the wrap! And Brooke in the dark. Love these.
And of course, a tip: I always had a hand-pump next to the bed for when the boobs were ready but the baby was not. Because ouch. xoJanuary 28, 2014 – 12:28 pm

Alexis and Matt

I can’t think of a better way to cap off a wonderful 2013 than with an intimate seaside winter wedding. Alexis and Matt got married at Castle Hill in Newport. The temperature outside was cold, but that made the celebration (and the fireplaces) that much more warm and inviting. I’m really happy for Alexis and Matt and am so glad I was there to document it. Congratulations, guys!

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No Kid Hungry

Last summer I went on a five-week trip to five different cities with No Kid Hungry. We went to Baltimore, Little Rock, Detroit, Dallas and Denver. It was a research trip that focused on families struggling to nourish their kids despite having at least one full-time employed adult in the home. Finding out what is working for these families and what is not will hopefully help shape public policy to be more efficient and effective. Ending childhood hunger is a pretty easy cause to get behind. And the privilege to spend time in the homes of these wonderful families was a real honor.

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Anna Tabakova - Oh yes, this is not just photos, you managed to show real lifeFebruary 14, 2014 – 2:16 pm

megan - Incredible work, Channing.January 23, 2014 – 4:32 pm

Kelly Lorenz - These are by far some of my favorite images of yours.January 23, 2014 – 2:19 pm

Kati and Matt

I love winter weddings. They’re a little more challenging technically speaking, but people gathering to celebrate during the shortest days of the year ends up accentuating the warmth of Christmas lights and good company. Kati and Matt were married at St. Johns and then went to the Hawthorne Hotel for a really fun reception. Congratulations, Kati and Matt.

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Anna Tabakova - Party hard)great wedding visionFebruary 14, 2014 – 2:17 pm

He’s Here

We’ve been waiting a long time, but Ellis finally arrived last week. Brooke got some time off work before the due date, so we nested and rested. We went to some midwife appointments. One day big snow flakes fell from the sky, and Ellis decided he was ready to enter the world. As far as birth experiences go we couldn’t have been much more blessed. Although there has been some crying. Mainly from Brooke who looses it at every sentimental thought about her little boy. Like when we were heading home from the hospital, and she thought of bringing Ellis home to the house he will grow up in. And when our friends and family show him love and bring him birthday cakes. I can’t blame the paternal tears welling up in my eyes on hormones. But the air is very dry these days.

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Raquel - OMG Brooke, I am so happy for you! Congratularions on your new baby boy! It has been a very long timw. Enjoy every moment with your baby because tme flies. Congrats to both of you….January 18, 2014 – 10:41 pm

Anna - My congratulations,new life is a miracle and its also continuation of yours, i am sure you will be great parentsJanuary 17, 2014 – 12:52 pm

Jessica Maria - Congratulations! Beautiful photos, as always.January 9, 2014 – 11:55 am

Christina Richards - So beautiful Channing!January 6, 2014 – 12:39 pm

Brian Phillips - Congrats CJ! You thought you took a lot of photos last year, wait till 2014!!!January 2, 2014 – 9:03 pm

Christine Healey - Congrats Channing and Brooke! What a beautiful boy!December 20, 2013 – 11:44 am

Keia - Congrats on your little bundle of joy!
I landed on your page from another page.
What great photos!

Congrats again and happy holidays to you and your family.December 19, 2013 – 11:58 am

megan resch - congrats guys! it’s the coolest club in all the world. ya’ll are gonna be great! and the pictures will be spectacular kiddo.December 17, 2013 – 11:40 pm

Keith - Congratulations you two!December 17, 2013 – 8:58 am

Amanda Given - Channing, the air is pretty dry here too, apparently.
These are simply beautiful, congratulations!December 17, 2013 – 6:05 am

Cynthia - The most amazing feeling is having that lil bundle of joy finally in your arms. Congrats!December 17, 2013 – 5:53 am

Shannon - Beautiful post. Many congrats to you and your family. :)December 16, 2013 – 10:47 pm

Nancy - love it- can’t wait to meet him. can’t believe you took your camera. well, yes i can. :)December 16, 2013 – 10:27 pm

Sarah Bastille - Ohhhh so much gorgeousness! Congratulations and much love to Johnson & Johnson & Johnson!! xoxoDecember 16, 2013 – 10:23 pm

Lisa - Is it normal that I get teary eyed looking at these photos? This is wonderful.December 16, 2013 – 10:19 pm

Marie-Eve Généreux - Congratulation Brooke and Channing! Welcome at your beautiful boy Ellis! I like her name! Ellis: it’s “chic”!…
From the Généreux-Jacques family from Québec. Ciao!December 16, 2013 – 8:31 pm

kristin - Congratulations, you guys! He’s a cutie pie. I love having a little guy, and I know Brooke will, too. Little guys are the best.

I recommend starting your Hot Wheels collection now.December 16, 2013 – 8:22 pm

Addie - Woot! Congrats Team Johnson!!!December 16, 2013 – 5:44 pm

cristina - Even during the birthing adventure, Brooke is still rocking it with those bright red nails.December 16, 2013 – 4:57 pm

nina - YOU GUYS!!! Congratulations! I can’t wait to watch this little angel grow up alongside you’re lens. He’s so lucky!December 16, 2013 – 4:51 pm

Erin Killian - Just beautiful. So incredibly happy for you! Enjoy the intense emotions!December 16, 2013 – 3:45 pm

Stacey - Congrats congrats congrats!!!
So so wonderful :)December 16, 2013 – 3:39 pm

Brenna Jennings - This is so amazing, you guys. Congratulations to all of you. Make these cozy days. xoDecember 16, 2013 – 3:21 pm

Lindsay Flanagan - Congratulations! He’s adorable! Welcome to parenthood. It’s the best thing in the world! :)December 16, 2013 – 3:17 pm

Ned - awesome doesn’t describe it. so happy for you guys.December 16, 2013 – 3:08 pm

Ashley O'Dell - INCREDIBLE!!December 16, 2013 – 2:30 pm

scott williams - Congrats!December 16, 2013 – 2:04 pm

Melissa - OH YOU GUYS!!!! SOOO SWEET!!! I’m so happy for you THREE!!! Can’t wait to meet that little man!December 16, 2013 – 1:44 pm

kelly lorenz - YAAAAAY!!!!! Congratulations!!!! Can’t wait to meet little Ellis!December 16, 2013 – 1:07 pm

KLC - Congrats Channing! and welcome to the world, little man.December 16, 2013 – 12:56 pm

Melissa and Jason

I shot Melissa and Jason’s wedding three years ago, and a lot has changed for them since. They’re in a new town, a new house, and two adorable dogs moved in. Time moves along quickly, so we spent an afternoon together to record this next chapter in their lives. I love catching up with my wedding couples, and I’m so glad to see how good these two are doing.

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Nikki - Phenomenal!December 4, 2013 – 1:54 pm

MAC - Great pictures, we love how they came out! So glad we got to do this and that the November weather cooperated! Thanks again – we’re thrilled!December 3, 2013 – 1:35 pm