In early 2015, Phillip Haumesser’s wife Natasha gave him a simple request. She wanted him to take more pictures of their children. After all, the two kids were growing up fast—before you know it, they’d be graduating high school. Like many parents, Haumesser and his wife captured special moments on their phones, but she wanted more artistic family photos. So for his birthday, Natasha bought him a camera that could do just that.
Haumesser’s first foray into this photography didn’t go so well. In fact, he describes it to The Huffington Post as a “nightmare.” He explained, “The kids got bored immediately because Dad was trying to get them to pose and sit still, something I discovered quickly that is not the natural state for children 2 and under.”
After that experience, Haumesser set down his camera to regroup. During his break, he came across the work of Lisa Holloway. “Her photography was incredible and I sort of became obsessed with what could be done with the camera,” Haumesser recalled. He then started to seriously study the art of photography and pulled out his camera again.
“I decided we were just going to try to make this fun and not care about how the photos turned out, and if we got some good ones it would be a plus,” he admits. “So we did just that. I just let the kids start playing in the barnyard with the animals and I would even get in there and play with them, sometimes I forget we are even taking photos, then I’ll just step back and snap some photos.”
The results reflect the carefree joy of childhood. Using soft, natural lighting and an up-close point of view, Haumesser shows the world from his kids’ level. The young boys roam the family’s 10-acre farm with their stuffed animal companions and converse with the curious cows, geese, and chickens. They bathe in the glowing sun and get cozy in beds of leaves. Part dreaminess and part nostalgia, these photos go above and beyond Natasha’s original request. “I found my excuse to learn photography, it’s spending time with my kids,” Haumesser said. “And that is now my most favorite thing to do!”
These are some of Phillip Haumesser’s favorites of his artistic family photos.