Emily emailed a few days before her maternity session and asked if I thought we could do a few photos using her in-laws' pool. We'd planned a morning session in their backyard. August in Texas, well, it's hot. The pool sounded like the perfect ending for the shoot. The anticipation of baby girl number two alongside of delight in big sister number one filled every frame of our time together, and I especially love that towards the end Emily suggested a family jump into the pool. Those photos turned out downright magical, and with the thermometer still pushing 90 in mid-October, revisiting these photos for the blog seemed pretty perfect.
Sarah and Eisley and I scheduled and rescheduled because of rain, rain, rain. When we finally met for photos on an overcast evening, a tiny girl with the bluest eyes warily assessed me. It took a while for her to warm up, but when she did Eisley remained intently focused on her mama, wanting her close. The bond between these two makes me smile; they are the sweetest little family. Sarah is one of those moms who takes her kiddo in stride and parents with ease and laughter. Eisley is one of those babies who is inquisitive and busy. I loved watching this session unfold.
Allison and Adam first contacted me before their firstborn arrived, and from the time we did that initial maternity session they've wanted photographs that reflect the simple beauty of everyday life. Our sessions have been conversational and low-key, allowing me glimpses into a family's growth and change over time. When we did family photos last year, Allison told me she was expecting twins, and we pencilled in a newborn session. I never imagined when booking that session that their newborn session would shift to a family session a few months later. The boys arrived early, and their precious Sam never left the hospital. You can read more of their story on their blog. I found myself amazed at the extraordinary courage this family displayed.
I am so glad Allison and Adam decided to do this session at home, letting the nuances of their family shape the session's flow. Home often trumps the most interesting of locations, because it's so decidedly specific and familiar. This session was passing boys back and forth, reading stories, tickling bellies and a demonstration of the great love that belongs uniquely to one family. The desire to honor Sam was an integral part of this session, and we did some photos in his memory. That said, the truth is they honor Sam all day every day in the way they love and care for one another and his brothers. It is beautiful to see.
When Caitlin inquired about booking a session for her family, their third with me, she thought a lot about what she wanted to preserve about this season with her brood. Just before their shoot she sent me an email that said, "I've finally decided to face the fact that every time my family is in front of a camera I try very hard to make us all look 'perfect.' (I use quotation marks because it's really such a farce.) Well, despite my efforts, my family and I are so incredibly NOT perfect... And I just can't do masks anymore...
"...Where I am now is that I want REAL... even if the cost is imperfect pictures where the darkness is captured along with the light." I heard a quiet yes resonate in me as I read her email. I knew their session would be something special from the moment Caitlin shared her heart. And it was. It really was. We hiked the muddy woods the children love. We wandered and talked and paused and laughed. It was incredibly not perfect. It was incredibly real and raw. Mostly it was incredibly beautiful.
This session makes me want to capture these kinds of photos for all the families I work with. They move me. I hope they move you.
Not sure how it happened that my little friend Super G turned 4. When I was growing my business, Grant was my nanny charge during his first year. One incredible part about being a photographer is that a lot of the littles I nannied through the years have an annual appointment for photos, so even if I don't see a whole lot of them in-between, we minimally cross paths then. These guys are so low-key and fun, so shooting around Denton was a great fit. I loved hearing an update of the past year and hearing Grant's stories from the State Fair (he'd been there the day before). This little man is learning to live big. I think everyone's favorite part of the session was hitting up Hypnotic Donuts, where Grant managed to put away his doughnut in about thirty seconds flat. I love how Grant's parents are committed to each other and to loving Grant well, and I think it shows in these photos. They're an amazing family.