Yesterday and today it has rained and rained and rained some more. My sessions have had to be rescheduled. So I am in front of my computer playing with my images. I love to have the time to be a little more creative with images I love. Thanks to Kendall for being such a willing participant in the making of this image! Kendall :: Broad Run Class of 2014
I recently did something completely different, and completely out of my comfort zone. I decided to go into my client’s home and take photos of them in their natural environment. Daunting, I know. But it all made sense. The kids were more calm. The kids were more natural. There were no cheesy smiles. And the images were more meaningful. It was like being a fly on the wall during an intimate family playdate.
And guess what? I loved it. It’s called Lifestyle photography, and it’s something I had never done before, but plan to do again. I love the idea of capturing these “home movies” of your child’s life.
I want to talk about an old friend of mine, Nancy Dennis. I first met Nancy when my son was in preschool. She was one of his preschool teachers. At the time Nancy had teenage daughters, and we worked out a way for one of them to be my kids’ nanny for the summer while I was working full-time. Kelly came into our home that summer of 2004 and the kids fell in love with her. She taught Jack how to read, took the kids to the pool and to get slurpees. Sometimes Kelly’s younger sisters Molly and Ashton would hang out as well. My kids loved Nancy’s kids. It was a great summer.
Fast forward to 2013 and we hadn’t seen the Dennis family in about five or six years. Stuff happens. A lot of stuff. Kelly married Whit, her high school sweetheart and had two adorable babies. She became a teacher then stay-at-home mom. Molly went off to the Marines, served several tours of duty, then met Mr. Right and had a baby. Ashton graduated high school, then college, and now graduate school. They all turned out incredibly awesome.
In July they came into my studio to do some family portraits. Because Molly is often stationed overseas and Ashton is living in the Northeast, they don’t always get to see each other. It was so special to capture them together as adults. I asked Nancy to please participate in the photos, and I am so happy she did. Being present in your children’s lives, and being present in photos with them is so important. There is no greater gift. I know each mom says they need to lose 10 pounds, get rid of their wrinkles, excuses, excuses…but there really is no better time than the present. And no better present.
When I brought the family their finished portraits and album Nancy presented me with the most special gift. This camera was purchased by her father-in-law in Stuttgart, Germany, during his duty in the Korean War. It is such a cool camera – built with amazing German engineering and precision mechanics, but it is even more special to me to own a piece of their family history.
Thank you Dennis family — for the special camera, which I will treasure always, and for trusting me with the incredible duty of making that day one you will always remember. I am blessed to know each of you.
I have to do a little mommy-bragging for a sec…it’s about my baby, my son Jack. He is now 14, and headed into his Freshman year of High School. Already. How did that happen? Today at the mall I caught myself looking at the little 8-year-old clothing and thinking it was for him.
On Saturday he ran his first XC race and did really well. He shaved a minute off his best time – so that was awesome. He got to run varsity – which is the top 10 at his school. He finished 8th among them – AS A FRESHMAN! I am so proud of him.
It wasn’t always so easy for Jack. He was born with so many allergies – wheat, milk, nuts and eggs. He had multiple ear infections and tubes in his ears. He developed asthma around 2 years old. He is allergic to dogs and cats, so sleepovers were nearly impossible for the first 10 years of his life. But with all of it, his spirit grew stronger, and I will venture to say that EVERYBODY LOVES JACK. I have never met anyone who doesn’t love him. Parents and teachers always take time to tell me how much they enjoy him and appreciate his good character. Maybe it was the allergies. Maybe he was just born with it. But yes, he is an all-star in being a good guy.
So when he was a kid sports did not come easy to him. But then in 5th grade he began to run — and he LOVED it. We found some races and some coaches and he started running more and more. Last year he did a triathalon and finished second! This year he trained and trained and ate well and read up on it and worked out and wow! Now he is running varsity XC as a freshman. I am so proud of him. Jack is living proof that if you put your mind to something you can do it. Can’t wait to watch him these next four years of high school! Love you buddy!
Little one-week-old Henry smiled through his entire session today! I’ve never seen a baby do that before! Will that mean he is a happy-go-lucky guy? Or a dreamer? Time will tell. His little smiles were by far the highlight of my day. Thanks Henry!