Katherine's senior portrait session started unlike any other yet in my career... she had a very visible soccer injury! She's the team's goalie, so she had a couple actually. I asked her if the injury was worth it, and she said yup, she saved the goal. The rest of our conversations revealed more of what I initially suspected after that first comment - Katherine is rocking her senior year. She plays all the sports, she does all the extra-curriculars, she's really smart, and the girl is a sweetheart. And, as you can tell from these photos, she's beautiful too. Watch out for this one world!
I knew this newborn session was going to be a special one from the moment I received their questionnaire. The mom let me know this little baby would be having heart surgery and she wanted to know if there was something special we could do in some of the photographs to honor that her baby would be a heart warrior. Oh, my heart! Of course we would do something special. When they arrived to my studio in Fairport, NY, I had a little white felted heart for this special little girl. She will have a tough road ahead of her, but she is lucky to be born into a family that loves her so much. Send all the prayers and positive energy you can to this family and their little heart warrior.
I loved photographing this family. I used to spend plenty of time with the parents at after-work happy hours back before we had kids and I hadn't seen them in 5 years. 5 years! So seeing them for photographs was quite a treat. We met at this spot in Pittsford, NY. They showed up beautifully dressed, I spread out my quilt, arranged them comfortably and they all had their smiles ready to go. Now, let me be honest with you for a minute. A family that smiles without me asking is fantastic, but, I always try for natural smiles. One quick fart joke later, and they were laughing and had the most genuine smiles a photographer could hope for. And oh my gosh, do you see these girls? They are absolutely gorgeous. My friend Mike is one lucky man.
This night was a special one. One of my best friends in this world lives about 2 hours away, so we don't get to see each other very often (although we give our phones quite a workout with our texting!). She is, like me, a family photographer, so this beautiful evening, we killed two birds with one stone and decided we'd meet halfway in Montezuma, and take one another's family portraits. We had four kids between us, aged 5 through 2 and one on the way, and if you don't think we were insane for taking this switcheroo on, my husband certainly did. He asked in the car what he was supposed to do when his picture wasn't being taken. I said, "hold Courtney's camera and keep the kids out of trouble." He said, "you want me to hold someone else's expensive camera AND keep the kids out of trouble?!" Despite all of our nerves as to how we'd pull off two family shoots at roughly the same time, it went fantastic and I'd do it again in a heart beat. I think Courtney summed it up best when she said, "I don't know if I want yours to turn out better or mine to turn out better!"
This family was so much fun to photograph on the beach in Irondequiot, NY! The mama was one of my closest friends in college and I hadn't seen her in almost a decade. It's always great to see an old friend, but it was so amazing to see how happy she is and how much love her little family has for one another. The littlest one gave me a run for my money! He was a mover and a shaker, and lady with the camera - get outta the way! I was able to capture his playful little giggles as he ran around the beach and played in the sand, as well as some smiles with his parents and sister. And speaking his sister, she took every posing suggestion I gave her and just made them more beautiful than I could have imagined. Even though fall is my favorite, I'm currently wishing every session were a beach session!
This post does not have much to do with my photography, but working with so many brand new parents, this couldn't be more appropriate. One of my closest friends (since 7th grade!) had her first baby a couple of years ago after most of our friends already had babies. Lucky her right? She got hand-me downs, loads of advice, the support to ignore that advice if she wanted, and was showered with presents for baby! Sounds like she was set right? Unfortunately, like many new moms, she went through a very difficult adjustment when her son entered the world. She questioned her ability to mom, and lost her sense of self.
My friend, being the amazing person that she is, decided she wanted to do something to help other new parents who might feel the same way. So she and her husband created a company - Reiko Palmer - for giving gifts to parents to send them some love. BUT, these gifts are not for baby, they are for mom and dad, to show them they are valued too. They have spa-like products for mom, fun socks for dad, and COFFEE! My personal favorite, is their chocolate. Sooo good. Check out their website here and show a new parent a little love today.
I knew Charlotte's senior portrait session would be a good one right from the start when she and her mom showed up with a little gift bag filled with treats for my boys! Such a sweet gesture! We started with some "yearbook" shots in my studio, and then went to this amazing little spot in Fairport, NY where Queen Ann's lace is growing up around an old industrial looking building (as Charlotte's mom said, "Nature always wins!") for the fun part of the senior portrait session. That's when I try to capture who this senior is at this special moment in time. Charlotte is very clearly a beautiful girl inside and out.
Growing up, my grandfather (my oldest son's namesake), used to tell us that we should explore beyond our own backyard. This summer, we would have made him very proud. The day after school ended, we loaded up the minivan - 2 little boys, my husband, my dad, and I - and started a 3 week journey to Montana for my sister's wedding and back. And if you're not already thinking we're crazy for driving that distance, we spent our nights in a tent. That's right. A TENT. To be entirely accurate, two tents (my dad didn't share).
Our first couple of days were long drives, with less than exciting camp grounds. But then we hit Badland's National Park. Don't let the name deceive you. Even though my 3 year old kept shouting, 'This land is bad!', it was amazing! Next we hit Mount Rushmore, Devil's Tower, and stayed 3 days in Yellowstone before heading to Montana. Yellowstone is one of the most unique landscapes I've ever seen. If you have it on your bucket list, let me tell you, 3 days is not enough!
In Montana, we got a nice little break from the tent. My sister's wedding was perfect. I realize I may be biased, but I can't come up with words that seem to do the day justice.
Heading home, we spent two days in Grand Teton, stopped at Agate Fossil Beds, and then finally Cuyahoga National Park. We experienced sleeping in a tent with lows of 33° and highs of 98°. We saw big horned sheep, bison, elk, and even a mama grizzly bear with her two cubs. There were some incredibly stressful moments, (not surprising!), but it was an amazing adventure and I am so lucky we were all able to get away and show our kids a little chunk of this world. And of course, being a photographer, I had camera at hand every step of the way, so I can show you as well!