You know when you have a day that just comes together ... as it should ... as it was supposed to? It unfolds better than you could have ever planned it. Yeah, that & more. (It's okay to take a dreamy sigh here, I did ;) And if you're reading this in a reader ... you may just want to click over ;) ) When the mom of this crew called me (oh, probably near this time last year, in the depths of winter) ... I was smitten. And not just because she has a famous celebrity name! ;) (Sorry, had to throw that in there ... always think of her celebrity counterpart.) I had photographed her second-born the year before and now, here she was, months & months pregnant with baby boy #3 touching base with me not just about a newborn session (which we happily did back in February!) but also about a family session. And not just ANY family session. Their first family session. THAT my friends, is a huge deal.
So rather than dive into the nitty-gritty details ... let me outline it for you. This session didn't just "magically happen" (although we can pretend that if it sounds better!) ... it took lots of planning, hard work ... and patience to see it through.
Time line: By January 2010 a February newborn session and a family session TBD were both 'on the books'. (Tip 1: Plan EARLY. Contacting me & getting your session set & ready sooner rather than later will always, always be to your benefit.)
The Finer Things in Life: After talking about pros & cons and wishes & wants ... we knew that we wanted her youngest (not born yet) to be old enough to at least sit on his own or with only a little bit of help. This would give us more flexibility with the setting and he wouldn't be so 'new newborn' that we'd be over worried about him being cold or covered up more or sleeping the whole time. We also discussed having a fall session, the beautiful light, the changing seasons & what that meant in relation to her family & the look we were hoping to achieve. (Tip 2: Talk to your photographer! What stage is your child at? Do you have more than one child - what's the youngest doing or not doing? Ask me if I have any time/season recommendations for your particular family - which in this case, because of having 2 under 1, we both did! :) )
Plan: From here, we used the next 6+ months to talk, chat, toss around ideas & plan. Nikki & I talked about sun with fall colors, preserving memories & her wish to have something large to display in her living room. She wanted to show off "the realness of our life, our bond." I took that task very seriously! :) We also talked about the importance of adding in another family member ... which some of my clients often do ... no, not 'the family pet' (sometimes, but this wasn't the case ;) ) ... Scout. In the end, Jeremy worked on Scout off & on throughout the summer just to get her (him?) running for our session. YES. In addition to driving the big family car with all the baby seats, they also brought along their beloved Scout - which gave their session that added touch!
(Tip 3: GET PERSONAL!!! And that doesn't necessarily mean a list of "I want" ... a lot of times that means telling me the "I love's" ... (I love fall colors, I love the bond my family shares, I love that this car means so much to my husband!) When you bring in personal elements - you make it your own. A waterfront location was also important to this active, outdoor lovin' family ... so guess what, we talked, she knew what I needed and we scouted. She found this location literally hidden, the week before our session! Go Nikki!)
To round it all out, we talked time frame & what this might mean for the younger crew (i.e., letting them 'nap' in the car while we drove to the location, bringing lots of snacks & warm clothes, & all of us taking a laid back approach to the reality of life with a full crew). And you know what the result was? Magic. Love, laughter & magic. It's a recipe for all of this & more!
1. The boys.
2. Mom, dad ... and the baby.
3. Letting everyone do their thang ... (yes, a balloon bouquet was part of the mix too - perfect!)
5. Family time ... which means doing the very things they love ... so we took a few moments out of our session to skip rocks & just be ...