Seeing these four lovely people through my lens over the past few years has not only chronicled some of their growth as a family, but it's also shown me that I continue to be most inspired when I'm working with families in their own home, while they really just hang out and do normal family things. I realize how difficult it can be to "be yourself" when there's an outsider with a camera clicking constantly nearby--trust me, I know--but this family just lets me in, with no pretense and no apprehension, and I couldn't be more grateful for that. Maybe it's because I've worked with them enough times before, and that I genuinely enjoy their company as friends, but their honesty and authenticity makes my job as their photographer an absolute joy, and I truly believe it's what also makes their images come together so beautifully year after year. These moments were all going to happen (mostly) independently of my presence, and I was just lucky enough to be in the right place, at the right time.
This is the third time I've photographed this awesome family, and each time is more fun than the last. This year, Mom invited me to document the boys' actual birthday--they were hiding out upstairs (they graciously allowed me admission into their room, even though I didn't meet pirate standards) while she set up a surprise breakfast for them, complete with (delicious) Froot Loops and tons of fun gifts. I even had my own portrait taken with a Jake and the Neverland Pirates camera.
Although the main goal of the session was to capture the boys' birthday, I loved taking in the whole scene of their life stage right now--Mom makes sure everyone's shoes are tied & hair is combed, Dad extracts new toys from their crazy screwed-on twist ties and reads them notes from their grandparents. Things that, when you put them all in context, weave together to show the complete story of who they are as a family unit at this particular moment.
We made so many amazing images that, instead of cramming them all into one post, I decided to break them up & I'll share the rest later this week. I really think each half deserves its own little time to shine as a stand-alone vignette.