Last year, I held a “Share the Love” session giveaway. Stephanie entered and was one of the winners! When she entered, she told me that she had guest-blogged at MiddlePlaces.com, where I blog with a host of other beautiful women, and that she had been reading my personal blog for a while. I was drawn to her story because like my family, she and her family moved across the country to Colorado just because they wanted a new start.
Anyway, I was really slow at connecting the dots, but I realized that I had been reading her blog because another Middle Sister, Heather, had talked about how wonderful her friend Stephanie is, and on and on. So these two people named Stephanie morphed into one, and I was getting to photograph her and her family. Seriously, life is pretty cool like that, huh!
Oh, and by the time we had our session, Stephanie had joined the MiddlePlaces.com group of writers, and since our session, her writing career has been growing and growing, and she even wrote a beautiful series on the MOPS International blog, one of which was about me. (Read it here.) Like I said, life is pretty cool like that!
OK, so onward with the session. Suffice it to say, I get a little involved with most of my clients and we typically have a friendship in the works before our session ever happens, or definitely by the time the session ends. Because we have fun!
I love families. LOVE! But the start of most sessions can be chaotic as we figure out all the details on the spot, location, lighting, etc. Plus, it can take some or all of the family members a bit to warm up. But we get there, because I love what I do and impatience is not a word I understand.
Even the shots I consider THE ONE, the image where everyone is looking at me for the traditional family shot, there are little Easter eggs of imperfect delight. Can you find it?
Here’s a hint: look at the smallest of the bunch.
Ah yes, he’s missing a shoe. Where is it? Who knows. It eventually found its way back on his tiny foot, but when I took the photo, I didn’t notice that detail because I was so focused on all the wonderful faces looking at me AT THE SAME TIME!
That’s what I love about family sessions. Also, I love this about family sessions –
I typically get one or two shots like this every time. It’s my favorite! Because life? Isn’t still. It’s always on the move, especially family life.
It takes a village to raise children, or at least, I believe we should have a village to support us, and that’s just who the Gates have in their corner — one amazing woman!
And let’s just shine the spotlight on the amazing kiddos, because seriously, they are beautiful beautiful beautiful and oh so sweet and precious! They had me laughing…and they wore me out. Mom and Dad, my hat is off to you!
The oldest, a gentle soul who does the most amazing impersonations of super heroes and cops –
The second-born, who is all kinds of personality and spunk –
I said, “OK, now give me a serious face.” And this is what I got –
The only girl, Little Miss Sass and Joy, with a smile that could light the world. And those eyes, oh, those eyes –
And then there’s the baby, so sweet and calm and GORGEOUS!
Sibling photos are such an amazing thing. I love to watch brothers and sisters of all ages interact with each other. You can tell a lot by how close they get, how they squeeze in or stand apart, how they joke and smile, or grimace and scowl. I think you get a pretty clear picture here of love and closeness. Dad and Mom, when 10 years have gone by, recreate this moment. And then do it again and again!
Brothers…oh my heart –
And let us not forget Mom and Dad, who head up this amazing family with love and laughter and sometimes a lot of prayer, amiright?
Not having “done pictures” in forever, let’s just say they weren’t exactly relaxed as I tried to pose them. “Act like we like each other? I’m confused!”
Ah, too late: your laughter and ease with each other gives you away!
This…is called Kid Wrangling. Mom is a pro!
All for these awesome moments –
Finally, this is real family life, right? Fully of silly and laughter and chaos. And it’s worth it, every single second. (So hang in there, moms and dads and aunts and uncles and grandparents and god-parents!)
Oh, and one more picture because, well, it fills my heart with laughter. The joy is just in your face!
At the end, the boys wanted a picture with me. (Only one of the shots came out.) I was so honored! And I think that’s a good sign that things went well. No one was crying at the end, everyone still seemed to have their hair and wits, and the weather was beautiful. All in all, a wonderful day!
I often hold contests to win sessions throughout the year on my Facebook page. If you’d like to win a session like the Gates Family, join the page and keep an eye out!