I’ve known Fawn, the beautiful mom of this family, for several years now. I knew her before she was married to Andre, and to see her as a happy wife with 2 sweet kids makes my heart smile. Fawn told me she wanted me to photograph Anya soon after she was pregnant and I was thrilled, of course. The magnitude of her request didn’t really hit home to me until the week before our session. Her and Andre were willing to drive an hour and a half out of their way when their tiny baby was only 11 days old, with a toddler in tow just so little ol’ me could photograph their family…their precious, most treasured family. There are dozens and dozens of photographers who live closer to them who are more talented than I am. It would’ve been easier for them to use one of THOSE photographers. But instead they chose ME. Words cannot tell you how much that means to me. I tear up big time when I think about it. They chose ME! For this reason I was feeling the pressure 🙂
We both drove about an hour and a half to the quaint little town of Roslyn. Josh and I discovered the cutest little, bakery/coffee shop/antique store there last summer called The Mountain Mermaid. They also rent rooms above the store and Jennifer, the owner, was VERY gracious and allowed us to use the entire upstairs for our session. This was extremely fortunate for us because it was not good weather outside for a tiny baby.
We got off to a shaky start. Anya was not sleepy and Daniel (almost 3) cried when I took his picture. At this point I was nervous. Not frustrated, but nervous. As a parent I knew what they were thinking. I would’ve been thinking, “Great! We drove all this way and went through all this effort for this. Awesome.”
It was a different set-up for me. Usually I do either a newborn session or a family session, but not both at the same time. Newborn sessions take at least 2 hrs. (minimum) to get all the shots I like to get, but Anya was NOT sleepy at all. I needed to be quick and respect their time and the fact that this family JUST had a baby. They were probably tired, big brother was probably feeling out of sorts having a brand new sibling, and we were in someone else’s space. So we had to take what the kids gave us. Anya never did sleep, but she allowed me to get some super cute photos of her anyway. Daniel was a ham after a little break. Thankfully, I think it all worked out.
So this session wasn’t about perfection. It NEVER is about perfection when it comes to shooting families! It’s about real life for me. When I look back at photos of my own family, I appreciate reality more than perfection. Sometimes the reality is just about as perfect as it can get. Sometimes it’s not. That’s life…real life. I haven’t always been true to this philosophy in the past, but my goal is to marry the real life chaos with the beauty and treasured moments that are also authentic.
I could go on, but I will make myself stop here. 😉 Enjoy, your sweet family, Andre and Fawn. It was sooooo good to see you all again! And thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for trusting me!
Wanna visit The Mountain Mermaid? Find it here. Jennifer makes awesome homemade treats. Serious deliciousness!