I had the pleasure of photographing Caroline and Daniel’s Tuscaloosa, AL Engagement Session and Birmingham, AL Wedding several years ago. We had the best time together! After the wedding, they moved to Atlanta for Daniel’s job. Earlier this year I got an email from them asking me to photograph them with their pup at Piedmont Park to document a city that’s now also part of their story. How sweet is that?! I couldn’t say yes fast enough. I’m thankful they want me to keep capturing milestones in their lives because they really are the sweetest! And, we were blessed with some amazing fall color in the park that day.
I love this sweet and beautiful family! Brad and I met Kelly and KaiVan twenty years ago at the gym…before we were all married…and before kids. We’ve been close friends ever since. The guys share a love of hunting and the girls share a love of fitness and teaching group exercise classes. Our kids are close in ages with similar interests, so we have a lot of fun when we can get away together and we try to do it every fall. I look forward to it every time.
In November Kelly & KaiVan invited us to their family hunting camp, “Nelson’s Landing”, named after their son. My husband (and son) had been there many times and told me about it, however this was my first time. I love Fall, but it is always extremely busy for me; so I have to hold onto one full weekend for rest and relaxation with my family. This was that weekend. Beautiful fall weather, long dirt roads, swamps of flooded timber, riverbanks and barges, fall color in the spanish moss covered trees, fires in the firepit, kids doing smores and swinging in the tree swing, grilling out steaks, shooting practice, and a little bit of deer, squirrel and pig hunting for the boys. Most important of all, our families all together having fun with no wifi service! (I admit, no wifi is a challenge for me…but good for me!)
While there, we planned to photograph the Greiner family. Much to our surprise, Kelly grabbed my camera and took some shots of our family. Unfortunately we weren’t planning on getting photos of us, so we rolled out of bed and no one had showered. (Insert laugh and sigh.) Thankfully, at least what we all wore coordinated. Next time I’ll be a little more prepared! But, I loved our family shot so much I used it on our Christmas card! We rarely get family photos because I’m always behind the camera. Thanks Kelly!
The last day it was just our family there. It was fun for my daughter and me to be in the woods with our boys on their adventures, and with my camera in hand to capture them in their element. Of course it wasn’t serious hunting that way, but I loved permission to get a peek inside their world.
Here’s some of my favorite images from our weekend together…from portraits, to candid moments and everything in between…
It almost doesn’t happen…every year. You know the old saying “Cobblers kids never have shoes”? Well, photographer’s kids never have photos…or at least not ones edited and printed. Unless I do it early in the year at the beach or on another trip, our Christmas card shoot happens late…like the 1st or 2nd week of December late. It’s a race to the finish. And, after 13 years of my kids being test subjects, they don’t exactly get too excited about it. So, don’t think it’s any easier for me than it is for you to get good expressions. Photographing my own is so much harder! But, Brad gives them a pep talk every year and off we go!
I’ve always loved Christmas cards, so it’s important to me to get them done no matter the struggle with schedules and cooperative spirits. I love seeing photos of friends’ families we don’t get to see as often as we would like and how their kids have grown a little more each year. I also love seeing the creativity and reading the sentiments. A Christmas ornament with the year and a photo is also an annual tradition since my kids were born. I love seeing how my kids have changed from year to year as I hang each year’s ornament on our tree.
The creek was one of my very favorite places to shoot this year, and as you’ll see on other blog posts, my clients loved it too. I had so many requests for it! I love it there because the light is filtered, reflective and dreamy. It’s so much fun to watch kids come alive once they step into the water. They think the portrait session is over and now they can relax, play and have fun. And, that’s exactly what I want them to do. Their personalities come out and it’s when I get my favorite shots of kids just being themselves…Boys skipping rocks and girls splashing.
From my very first shoot there I knew it was where I wanted some of my own kids. It just so happened that they were the last to put their boots into the creek this year. My only regret is that we got our new puppy after the shoot and my cards had already been designed. Oh well…there’s always next year for our pup. She’ll just be a lot bigger! At least she made it on the ornament.
Hope to get a few of these up on my walls soon! A little pep talk by big sis to get this thing started…
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
Thanks to my friend Kelly who grabbed my camera and got an impromptu shot of our family while we were with them one weekend at their hunting camp. Funny that we all had on similar colors that morning after we rolled out of bed at the cabin, so it just worked. Thankful to have one from that fun family weekend!
Oh! And for this year’s photo ornament, I ordered a cube ornament from Shutterfly. So impressed with the photo quality on them and love that you can put images on all sides and the bottom. Check it out!
Here’s another cute family from my Fall Mini Sessions.