It was wonderful to reunite with Caitlin and Christopher thirteen years after shooting their wedding in 2011! They look exactly the same somehow so I can only assume that in those thirteen years they were off discovering a secret elixir or something. They now have two wonderful children who are a DELIGHT. The oldest enjoys climbing trees, looking for worms, giving elaborate high fives where she insists on a running start from a great distance away, reading books, carrying around a gem that she named Gemmy, and of course, wearing a gold sequin cape. The gold sequin cape, folks, was the highlight of my year so far. There’s never a time where gold sequins don’t photograph fabulously and she knew it. She’s spunky and full of life and confident and obviously has great taste in capes.

The youngest enjoys all things city planning. He has a passion for Sanitation Engineering, specifically. He enjoys rolling around his custom garbage bin that’s pre-filled with [safe] garbage, and he enjoys picking up sticks at the park and putting them into the sewer grate so that “no one trips.” It looks like he’s having an involved discussion with Pennywise most of the time, but rest assured that he’s just out there doing his job so that when you visit the park later on, you don’t unwittingly step on a stick and suffer a terrible fall. The kids also filled my sweater pockets with Japanese Maple leaves and random pieces of pottery. They’re excellent at finding little treasures. In addition, they have an incredible dog Lylah that’s now my best friend, and they have the best taste in bird wallpaper. I think they’re great and I hope you enjoy this fun little spring session.

This family was one of my last that I photographed before the pandemic in 2020 and it was a total joy to reunite with them after all these years! This is a large, chosen family (and therefore a longer than normal blog post, bear with me!) who spends a ton of time together, so why not combine their photos? :) The first small group is Paula and Aaron and their high school senior Sydney. The main focus of these pictures was to capture Sydney’s senior portraits. It’s been a while since I had the opportunity to do senior portraits and it was so nice to work those photography muscles again! Especially because I absolutely love working with seniors – they’re a ton of fun. Sydney, especially, is such a kind person but she’s also incredibly creative. She’s an extremely talented artist who’s able to sketch amazing portraits in mere minutes. She has a passion for creating characters and has plans to go into the creative writing field, where I know she’ll excel! I’m also a huge fan of her pink hair and her Doc Martens. Paula and Aaron are awesome parents and people too, and I loved getting to spend more time with them!

The second small group is Jackie and Seth and their two little kids (and their amazing dog, Albus Dumbledog, who is an absolute sweetheart). These kids cracked me up. Their daughter immediately ran to her room to grab her digital camera, and she started taking pictures of me. She also showed me all of her past pictures on her digital camera, and then proceeded to document me documenting. She’s a little ham – loving to smile and pose for the camera, and smart as a whip. She’s very close with Sydney, and Syndey painted the super cool space mural in her room. Her little brother is an impressive cook. Is he a toddler? Yes. Does he take cooking extremely seriously? He honestly does. It’s like he was a master chef in a former life and has been reincarnated but remembers all of his chef things. It’s not a normal way for a toddler to cook – he is really, really into it and uses his utmost concentration. He likes to add things to pots, stir things in pots, supervise his sous-chefs, and he is extremely dedicated to his craft. Jackie enjoys spending a lot of time in the kitchen, and she says that he’s always loved to be in there cooking with her. It was adorable! We spent some time on the playground and at their home before they worked up an appetite and a toddler cooked for them (joking – kind of).

The third section is the time that these two chosen families got to spend together in the morning! Jackie and Paula met in 2002 in Las Vegas and have been best friends ever since. The two families have such sweet interactions and we had a great morning, having a ton of fun, talking about music and Dune, and spending time together. So nice to work with all of these folks again!

I absolutely love this crew! Geoff and I photographed Dwight and Laurie’s wedding back in the day, and now Laurie is my beloved dentist! It’s been so cool watching their family grow and watching their daughter become the cat-crazed child that she is (their son is now also showing signs of intense feline fandom). I was extremely excited for this shoot because it’s been a year since I saw them, and last time I saw them, all their daughter and I did was talk cats. So I was pretty pumped to see my cat friend again, and she did not disappoint. There was even more cat art up this time in their playroom, and there was even a Fisher Price plane filled entirely with cats. She boarded the cats on the plane, and unboarded them, and put them in little “rooms” made of magnet tiles, and did not want me to photograph this. She said the cats were tired and sleeping and she could not keep boarding and unboarding them, but she also didn’t want to me photograph them sleeping in their rooms or getting on or off the plane. I had to respect this – the cats must be famous or have some sort of privacy clause agreement – but the many rubber cats on the older Fisher Price plane was one of the best things I had ever seen.

Their son, also extremely excited about cats but also excited about trucks and me (!) and wagons, also put a bunch of little rubber cats inside his Jeep and drove the cats around. He also really likes those waving maneki-neko Japanese cats, and this beautiful wooden truck that his grandpa made for him. He’s such a sweet boy and was very concerned that I would not be following them into the backyard for the outdoor portion of the shoot.

Then their real cat, Brie, made an appearance (their other cat Stilton did not want to join us this year), and there was intense cat hugging/cuddling. It reminded me of myself at that age with my own cat. (Laurie and Dwight – I had a full-size camcorder at the age of 6 that I made my sister use to film me on a show I wrote and directed called Catnip Live! where I would “interview” my cat with a microphone. I hope you have this in your future). It was a full-on cat fest with cat people and I’m glad I was there to document it.