Cat and Mitchell are two very good friends of ours. They’ve been photographed 6 times by us (insert lots of happy, nostalgic tears here) and we love love love them. Our relationship started out by us photographing them in unusually frigid weather for their engagement session in Greensboro, progressed to me jumping in a bouncy castle with Cat during a break in shooting their wedding, and now it’s devolved into me complaining about kidney stones to them at a Weezer concert. So they’re quite special to us, and now so are their children. Their son Cameron is seriously *the* sweetest and most adorable kid. Look at him. Look at him! He is constantly a smiling, happy, joyful little dude who is so sweet I could cry. He let me win at Candy Land. What 3 year old does that? He’s the best. (Note: did not let his parents win at Candy Land, definitely beat them by a landslide).
Sarah, his newfound little sister, is adorable and excels at looking cute, wearing baby Hawaiian print shirts, and staying awake until the exact moment I start eating lunch. Together, they are an unstoppable brother/sister duo I adore. We got to meet her and hang out with Cat and Mitchell for a day at Mitchell’s family’s new house in Kure Beach. This day mostly involved us discussing and worrying about rip tides, sharks, flesh-eating bacteria, and brain-eating amoebas before we finally were all brave enough to swim. Happy to say that none of things we worried about came true. However, I did break into hives for no reason and had to go in (it’s always the things you don’t see coming, isn’t it?). But – all’s well that ends well. We had a beautiful day at the coast with this family of four and we love them. Also, new family rule: no pictures ever again of any of you unless you’re all wearing matching Hawaiian outfits.
Martha and Justin are dear friends of ours whose wedding we photographed way back in 2011 (!!) and whom we’ve played many games of Killer Bunnies with ever since. Martha’s from Chicago and Justin’s from Minnesota, but they met in Chicago. Martha left to attend Duke, and Justin joined shortly thereafter… and they both became Durhamites through and through. Here they adopted a cat and later had a real human child named Emilia, who is the friendliest and most adorable kid on earth. She is a fantastic hugger and excited ALL THE TIME! and also loves pizza. She is also incredibly patient, especially for a 2.5 year old. I’ve seen her look lovingly at pizza that wasn’t hers (while clapping) yet remaining seated (!) and just politely sitting there until her pizza arrived. I’ve seen grown adults who can’t do that and have zero chill when it comes to waiting for pizza (namely my husband).
Now they are sadly (to us!) moving to Minnesota, and taking their knowledge of amazing food with them (Martha helped us discover the joy that is pupusas, and, of course, El Cuscatleco). We will miss them greatly. They wanted a family session that documented a little bit of their time spent in Durham at the playground in Central Park and The Parlour, where Emilia makes the best ice cream eating face. It’s like the face you would make to imitate a tiger, only instead you’re just eating ice cream. I love her. And them. When we visit you in Minnesota you have to promise you’ll take us to see Prince stuff. xoxo.
Duke Gardens is absolutely beautiful, and is also very near and dear to this family’s heart. They go there as often as possible, and love wandering the grounds, reading stories in the gardens, and watching the chickens. They also love feeding the ducks and turtles (well, Skye and Tye do… Rui takes a few steps back and observes from a distance while being somewhat concerned about salmonella… it’s a family tradition). Tye also loves playing soccer and carrying around his adorable monkey lunchbox (and, obviously, eating two Locopops at the same time… because who doesn’t love that?!). I had a great time exploring with them, and also playing Wheels on the Bus on my Spotfiy. Skye and Rui introduced me to a new (to me) part of Duke Gardens that, despite all my weddings and shoots there, I had no idea existed: the kids’ area with a storybook circle, chickens, and an herb garden! I always make a bee-line straight for the bamboo and have just always managed to miss it. Also, I can’t be sure, but I’m fairly certain that my kiddo clients have the best shoes ever… and Tye is no exception with his DINO SHOES that I am 100% envious of. Loved working with this beautiful family of three!