I met Paul+Emily at a party for one of our other client friends and I was so excited to hear from them when they had their second child! First, I must say, that the entire family is adorable. Like – ADORABLE. This was my very first session with an accordion AND banjo playing toddler. And when I mean banjo playing, I mean he can actually play! He knows songs! His strumming is far better than mine is! AND he does all of this while playing on his front porch in front of his vegetable garden. Literally all he needs is suspenders and he will be the cutest bluegrass child in the entire continental United States. He occasionally would get really excited and speak to me like one does to a very small cat that you’re extremely happy to see: high pitched, squeaky, squinty eyes. His name is Isaac, and I’m his #1 fan.
New to the family (and new to both accordions and banjos), is his little sister Clara. While she doesn’t have the fine motor skills to play old timey instruments yet, she DOES have banana pants, an avacado blanket, and a book called Frida Catlo which details Frida Kahlo’s life as a cat. I am 100% positive that she will also be into gardening and old timey instruments. She is super duper cute, and did a good job lying on various patterned surfaces while being adorable. The brother-sister shots on the quilt toward the end cracked me up. VERY CUTE CHILDREN. Also Ruby – the dog – also very cute, and excellent at smiling for portraits. So happy to have photographed this crew. Isaac played me a goodbye song on his drum as I drove away.
I can solidly say that no other assignment has had us listening to this much Men Without Hats. I think we listened to the Safety Dance at least a dozen times, each time accompanied by Finn doing the Wheels on the Bus circular hand motions while bouncing up and down for completely inexplicable reasons. He was thrilled. This child CANNOT GET ENOUGH Men Without Hats. On vinyl, no less! He went right to the record shelf and picked out the record, promptly dropped it, then picked it up again and ran to the record player because he is a hipster child. I say this with love. But he is an audiophile, has impeccable wardrobe choices, is in possession of several vintage childhood books, and drives an unusual-shade-of-green-colored Jeep. His popsicles are also made out of things like bananas and kale. I’m just saying… he’s an adorable hipster of a 2 year-old.
In addition to Men Without Hats, he also enjoys this one song that came programmed into his Jeep. It’s super strange, oddly somber for a child’s toy, but sounds kind of like a teenage version of Journey’s Faithfully. Definitely a breakup song. And when he’s done with the Safety Dance, he cools down to that one, accompanied by slower, sadder Wheels on the Bus hand motions. When he’s done feeling sorry for himself for whatever imaginary breakup he’s going through, he heads straight to his kiddie pool to pick up a cup and then literally pour a ton of water straight into his eyes. He does this repeatedly (always aiming for the top of his head but not quite having the rotator cuff range yet so landing directly into the eyes) and then shakes like he’s about to explode with joy. I think he’s cold, but it’s a delighted cold, so it comes across as enthusiastically explosive.
So basically, Finn is one of my all-time favorite children. I also love his parents, Heather and Garrett, whose maternity session we photographed back in 2016 while Finn was still in utero. They have a beautiful house that’s adorably decorated because Heather is an incredible designer and also because they, too, love Invader Zim. They have two flufferistic doggos, Mabel and Castle, who like to follow Finn around and look for food he’s currently dropping, and do zoomies around the house. When we left, Finn pressed his entire face up against the glass like I’ve really only ever seen in television shows because he’s the most amazing kid ever. He also blew me kisses immediately upon my arrival and departure. He did not blow kisses to Geoff, but rather stood super close to him while doing the Wheels on the Bus hand motions and staring directly into his eyes. Not sure what this meant but it was also great. YOU CAN DANCE IF YOU WANT TO.