It is wonderful photographing people you haven’t seen in a while, especially when those people have had two children since the last time you saw them, and those two children really love your branding even though they’ve never met you or used your services, and they’ve placed your stickers all over their house. I’ve come equipped to recent sessions with two stickers: my current branding with the two fruit bats, and my old “vintage” branding that depicts two classic Halloween bats in front of a moon. Eloise and Thomas, the children of Crystal and Jason, had already placed their parents’ vintage stickers around the house. So when I tried to give another one of these to Eloise, she seemed disappointed and said, “Oh…. yeah… we already have that one,” but she was excited about the new fruit bats. But by the end of the session, Eloise had changed her tune and was suddenly requesting “four more stickers – two for me, and two for my little brother” – one of each branding design. I diligently obliged and then went back to talking to Crystal about something. When I turned around a few seconds later, I discovered both to my delight and horror that Eloise had placed all four stickers in prominent positions on her parents’ vehicles. I think I ran around stammering “I’m so sorry” repeatedly while photographing my new moving billboards with my phone. Thankfully Crystal and Jason are good sports and are okay with accidentally advertising for me for the remainder of the lifespan of their cars (or until they get some Goo Gone, whichever comes first) because they are delightful. Their children are delightful – intelligent, thoughtful, smiley little creatures. And their dog Atlas is DELIGHTFUL. All caps. Love this good old boy. Sorry about the stickers everyone, but I do smile when I go to bed at night knowing that the bats are driving around town.
Newborn babies are probably most fun when they are wrapped in taco blankets and accompanied by a dog named Taco, don’t you think? Baby Avital was welcomed into the world by loving parents Haley and Asher and by extremely-inquisitive-and-affectionate-so-doesn’t-quite-understand-personal-space-when-it-comes-to-babies older brother Taco. Taco is quite adorable and fluffy and fearless. He enjoys sweaters and pets. Avital is quite adorable and little and fearless. She enjoys koalas and owning a variety of fabulous blankets. Her parents tell me that she’s a future National Park Ranger, but there’s still some debate on which specific National Park she’ll choose. For now, her possible choices of future outdoorsy employment are on display via, you guessed it, her variety of fabulous blankets (camp sites and cacti) as well as her adorable stuffed koala. Haley and Asher are great parents, NYC transplants, and have incredibly interesting jobs. Also, there’s no quicker way to get to know someone than to move heavy furniture with them, which we did flawlessly, so I give them an A+ humanity rating. Plus how can you not like people who wrap their baby in a taco blanket?
Last time I photographed this family, Patrick was a tiny goofball with short hair and Ellie was an itsy bitsy baby with short hair. Now Patrick (not that much shorter than me at this point) and Ellie both have long hair and a younger brother named Jackson. And soon they’ll all have an even younger sister! And I cannot wait to meet her because I LOVE these people. The parents, Dottie and Jon, are quite near and dear to our hearts. They’re one of the first weddings we shot and the way they supported us and recommended us to get our career off the ground was incredible, and they continue to support me to this day. Both sides of their family are also huge supporters and continue to remain in touch which is so awesome and means so much to me.
Dottie and Jon are the fantastic, intelligent couple who manage to successfully run this incredible household and be adorable while they’re at it. They’re funny and I love them. Now for extensive psychological profiles on their children: Patrick is still a goofball, but now he’s a responsible, kind, REALLY GOOD KID (all caps). He’s helpful and sweet and is careful of where and how he strikes his mom with a lightsaber because she’s pregnant (even though she was showing him no mercy). He is close with his dog Weaver, who enjoys when Patrick rides her around the yard like a small horse. Patrick is stellar. And while the entire family has a killer sense of humor, Ellie is definitely the current comic relief. She’s super silly, makes a lot of faces, has a sharp wit, and can entertain and occupy herself, as well as hold her own with two brothers. Her parents tell me she’s also insanely responsible and schedule-oriented, and easily holds the family together. And then there’s Jackson, who currently plays the role of mischievous, too-smart-for-his-own-good, completely unpredictable yet SO CUTE small child. He enjoyed the pastime of pointing a (suction cup) bow and arrow set at my face repeatedly throughout the shoot (he was respectful enough not to fire… thank you, Jackson), eating chocolate and then getting upset when the chocolate was taken away, and climbing on top of the roof of his plastic car in the two seconds we were all looking in the other direction. He’s a whirling dervish.
All three have strong (and quite funny) personalities, and I cannot wait to see what baby #4 adds to the mix. I am so delighted to have photographed these folks again and be a part of their historical documentation (especially since Dottie is a history buff). Thank you for everything always and forever, D+J.