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.

Guyyyyysss if you aren’t familiar with the fabulous Amina Ford of Amina Ford Photography then get ready because not only is she an incredible photographer but she’s also the most sparkly pregnant woman you’ve ever seen in your life! Andddd she’s great. Also, so is Jeremy. He’s not wearing sparkles and he’s a radiologist instead of a photographer but he makes incredible dad jokes (well prepared for when she gives birth) and they’re an incredible couple. They live in New York City with their two dogs whom Amina will readily tell you about, and Jeremy will come back and tell you that he’s essentially just a means to an end so Amina can have dogs (we secretly think Amina likes him in addition to the dogs, but we can’t be certain since Amina really freaking love dogs so no promises).

It’s not a super well-kept secret in the community that I’m not a big fan of networking, and I dislike getting coffee with people I don’t know, and I’m not particularly good at being friends with other wedding vendors. I promise I’m not a grinch in real life, I just don’t like to talk about work, nor do I want to talk about other people in the business, and would rather just avoid everyone but my clients. But I do have a handful of vendor friends who have somehow sneakily snuck their way into my cold, unloving heart, and Amina happens to be one of them. We’ve been internet friends for some time, and she’s always supportive and loving and I love her back. We were honored to do these maternity photos for her and her husband Jeremy on their trip into Durham to visit with her family. Best of luck with the pregnancy and delivery, and I hope you’re back someday to visit wearing an equally sparkly dress.

Two things here.

First – Imma let you finish, but Elliott is the happiest baby OF ALL TIME. I know you might think you have a happy baby and you are like sure, sure, but then I dare you to look through these pictures and see what you think by the end of it. Your kid probably looks mega depressed now, doesn’t he? He is so ridiculously happy that I was afraid he might explode with joy, but much to our delight, he successfully stayed in one piece for the duration of the shoot. It’s possible that he’s not normally that happy, but rather that I don’t know the strength of my own charm and charisma. But, seeing as how no other babies, children, grown adults, nor pets have reacted this way, I can only assume it’s just Elliott. Perhaps he’s an alien (happiest best alien EVER!) or perhaps we just had a really great nap. Either way, we love him. He’s very charming.

Second – he is also the tallest baby ever. He’s 8 months old, but definitely is as tall as some toddlers I know, and basically half my height already. He’s going to be great at basketball.

Elliott, while stealing the majority of the spotlight, is accompanied by his parents Gina and Pete. They dressed him in striped footie pajamas that paid tribute to Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhino, who had died just before our session. Much respect. Gina and Pete are really cool and the most handy people we’ve ever encountered. Almost everything in their house has been built or sanded/stained or wired by Pete. He casually threw out there that he’s even made all the lamps and picture frames. They have an apple orchard they just planted! They have a backsplash they just tiled! They are crafty and cute and we like them too. Also in the adorable accessory department are Jethro (hound mix) and Cosima (German Shepherd) who are VERY GOOD boys and girls. Lots of sitting, lots of staying, lots of casually and cutely glancing at the camera. Fairly certain that Cosima has some sort of secret modeling pact with Elliott to land a high-profile baby food commercial together, and I don’t have a baby, but I’d still order whatever they were selling anyway.