One of the perils of photographing a small child that you see often and are friends with is that they tend to want to sit next to you during the shoot and you keep having to move away from them in order to take pictures of them, which hurts their feelings. They also know your husband Geoff and demand to know where he is, and are upset that you didn’t bring him. We’ve been friends with Abby and Rachel for a very long time, and were so excited when they moved back to NC with their kiddo Ansel. Ansel is our buddy. We’ve shared dinners and bedtime story routines and long discussions about Geoff’s shoes. He is extremely intelligent and also hilarious, and I don’t think I’ve ever really seen him truly upset except for maybe 5 seconds when he couldn’t get the “Prog” button his keyboard to work. He is funny and very adored and he seems to like us.

When I showed up without his buddy Geoff for this shoot, he was initially confused. Why would I be there… without Geoff? Where are Geoff’s shoes? He then made a swift recovery by deciding to sit directly next to me during most of the session where I couldn’t photograph him and giggling profusely. Slowly he was bribed away from me with various things: sticks, a blanket that looks like a tortilla which I use whenever over their house as much as possible, howling with his dog Ozlo, more sticks, a scooter, some pinecones, and finally cookies. We had a wonderful time. I love this family with all of my heart and am lucky to know them and extremely lucky and thankful that they have a blanket that looks like a tortilla that they allow me to use when I’m at their house.

Meet the Zitzmann family! This ship is captained by Vanessa and John (mom and dad) and their crew is Luke and Scott. Luke and Scott look remarkably similar, but Luke is two years older at 6 years. Vanessa is the sister of my friend Daniel and I had the pleasure of first meeting these guys at Daniel’s wedding in March. Fast family facts: John made a lot of faces in Daniel’s formal wedding pictures which Vanessa expressly forbid him to do in these portraits, and he tried his hardest to hold back. ;) Vanessa wanted the pictures done at Theatre in the Park where she spends a lot of time currently rehearsing for A Christmas Carol. And Luke and Scott like to run, jump, run, jump, run, run, run, jump, run, and hang out with their stuffed Yoshi from Super Mario. My kind of crew. Needless to say, we had a ton of fun running around! Afterward, Vanessa had a ton of fun getting leaves all over the dressing room floor, and I had a ton of fun getting the leaves out of my boots, socks, hair, etc. ;) Enjoy this super fun and adorable family!

…and afterward they collapsed into a pile of exhaustion. ;)

It’d be much more accurate if I titled this post Raleigh Engagement Photographer: Taylor+Chris+Wynnie… mostly because it really is an engagement between the three of them. :) Taylor being a fabulous girl who works in a psychiatric office and used to be my sister-in-law’s¬†roommate. Chris being a wonderful boy who does web-related work for the American Kennel Club. Wynnie being the sweetest (and softest) Golden Retriever on the face of the planet who has a general distrust of water fountains and whose hair gets a pristine 80s crimp when it gets wet. Taylor and Chris’s love for Wynnie is very evident. So when they became engaged, it was obvious we were to include Wynnie in the pictures.

Most of the time when dogs are included in engagement pictures, they are in about 10-30% of the shots, depending. This is usually due to the fact that it takes a much longer time to pose people with their dogs and get the dogs settled down and looking in the proper direction. Wynnie is in about 95% of their pictures. A lot of this has to do with the fact that she was just one dog as opposed to two or three, but most of it has to do with the fact that Wynnie is just so ridiculously sweet. She never barked, they never yelled at her, and she did whatever we wanted. Just a totally chill dog. A lot of this has to do with the fact that you could tell the three of them are just happy as can be. :) Wynnie is thrilled that her parents are tying the knot… and while this post is mainly to celebrate the engagement of Taylor+Chris, it’s also about the adoption of Wynnie. :)

Photos taken at the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) where Taylor used to go a lot as a child.

We’re photographing Taylor and Chris’s wedding on October 23rd – our one year wedding anniversary. :) What a great way to celebrate it!