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.

My notes going into this session said: “Elaine is good at finding four-leaf clovers, hates zombies. Henry = possible lead singer of Journey cover band? Charlotte likes to sing.” Turns out that Charlotte DOES like to sing and dance, and she prefers both of those things to be done to Hall & Oates and/or the Beastie Boys. I’ve never seen anyone dance so dramatically around a living room to “She’s Gone” besides myself. In a rainbow tutu nonetheless! John Oates would be so proud. We had a lot of activities to do on our roster, so unfortunately we did not get to hear her sing “Sabotage,” but maybe in the future (one can dream!). Charlotte is an outrageously smiley adorable small child who I want to scoop up and pat on the head.

Her parents are equally as adorable by themselves and together, but I cannot scoop either one of them up because they’re taller than me. Elaine did not spot a four-leaf clover during our shoot, but to be fair, we did not have her look for any. She was kept safe from any and all zombies. Henry, it turns out, was not a lead singer of a Journey cover band, but instead pretended he was for many years, just subtly and occasionally and vaguely enough to fool everyone around him. This went on for long enough that by the time people found out, they liked Henry despite the fact that he was never in a Journey cover band, and he got away with it. I’m taking notes on this plan of deception. Together, all three of these humans are really, really great and make a terrific marching band.

WE LOVE THIS FAMILY. They eat burgers with us and see Weezer with us and talk with us about friend things and are friends. Cat and Mitchell have been with us for a long time (5 times!), and Cameron has now been with us two times! Together, they all have the best colors of Converse shoes. Cat and Mitchell always have impeccable taste in glasses, and while Cameron isn’t there yet, I fully expect a super cool pair on him at some point in the future, even if they’re fake. Anyway – this year we took their family pictures at the Greensboro Science Center, which was gracious enough to grant us permission for a documentary-style family session there. We followed them through all their favorite exhibits: penguins, sting rays, giant aquarium with a shark who was really good at following photo cues, and a 2001 Space Odyssey style hallway that contained a singular ad for Big Bird which, from what we can tell, is one of Cameron’s favorite parts of the museum. We saw a red panda who defiantly turned away from me once I started clenching my teeth and talking to him in a high-pitched voice about his cuteness. We walked through some colored smoke that made Cameron look like a toddler-God. We took pictures with dinos and green screens and prisms. Then we ate garlic fries and all was right with the world. We’re happy to take pictures and explore with these guys, and so happy to call them our friends.