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.

Halloween is quite near and dear to our hearts. My birthday is in October, and I’ve usurped Halloween as my own personal holiday since I was born. Then Geoff and I were married on the 23rd with a Halloween-themed wedding, and basically Halloween all year, Halloween all the time, Halloween Halloween Halloween. We met Melanie and Ryan some time ago, and they are ALSO Halloween Halloween Halloween in ALL THE BEST WAYS! We were unfortunately unavailable to photograph their wedding but they’ve returned to us now with their sweet daughters Scarlett and Raven and booked us for a Halloween family session and we were SO EXCITED!! Their decorations are quite impressive, and we’ve learned we need to up our outdoor game a bit. They also have the most fabulous and wonderful collection of tiny little Halloween houses that light up and have moving ghosts and they’re all very elaborate and spooky. We had Christmas houses like this when we were little, but had I known Halloween houses existed, my parents would’ve been in trouble.

So we hung out with this Halloweeny crew at their place, checking out their decorations and running around the house playing! Scarlett is a brave and strong girl, who doesn’t flinch when her dad turns the corner wearing a terrifying clown mask, but instead attempts to block him with a Wonder Woman arm maneuver while still trying to hold onto some M&Ms. Raven loves the Zombie Man in the yard, and the giant inflatable spider down the street at a neighbor’s. She also adores the Chucky dolls upstairs in their attic, but isn’t quite okay with the terrifying clown mask yet (we’re working on it). Both children love their Halloween balloons, candy-dispensing mummy head, and the giant rubber rat sitting on top of their play kitchen. They also enjoy telling Alexa to play “This is Halloween” but forget the Danny Elfman part so Alexa plays the Marilyn Manson version and the kids hide. Melanie and Ryan enjoy horror movies (surprise!), getting their pictures taken with Robert Englund, collecting wonderful horror movie art, and being our heroes. Cheers to this spooktacular family of ghouls and ghoulettes! We are so happy to have been a little part of your boooootiful Halloween season.