Hello, dear friends! After a long two-year Covid retirement, I pulled a Stephen King and unretired. I’m so glad to be back in action. And delightfully, the first family I photographed were these fine folks who are near and dear to my heart. I’ve been photographing Laurel and Sam since they were 8 and 6 years old, and now they’re driving to school and have grown into wonderful human beings who are both way taller than me. Laurel loves reading, Stranger Things, and can sing very excellently into a spatula. Sam can solve a Rubik’s cube in less time than it takes me to lace up my Vans and is an excellent cellist who can play all my favorite movie soundtracks by ear. And then there’s Jo who loves Simon, and Simon who loves Jo. Simon (the doggo) turned 4 on the day of the shoot, and celebrated his birthday by eating a string cheese. He begrudgingly wore a party hat for 10 seconds but he side-eyed us the whole time.
And because I couldn’t come out of retirement alone, this is the very first year that Jo and I have successfully convinced Brad to juggle for the camera. We’ve tried before but Brad was resistant to our pleading. Supposedly his juggling days were long over and he was rusty (this was not the case at all). Thankfully, I think we caught him off guard this year and he suddenly found himself outside holding 3 rubber chickens. I was delighted. Jo was delighted. Brad is excellent at juggling. I hope this inspires him to restart his juggling days. And what better way for me to come out of retirement than to photograph someone successfully juggling rubber chickens after begging them to let me photograph them juggling rubber chickens for all these years! I love these guys.
Alys and Brian met on MySpace and I love them for it. Remember MySpace, you guys!? Those were the golden days of social media and are dearly missed by yours truly. They were both living in different parts of NC, met on MySpace, and were married thirty-three days later. That was a little over 12 years ago. I find this story very endearing and sweet and it just proves even further than those who met on MySpace were destined to be together. Alys and Brian just had their first daughter about 17 months ago and her name is Diana. She is a GOOD kid. This was my first time photographing a napping/bedtime routine (which I loved doing!) and I was astonished at how Diana put up zero percent fight, agreeably climbed up the stairs, put on her pajamas without a fuss whatsoever, read two books, said “yes” when asked if she wanted to go to sleep, then kissed both her parents on the cheek and laid down without a fight. What! Alys and Brian then went to cuddle with Zeta (who is, in her opinion, actually the original daughter even though she’s technically a dog), and Diana remained peacefully asleep. I couldn’t even believe it. She’s a little gem. When she’s awake, Diana enjoys playing piano, throwing oranges off the kitchen counter and playing outside. She also enjoys wearing an extremely oversized sweater that makes her resemble some sort of Alaskan fisherman and is very adorable. Her parents love her and it’s not hard to see why.
Ohhh, I had SO much fun with this family! This is one of those cases where my client warns me repeatedly about how awkward and terrible they’ll be in front of the camera, but they end up being total naturals and the easiest people to work with. They were fantastic. Deidre, Eric and I clicked immediately – they have great senses of humor and appreciate the same great things in life like video games and Starbursts. Braelyn, however, took some convincing. Lucky for me, she adores her parents and they have zero qualms about turning her upside down, so we did get her to smile at them (before she remembered I was there). And she has THE cutest smile. Plus she’s like a baby savant. I knew she was only 1, so the chances of her walking were not great yet, but Eric set her down and she ran across the room like a little crazy person. Then she was shooting hoops with ease! And taking apart and putting back together my lens caps with incredible fine motor skills! She’s a smaaaart little baby. And so, so, so cute, just like her adorable parents. So happy to have done the first family photos for this great crew!