And we’re back!

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.

Ohhh, today is such a happy blog post! Not that any of them are unhappy, but this one is just plain cute. :)

Meet the men of the hour: fraternal twins Will (on left) and Ryan (on right). How adorable are they!? Just the sweetest things! They will be turning one year old in early June, so these are their first year portraits. :) We took a bunch with super cool mom and dad, too! Mom is the incredibly talented force behind Mae Armstrong Designs; she does custom invitations, stationary, and all sorts of really incredibly crafty projects. I am pretty much addicted to her Facebook fan page feed already as I envy anyone who can sew and has the ability to turn an old shirt into an awesome skirt. Really! And, if anyone is thinking Dad looks familiar, he’s the evening Sports Anchor on ABC11! How do I get such cool clients?!

Will and Ryan aren’t crafting or reading news prompters yet, but rest assured they are destined for greatness… but we’ll have to wait until they can walk first. For now, they’ll just sit around the NC State Arboretum looking really really cute:

Will: “Why am I sitting in this ivy?”

Ryan: “Who, me?”

This picture absolutely cracks me up. So – for those of you to do child portraits – you know that you’ll spend most of the session making goofy faces and sounds and pretty much standing on your head. Will and Ryan could see through my antics and the below picture shows them questioning the particular circus show I was performing at the time.

Ryan modeling his Blue Steel face.

True story: The bear below is none other than Snuggles. Yes, like from the dryer sheet commercials. When I was 5 years old my family took me to some Family Day type thing at the park, but you could enter your name into a contest to win prizes. However, the prizes were totally random (maybe they weren’t… I need my mom to help fill in some of these details), but long story short – I won… a hammer. Yes, the city officials gave a 5 year old a hammer as a door prize. Needless to say, I cried. A lot. Because what I had really wanted was Snuggles… and because what was I going to do with a hammer. So the officials gave in and traded the hammer out for Snuggles, and happily home I went. 20 years later, Snuggles now lives with us in North Carolina and has been re-purposed as a hand puppet for small children I photograph. He’s happy with his new job, and the kids love him. Way to go, Snuggles!

Vogue it, boys!

Aren’t these little gentlemen the cutest? You boys will look back on this twenty-some years later and your girlfriends will LOVE these! :D