It’s always a bit odd to photograph a senior when you’ve known them since they were little. Miles wasn’t too fond of having his photograph taken and his mom and I joked that the next time he’d have to take this many photos would be on his wedding day. (Now photographing Miles wedding would make me feel REALLY old!) Miles, although quite tortured by the whole picture-taking thing, was a great sport and even waded into a very chilly Lake Michigan to end the night.
Best of luck during your senior year, Miles!
June 24, 2013
The third Monday: As I made breakfast, I told Yuri and Harper to find something they wanted to do until it was time to eat. Yuri grabbed a book (which he decided to try to read upside down and backwards) and Harper grabbed an animal — so typical and so expected but I love it just the same.
After we ate, I decided to dig out all the photos I could find of my father who passed away last month at a much too young age of 57. I told every story I could remember to tell them about their Pap. You see, my parents divorced when I was too young to even remember. I lived off-and-on with my dad until I was Harper’s age — just ready to start kindergarten. But anyone who knows me, knows that my memories stay with me. I told them how my dad would drape my little legs over the handlebars of his motorcycle and drive down the country roads of Unityville, Pennsylvania. I told them how he would laugh because I was scared of the “eyes” that grew on potatoes when they rested in the bin a little too long. I told them how he indulged my sweet tooth and let me eat sugar cookies for breakfast and how he would let me comb his hair hours at a time. I told them how my dad teased me that, although I didn’t inherit his height or his wild nature, I sure got his ears.
Yuri captured the sweet photo of Harper listening to one of my stories and Harper took the photo of me smiling. As I edited the images for this post, I looked at the photo of my dad dressed as a cowboy in his fifth-grade school picture next to the photo of me smiling and I noticed I inherited a lot more than Danny Kessler’s ears. I see our smiles are the same. My eyes crinkle in the same places. Our chins are identical. A few freckles dot our cheeks. My time with my father was far too short but my memories will stay with me for a lifetime.
June 17th, 2013
The second Monday: They say home is where the heart is. My special day set aside for Yuri and Harper was shared with twenty of my family members that gathered at Shrine Mont in Orkney Springs, Virginia for a family reunion. They came from New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia, Texas, Michigan, Missouri and Kentucky. Trust me, a posse of young cousins was much more intriguing to Yuri and Harper than their old mom but I still shot a few images (and Jon shot one too) to document a slice of the day. Then I set the camera down and let it all sink in. I let Yuri and Harper form new relationships. Yuri learned to play chess (well, sort of) with his big cousin, Andrew. Harper rode on her Zanny’s back pretending she was riding a horse as the Virginia sun transformed her freckles. We put together puzzles, hiked, read books and swam. We talked and talked some more. Yes, without a doubt, everyone called Virginia home and we all left with our hearts better for it.
June 10, 2013
This summer I decided to stay home every Monday with Yuri and Harper. Oh sure, my editing to do list will inevitably grow to what will seem like an impossibility to accomplish but they will only be 4 and 6 once I figured. I already feel like they are growing much too fast. Often I tease them I want to put books on their heads so they will stop growing. They always giggle. Not only do I feel guilty being so busy but I’m always photographing everyone else’s magical moments. But not this summer. Every Monday, which I’ve decided to call “Mondays with Mom” I will spend the day doing things together and I will photograph it. It’s more for me – – a way to remember but I hope you’ll enjoy our journey, too.
The first Monday: I made pancakes from scratch in our old cast iron skillet, we had a creativity session with modeling clay and I even threw my Virgo tendencies to the wind and let them mix colors. They also got to stay in their pajamas until after lunch and I let them pick out their own outfits. (I wasn’t lying when I said I threw my Virgo tendencies to the wind!) We “popped some tags” at Goodwill, did a whole lot of snuggling and reading and went to the park where we played and explored nature. I even gave Yuri a photography lesson. The last two images are his.
“Life, love, and laughter – what priceless gifts to give our children.”
These are Yuri’s images. (Can I brag? Dang, he’s good!)
Maybe you remember this blog post from a year ago (or maybe you don’t) but the point is this: the greatest compliment is to have a family hire you back again to document the lives of their beautiful children. This means the world to me. Honestly, I hope I’m photographing “Love Times Three” on their wedding day if I’m still able to hold a camera. And let me say something else, the first image of mom with her three daughters is one of my favorites because look at that smile…isn’t that what motherhood is all about?
Engagement sessions are wonderful. It’s a celebration of love documented with a hint of anticipation for what’s to come. Oh, but Lee and Lisa upped the ante. They came straight from the doctor’s office with news that they were having a baby boy. Yep. I got to photograph that…a pure joy, excitement and overwhelming love for what’s to come. Congratulations, Lee and Lisa, and may you always savor the feeling you had on this day.