This Christmas was one of the best in the 26 years I’ve lived. One, because my husband could go with me to my hometown and experience the traditions, the craziness, the food, and the family that belongs to me. I was affirmed during this time that I am indeed a rich woman. The icing on the carrot cake was that I spent invaluable time with my nephew Samuel, laughing, cooing, playing, and of course sticking my camera in his face. His cuteness revolves around his big personality and his extremely expressive face, so of course I was thrilled to post these photos we took on Christmas Eve.
While visiting Dothan for the festive holiday time, I was honored to do this magical family session at Landmark Park. There are no words for how happy these pictures make me. I don’t know if it’s their charming honesty or the light or the cotton, but whatever it is, I’m not going to say too much. Just enjoy them.
“What greater thing is there for human souls than to feel that they are joined for life – to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories.” – George Eliot
Sometimes I wish I could write long stories about the families I photograph and the things we talk about in those few hours of popping in on their life. If it weren’t for my mouth being so prone to jabber, I wouldn’t ask the questions that I do, and I would probably walk away feeling like I had only “worked” for this couple of hours. Mind you, sometimes this happens. Sometimes it’s a quiet day and I just focus on getting the job done. The God of our universe chooses these moments, not me. On the other hand, sometimes all the stars seem to align and shooting is just…easy. Had I kept my mouth shut in this last session, I wouldn’t have learned that the couple met over the internet (like my husband and I) and were completely in love before they’d ever met. It was AWESOME to meet someone who had such a similar story to mine.
B and T, (and your parents) thanks so much for choosing me to mark this moment in time for your family. Also, thank you for letting us use the brown couch and for your hard work driving it to the field on the top of your car. I am so excited to share these photos with you and let me know if you too can’t stop thinking about those blonde curls, blue eyes and ridiculously cute Swedish and English smiles.
The season of the senses has arrived. We were given a beautiful autumn afternoon in Winterhur last week and a more than willing Raphael let me shoot him in his backyard as the sun went down. I loved his green autumn sweater and the scrape on his chin. I loved the way he put his hands in his pockets and how he gave me contemplative looks like a small man instead of a child.
I could tell the light was already changing with the season, introducing my camera to the coming cool nights and early sunsets. I look forward to the falling leaves, the pumpkins, the smell of cinnamon and clove, and of course the invitations to drink spiced wine and eat my favorite Appenzeller fondue.
I had a sweet time following little Samuel around his house while he helped with the garden and explored on his own. I hid in the background and in some cases the bushes because the moment he noticed the camera, he wanted to press all of the buttons. Very curious and very smart for a 14 month old. This is one cute little man… and make sure to look closely at those eyelashes.
I haven’t seen swan babies since I was a little girl, but these brave little ducklings ventured out into the lake right as we were walking on a bridge at the Pfäffikersee. Quite appropriate scenery for a family and children photo-session, I’d agree. Everything about the setting fit perfectly with this family. The dreamy sun made our afternoon session very enjoyable while they played and laughed in the tall grass along the water. I’m pretty sure I was a mere tree in the background as far as the kids were concerned. They were very expressive and excited about everything going on around them, so I was able to steal mom and dad away for a few romance shots in the amber light. Afterall, who wouldn’t want to cuddle up and show some love near a lake with baby swans?
It’s about a ten minute drive from my house to the the lush country side where sheep graze and farmers grow a variety of things whether it be corn or cows. The landscapes reveal areas of freshly cut grass and patches where endangered wild orchids grow alongside clovers and giant dandelions. I would make this trip on a daily basis if it weren’t for gas prices, but luckily I could make the trip to photograph a family living in the region and take advantage of this “typical Swiss” scenery.
He is an commercial pilot and she is a professional florist, and while they watched their little girl play alone on a blanket, she looked at him and said, “We made that.”
With their backs to the sun and smiles on their face, Lea, Christian, and their daughter Juliette played in a field of wildflowers while I photographed their sweet moments. I wouldn’t change a thing about this session… it was truly perfect. They were all so in love with each other, and it shows. What a gift to have caught a glimpse into the spirit of this family.
The more I photograph children, the more I want to photograph children. It’s such a fun challenge, one where you are forced to stay on your toes and come up with ideas in mere seconds. Moments are perpetually cute, and the shutter speed better be fast. It was an honor and a privilege to collaborate with portrait artist Irene Marzano, who will work from one of these images for her next painting. Here are a few shots of Noah and his sister Helena.
A few posts back I mentioned a wonderful family that was gracious enough to loan us their barn for our art exhibition. I.adore.this.family. Truly. It’s amazingly refreshing to have kids around who speak English with you instead of cocking their heads to the side when strange Swiss German comes out of my mouth. I find it hard to get back into the routine of work around the house and with my business because part of my heart is still at our art show from 6pm-8pm each evening. I look forward to another day of playing with Emma, Rafael, and Donatello and perhaps once again eating the remainders of their dinner on the back patio.
Emma made a great point when she dominated me at a game of Bob the Bilder “Memory” in her living room. I’ll be honest, when she pulled the game out I groaned a little. I’ve never been good at it and I think with age and learning another language my short term memory has only gotten worse. However, throughout the beginning of the game it was going rather well for me. I was picking up matching pieces left and right, and I was feeling quite good about myself. Emma said, “See, you are really good!” I felt validated by this six-year-old’s words, and we continued on till the last 14 pieces reminded on the floor. It was Emma’s turn, and she proceeded to pick up matching pair after matching pair with precision and speed until all the cards were gone. She had remembered 7 pairs in a row! I was impressed, and I asked her, “Why do you think kids are so much better at memory than adults?” and she replied, “…I think it’s because kids don’t have to remember important things like grown ups do. Grown-ups have to remember lots of hard things, and kids don’t, so there’s probably not a lot of space left in their brain.”
Sweet Emma’s 1st grade insight astounded me. We can learn to much from children. Simplicity, fun, freedom, carefreeness (not to be mistake with carelessness) and simple truths that are otherwise clouded by our adult tendencies to overanalyze. Irene and Gerry, you’ve created three amazing little people, and here is my photographic tribute to you both.
This entire week Gabriel and I have been exhibiting a large selection of our paintings in a beautiful old barn belonging to a colleague at Gabe’s school. It has been a joy to get to know this family to whom the barn belongs and who also occupy the house next to it. We are greatly indebted to them for opening their home to us, for their kindness, and for the simple joys that come from conversation over tea and playing with their three children. Irene is an extraordinary artist and is gracious enough to teach art to young kids at a school here in Winterthur. She is also married to an American from Rochester, and their little ones come in and out of the gallery to entertain us when the crowds are slower. We’ve all felt the creative energy stirring, and I have been inspired to not only photograph more children, but to perhaps try painting one of my photos. Since I’ve moved here, the creative juices seem to always be flowing from my husband, and I am so thankful for the consistency that brings into my life. Even in times where I feel dried up and uninspired, an oddity, considering where I live, my husband is working on a painting or playing his guitar. I think we will always be “makers” of things, even throughout our “old” and “gray”. Being around other artists been a great learning experience, and I am totally inspired to start something new and fresh. But first, here are some shots of their youngest son.
Here are a few shots of Irene’s paintings of her three children. Her talent is truly incredible.
I just love this family. For so many reasons. And, I’m blogging their photos because I think they deserve to be seen and it’s been a while since the photoshoot last May! I’m slowly catching up, and my goal this year is to stay on top of blogging each and every session. I photographed these lovely folks in some overgrown weeds, quite beautiful weeds, actually, in a village called Dickbuch, and I was very thankful that the person whom the land belonged to didn’t come out and yell at us.
I definitely plan on using that area for future shoots until someone tells me not to because it was AMAZING.
Check out all this gorgeous family love, and tell em’ what you think.
After a few months pass and I get to organizing everything, I sometimes get the itch to go through photos from past sessions and play with them in a totally new way. And sometimes I find photos that are completely new and it’s like, “wow, I don’t remember this one!”
Back in June, a sweet mother of two approached me about taking photos of her family. She wanted to break out of the studio bubble and take a chance on some natural light photography, and bravo to her for doing so! These photos really tell the story of the relationship between this sweet family. I just recently revisited the session and realized I never blogged about it! Here I am, almost six months later showing you how these blonde-headed cutie-pies charmed both me and my camera.