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.
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.
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.
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.