I get asked a lot why I like being a photographer and what I like the most about my job. Lately I've come to appreciate being with my clients through the years, seeing them change and capturing important evens and experiences. With the arrival of their son, I felt it necessary to illustrate the changes I've been lucky enough to witness over the last couple of years with one family in particular. Below is the photographic journey of this family.
For some of you that follow me on social media, you'll recognize this session as the session that pushed me to buy the 1Dx, mainly because my 5Dmk2 bricked at the beginning of this family session in the fall of 2016. This session was also the first session I had with their family. They were impressed with their fall family pictures and the holiday cards they ordered and have stuck around ever since.
At their Christmas party of 2016 the family seemed quite merry, but Mike had a favor to ask and followed me out to my car when I was ready to head home. He told me that he wanted to set up a session in the next few weeks to take some family pictures in the snow, but he wanted to pause at the end and surprise his lady with a proposal. I was definitely onboard, so we proceeded to plan the session for early January 2017. The date for the session happened to be one of the stormiest days I've ever seen in the Sierras, with so much snowfall the ski resorts actually had to shut down. We were traveling up highway 50, and at about Strawberry Lodge we were stopped in traffic due to an avalanche. Mike and I decided that this was as good of a place as any to shoot some snowy family pictures. It must have snowed a foot while we were there, but that didn't stop Mike from asking the big question to his lady, down on one knee in the wind and snow.
Not long after the proposal they wanted to bring me onboard to shoot their wedding, and with my wedding packages I always include a free engagement session. They decided to shoot their engagement in Monterey in the spring, and we spend the afternoon walking Cannary Row eating ice cream, making funny faces and ending the day with a gorgeous sunset session at their beachfront hotel and a couple glasses of wine. This session will definitely go down as one of my all-time favs.
The heat of summer came and so did one of life's big milestones for their daughter, her 5th birthday. They asked to book a session to celebrate and of course I said yes, I couldn't miss this big opportunity to celebrate with them. We found a local park and spent a few minutes walking around telling jokes and having lots of fun. This little girl has no problem being in front of the camera, and we made short work of her birthday session.
Fall Family / Maternity Photos
Summer came and went and near the end of the hot summer days came an announcement from the family that they were expecting their second child. We scheduled the fall family session late in the fall season to get the best mix of maternity and family photos. Somehow between their crazy work schedules, my crazy fall portrait schedule, and the changing of the leaves here in the valley we were able to make it work and ended up with some beautiful shots of their slowly growing family that made great holiday cards once again. The age old saying kept popping into my head, "what a difference a year makes."
A Growing Family
I had a session scheduled with Mike in early February of 2018 to get some shots of him in his fire gear before it was to be sent back to the station. Sabrina had an awesome idea, they had hoped to get a composite image of the fire gear with their new baby sitting in the helmet. On the day of the shoot as I was packing my equipment I received a phone call from Mike telling me that he had to cancel the appointment as their son had been born that morning. A couple of days later I stopped by to take some pictures of their new baby boy. Seeing him in his sister's arms gave me the inspiration for this blog post, as I had been in a similar situation when my youngest sister was born and I have come to appreciate life's small moments like these.
The Big Day
On a cool afternoon in April of 2018, surrounded by friends and family, these two love birds finally came together in marriage. It was a Saturday unlike like any other, a day for which everyone had been waiting for quite some time, the guests bearing witness to the long-awaited wedding. White billowy clouds passed slowly overhead and rays of warm sun broke through the tall pines as the rings were exchanged on a small rocky landing that overlooked a wide valley surrounded by the snow-capped mountains of the Sierra Nevadas.
Their portrait session was full of laughs and lightheartedness which carried on through the remainder of the night's events. The father of the bride had nothing but a smile during the father-daughter dance, which I have always felt is a very strong sign of good luck. The dances included a family dance involving both the littles as they danced for the first time together as a family. The speeches were heartfelt and full of laughs, stories and memories of good times. As I drove down the mountain back towards the valley I reflected on the night, the evening turning out to be a perfect ending to their long-awaited wedding.
Their unique and intimate interactions, seen from their engagement session through their wedding photos, was one of a love that had long simmered and come as strong and tough as cured leather, one that has stood the test of time and of life, one that will endure.
TO BE CONTINUED....
More amazing moments with this family