The light tapped the surface of the ponds like dragonflies. The warmth from the sun made the rocks under our feet glow and emanate heat. The wind hypnotically swayed the cattails and reeds as if they were in a trance. Mosquitoes buzzed, geese and cormorants glided along the water unconcerned with autumn's approach. We were hoping for yellow cottonwoods and dancing aspen leaves. We were greeted with 90 degree temps in the late afternoon light. Planning and preparing for your session is beyond helpful but rolling with the day may be the most important skill yet. If there's one thing this family has taught me over the years (and they've actually taught me so much than just ONE thing) it is that showing up for whatever the day brings and just being there together make the unexpected enchanting.
I turned down a familiar dirt road to meet a familiar family and was beaming (and yes sweating). Not because the weather was perfect. That's never it nor what I'm looking for, but because of the gratefulness and excitement I felt at getting the opportunity to photograph this family again. Repeat clients are one of my favorite gifts. I am gifted the opportunity to see these kiddos and their family members (including furry ones) and notice the things I sometimes take for granted in the daily routine. I get to see how they went from knee-high to a grasshopper to their heads now peering over the tall grasses. I notice how their sisterly kindness blooms and their bond strengthens with the passing seasons. I'm giddy just listening to them chat about things that make them happy this year. I get to do this while catching up with their INCREDIBLE parents who somehow always seem to be even more compassionate and 100% awesome than even I remember.
Some of the things that make these clients, this family, so special are how they love to find different locations for their sessions and look to have photographic memories from different seasons. Boulder County Open Space has so many varied land areas, geology, and environments and I love how they choose different aspects and experiences each time I'm lucky enough to view them through my lens. This particular season we were hoping for that warm autumn feel. The day may have brought summertime tunes looping in my head but there was no mistaking that fall was around the bend in the trail. Something drew me to these ponds, to this location, and I wasn't sure exactly why. When I found a spot I thought we should walk to and explore for their Boulder family photography session, I just felt as thought it was an area we needed to roam. As we looked across the water at the Flatirons in the distance, they let me know that this area held a special place in their hearts. It was a favorite spot of theirs and their wonderful dog that passed on the previous year. I had no idea of this until we reached it with their new rescue pup, Gracie trotting alongside. I love how random occurrences and plans intersect in unexpected ways and opened up an opportunity to hear more about their previous and current furry friends.
This particular afternoon we got so much more than we planned for. We had endless sunshine and what felt at times like an endless summer. We saw insects crawling, buzzing and flying. We watched Gracie follow the girls and their lead while happily prancing next to them. We dodged cactus, mosquitos and bees. I fully expect this exact date this year to have snow (and t very well could) but that is part of the magic of nature and the unexpected. The best part was there...this family...and I once again was happy to trot alongside them all with my camera, just like Gracie.