The thoughts swirl. They come at you headfirst the way the wind blows in your face both directions at the base of the mountains when you run (100% true by the way). You think about it some more. The thoughts creep in at random moments: first day of school, while looking for a shirt and finding one that hasn't fit your kiddo since they were wee ones, and possibly at 2:32am. Everyone thinks about family photos especially while the kiddos are young but often there is so much already on one's plate how do you add another on your to-do list? There's so much, the day, the location, the people, the outfits. It's easier to just wait until next year. Right? Well this family certainly said, "Nah, let's do this!" They didn't do photos just once this past year but FIVE times in multiple states, across oceans and in different countries. This family said yes to now and today and this moment because when it's all done and the kiddos are at college and beyond no one ever thinks back and says, "I really wish I didn't have so many photos of my kids."
Did they do every session with me? Nope. Should they have? Absolutely not! While it may be as shocking as that first snowstorm of the season (please come earlier this year), I firmly believe that different photographers can offer different perspectives in equally beautifully ways. I love seeing other perspectives and when I can see that in snippets throughout one year it is even more incredible to notice what I and other photographers see when we look through our viewfinder.
One of the best choices this family made for their session was to bring Gramps. He is absolutely a huge piece of their family puzzle and getting to include him in this photo session made everything better. Gramps brought the fun in the best possible way just by being there and enjoying time with his grandkids. He was up for anything and made it all more memorable. He made the kids' light up and laugh and me as well. Thanks for being a secret weapon of awesomeness, Gramps!
Honest moment here. This family requested a session in winter...in Colorado. Their previous session was in Hawaii so yeah....that's a lot to live up to. How do I make beautiful photographs for them when even groundhogs aren't wanting to check for their shadows? How do I create this when they just had a glorious golden hour session in HAWAII? Answer: I don't. Colorado in winter is not Hawaii and it doesn't need to be. This family already knew that and it was simply I who had to make the expectation adjustment. I kept an eye out but sadly there were no sea turtles and crashing ocean waves at our session. Instead, it was exactly how Colorado is at that time of year. This family knew that it had a beauty all it's own. Colorado in winter is peaceful, quiet and calm. It feels like the mountains and open space exhale and I loved having that ease and beauty to ourselves.
We looked for critter tracks. Our shoes crunched over piles of snow that hadn't yet melted in the brief but beautiful sunshine and I marveled at how this family with young kids just knew. They knew it wasn't about perfection and Pinterest. Family photos don't need to have a theme or a perfect backdrop. All they need is love (thanks Beatles) and you! When you show up and bring your family to play, explore and have fun together in the afternoon sunshine magic happens. I want to be there to capture it. The jumping, and playing, and searching for critters, the falling, the jumping over (and maybe running through) mud puddles and the happy faces staring at their grandparent and loving every bit of time spent together. That's what I love showing up for and what I love about this family. They did that and more. They brought the golden light and the fun of frolicking in the winter sun of Boulder. I hope I captured the beauty in it all.