Before I begin to talk about this sweet family I want to express my passion for this type of photography. To have images of real, un-staged moments in your life. To see the expression of your child’s face as they look at you or see how long their legs look dangling down your body as you hold them close. And, even the mundane things like, changing a diaper or getting your child dressed… Documenting moments like this is so incredibly special to me. It’s these little moments that not only make up our days, but they are also short lived. You go from your child needing you for everything to them becoming increasingly independent — wanting to feed themselves, dress themselves, go down the stairs by themselves, to them even playing alone. Our memories begin to fade and the details become fuzzy, but having images like this preserves your memory, documenting the details you don’t want to forget. Not only will these images be special to you, but your children will love looking at them in the future, too. Not just posed pictures smiling into the camera, but real life, with you holding them, wiping their noses, and interacting with them in your home. These images will become an heirloom for the whole family. And, my goal with photographing families is what the author John Updike said, to “give the mundane its beautiful due.”
Now, about the family… I met Melissa through a mom group on Facebook where she saw my work. She had reached out to me last winter about setting up a session while she visited her family here in Connecticut and wanted to include her Nana. The timing didn’t work out back then and they rescheduled their trip, which was this past June. They traveled from California, renting an eclectic house full of charm through Air B&B in Old Lyme. The house had chickens and alpacas on the property, which was so random and yet so awesome. By the way, if you’re close enough, alpacas sneeze on you or perhaps it’s a cough, I’m not sure. Either way, it’s equally hilarious and gross. Anyway, Melissa’s relationship with her Nana is so special to her and she wanted their daughter, Vivi, who only met their Nana once when she was a baby, to get to know each other and spend time together. So, I just had them go about their day as if I wasn’t there and photographed what unfolded before me, except for taking a short break in the middle for a few of portraits.
Not only was Melissa’s Nana included, but this was also a time that documents their last moments of being a family of three before the new baby arrives. And, even though there were times where Vivi fussed a little I found it to be quite endearing, because she was so cuddly and clingy with her mom and dad. All I could think about was how soon this will change and she won’t be the baby anymore. As I edited the images I was so moved with how all of those elements made this session so special.