Last year I photographed Trisha's family to document her baby turning nine months old. Those photos are some of my favorites from an in-home family session. I even noted on Facebook that older daughter, Adrianna, was the muse of the family. Fast forward a couple months and I notice the photos on Facebook are showing Adrianna usually with a bandana and eventually noticing she is losing her hair. I nervously asked a mutual friend if this precious little girl I had just met was sick. Come to find out that Adrianna was diagnosed with alopecia and even was just fitted for a custom wig. Being that I can't do much to help, I offered Trisha to take photos of the day she got her wig because even though this probably isn't how Trisha imagined life with a 4 year old, it is still worthy of being photographed and preserving those memories for when Adrianna is older.
One of my favorite things about being a documentary photographer is being able to see how different families act and witnessing those family dynamics. In the hotel room while Adrianna was getting her wig adjusted, I certainly saw how much Trisha and Derrick love their little girl. Every time I looked at Derrick, he had a smile across his face as he looking lovingly at his little girl. Trisha diligently paid attention to every detail of how to put on the wig, what products to use, and how to take care of the new hair. She seemed to have the same 'mom worries' but on a different scale: 'does this wig match what her hair used to look like?' 'what WOULD her hair have looked like now?'...all things that a mom would think about when trying to provide the best for their child. Of course Adrianna was a typical 4 year old- sweet, funny, fidgety, and seemed to care more about her reward of Chick-fil-A than the new hair.
The wigs were from a company in LA, called Farrell Hair Replacement, and the lady who helped Adrianna was the sweetest and most patient lady. She was amazing! Here are some photos of the big day!
A couple weeks ago, a friend of mine was bringing her new daughter home from China. She asked me to photograph the homecoming at DFW Airport as the rest of family (including Dad and brothers) met her for the first time. I was very nervous about this session because it was so important and a once a lifetime type deal. There are no re-shoots if I screwed it up! What an honor it was to be trusted with such a momentous occasion. I was able to document the excited vibes as family and friends anxiously waited, checking their phone for arrival updates. I witnessed raw emotion of a father meeting his daughter after months of waiting. I fought back tears as Ashley immediately broke into tears when she was embraced by her husband. Everyone went through all kinds of emotions in the span of an hour at the baggage claim. :) What struck me was how similar this was to a family waiting at the hospital for the birth of a newborn. Family members wait impatiently to love a precious newborn that no one has met yet. It didn't matter that Morrissey wasn't a newborn- she had a whole group of family and friends in matching shirts impatiently waiting for her arrival so they could love on her as soon as they set eyes on her. What a lucky girl she is to be in this family surrounded but such supportive loved ones. Congrats to Ashley & Matt on their new baby girl!
I have been photographing these kiddos for the past three years. Well, the littlest wasn't born yet but you get my point. This year's photos are by far my favorite as I took them back to my 'hidden gem' behind a church in Flower Mound, Texas. One of the most interesting things I have found from photographing other families is to observe different family dynamics. Spending even just a short amount of time with people is fascinating, as well as what happens when I share their photos on social media (ie what comments they get from family members). This group of kids are just so sweet, loving, and joyful and they are certainly lucky to have each other as best friends.
My son's preschool is surrounded by open acres filled with trees, wildflowers, and grazing cows. I often brainstorm how I can make photos work there seeing as we are directly up against barbed wire fence keeping those grazing cows from entering the parking lot! A couple weeks ago Thomas and I went exploring to kill time before picking up the big boys and that is where we found our hidden golden spot. It is up on a small hill that looks over an even smaller valley and another small hill. However, with a little creative angling, while hiding the parking lot behind some trees, it looks like we have been transported to a beautiful country side somewhere far away from Flower Mound, Texas. Today was Cowboy Day so it was prime time for taking photos of sweet Thomas before school started. I believe these photos prove you can find beauty in random locations, including spots overlooking a parking lot.
If this location is what you had in mind for family photos, and close to home, contact me soon to get on my calendar!
When I first met with Tracy, she had won an auction in which I had donated a Mom & Her Camera class lesson. She emailed asking to switch to a photo session instead and upon further discussion she said one of her family's new hobbies is to go shoot bows and arrows together. What a super cool thing to do together, right?! And I was thrilled to get to capture this activity for them so they can preserve the memories that is unique to their family. As we walked and talked at Cinnamon Creek Ranch (which was also super cool and I can't wait to take my boys now!), I asked if they had ever done real hunting with their bows and arrows. Dad said he hadn't in a while, but he remembered hunting with his dad when he was younger. He also said if is son was showing interest in it now, that he wanted to continue to enhance that so he could have that same quality time with his son that he did with his dad. What a sweet sentiment and you can immediately see the connection they had during their time practicing their archery. Thank you, Tracy, for letting me tag along with the fam on this fun activity!