its not often i leave a session feeling inspired and refreshed. with new ideas, and new dreams for my own personal family growth. and this was a two hour double session with multiple families, a LOT of people to coordinate and corral. but this was different. i spend most of my days in the fall months with younger families (who i dearly love with all my heart) with kids the same age as mine. its SO fun bc they AREN'T my kids...so i can relate, play, get messy with them and it comes so easily since i have my own at home and know those preschool ages so well. but this time around i had a bunch of "kids" who were all my height and some were drinking beer. so yea....took me a minute to figure out what "games" we should play. ring around the rosy probably wouldn't work. admittedly i was a little nervous and thrown off my game for a minute. how do i organize 10 teenagers/20somethings to be natural in front of the camera?? well it took a few mental minutes on my end, but they made it so easy for me. these young adults....siblings, cousins, step-cousins...they are obsessed with each other. ive never seen anything like it! they were playful, cooperative, happy, adjusted and respectful....to each other and of course to me. we joked about ring around the rosy, and then they thought it would be fun, of course at a high speed that led to most of them catapulting into the woods...but they were up for anything and everything. and they wanted it all documented. piggy back rides, holding hands, playing animal games, lining up for an updated portrait, even kissing significant others in front of me! it was a magical end to my fall season of over 70 family shoots. the cherry on top? the vintage vw van owned by abbie, a dear friend of one of the sons.
the overall message i gained from this shoot. these "kids" couldn't be more different from one another - and these parents have embraced, cultivated, loved each of these kids independently from the others. they see big dreams in each of them and have allowed the space for them to grow and that example has given their siblings and cousins to gift each other the same thing. leaving the 2 hour shoot, they were all still taking pictures of each other - jumping around, dancing, on one another's back, cartwheels, playing in the vw van. i saw LOVE and RESPECT and a HOME. that home has no direct road or set path, it always evolving and dynamic and flowing. and im still captivated. couldn't be more proud to know these people, and to have the images in print for them to cherish.