How can I forget the star of the show, Bart (the bulldog)? He simply wanted to steal the spotlight during my recent photo session with his pregnant Mommy/owner. His sweet, older companion, Homer (the pug) was also adorable and loving, doting on his pregnant Mommy. I love the names— Bart & Homer, my favorite childhood tv show, the Simpsons! These two adorable pups are smitten with their Mommy Maggie, as I am sure the NEW star of the show, baby Henry, will be as well. Maggie has a very calm energy, already deeply in love with this little baby. With a history of being a Nanny, I teased that she is already a professional Mom. Soon-to-be-Dad Patrick also has a calming energy, and is as loving and supportive as a Dad could be. These highschool sweethearts are starting a new, exciting chapter in their lives, and will no doubt be amazing parents. Their house will be a fun little circus for sure, with these two furry big brothers welcoming baby Henry in just a month!
Natural light photographer
I was able to squeeze in one more photo session before going on maternity leave- hooray! I met the Dermer family at Oak Knoll Park, here in St. Louis, MO. Luckily, we caught the last of the fall foliage before it slipped away. There were sprinkles of orange and yellow leaves scattered among the trees in the park. I love fall, and it is the busiest time of year for photo sessions, but the colors slip away fast. It can be a gamble as to when the leaves turn and if they stick around for very long. So I always feel blessed when I capture them on film (I always say film even though I'm shooting digital-get used to it!). I never realized how much I would be in tune to the seasons, weather, sunrise/sunset and lighting when I started my photo business. I have a great respect for Mother Nature and all of the things that she will throw at you during a photo session!
Keep in mind that I always honor a photo session that is cancelled or interrupted due to bad weather. We always can re-schedule for no extra fee.
The Dermers are an adorable and very photogenic family. They all have twinkly blue eyes and dark hair. The kiddos have freckles sprinkled across their noses. Baby Bennett probably has the most twinkly eyes and the silkiest hair! What poster a poster baby! Millie and Eli were so much fun, breaking out in dance (Whip and Nae Nae!) and laughing at themselves throughout the shoot. The kids were all loving on their Momma with lots of kisses and hugs. Simply way. too. cute.
I love this family's last name—Strange! Isn't that awesome? As much as they are probably tired of the joke, I had to make that my punchline header ;) Meanwhile, they are anything but strange. They are super laid back, loving and smiley.
What an incredible last photo session to have in NOVA before my big move to St. Louis. I had one of those "Oh Sh%t" moments, waking up in the middle of the night and yelling "DANIELLE!", just like the Mom from Home Alone yells "KEVIN!". I was three weeks away from moving and remembered this adorable family that I had on my agenda to photograph. We just hadn't put it in the calendar yet. Thankfully, even though it was nearly March, there was still some pretty white snow on the ground—and they were not only willing to go outside, but they seemed to be energized by it (it was 30 something degrees out). What a true rural/country/farm, animal loving family. They have a pony (Little Legs- a.k.a: googly eyes), two dogs (Bert and Mikey), and a cat (Minnow). This is on top of having a toddler girl (Isabel) and young baby boy (Charlie). Hands full much?
I approached this session more like a journalistic, story-telling event. I wanted to just be with the family for the majority of the day. To capture their everyday moments, inside and outside. To just sit back and be a fly on the wall (or the horses ear). I had such a blast, and got to know this amazing little family—that one of my good friends holds very dear to her heart. My friend also has the same exact voice as Danielle, the Mom… even though they aren't related. I kept thinking my friend Jessie was there, which made me feel even more at home. These two long-time friends are kindred sisters… and have known each other since 2nd grade (I think?)!
There are a LOT of photographs of Isabel, who has such a big, beaming personality. She is a rough and tumble girl, who also loves to dance (Taylor Swift), do her Mom's hair, and harass snowmen. Charlie has these dreamy, other-wordly blue eyes. He seems to have a lot of wisdom for a 6 month old. I wanted to ask him the meaning of life. Too bad he can't talk.
I think we all tend to take for granted so many things in life- like walking. Can you imagine going through life without this incredible GIFT? One of the greatest joys in raising a child is seeing all of the milestones that they go through. We are all such incredible creatures- starting out as a teeny tiny little speck of chromosomes. Within one short year, give or take- a child is up and walking. Or running. Isn't it INCREDIBLE? From a needle head to a teetering toddler. It is no wonder that these tiny little people tend to be focused, fearless and completely besides themselves when they start using their two adorably chubby legs.
Mr. Landon is such a beautiful little boy. One of those poster babies that could be on a Gerber jar or a Baby Gap ad. His parents are just as beautiful. He looks to be a mix of the two in appearance, and his demeanor seems to come from both sides. Did I mention that they are all very sweet people? I have had the pleasure of seeing this little guy since he was pretty small, and he always has a huge grin on his face. So when I was able to see his toothy grin, along with a focused side- I was beside myself. I love deep thinking. I love to photograph it. His focus and determination was clearly due to his newfound talent. Walking. All he wanted to do was walk. Explore. And there was so much to see… colorful leaves, billowing trees, running water with ROCKS. He is free! This boy has everything- the looks, the cheerfulness, the amazingly genuine parents, the determination and focus… what a cool little man.
This is a very special couple to me. Andy is my brother-in-law (who I consider my brother), and Amber is my future sister-in-law (who I will consider my sister). So when Andy asked me to be there when he proposed to his girlfriend, and photograph it– I did not hesitate to say yes. Andy had planned this surprise proposal at a beautiful waterfall at Watkins Glen State Park in NY because Amber has always loved waterfalls. Andy dropped to his knee in front of a beautiful waterfall, with dozens of people watching and cheering on (it was peak foliage season with a lot of tourists at the waterfall).
After the proposal near the waterfall, Andy was clearly relieved and Amber was simply glowing. We were all a bit more relaxed and able to enjoy the incredible hike that ascended more than 800 stone steps, leading us to more than 19 waterfalls. Afterwards, we spent the afternoon and evening at Glenora Vineyard doing a wine tasting and an engagement photoshoot. I had SUCH a blast with these two adorable kids. I am SO, so happy to welcome Amber into the White family, and share a name with her. They are so perfect together– like two puzzle pieces that have been left astray, waiting to find one another. They just... Make. Sense.