Maybe it helps that this is my second family.
The maid of honor at my wedding. Countless sleepovers, notes passed, songs played sitting side by side on a piano bench. Trips, and funerals, and concerts.
But it’s also how I try to approach every session, even if I’ve just met a family.
To wedge myself into a chunk of their lives and notice what connects them and brings them joy, then find a way to reflect it back to them.
So even on the days when they don’t feel that same joy, they know it’s there.
And for extended families who live in different homes, states, and even countries, who return to their homes and may go months or years without seeing each other again… they can always come back to that feeling and remember.
For this family, they are in the unique position of having adult children but no grandchildren (yet). The lives of adult children are ever-changing – marriage, new jobs, moving to new cities, growing their families…by next year, their dynamic could be completely different.
They are also walking into their first year of retirement – another beautiful season of change.
To celebrate the joy in a shared meal and dad’s signature gin and tonics, backyard croquet and slobbering dog kisses, hot summer nights in a childhood home.
The smiles that are so familiar and comforting.
For one brief night to belly-laugh, give a toast, recognize the good of what has been and all that is to come.
IT’S TRUE – an extended family photo session with adults or teens DOES NOT have to be cheesy and awkward. I know. Wild. But we can do it.
Sessions at home have so much meaning and I love incorporating both portraits and actual-real-life family traditions, memories, and fun into the mix.
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