When Clementine first called me to schedule a family portrait session, I realized that she was talking in slightly hushed tones. It came out a few minutes in that she was taking this step of setting up a family portrait while carrying around her two week-old baby boy, Ollie. Now, if you’ve been through the exhilarating/exhausting experience of dealing with a toddler and a tiny baby at the same time, you know that finding the energy and motivation to shower, let alone schedule a family portrait ON TOP of all the chaos borders on the miraculous. At least, that’s what I was thinking as we spoke; when we all got together three weeks later, I saw just how awesome Clementine and her family really are.
When I arrived in Old Providence for the evening shoot, Clementine was still feeding the baby. That left Chris and Henry to meet me and tour me around the house and grounds. One of my favorite parts of a family photography session, especially those that happen in the family home, is finding those beautiful, and often overlooked, locations around the house. A spot that really caught my eye was a beautiful old tree in the backyard with the evening sun sinking low in the sky behind it. Henry’s sandbox, which he adores, is also right there, so it was ideal. Once Clementine and Ollie joined us, that’s where we got started, and the images were gorgeous.
When we were all done in the yard, I really wanted to get a few more shots of Henry and Ollie together, but Henry was getting a little antsy, so I asked Clementine if there were any little treats we might use as a bribe. It turned out that Henry had been introduced to the wonderful world of Twizzlers just a couple days earlier, so we used those to coax him into a few pictures with his little brother. Watching him eat the candy was hysterical; the Twizzlers disappeared so fast it was like they were being devoured by an electric pencil sharpener.
Toward the end of the shoot, we switched up the location. First, Chris and Clementine plopped Henry in a wagon and we tooled around the neighborhood a bit. As we walked, neighbors came out to congratulate Clementine and Chris on the new baby. The whole time his parents were chatting, Henry was a sweetheart, and I couldn’t believe how relaxed Ollie stayed. When we got back to the house, Clementine, still holding Ollie in her arms, got down on the ground and did some chalk drawings with Henry. A talented architect, she doodled a perfect likeness of Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc. in no time flat. It was actually kind of amazing.
I loved having the chance to spend the evening with this wonderful family. Their laid-back vibe was so pleasant to be around. They make this parenting thing look easy.