Baby fix

It’s no secret that I want another baby. Everything in my circumstance says having a child now (even though hubs promised me two) isn’t optimal. My heart, however , says ‘what’s one more?’Anyway, I also really love baby portraits .  Capturing fleeting moments of these new angels is a difficult, beautiful endeavor that I absolutely enjoy.  And I have no shortage of portrait enhancements (yep, I was obsessed with accessories).

My cousin Nadia is three solid months into motherhood. And when I asked for permission to borrow her little for photos and my own selfish baby fix,  she didn’t hesitate to say ‘anytime.’  I’m honored by her trust and thankful for her patience.

Dyani, affectionately known as Cocoa, eyed me inquisitively as soon as I arrived. She’s one of those sweet littles with a personality all her own.  She’s particular, but not particularly fussy. She’s alert and observant of her world. And she has distinctive preference for style that she will not compromise on.

This tiny little gem flitted between wide awake giggles and snuggle-down sleep.  She kept keen eyes and ears trained on her mommy, while relaxing into my arms.  Swoon. 

My assistants, Ya and Chi, helped arrange lights, backdrops, and our purposely minimal props.  They both also took a turn at shooting, selecting their angles with care.

We took a little longer than anticipated, pausing for Mommy cuddles and lunch. But I think we captured this age pretty well.

I’m looking forward to the next opportunity to freeze time for another family. And as a bonus, cradling a tiny baby in my arms one more time.

Two for tulips

IMG0540 copyThe weather man lied again.  I should’ve known when I requested a personal day a week ahead of time that the predictions might be wrong – – that the forecast would change, as it inevitably seems to do whenever I have plans. Maybe Mother Nature has it out for me?  Or, maybe, she has plotted to alter my plans for some unknown purpose yet to be revealed.

A week of beautiful weather – warm temperatures, clear skies, sunshine.  It was awesome.  Except the blooming tulip field was miserable.  What had already been called a shorter, sparser crop than in previous years suffered terribly under the out-of-the-norm heat. And then the long overdue rain could do little to salvage the flowers.

It’s like the weather flip flopped.  What should’ve been gloomy and wet, was anything but.  What should’ve been comfortable, dry and mildly sunny became a slippery, chilly, dreary day.  Nevertheless, I insisted the girls and I would try for the fields.  We dressed in compatible colors, selected footwear we could (theoretically) clean, and located our umbrellas.  And though I’d splurged on cute umbrellas once before, they somehow clashed with our attire and we desperately need to invest in cute rain boots and slickers.  The voice in my head whispers: “someday soon… charge it!” But I decline.

After confirming Chi had earned her straight-A report card in a “student-led conference,” we returned home in pouring rain.  It seemed as though it would never let up.  I checked the field report on FB, inquired as to whether the daring could still venture out in the soggy fields.  I was assured that at noon, they’d be open for business regardless of the precipitation.

We had the field mostly to ourselves, which was no surprise considering the puddles and mud that slurped and sucked at our shoes with each step.  Ri loved the mess.  The gooshy noise as the mud sucked down her shoes was excitingly new.  And watching the thick brown ‘paint’ cover her legs as she brushed a shoe across them was safely naughty behavior.  Who could fault her for getting a little dirty in all this sludge?

IMG0543 copyIMG0444 copyChi humored me.  Despite an unfortunate teenage breakout that turned into a long blemish down her nose, she was a trooper.  We covered the mark with purple glitter shadow and dubbed it a trademark.  It looked exotic. She looked – as always – stunning.

I realized that our annual sunshine and tulips photos would be a little different this year.  And I relished in the time spent with my quickly growing girls.

They traipsed through those fields with their baskets.  They pulled at their selected tulips and secured a few bulbs, too.

Laughter caught the wind as they got stuck in the mud, struggled to maintain clean shoes.

Each raised her face to the sky to catch the rain as tiny droplets fell in a shockingly chilly drizzle while we lingered.

And the smiles – – those precious smiles as the camera clicked and froze the moments alone in the fields on a rainy ditch day in the middle of the week.

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Grown girl

Chi by Gallery Row Studio

Suddenly I see a young woman where my baby used to be. She’s become her own. She is confident, poised, and polished. She is fierce and playful. Intelligent. A juxtaposition of everything a lady must be. Modest but certain. Beautiful and edgy. Sweet and Sassy. Elegant and Street.

I’m so proud to claim this stunning gal as mine.

{Photo by Olesja Mueller ☆ Gallery Row Studio}

I shot her…

And it felt good.

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You see, RiAnne and I were given the opportunity to work with an online vendor who sells beautiful pieces at reasonable prices. And because she trusted us, we really wanted to give her our best. But Ri and headbands don’t always agree. This time, though, she really worked with me and the shots, I think, are beautiful.


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Wonderland continues: a game of croquet

We’ve been in this commercial photography circuit for a few months and have learned quite a bit about it. There’ve been some products we’ve been sent that are hardly worth the effort to wear, let alone photograph. Other opportunities have given us amazing costumes, clothes, and accessories. You might say it’s a toss up and not every booking need be accepted.

When Chi and Ri were booked for modeling Halloween tutus, I initially didn’t think much about it. I should’ve. The kids – – all of them — take great pleasure in working together on Mommy’s photo shoots. And Chi, especially, loves to take on new personas.

wonderland

I don’t know if Cara (Cara’s Custom Tutu’s) had seen our Wonderland shoot. Then, Ri was a Mad Hatter and Chi was my modern interpretive Alice. Cara wanted the girls for a Queen meets Alice costume set. I accepted, knowing her work is quality and it’d be fun to pursue Lewis Carroll’s fantasy further. Although I suggested otherwise, Chi was cast for Alice and Ri was to be the royal Heart. “I wanted to be the queen!” Chi complained, but she graciously obliged me in completing her role.

wonderland

In the end, after a consult with the original text, our croquet game came together well. The girls were in character (though I hardly think Ri has any idea what hers was) and the location was perfect. We even had a visit from a photogenic dragon fly who – unlike the Cheshire Cat – was willing to stay long enough for his own portrait.

Couture = more

Chi likes to be the center of attention.

We’ve known it since she earned “Most Dramatic” in her K-5 class. She was probably the first – and only – recipient of the honor.

Next year, in middle school, she’ll be taking drama class. I can only imagine what will be revealed when she is allowed on stage and given freedom to improve without judgement.

Will she build up her voice?
Find her true passion?
Become a star?

I doubt she’ll determine that acting is not for her. Any child (or adult) who parades purposefully through Wawa in her fancy chapeau and matching sister dress just for acknowledgement of her “fierceness” isn’t going to shy away from the bright glare of spotlights.

My gal’s going to be famous. Mark my words: she’s somebody amazing.

And it makes me proud.

I see her budding into a young lady. She’s developing a confidence in being herself, despite the critics. She’s not afraid to challenge style trends, or to completely abandon them if need be.

I’m envious of her ability to be the girl she truly is.


** texture “daisy” from the Downton II collection by KK at the cafe’

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