Mother and Daughters: Bird Island Park

Sunset, at the the boardwalks of Bird Island Park, illuminated the water, the trees, and the beautiful faces of this close-knit family. The way they laugh when they are together is something I could never recreate if they were alone. So I’m glad the sisters joked together, the daughters teased their mom, and they came together in a way that reminds me of my mom and I.

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I love the way their hands are interlocked in the shot above. It’s so symbolic. Did I tell them to do that? I don’t remember. Let’s just say, yes.

I’m standing on an apple box, leaning over them, trying not to spit as I talk. Luckily, we pulled off this creative angle to highlight the family eyes.

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I told Sarah and Hannah to hold hands. Sarah says, “Then we might look like a couple,” but they held hands anyway and pretended to dance and cracked each other up.

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This dog was so sweet and so in love with everyone, especially his mom. His tongue never retracted, but still managed to look classy.

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The light was fading fast here, but it manages to cast one last glimmer on Hannah’s beautiful hair.

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Could this be symbolic too?

All in all, great evening with a mother and her daughters.

Backyard Confetti – Family Photo Session

I was excited when Jen decided to have her photoshoot in her backyard. My thinking was that it was a good intimate space that has connections to other family memories. It’s a place of meaning.

Her thinking was that it was a familiar place that would keep the kids contained and calm. Well…it turned out to be a high-energy, bouncing around session, but we rolled with it and got a lot of action shots.  Half the time, as I was editing these pictures, I would burst out laughing. Their family’s craziness reminds me of my own.

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Jen’s son is so sweet. I love his expression when he hugs his mom.

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This whole family is gorgeous.

The confetti shots were tricky because we only had so much confetti and so many chances, and it had to be thrown up high to give us plenty of falling time – this was a task for an adult.

Here are some of our failed tries.

Hands and arms tended to block faces, but after several tries we got it!

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After we got the confetti to look good, I helped coach the family’s reactions, because it’s actually not human nature to look up into the sky and let things fall on your face and eyes with glee. But the whole family proved to be such good sports to doing it over and over.

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At the end of the photoshoot, this kids wanted to throw confetti themselves, so we had some unscripted play on their trampoline. These candid moments are my favorite of the shoot.

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The kids are laughing because I had them lay on top of each other. Why did I had them lay on top of each other? Because I was shooting with a prime and couldn’t fit the whole family in the frame. It’s as good a reason as any to snuggle close.

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In the end, it wasn’t just a fun photoshoot, but a fun memory.

One-on-One Portraits – Mother’s Day 2018

One day, as I was photographing a mother and child, I was amazed at how the intimate setting of one-on-one brought out different expressions and revelations of personality. It’s something raw and precious that I decided to pursue and capture.

Here are the results:

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My little girl is very floppy and silly when she is around me, but when I kiss her, she seems to achieve inner peace.

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I love my boy’s default expression: indignant. He is my sweet child. It’s like I’m hugging a bag of sugar.

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Heather and I took turns taking pictures of each other and each other’s children, and it looks like we were happy little models, but there was actually a lot of bargaining and bribing that was involved – also, some blackened Oreo teeth.

Her daughter was jostling about and a lot of the photos was Heather trying to contain her, but I love the feeling of movement and life in these pictures.

Also, with the aid of a teddy bear, we have this quiet moment:

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I love that you can see the bedroom window reflected in their eyes. This is where they sit sometimes to look outside together.

Ashley has three children who are so different from one another. Each child brings out a different side of her.

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Her son is full of energy, but also so very sweet. The expression on Ashley’s face as he kisses her melts my heart.

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Her youngest son spends a lot of time cuddling just like this with his mom. It’s like he never left the womb.

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One thing about her and her daughter is they share the same kind heart.

This year, for Mother’s day, I’m offering one-on-one portrait sessions to capture the relationship you share with your loved one. If you choose the package that includes a print, here is the end result:

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Barnwood Collage Frame with (3) 4×6 prints.

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The best part about these sessions are they are in-home, so your child can feel more relaxed.

Mother’s Day is May 13th, so I’m scheduling these sessions for the month of April to give us plenty of time to prepare. Let me know when is convenient for you!

Package A: $65 ($55 for return clients)

Includes: 15-20 minute in-home photo session, 6-8 edited digital photos.

Package B: $85 ($75 for return clients)

Includes: 15-20 minute in-home photo session, 6-8 edited digital photos, 1 barnwood collage frame, and (3) 4×6 prints.

Get Giddy at the Carousel – Spring Mini Sessions 2018

I’m all about capturing experiences and memories rather than taking pictures for pictures’ sake. So while searching for a new location for Spring Mini Sessions, I felt drawn to this antique carousel in St. Augustine, FL. The bright colors, the nostalgic atmosphere, even small-town charm of the carousel operators gave me inspiration. And there is nothing like capturing child-like wonder, no matter what age you are.

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Looking at this picture, I feel so happy. One day, maybe brother and sister will move away far from home and only see each other every now and then, but for now they are stuck with each other. This is the brightest part of their childhood.

Who: Children, couples, or families (6 people or less – an extra charge for more).

When: Monday, March 12th, 2018. 4 slots available: 6:00, 6:20, 6:40, 7:00 p.m.

Where: J&S Carousel. 180 San Marco Avenue, St. Augustine, FL, 32084

The experience: Bring some cotton candy, make it part of your family night, play on the playground beside the carousel, and ride the carousel 2x on me.

What you get: 20 minute photo session, 5 hi-res edited digital files, 1 8×11 framed/matted print.

Investment: $85 due at time of session.

So come and meet me at twilight at the carousel! I’m excited to see you there.

Child Modeling Session – Walter Jones Historical Park

You know the dreams that you have where you are trying to get somewhere, and the more you walk, the further away from your goal you get? That’s how I felt trying to get to this location, because unfortunately, on the day of the shoot there was a huge marathon running on the road right in front of the park. Not to be daunted, I took a 45 minute detour/park/walk-far-away to get there because I would not be defeated by healthy people.

I’m glad Dana was able to get there too. We had a full-on modeling session with props and wardrobe changes. She’s the perfect age where she can be directed easily, she has lots of focus, but she’s not self conscious. Here is a sample of our day:

 

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We took extra time to set up the headshot. Dana’s mom became expert in using the reflector board to light up Dana’s eyes. My favorite part about Dana is her dimples, visible even when she only smiles softly.

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For the next series, I told Dana to walk down the ramp like a Disney princess. She knew exactly what I meant.

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We did at least 5 minutes of pure spinning, but the flying hair shot was 100% necessary.

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Trying to capture someone mid-jump can only bring joy. We laughed a lot over this shot. In the end, 45 minute detour or not, we had a lot of fun.

Love,

Enge

Alpine Groves Park – Family Photo Session

It was a chilly 8:00 a.m, but the sun pierced through tree and fog to highlight this beautiful family. We walked through a rustic flower garden, climbed up and about the porch of an old, white farmhouse, and ran through grassy fields – the kids getting more and more relaxed as time went on.

My favorite part was when I asked Tammy to pose in front of a fence and I had Brent stand behind me with the instruction to get her to smile. Within moments, she  suppressed laughter and said, “he’s spanking himself.”

Later, when I was doing individual pictures of parent and child, I was touched at how their expressions softened and changed when they were close together. I was happy to capture not only their personality, but their relationship. Enjoy these sweet moments!

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Christmas Mini Sessions

I love the the child-like wonder, the bright hope, and the feeling of togetherness that comes with Christmas. It’s something I tried to embody in the Christmas mini session photos I took last week at Alpine Groves Park. Here is a sampling of the beautiful families that came and shared the day with me:

Garrett and Vanessa:

Vanessa and Garrett came perfectly coordinated with their little baby boy. It took very little direction to position them to look flawless, but we had to work together to get their baby to smile. We tag-teamed tickling him and playing peek-a-boo.  In the end, what worked best was when I yelled out loudly, “Santa!” Then came his infectious smile. Who knew I was so funny?

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Ron and Susan:

There is something so endearing about this couple. Ron’s no-nonsense reminds me of my dad and Susan always makes me laugh. I’m glad we got to do a glitter throw picture, because it helped me capture an expression that I think we would have never gotten had we just faked it. If you look closely, you can see the real glitter around Susan’s hands and everything else was added in post to look like snow. After I shot this photo, the glitter flew back at them and coated their hair and faces with silver specks. They laughed about it, but I was mortified. Here’s a tip: save the glitter throw for last.

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Derrick and Marissa:

Derrick and Marissa had such a carefree, loving dynamic about them. When I’d fiddle with my camera settings or look around to scope for a good background, I’d turn back to look at them and they’d be cuddling their baby or laughing together. I couldn’t stop taking pictures in case I missed something.

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Chris and Laura:

Chris and Laura’s little girl started out a little shy, but I could see a mischievous glint in her eye. That’s why I employed her with the important task of the glitter throw. It took 3 or 4 tries, but when it was done right, a wall dropped from everyone’s face and they forgot I was there for just a second. I love how their daughter’s dress is bunched up from having just swirled around.  It makes for a fun and beautiful moment.

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Thank you everyone who came and let me capture the love in their families. I can’t wait to do more seasonal mini sessions next year! Merry Christmas!