2016 Prize Session
I Never Win!!!!
This is sweet Laura, her two snowflake-loving little girls, and Laura's kind boyfriend, Randy. Laura was beyond thrilled that her name was pulled for the prize drawing. Her email response to me was, "I can't believe it. I never win!!!! Holy smokes!!!" And she just kept saying that as we planned the session. She is so deserving of a win like this too. Read on to hear more about Laura and their really fun photo session!
So, the prize was a Lifestyle Session, rather than a posed session. That means that we come up with an activity for the group to engage in and while everyone is naturally enjoying (or sometimes crying about) the action, I run around and capture the beautiful moments that are naturally happening. Sometimes, I'll give minor direction if I want one person to smile or look at another specific person, but generally, I'm documenting life for a session like this. You'll see many such moments as you read on! The photographs below show the children hanging ornaments on a tree outside as the snow falls around them. Its one of my favorite concepts for a family session.
Let It Snow:
As we planned the session, Laura kept making plans for photos in snow. One of the entry questions was, "What group activity would you like to do for your prize session should you win?" Laura's answer was, "Possibly, sled ridding with the kids. Pulling them in the snow on a old fashioned sled. Cutting down a tree while sipping on hot cocoa." I smiled at this, thinking of the chances for substantial snow in central PA before Christmas was pretty low. We made extra plans just in case - but it actually snowed the night before and morning of her session - and lovely large white snowflakes actually fell during the session, speckling the girls' hair and making so much joy! It was certainly lucky!
After we caught moments of the girls showing special ornaments and hanging them on outdoor trees, they got a chance to run around and have some fun. The girls are at such a perfect age for this. The tears that fell before our session started were brushed away and forgotten as the girls played in the snow, caught falling snowflakes on their tongues, and even licked them off of Christmas decorations in the yard. In a lifestyle session, we do catch moments that don't get enlarged and framed on a living room wall, but we do capture life and joy in a way that a typical posed session doesn't - and in my opinion, captures reality in a way that will make us laugh looking at a printed album in 30 years for sure.
Why They Are Special:
As part of the entry, Laura had to share why the people she wanted to be in her session, if she won, were special to her. Here is a piece of her entry:
"My children are my life. My life revolves around them, their happiness, their smiles & their tears. I made one of the hardest I decisions I ever had to make because of them. I left an abusive marriage so they would never question their worth. I left when my newborn baby was just 2 & 1/2 months old....They are special to me because they remind me everyday that I made the right decision. That they are worth these rough times for a better future. I hope they forget all those troubled times and just remember all the love and good memories made in our new home. There are a thousand reasons why they are special but mostly because they see real love everyday and know what family is."
When my son pulled Laura's name the night of the drawing, she said she couldn't believe it and that she never wins - and that she loves him for pulling her name. I can't think of anyone more deserving either. What a fun session and what a blessing to know these fine people.