We went back to Thomas Tree Farm in North Gower (rapidly becoming our favourite!) to get our Christmas tree this weekend. It was a little bit on the crazy busy side, but we still had a great morning out. I love that the boys are big enough to start taking on some responsibility for the carrying of the tree (and saw) if not yet for the actual cutting.
(I also love that they mostly tolerate and occasionally even pose for me when it comes to photos.)
And today we decorate!
Three tanks of gas, a whackload of leftover halloween candy, five hand-held computing devices, a bag of markers, a sketchbook and enough coffee to drown an ox… that’s what fueled our run down to London, Ontario to visit the cousins for a whirlwind weekend visit. This is what it looked like:
A birthday party, an impromptu photoshoot at a dog park and several hours of Minecraft… yep, that’s about as perfect a weekend as you can get!
Way back on the Thanksgiving weekend (seems like a year ago already!) while everyone was stuffing themselves with turkey and fixings, I was on my way out to a church in Orleans, where I had the very great honour of photographing the baptism of gorgeous, blue-eyed Baby M.
I loved the idea of photographing a baptism from the moment I first spoke to M’s mom. Just like a wedding, I thought to myself, with all the family and a beautiful ceremony – but about 1/10th of the pressure!
It’s a good thing I had a vague idea what to expect from my own Catholic upbringing, though, because my moderate to middling French did not prepare me to be able to follow the entire service in French. The one time I lost absolute track of what the priest was trying to say was of course just after I had picked out the phrase “and when it comes to photographs…” Ah well, I didn’t get any dirty looks and did manage to capture the important parts of the service, so I guess my internal translator was more or less on target. In fact, I had a lot of fun trying to capture all the little “moments” to tell the story of the ceremony – more than a few shot from the hip because I didn’t want to be disrespectful of the ceremony itself.
Despite it being a rather gloomy evening, and despite the fact that the photographer had only the most tenuous linguistic grasp on the proceedings, and despite the fact that the guest of honour didn’t seem to be particularly delighted to be the centre of attention, it turned out to be an absolutely lovely ceremony.
My deepest thanks to Baby M’s lovely extended family inviting me and my camera to be a part of your day, and special thanks to Granny who had no problem holding off an extra day on our own extended family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Now that’s what I call the best of both worlds!
And that also reminds me that I really, REALLY have to get organized and get one last boy in *this* family baptized!
Each time someone invites me to take photographs of their family or special event, I am deeply honoured. However, there is little compliment greater than having the same family come back for portraits year after year. I first met this sweet family last year on a warm summer day in the Arboretum. Remember this?
This year, we moved a little ways down the road to the Fletcher Wildlife Garden, and a little ways down the calendar to a crisp autumn morning in September. What didn’t change was my delight at being able to follow this family on an ordinary family adventure, capturing photos as they played and picnicked together on a sunny Saturday morning.
I am beginning to think this is my favourite kind of family photography session. While I think more formal portraits do a wonderful job of capturing how cute your kids are, especially when they’re cleaned up and maybe even a little fancy, there is something that I love about being able to capture a family at play in an almost journalistic style. Imagine combining a family photography session with the annual trip to cut down the Christmas tree, or picking apples in the local orchard, or picking the perfect pumpkin for Halloween! How fun would that be?
But there’s something wonderful about the simplicity of a walk in the park, isn’t there? It lets the littlest kids move at their own speed, and it’s a lot easier to get them to stand still for a more formal posing every now and then if they’re able to run a little wild in between poses!
It’s Thanksgiving weekend as I finally get around to blogging about this session, but that’s rather appropriate as it reminds me of so many things for which I am thankful: that we live in a city with pockets of beauty like this, that people invite me to join their families to record and share their moments together, that we’ve had this extended season of beautiful autumn weather, and that I can share all of these things with you.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends!
Back in July, I received the kind of invitation that set my imagination on fire: an extended family including out of town relatives would be gathering on the family farm just outside of Ottawa, and they wanted photographs of each family, the grandparents and the grandkids together. There would be horses, tractors, gardens, tireswings, hay, barns and a gorgeous old Chevy truck as props and backdrops. I think I might have made a little squee sound when I read it. (Ironically I almost lost the booking because Facebook was being fickle with its messages – if you send me a note through Facebook and I don’t respond, please try again!!)
And as amazing as all that sounds, when I actually met the family out at the farm that perfect summer afternoon, it was the sheer loveliness of the extended family and their kindness that made this one of my most memorable photo shoots ever. Spectacular setting, warm and photogenic family and the beauty of a late summer afternoon? I bet you can see why I have been so excited to share a little sneak peek of our session with you!
I could rave on for paragraphs about this photo session. Everything seemed to be working for us that day. I loved how they brought a few ideas of the kind of shots they wanted but were also totally open to suggestions I offered as well. And let me tell you, after nearly two hours of wandering the farm and posing from creek to barn to gardens and back, those kids showed patience with me and my camera that I wish my own kids had!
This was one of my favourite photo sessions of the summer. By the time we were done I wanted this sweet family to either adopt me or at least let me spend another week trailing after them with my camera, taking photos of all the interesting bits of the farm we didn’t get a chance to explore.
You think it’s too late for me to consider a career as a hobby farmer?