They say high noon on a sunny day is really not the time for photography but I like to break the rules. It's Summer. Sunshine is a key element to Summer, and therefore a great element in Summertime sessions. I'm honestly not sure if I could love these images more. The dappled sunlight filtering through trees and old bridges created some pretty fantastic bokeh as a backdrop to this great family. We tried a new location and it's quite honestly my new favorite. Old train trestle, rushing river, a dam, trees and hills and incredible sunshine-y scenery... and an adorable pair of brothers to boot. Perfect recipe for a Summertime photo session.
Viewing entries in
“Best Brothers of All Time!”
I mean, yeah, there was some pen tattoo art applied unbeknownst to me just before we left, and we had our wardrobe malfunctions, and sometimes the horizon ended up cutting through their necks (maybe that only bothers the photographers amongst us). You'll have those technical blunders when you're technically going candid, but there was not a single complaint or despair and that's a win for Mom, and Grandma's gallery wall.
He is a breathtaking boy. I have never met a child quite like this little warrior. His bright eyes and beaming smile light up the whole world around him. Literally! He was barely out of his car seat when he was calling and waving excitedly to me, "Hi Brittney!!" He couldn't wait to take pictures. You would think having a photo session with me in the freezing cold was his lifelong dream come true. But then in that short time I spent with him and his family, I realized that every little exciting wonder he experienced--the snow, the icicles, a rushing river, making Bridger laugh, a rail fence, echoes, hand warmers and treats, a beautiful building that "smelt cool" (it had tigers in it, it smelt like cat pee, ha!)--was basically his lifelong dream come true.
Seven years ago I had a baby. Today I have a kind and funny little man, and this journey of motherhood that he has taken me on has been the sweetest. Happy Birthday, Jimmy.
Yes I know it's Fall. And Fall in Wisconsin explodes like nowhere else in all of its colorful flamboyancy. But I'm still stuck on Summer, and I love that one time my sister and I took the boys and visited Wakanda Park in Menomonie for one last late Summer hiking excursion.
My favorite thing is to have her over at my house for no reason at all but to love on her. She is such an angel! She loves to be cuddled, and she loves to play happily on the floor. She is quiet and sweet and even patient. When I take her pictures just because she is visiting me and I want to surprise her mom, she effortlessly flashes that gummy smile. Then when it's time to take her official pictures of turning one, she becomes very serious and turns into this little baby Gerber model.
This particular July morning we woke up to the very air begging for adventure. The clear blue sky and the warm scent of Summer carried on a gentle breeze was calling our names. We packed a little picnic and took the boys to discover the rugged beauty that is the Devil's Punchbowl just South of Menomonie. It was paradise down there, with the rushing water falling in streams from up above echoing against the cavernous walls, and the scenery somewhat reminiscent of the Jungle Book. There were pools of water and little streams, and the way the sunlight filtered through the trees and reflected off the walls and the water was magical.
Heavy downpours had this photoshoot delayed an extra day. We took a little detour from our original destination to discover the quiet peace that is Braun's Bay. The clouds were still heavy, threatening rain at any moment and igniting the fury of the swarming gnats and mosquitos, while the friendly ducks waddled around hoping for handouts.
The Best Portraits Are The Candid Ones
Hone skills of stealth, speed and accuracy. Basically, think like a fighter jet.
I have known this family for a little over two years now. Two years of getting to capture their greatest moments, my Canon and I. A country engagement, a barn wedding, an ice fishing pregnancy announcement, a Summery maternity session, an Autumn newborn shoot and now this; a willow shaded, family session in the rugged territory of Hoffman Hills. Seriously, this is one of my favorite spots on all of God's green earth (i.e., Wisconsin) with quite possibly my favorite family (shhh!).
As if on cue, people were swarming us. So many people from almost every direction, all claiming to be part of this same family. I'm not sure I believed them all, but not that I would blame them.
Long story short, I got the job and Anissa didn't think I was weird. Ah, I take that back. She did think I was weird, but it was more of a mutual weirdness. We bonded over chocolate and coffee, how adorable her daughters were, worked out potential trade deals amongst our kids, pranked team members a time or two, and sometimes it was suggested we not sit together during meetings. It was the best day job experience I have ever had.
Together we got to discover that little-known ruggedly beautiful place. The clouds broke in that golden hour, the geese were honking and flying in V-shaped formations over us and birds were singing their evening lullaby. The light rays from the setting sun danced colorfully on the glass-smooth pond. The whole world around us was soaking in that wild beauty.
This is why I chase beauty on days when life feels oppressive.
This is why I can hardly bear compelling sunsets.
This is why I love Wisconsin, and experiencing it in all of its rugged beauty with my favorite people.
This is why I have invested thousands of dollars and years of study into my profession.
When my babies and my childhood best friend's babies are best friends.
I will let them be little
fill their hearts with laughter
help them grow wings
nurture their sense of wonder
inspire them to believe
and love them like
there is no tomorrow.
I can't imagine a life where he didn't exist. While most moms say, "Where did the time go??" I'm more like, "Has it only been 4 years with you?" He came into the world and totally owned it. And the world is so much better for it.
Some might call it double trouble or two peas in a pod. I call it Jimmy & Colton. There's seldom one without the other.
I couldn't get the picture out of my mind of what sweet Addyson would be like today, using her new legs to dance around heaven with her brand new eye sight, carefree and playful, making the angels jealous of her laughter. What would it look like if she could take a quick moment and kiss her beautiful family with her presence?
I love this family. They invited me to their new property to take their family pictures a couple weeks ago and it was nothing short of gorgeous. They're living an adventure right now with their home being situated cozily in the garage while they wait for Spring and the building of their new house.