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Images come across the editing desk long before they show up on the blog… and sometimes I just can’t wait to share them with you.  So, I have to jump the process and share at least one with you today from last weekend’s mini-sessions.  Funny Ellie and her energetic bro Nathan made their session a bundle of fun!  Twenty minutes flew right by and I was lucky to get this awesome shot.

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I met Dave first.  I was a bit reluctant to, actually.  He was one of the trainers at a gym I belong to, and his profile picture was a little….scary. After one workout, I came to understand the picture was actually funny, as he’s a kind and thoughtful person who really enjoys helping people.  He was also someone who in the early years I knew him always declared he’d never be a parent.  I remember finding that surprising in my mind, as it was clear he’d be a great father.  Melissa is a fellow photographer who I knew “online” first and then started sweating along side her at the aforementioned gym.  We quickly bonded over our shared profession, motherhood, and workouts.  Fast forward several years later and suddenly life has taken a fun twist for these two.  Melissa’s living a healthy lifestyle she adores, thanks to Dave.  And Dave finds himself filling a “Man Mom” (as Melissa dubs him) role, and simply loving his life with two young ladies and their wonderful Mom.

It’s funny how the road changes, isn’t it?

When Melissa asked to do a photoshoot to commemorate Emma turning 13, and maybe also capture some “new family” photos, I jumped at the opportunity to document friends, their bonds, and this chapter in their lives.

                      

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I had always heard about Mira,  but we had never met.  Not at her Dad’s wedding, not in any of their visits back stateside with their little guy Ethan.  Until this session, when Mira made a summer visit with the whole family and finally I got to capture all the love and admiration I’d seen in Dietmar when he described her.  And I was in awe of this stitched together family – such love, such connectedness, such friendship.  Since we finally had everyone together, we went back to where it all started – Riverbend in Kohler.

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Alys & Dietmar met in Chicago.  Even though they’ve moved half-way around the world to Austria, they maintain their Chicago residence for visits home with their little man, Ethan.  It was there that we met up one Spring day, almost three years to the day that I met them in the same place for their engagement session.  Their little creation is such a sweetheart, and we had a great time letting him show off his newly acquired 9-month-old skills and introducing him to the city they sometimes call home.

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Evan is a never-ending ball of energy.  Each time I meet up with him, I’m doubly impressed by how he just goes and goes and goes.  My strategy has always been to bottle up as much of that as I can into what I capture.  This was the first session with his new baby sister, and it turns out another sweet soul to walk thru life with has subdued Evan.  Just a tiny bit.  And who wouldn’t slow down to admire those luscious curls, the sweet smile and the deep eyes of little Ruby?family photography -2family photography _ family photography _2 family photography --family photography -3family photography -6family photography _3 family photography -5family photography _4 family photography _5 family photography _6  family photography --2 family photography --3    family photography -4   family photography -7

**I’m playing a little bit of catch-up here on the blog, sharing some past sessions that got left by the wayside in this busy season or that.  This one, for instance is from 2012, and obviously a warmer season!

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When Courtney & Ben got their sweet Golden Lab puppy, they knew his big squishy paws, fluffy coat and sweet romp-around nature wouldn’t last long.  Dogs aren’t any different from children in this way.  Their babyhood is all too brief and so very sweet.  Harry is all grown up now (these photos were taken last summer), and I know Courtney & Ben appreciate the opportunity to remember where he started.  Here’s hoping he still has that winning smile!

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Stay tuned for another shoot with Courtney & Ben that happened a few months later with a much more grown-up Harry!

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Melissa and Simon are part of a family I’ve come to love and know better over the years thru phtography.  Melissa is Chris’s sister – from Katie & Chris, a wedding couple from 2010.  And, I’ve known their other sister, Melanie, for much longer (and shot many weddings because of her fabulous referrals).  Melissa and Simon and I got along so well at Katie & Chris’ wedding that during dinner, Melissa pulled me aside and said “one day, you must take pictures of our babies!”.   I of course, readily agreed, and then there we were, a little over a year later, laughing it up again, this time with little six-month-old Emily in tow.

She gets her adorable-ness from Melissa, and she definitely has her Daddy’s sense of humor.  If only she would inherit his loveable English accent too – she’ll be unstoppable.

Emily had almost mastered sitting up at our session, and she fell into tripods from time to time – but it was so adorable the way her little body just folded over:

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I captured Carlyn & Dave’s wedding back in 2008.  I’ll never forget the sweet quietness of Carlyn’s manner, and the understated passion that Dave carried beneath a gruff exterior.  They had a calm sort of connection, one that seemed all too obvious, and yet hidden at the same time.  Their daughter proves to be much the same.  Eleanor is smiles and funny faces hidden beneath a careful studiousness and a calm, measured gaze.  She’s gorgeous of course, and a beautiful combination of her parents.  And the best part is the way she softens up Dave.

Grandma was there helping out with our shoot too – so we couldn’t resist a few “three generations” photos.

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Megan and I are “every six week” friends.  That is, we see each other every six weeks when she does my hair (and she’s fabulous! She’s known as “Madison” at Neroli in the Third Ward), and not in-between – yet somehow we manage to keep up with each other just fine.   The last couple of years have held many a conversation about starting families, and we’ve shared the ups and downs of that journey as my hair is processing.  So, it was only fitting that at one of my appointments, Megan went into labor and I was officially her last client before she became a Mom.  A few days later, we stepped out of our usual six week rotation and I got to meet sweet little Chase.

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I’ve said it so many times, but the only thing better than watching two people come together in marriage and getting to document that?  Seeing (and photographing) the little people they create!

Ellen & Joe are wedding clients from way back in 2009 who I’ve been fortunate enough to keep in touch with.  Ever since the arrival of their sweet baby girl, we’ve been trying to connect for a shoot.  She’s just over a year old now, and we did finally meet up right before Thanksgiving.   And little Grace proved everything I knew she would be – a perfect mix of spunky Ellen and sweet Joe.

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