Basking in the golden sun.
You know you've made a true friend when you haven't even met yet and they are 100% on board with the vision you have for a photoshoot... and literally have every style of item you need for the shoot. Its a strange and beautiful thing to simply connect with someone, to fall into friendship before really even knowing the person; Élyse & I clicked right away, and the images, I feel, are a true reflection of that.
2020 for many people has been incredibly difficult; it hasn't exactly been all sunshines and rainbows for me either...but I would consider myself to be very fortunate. With the trials that have come with this year, new found sense of pushing my boundaries and making my creative ideas come to life has come my way.
Staring at my bookshelf, I noticed my vintage books and cameras collecting dust. I have been longing to use these items in a shoot but have never had the courage to bring them to any of my scheduled sessions. So what is the only sane thing to do? Well ask the neighbour you've only seen on Instagram a handful of times if they would be willing to get in front of the camera with their little guy with a certain style in mind. (Apparently its my thing... to stalk people on instagram and ask them to be my friend!)
Immediately Élyse was on board. The day of the shoot I sent her a quick text 'Hey, do you have a hat to wear? like a wide brimmed hat?' - she responded with 'like this one?' with a dark brown felt hat with a large brim and tie.....a little while later.... 'ummm, Do you have a boho style blanket to sit on? So far i've come up with Lightning Mcqueen' - she responds with ' which one of these?' with an image of 3 boho style blankets... all of which would work!
As the sun began to move lower in the sky I walked over with my bag of goodies to meet her on her side of the complex and we made our way to this little open field with beautiful long grass. To be honest I have never really styled a shoot before. I have given suggestions on what to wear, but never have I really brought props unless it was for a newborn shoot. It worked out perfectly! The blanket with the books, camera, lantern & dried flowers added a vintage feel to the shoot and gave August something to be interested in. I made her kick off her shoes, put on some tunes and told her to dance with August in the field and snapped some beautiful images filled with movement and smiles. When the song was over I asked if she wanted her husband to pop over and get in a few shots so they had some family photos to hang on the wall, she agreed and picked up the phone right away. As per Élyses instructions, he definitely had no choice in what to wear, thankfully its not too hard to get a guy ready for a shoot! Button up white shirt & blue jeans, no shoes. Done! He showed up as per her request.... just the addition of his flat brimmed black hat which she very swiftly removed from his head.
I requested less than a hand full of prompts to get the images I needed and the rest happened naturally as I like my sessions to go, not too much direction but just enough to get all parties involved comfortable. We decided, after getting demolished by mosquitos, to move on to a field further down the path to get back into the sun and hopefully away from the mosquitos to get a few more shots that I had envisioned (& I hadn't gotten any of her on her own). Mothers tend to either be in the photo surrounded by their children (which is lovely and wonderful of course) or not in the photo at all (more often than not, this is the case rather than the latter!)
I feel it is incredibly important to get those images, the ones that represent the mother as their own entity; a symbol of stand alone strength and beauty. I hope all of those feelings are reflected in the images you see below. Strength. Beauty. I hope it encourages you to step out of your comfort zone; to dance barefoot in the setting sun for the first time with your child embraced in your arms. To chase your artistic dreams. To say hello to that new potential friend and ask them to hang out. Life is much to short to waste anytime overthinking & being too cautious.
I hope you enjoy these images.