“I want adventure in the great wide somewhere! I want it more than I can tell!” – Belle from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”
Another day spent with royalty, how lucky am I?! This little girl’s golden locks slay me every time I see her! They’re too perfect. I loved the chance to reconnect with this family (from one of my FIRST EVER family sessions!) to capture this little princess on a cloudy Belgian morning. She loved the chance to run away and climb this little bridge, rose in hand. I know for a fact, this daddy’s girl knows her beast and he’ll scare away any boy that comes near until she’s at least 35!
Living away from family is hard. A lot of times we enjoy our freedom but more often we feel isolated. We build up friendships which is essential and a true blessing, but it’s hard to watch J grow up away from his grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. But, fortunately, we got a nice long visit with Granny, Grandpa, and Auntie S (and a big trip to Italy) this month and I wanted to share a few of J playing with his Granny as, unfortunately, these portraits are few and far between and highly cherished.
To talk about these photos a little: the too bright sun kept coming and going while I was taking these so the shadows and lighting is really harsh. I wouldn’t want to work with this light with a client because it’s so hard to get a flattering portrait like this! The shadows from eyebrows can make a person look exhausted or completely black out their eyes! Keep that in mind when working on your own or looking for a photographer to work with–no midday sessions!
I, however, had to capture J with his Granny because they were too cute together and again–the opportunity to photograph them together is a rare one.
See more of J here: Lifestyle – Pizza Party in Greece, Lifestyle – At the Mediterranean Sea, Lifestyle – Athenian Playground, Lifestyle – Athens National Gardens, Photo Feature: Red White and Blue, J does Brit Fete, Happy Father’s Day, Lifestyle – Looking through the Window, Lifestyle – J & Co. Sensory Play, Splish Splash
“I am a princess. All girls are. Even if they live in tiny old attics. Even if they dress in rags, even if they aren’t pretty, or smart, or young. They’re still princesses.” ― Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Little Princess
We saw this mama the other day with her youngest baby in Back to Nature and today’s post features her oldest two–bedecked in their princess best! After our family session at the Abbey (Back to the Abbey, +1), these two wanted to work with me again (cause I’m fun!) but this time they wanted to make sure they got some photos alone with mama. So mama let them pick out their outfits and I brought J’s tea set out for this fun little session.
“You are the closest I will ever come to magic.” ― Suzanne Finnamore, The Zygote Chronicles
A few weeks ago, I shared the debut of a little girl (Fresh48 – Hey There Little One and Newborn – Bigger than a Rugby Ball) and here mum and dad were so happy with my work they referred me to today’s couple and I am so thankful for the chance to share in the joy of new life with both.
I have working lately on focusing on calm, casual, almost documentary style photography lately, especially with the bump to baby work I am able to do. I am so in love with capturing the magic of our lives and there is nothing more magical than creating life with the one you love.
The less glamorous side of vacationing with a toddler is spending a lot of time inside the hotel room–or in our case apartment. They need naps and some don’t take them on the go and they need to be in bed. So some nights when we’ve run around all day, we come back for dinner in–this night was pizza–and I love to capture images of my son in the room (this is just one set, of course) because these are just as important in the grand scheme of things as the moments at the Parthenon.
When I get my camera out at times like this, I just let J play and see what comes out. He love, love, loves playing with windows and doors and so it was fun to get to see his silly side come out and to enjoy our evening in. And it allowed me to capture gorgeous images and document who he is now when our home life is so hectic I sometimes forget.
See more of my journey with J here: Lifestyle – Athens National Gardens, Ancient World Wonder: The Parthenon, J does Brit Fete, Dream Big, Happy Father’s Day, Lifestyle – Looking through the Window, Lifestyle – J & Co. Sensory Play.
“I take my children everywhere, but they always find their way back home.” – Robert Orben
Evidence of a well-lived life is to get to know people and to enjoy their life for no other reason than because they are happy. I was able to meet this family when I worked at the local teen center and as we both prepare to depart Belgium, they allowed me (yes allowed) to take their family portraits. These teens were a handful despite knowing and liking me (most days) but we still had fun and captured some cute memories.
I have to put this dad on high too–he’s such a great father and is always there for all three of his kids, I got to witness his willingness to put them first, love them for who they are, and let them make mistakes.
After playing at the playground, we headed over to the beach to cool down and cool down we did–the water was way too cold to really get in but it was refreshing. J wanted to play but the beach wasn’t really safe enough to let his wobbly little toddler legs to explore so I took the chance to grab a few photos before we headed back to some shade so he could nap.
I hate to keep fighting with the harsh sunlight and fortunately the beach sand wasn’t too too bright but it was a struggle to keep from over exposing the image and not having all features drowning in shadow but I think I captured some really sweet moments and my husband did too.
It’s important to be patient and not try to force poses when on vacation with a toddler and surly husband–capture what you can. Look for ways to frame the subject with the harsh light rather than trying to make them do anything. It’s better to get images of your family with harsh shadows then to get pictures of the toddler crying and the husband giving the person behind the camera looks that could kill.
Keep in mind that your family doesn’t want you to spend the entire time taking photographs. So after you get some good images that capture the moment, put the camera away and live. You may miss a super cute moment with the camera but you can’t live the moments and capture them too.
“A baby nursing at a mother’s breast… is an undeniable affirmation of our rootedness in nature.” -David Suzuki
I was approached to do a nursing session by this mama (who yes we have seen before in Back to the Abbey, +1 and we’ll see again soon!) who nursed 4 babies and decided to capture this beautiful relationship to preserve forever. This was such an amazing session to do as my little J is still nursing and I value every photo I have of our nursing relationship; it’s a treat to be able to give another mama the same memories.
“Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be.” -Whitney Houston
This little girl is always fun to try to get in front of the camera and for this session, we found something she really liked–painting! These paint sessions are so much fun and I absolutely love that I get to send home art from the session to display next to the portraits. I may make this a summertime standard for Melanie Sokol Photography!
Baby J is back again, this time in a classic lifestyle session, albiet in a glamorous location. I wanted to share this because this is the type of momtography we should all be working towards not because of quality but because of life.
We take our kids to the playgrounds so often that we forget how important it is to document their play. It doesn’t matter if the sun is super harsh (seriously could the shadows be any sharper?! No!), find a touch of shade or just embrace it because–the moment is more important. Remember that. The moment is paramount. You can create gorgeous portraits in perfect settings, sure, but you can’t capture these memories without embracing the imperfections of light and color casts.
So take pictures at the playground! Capture these moments, they don’t last forever!