Sweet friends of ours had the nerve to move away right when having a baby, depriving us of their sweet baby amazingness. Can you believe that??? When I posted about a mini session I genuinely hoped they’d bring sweet Hudson back to town and join in on the fun – and, behold, baby swimmer session was born.
I seriously considered scheduling swimming lessons for Jack this summer. One, I was late to the game, so next year will have to do. Two, I thought the whole time “do under-one-year-olds even learn how to swim, really?” The answer to that was clearly yes. Hudson is seven months and held his breath under water – WHAT? He was kicking and playing and splashing – totally comfortable in the water!
Little man is in his ELEMENT in the water. Like, little mer-man level. Splashing, giggles and baby smiles, this session was the stuff of Summer dreams.
Amidst all my Summer Adventure Sessions, I had the Hartelust family session and it was awesome!
First, let’s discuss the Crosstown Concourse for a hot minute. IT’S FREAKIN’ AWESOME. It’s seriously a Summer photo dream. So much natural light AND AC? WHAT. It has this cool little library area you can sit and chill, random seating areas, restaurants, seriously the list goes on and on. Second, let’s talk about Amy. Aside from being an adorable human being, she’s an incredibly talented artist!! I first met Amy when I was making felt flowers and we had our booths next to each other at a pop-up at the then-empty Falling Into Place. I’ve loved her work from the moment I saw it! I’m a frequent-flyer on those drool-worthy christmas ornaments every year.
Fun little secret, Amy reached out to me back in May about a photography session for the fam and she’s what sparked my idea of the Adventure Sessions! Amy said that she hadn’t really had pictures taken since Amelia was born (Amelia is 1 now!) and wanted to have some new family photos. We scheduled the session for mid-summer (they were moving so we waited til things died down a bit) and went about our lives.
Little Amelia recently overcame a super-scary virus (HUGE shoutout to the place I dread going to, but am SO thankful is there – Le Bonheur) the week before our session. Rescheduling a session was a no-brainer, I seriously can’t imagine what the Hartelusts have been through, but behold! Amelia was a little ray of sunshine come session time!
(insert thankful momma tear here)
One of my preview posts had a comment that this family is like a JCrew ad, uhh, truth. As a GROUP they’re so incredibly photogenic! Little Amelia and her amazing older sister, Lily, are both total naturals in front of the camera and the apple didn’t fall far from the tree, folks.
I’ve had the pleasure of taking pictures for families for a few years now. I’ve talked about how special the process is, and I’ve talked about my opinion on importance of family photos.. but today the dads get the spotlight.
This year has been a bit different for the Presleys (having a baby and all). I find myself seeing things differently. Growing as an artist is important and boy pulling some of these older images sure makes me appreciate growth. But this is somehow different. The soft smile, the far-off stare, small things that I saw before seem more important in photos now. Jacks growing like a weed and I don’t want to miss documenting a single thing. INCLUDING dad time.
It’s a mysterious thing that Jack and I will never quite have together. Their games are borderline dangerous, they (both) giggle at things that I have no idea why it’s funny. We’ve officially crossed from baby to kid when we play with dad. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a mommas-boy through and through, but playing with dad is a special thing (and it’s a wonder to behold).
Any man can be a father, it takes someone special to be a dad.
So, to celebrate Dads, I’ve dug through past family shoots (all the way back to Ellywise beginnings) and pulled a few of my FAVORITE daddy shots. Not that I didn’t appreciate them before, now I find these shots even more heart-melting. Some of my favorite pictures I have of Jack are shots of him with Clay. I hope that one day when Jack and all these other kiddos are older they’ll have photo albums to flip through reliving all the wonderful memories of holidays and birthdays.. and even just the Thursday where we painted a pumpkin or played with a water hose in the driveway.
Here’s to the dads!