Monthly Archives: June 2007

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Anatomy of a portrait session:

(three days in advance): Inform husband that pictures will be taken of our children. And quite possibly him. Ignore whines and moans and eager suggestions that said portrait session take place in front/back yard. Insist (borrowing parenting techniques from Love and Logic) that while this is frustrating, it must be done.
Point to blank walls in new house.
Point to office area with walls papered in clients’ children.
Point to own sad face.
Point to own precious offspring.
Hubby capitulates.

(day before): remind hubby gently, while assuring him it will be painless, fun, and possibly good bonding time. Ignore pleas and moans for a ‘free pass’.

(day of)
8am : pointedly avoid mentioning session happening later in the day.
12pm: Show children the massive lollipops they can have when they are at the park having their picture taken by Mommy (cue high, excited tone of voice). Suggest naps for entire family so all are fresh and in good moods (mainly the husband).
1:00: Begin putting little ones to bed for all important nap.
1:05: Suddenly realize their clothes, while bought and carefully put away weeks ago, should be unearthed and prepped for an easier afternoon.
1:20: Frantically realize that the reason son’s shirt (that matches daughter’s dress) cannot be found is because he wore it to preschool the day before and is currently residing in dirty clothes hamper, covered in ketchup, finger paint, and dried yogurt. Unearth and throw into washer (while whispering thanks for the ‘quick wash’ cycle).
1:45: Threaten both daughter and son with a lifetime of guilt (at the same time promising ice cream and toys) if they will just. stay. in. bed.
1:50: Lay kids’ clothing and check to make sure both sets of clothes match. Look up-notice the rain falling (again).
2:00 Sit at computer and blog about session up to this point as a way of letting go of things we cannot control, and accepting those we can.
4:25: Son is awake and never actually napped (oh dear). Wake daughter and whisper “Lollipop!”. She’s UP and eager to go. (big sigh of relief). Tell hubby we need to leave at 5.
4:30: Hubby heads into shower. Children are fed one last snack (in their undies, to keep the (newly washed) clothes clean).
5:00: Hubby actually gets INTO the shower. Bite tongue and try not to grouch about his tendency to talk ‘like a girl’ to his guy friends. Dress kids, encourage potty for both, pack extra snacks, water, wipes, shoes, outfits, rain boots and umbrellas (in case in rains and we switch tactics-wouldn’t mind some cute puddle splashing pictures either), mosquito spray, lollipops, hairbrush, small bows…wonder how families show up calm, cool and collected at their sessions every day.
5:30: Hubby is ready. Kids are ready. I am ready. Almost forget camera equipment. Grab reflector as it looks like it might rain again and it is really, really overcast. Mumble to self that if this was a client’s session, we would have rescheduled.
5:45: arrive at the park. Unload kids, gear, husband. It starts to rain. Reload kids, gear, husband, grumpy self.
5:50: rain stops. It’s do or die time, and we tumble out once again. Agree to let daughter wear her fairy wings and bring the hot pink light-up fairy wand. Inhale deeply, pray for patience, and try to let go of “mom” role and step into “photographer” role.
6:15: Kids did well, Hubby did well. Mentally swear to hire someone to do this next time, if for no other reason than to protect my marriage.

And the results?
(click to enlarge)

Can you believe it? Pictures of my brood! For my blank walls! I might need to enjoy a celebratory glass of wine!!! Here are a few more happy exclamation points!!!!!!!!


White dress and Ben’s white linen shirt-Ten Monkeys (Lovers and Inwood)
Hot pink/denim dress and Ben’s wrinkle-free khaki shorts-Chocolate Soup (Preston and Forest)



This morning was sweet Baylee’s turn to shine. We put her session off by a few weeks, until she was sitting confidently (but just in time for her family’s move next weekend…good luck you guys!).

Despite the sheets of rain pouring down outside, we were able to set up my clunky umbrella and bee, and made do. This was the swan song for my umbrella…we had to actually rig it to stay open this morning (which tells you a) just how often I don’t use it, and b) that I need to spend some money on upgrading the rarely-used-but-still-functional equipment o’ mine).

But it stayed open, and we had a wonderful time in Baylee’s room. And at the very end the sun shone again, and we were able to pull open the blinds and take advantage of the gorgeous natural light shining through.

And then the rain came again.

(it’s pouring as I type this)

Can you believe this weather???


I’m a lovechild…

I just returned for a badly needed, much anticipated, thoroughly enjoyed and over-too-soon girls’ weekend in Austin. Our host and ringleader blogged about it, and included a picture of our MommyPlaydate. Good times were had by all.

Though I’m not sure I’d agree with the combo (Mary Poppins? Did you see my motto about making kids cry? And Annie? Wow-no pressure there. None at all. Excuse me while I back out of the room, smiling with assurance, and then turn and run. Because you people are obviously off your rocker).

While there I had the chance to photograph the kids (my way of saying THANK YOU for a wonderful weekend). These three kids are angelic. And cute. And opinionated. I felt right at home and totally in my element. We did some fun family shots. And the kids together. And each kid separate. But I think this one embodies these three…their very different personalities, and the fun they have together, all at the same time.

Plus one of my sweet Lucy…who reminds me so much of my Sam that I didn’t miss my kids AS MUCH as I would have otherwise. (oh, who am I kidding? I missed them dreadfully…and can’t tell them that I played superheroes and princess with OTHER kids, or they might scoff at the Mary Poppins reference too).


Want to meet a cute family?

Along with a new website (set to debut in July), the introduction of a few new faces around Sugar (more on that later), and a few sweet additions to our pricelist…we also have a new way of showcasing our wonderful families!

Showing a sneak peek immediately after a session is great. But I can’t tell you the number of times I wished I could post images AFTER the processing is finished. A few hidden gems usually come to light, but I needed a way to segue them into the blog.

So now…as families see their slideshow, we’ll be asking them a few fun and quirky questions…to help you meet these wonderful personalities that I am asked to capture every day (and the Moms and Dads behind them as well).

Here are Sarah, Pete and Isaac. Enjoy!

1. What is your favorite thing to do on the weekends?

Family movie night! On either Friday or Saturday, we cook dinner together, eat in the living room, snuggle up and watch a movie all together.

2. If you (and Pete and Isaac) could hop in the car tomorrow and drive somewhere on vacation-where would you go?

I’d love to take my family to Austin one weekend, hit the swimming holes, watch the bats, and drink a beer on a patio somewhere.

3. What is your favorite memory of Isaac, up to this point?

That’s a hard one to narrow down. Lots of moments. Learning to talk is a favorite. When he was little he loved to read “Going on a Bear Hunt” and during the part where the family tip-toes into the cave, Isaac would join in and whisper: “tee-toe, tee-toe” with lots of anticipation.

4. What makes Isaac laugh?

Singing silly songs (especially if they contain “potty talk”).

5. What makes you laugh?

Both Pete and Isaac’s laughs. Watch out if they’re laughing together!

6. What makes Pete laugh, roll his eyes, shake his head, and realize that “this” is why he loves you?

I bump into things constantly. I also frequently trip, lose a shoe, and/or fall. Bouncing off a door jam tends to get the eye roll.

7. If you were stranded on a desert island with a 4.5 year old, what one item could you not live without (minus food, water, clothes)?

Ask Isaac and he’ll tell you Lighting McQueen. Ask Pete and he’ll tell you a baseball. Ask me and I’ll tell you pie.

Last one…What is your favorite image from this session and why.

This one. It’s silly and sweet and romantic and family all in one image. it’s us!


Be proud…I didn’t drive off the road when I saw this today (though I did exit, u-turn, and go by it once more to get a picture. My starving, tired, not-so-patient children were thrilled with me.

It was worth it!

(click to see it larger)