Welcome to the 4th installment of Letters to our Children! Don’t forget to follow our little circle by clicking on the link at the bottom of my page that will take you to another story. Thanks so much 🙂 To my boys, … Continue reading
I went back down to Rawlins a few weeks ago for an adorable young man’s 1st birthday party. While there, Miss Slater’s mom asked if I could do her 3 year portraits. Umm, yeah! I have wanted to take her photos for so long, but things just never seemed to work out. Slater has the most beautiful eyes…mesmerizing is the only word that I can think to describe them.
I asked Mom if she wouldn’t mind doing an in home, lifestyle session. She was up for whatever I suggested, as long as we could get some posed shots for the grandparents. And boy, did we! I delivered one of my largest galleries to date. Miss Slater rocked in front of my camera.
That’s what I love about in home sessions. Slater was so relaxed and eager to show me around her home, her favorite games, and how she loved walking up the mountain in their backyard. Kids are much more laid back when in their own environment and their true personalities just shine.
Sometimes it’s the ordinary moment, one you live every day, that turns into a cherished memory. A family photo session doesn’t necessarily involve a pretty field, blanket, and coordinated outfits. I asked a friend if she would volunteer her family for a little project of mine, and she bravely invited me into her home to photograph their Sunday breakfast.
We kept it simple, pancakes and bacon. Pajamas, bed head, a cuddle on the couch. These things are every day occurrences that I was able to make into lasting memories. Big brother often helps the little guy out of the crib right after he and Mom spend a few minutes watching cartoons and chatting while everyone else sleeps. Dad got to sleep in a little bit, so I hung out in the kitchen while Mom and the boys whipped up some pancakes. After the session, Mom mentioned that I was there to witness the first pancake flip for both boys! Big bro handled that spatula like a pro.
With breakfast cooked, it was time to wake Dad up (as usual) by a shout from the stairs, and then it was family time. Little boys always love their Mommy, but it feels so special to see the bonds with their Dad. They don’t stay little for long, so I’m glad I was there to save that moment for them. After lots of laughs, a few strawberry stems ingested, and many funny faces made, it was time for Jenga and some books. I love how every family turns an event that occurs in most homes into a comedy routine. And yes, the 2-year-old knows what the fox says 😉 A pillow fight rounded out the morning. Everyone had a blast tossing pillows at each other. I think…the little guy wasn’t quite sure what was going on!
It was a relaxed photo session where I was able to just sit back and let the family be themselves. We are already making plans to capture the everyday beauty of their backyard when Spring decides to visit Wyoming. I’m excited to see what fun activities they do in their own backyard and to document the everyday beauty!
This little guy has a pair of the most stunning blue eyes I’ve ever seen. I’ve been lucky enough to photograph he and his family quite a few times. Mom has been super patient with me, booking session whenever I make the trek south to visit. Sometimes we have to work extra hard to squeeze the time into a packed travel schedule. We shot this session in about 35 minutes, right before a sweet little girl’s birthday party. But, honestly, with the wind and the snow that’s about all any of us could handle! I love that I’ve been able to watch him grow up through my lens and am hoping that soon I’ll have the chance to photograph his little brother (or sister). Mom and Dad are doing what I never could and not finding out the gender of baby #2!
To my Sean-Sean and Con Man~
There are so many things that each of you do that fill my heart with joy and pride. Too many things to brag about and I know that people get tired of hearing all the amazing things that you do. Every time that you pick up a crayon, Sean, I remember the boy who refused to draw a line. Connor, when you grab my hand and tell me to tum on, tum wif me, Monny; I follow. Every single time. Because you don’t often request play time with me.
But, what makes me smile most often, sometimes with a tear following, is when I see you play together. Not play side by side, or in the same room, or on the same couch, but together. Sean, you ask Connor to play transformers or puppy with you. And, 9 times out of 10 Connor, you do it. Connor, I see you look up to Sean with a question in your eyes, and it’s almost like the question “ok, brother, now what?” doesn’t even have to be asked. Sean guides you to the next step. Sometimes you resist, but often you follow.
Connor, if I tell you to ask brother to find a toy for you, he does. But only after he makes you say please at least twice. All he has to do is say “Connor, what do you need to say?” and it pops right out of your mouth. And, if you really want it, you throw in a little sign language, too
There were many times that your 3 year age difference worried me. I worried that you wouldn’t be able to understand each other and that this would lead to fights. It does, a lot, but they are short-lived. The biggest fight right now is over Chase and the fact that he isn’t allowed out of your sight, Connor. I was worried that you wouldn’t have anything in common. That you would always be seeking out different toys, books, cartoons….not so much. Connor, at times I often wonder if you only like Superman, and Batman, and the Rescuebots, because Sean does. I now wonder what would consume your life if you could “choose” your own likes.
I wish with all my heart that I could freeze time. I love where you are right now, who you are. You enjoy spending time with each other and seek each other out as playmates. I see this both and home and at your school. Sean’s friends are Connor’s friends. I can only hope and pray that this bond is never severed. I love our home days together, even when they’re just spent cuddling on the couch watching DinoSquad for the umpteenth time. However, I know that there will be many more moments to come. And I feel blessed that I have discovered the passion for photography so that we will never forget this life that we get to call ours.
Every day I feel so very blessed that God saw fit to give you to me. You have taught me so much about myself. Through you I have learned love, patience, forgiveness, and how to play with swords. I understand now what it truly means to love someone and have that love returned. When you see us across the room and towards me, or your dad, the love and joy that you feel is shared with everyone in the room. It often takes my breath away. I hope that the love you feel for us never diminishes. You open my eyes to a new world every day. I truly love you to the moon and back. About 10 times, in fact!
Please follow our circle and go give Nicole Caywood Photography some love!
Every once in a while you meet a person that becomes a friend for life. Not only did I gain a best friend in this family, but so did Sean. He speaks of his bestie often and I’m pretty sure that Connor is going to have a friend in little sister as well. This may be the hardest mini session to blog because I miss my friend so much. I feel very lucky, though, to have met this family and to carry the connection across hundreds of miles.
It’s funny how easily we can get attached to people. This is another family I met early in my career in Rawlins. First I knew them through volleyball. Then in the classroom. Mom gave me one of the best compliments any teacher can receive when she followed me as I transferred to another school. They helped me survive a very challenging year and are now facing one themselves. Little sister has just been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Please say a little prayer for all of them tonight.
As a “new” photographer, I feel like I am constantly on the search to find my unique style. As a photographer, I know the type of photos I want to take. I know that I want to capture my clients, my children, my family in those honest and true moments. Those moments when everyone lets their guard down and shows their true spirit. I want those unposed, unscripted moments, memories, to be written down as history. Their history. And mine. BUT, as a client, I want those posed photos on my walls. I want the, “hey, everyone look at the camera and smile!” pictures. I KNOW I can incorporate both types into a session. That’s what I know.
What I don’t know, where I struggle, where I search, is the end game. Do I like my photos dark and mood? Light and airy? True to the moment, slightly enhanced, or Photo Shopped? Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes and NO. So, here’s the question, is that ok? Is it ok that each session is not quite cohesive. That my editing style shifts, albeit slightly, from location to location. I know there is no right answer and that I need to, at the end of the day, be happy with the product in front of me.
The pictures below are edited mostly clean, slightly creative, and today I love them. I love that I can see the personalities of my boys shining through. You can see where I live, where my heart is. This is me, and from now on, this is what you’ll see.
What I love about this job is that there is no right answer. I find inspiration in almost every photograph I see. While I will probably never have a studio, backdrops, lighting, themed sessions, props, or a super consistent editing style. What I will have is my heart in every photo I deliver. I will honestly love each frame that my clients see. And in that respect, unfortunately, some of my posts will be disappearing. Simply because of the fact that I don’t want to misrepresent myself and my style. So, is my search over? Maybe. For today at least.
Sean was so excited when I picked him up yesterday “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!” he shouted (screamed, really) “I get Clifford!!!” It was our night to take the big red bag home for our night of family fun 🙂
Sean’s teacher often sends home family projects meant to encourage families to interact and do something, er, educational shall I say, rather than sit around the boob tube all night! Sean is more excited about some than others. Cutting and coloring are not really his deal but give this kid a stuffed animal or a guessing box and he’s over. the. moon.
So, last night we got to read a book, work on some patterns with dinos, put together a puzzle (which, I must brag, Sean is pretty good at!), and then draw a picture and journal about Clifford’s night. I, of course, forgot to take a picture of Sean’s drawing. He drew! TWO pictures!!!! Proud Mama right here.
Here he is working on the patterns. He loved working on them, especially since Connor didn’t have much interested and stayed outta the way.
This mom came to me for family pictures and said that her family wanted something a little “different”. Not the traditional sit in a row, smile at the camera, everybody say “cheese” type of session. I told her to bring. it. on. That’s the kind of style I love. A little life style-ish, a little improv, a little true to them. We had a blast on one of the last cool, Indian Summer evenings on their home football field. They were a blast to hang out with and before I knew it the sun was setting and we had to wrap it up. I feel like I captured all their personalities and still managed to get a somewhat traditional family shot in the mix~enjoy!