it's funny how when you have contact with a person for the first time, you have NO idea how you will impact each others lives. it's like the universe is one big whirlwind of connections, people just swirling around waiting for things to make sense. two and a half years ago i was browsing photos on flickr and a photo of a little girl caught my eye because she looked just like mine. then i saw she had the same name as my little girl. browsing through their photos i then noticed they were the same age. so i thought it was kinda funny, and i sent claire's mom melissa this message (can you believe i still have it in my sent mail?)
hey - i randomly came across your photostream when i was doing a search and i first i noticed you have a little blond girl about the same age as mine (she will be 9 months on dec 2) and then i noticed your little girl's name is claire too! anyways.... thought it was funny... and great pics. :)
congrats on your beautiful daughter.
as it turned out, the girls were exactly the same age. by 24 hours. claire alyse and claire olivia. melissa and i stayed in contact through flickr, commenting on each other's photos here and there and watching our claire's grow. last year her family came out to california for a family vacation and invited claire and i to meet up with them at downtown disney for dinner. we had a BLAST. the girls ran around in circles giggling. and after about 5 minutes hanging out with melissa i knew we'd stay "real life" friends. she's fun, really sweet, and probably the most easy going person i've ever met. melissa, her husband will, miss claire, and baby boy bennett turned out to be an awesome family.
and i guess they liked me back. :) this weekend they hauled the fam over from arizona and met up with my family in santa barbara for a weekend vacay/photo session. i can't even begin to tell you how much fun i had. basically, i would like to do this every single weekend.
first, let me show off my new baby boyfriend, bennett. this kid ran over and threw his arms around my legs the very first (and second, and third) time i met him. i think he might have had a crush on me (and really, i don't blame him). i wanted to just ditch my camera and snuggle him all day. he was quick, difficult to photograph at times, as that age usually is, but a face that was worth the wait.
and here's, as my claire liked to call her, "the other claire". just a complete sweetheart. gentle, carefree, silly... and loves to hold hands. i felt so special when she came up to me as we were walking down state street and says "hey, do you wanna hold my hand?" yep. i do, and i did.
here's melissa. hello! could she BE any prettier? it occurs to me that maybe i just want to be her friend in hopes that some of the hotness will rub off on me.
here's will. will is really funny. honestly, he cracked me up with little bits of sarcasm and witty remarks here and there. meeting will, it was really apparent how much he loves his family. he's not one of those dad's who stands back whilst chaos ensues and lets wifey deal with it. he's there making sure noses are wiped and people are happy and fed and safe. you can really tell how much he loves his wife and his children.
and here's a million other photos that have caught my eye so far...
this was the first photo of the session. i love sharing that. it's like the first page of a really great book.
this one cracks me up. he's like, "ssssssshhhh don't tell anyone i'm a mama's boy." ;)
and my very favorite of the entire session:
thank you so much melissa & will, for choosing me to photograph your family. you all are truly beautiful people.