Prepare yourself for a long one folks!
Heeeeere’s one of my favorite families (who also happen to be some of our best friends)…. we did things completely different than we’ve ever done this time. I had a fun idea…. a “day in the life” sort of session… holiday style! I asked our friend Ben with Rewind Documentaries if he was on board to film it. When I emailed Annie my thoughts… she was TOTALLY on board!
We met in the early afternoon at a Christmas tree farm. The kids were hyyyyype!!!!Caroline is the biggest ball of cuteness ever. Take the cutest thing you’ve ever seen in your entire life and multiply that by about 132… that’s Caroline.If this image doesn’t exemplify parenthood I don’t know what does! That, of course, coming from the person who doesn’t have kids of her own.…this way daddy…
Ohhhhh Annnnnnie…. you’re prettttttty…This girl was on a mission!Andrew was in ninja mode… you know, jusssssst in case there were any bad guys he was ready! You should see his spin move, it’s impressively ninja-y.YAY! FOUND IT!Just call him Paul BENyan! …ya see what I did there?I know what you’re thinking, “how can so much wittiness fit into 5’2″?! I get it all of the time. You’re not the first to have that thought…
Andrew the big-big helper. What I imagine Andrew saying here… “We got it dad. Happy I could help. Now I’ll stand on it because that’s what you need me to do, right dad? Yeah. Thought so.”#notimpressedI think this was a white pine Christmas tree. Just in case anyone was curious. Ohhhh that Paul BENyan…
::::: We interrupt Operation Christmas Tree with our secondary objective… Operation 15 Minute Family Session :::::
By the way, I think this is now the 8th time that we’ve photographed this family! That image on the left… MELLLLLT!Have I mentioned how much I adore this family?!
See Annie’s amazing red scarf? She knitted that… and she probably finished it in 10 minutes.
I think every family session we’ve done of this team there’s a photo of Ben throwing one of his kids impressively high in the air. In this case, we didn’t ask him to do it… he just did it as we were walking from one spot to the other.OHHHH YOU GUYSSSS!!!!!
::::: Operation 15 Minute Family Session accomplished! :::::
…back to it!
The image below is 100% a candid image; we did not set it up in any way. Won’t lie… proud of this one my friends! My favorite.
When I saw it happening, I took off running to get ahead of them… then laid on my belly to create the illusion of a hill… snapped a few… popped up and took off running again just to do it all over again. I probably did it four times. While this image is pretty majestic… the awkwardness of me shooting it is pretty funny really.
The hayride back
Operation Christmas Tree is officially complete.Then we headed back to Annie and Ben’s house for more holiday fun.
First up… gingerbread cookies and chocolate juice (AKA, hot chocolate… but that’s what Caroline kept calling it. Henceforth, chocolate juice)! By the way, for those new here… this is Annie… you know… of Annie’s Eats cooking blog fame.
OHHHH how I love this family!What five year old kid handles a legit frosting bag like a pro?! Oh but of course… Andrew does…HA!Little Grey Bunny… she’s obsessed. And the image on the right looks like it should be on the cover of a SwissMiss hot chocolate can or something. PS. for the record… that ain’t no SwissMiss in that cup!PPS. Even using a double negative in a funny sense hurts my ears. Let it be known that that’s the first and last time you’ll hear that from me.They’re so grown up!Rewind Ben’s (as opposed to Annie’s husband Ben) footage of this moment wins at life! (link at the end)
Perfecto. This session is one of my favorites of the entire year if not one of my favorites ever… for a number of reasons. Obviously Annie is one of my best friends and I absolutely adore her family… so there’s that.
But speaking as an unbiased photographer here… these images are so much more. At our photography workshops we often refer to the term your “30 year goggles.” As we all know, the older the image becomes, the more it means to us. When a house catches fire, what does everyone make sure they grab? Their family pictures. See where I’m going with this?
You see, when I’m posing couples and families… or shooting something photojournalistically… I’m always wearing my 30 year goggles. When I’m culling images (picking out the best) and processing them… on go my 30 year goggles. When you see these images through those lenses you see them completely differently, In 30 years Caroline will be 32, Andrew 35… both probably with families of their own… both with their own family Christmas traditions… and I’d think it’d be a pretty fair guess that both of their homes will have their own white pine Christmas trees. Annie and Ben will be in their 50′s… probably with a grandkid or two running around… and moments like these are a distant memory. When you see it, you’re right back to where you were, you remember the silly faces Caroline made, you remember Andrew’s awesome ninja moves, you’re reminded that your husband’s fascination with plaid started long agoand you remember, above all else… how much love has always been in your life.
I feel like I’m not doing the best job describing the importance of this…
It’s so easy, as photographers, to brush aside the images that aren’t perfect (to us)… but put on your 30 year goggles and pretend you’re Caroline, it’s something totally different.
Danville & Avon, Ind.
annie+ben :: dating 14 years • 3.12.99 :: married 8 years • 5.28.05
How they met, as told by Annie :: “We met in show choir in high school. We were dance partners.”
Annie :: hometown – Bloomington, Ind. :: resident physician and cooking blogger :: intelligent, determined, strong, creative, beautiful
Ben :: hometown – Bloomington, Ind. :: 4th grade teacher :: loyal, caring, funny, helpful, supportive
Andrew :: 5 years old :: Born 6.18.08 :: active, adventurous, articulate, curious, non-stop
Caroline :: 2.5 years old :: Born 3.29.11 :: loving, cheerful, snuggly, silly, vocal
Andrew found Mike’s camera. If you’re a photographer and you know how heavy that setup is… you’re mad impressed with Andrew right now, right?!BADABOOM BADABING!
Annie, Ben, Andrew and Caroline… you guys mean the world to us. Your friendship is something that I’ll never take for granted. Here’s to being friends for 30+ more years… if for no other reason just to prove that Andrew and Caroline both have white pine Christmas trees of their own! HA!
Love you guys, BIG BIG BIG time!
~Bobbi & Mike
Don’t pass go, don’t collect $200… stop what you’re doing right now and go watch Rewind Documentaries video of this day. And don’t forget to put on your 30 year goggles. It’s incredible.