Clarion, dear Clarion. I spent four amazing, stressful, sleepless, and unforgettable years at Clarion University, and I couldn't even tell you how excited I was to be back in the area for this session. The sweet little town of Clarion will always hold a special place in my heart, right next to Autumn Leaf Festival pasta bowls and Poor Man's Caramel Apples (if you know, you know).
One of the things that kept me sane in my four years at Clarion was the Chamber Singers choral group. That group not only gave me some of my favorite memories of undergrad, but also friendships that I know will last me a lifetime. Anna Mae sang soprano with me in Chambers, and my freshman year when I joined, she quickly enveloped nervous little me in her naturally mothering disposition and set me at ease within the group. I remember how intimidated I was by everyone, and how she went out of her way to make me feel included and valued as a member. And for that, I will always be grateful to Anna Mae.
So, flash forward three years to 2018, and I'm attempting my first ever family shoot for Anna Mae's family (amazed that she trusted me enough to do so back then), and it was then that I had an 'aha moment' and realized that two things I absolutely love, photography and kiddos, can come together in such an amazing way. From then on, I was hooked on family photography. However, I quickly realized family photography was a totally different ballgame - and it wasn't all sunshine and butterflies. In their first session with me, their little guy, Asher, cried at least five times in the span of one hour - once over some spilled cereal, once over a fly-away balloon, and once because of yours truly (I wouldn't let him abscond like a bandit with my camera - oops). I loved that session, but definitely knew I had some work to do.
So when Anna Mae asked me a few months ago to shoot another family session for them this summer, I was so excited (and also extremely relieved to find that they didn't hold it against me that I made Asher cry at our first shoot together). This time, our shoot went flawlessly - even with a rambunctious three-year-old, and I didn't make him cry even once this time (a definite win for me). Even better, upon an amazing friend's suggestion, we had an absolute dream location for our shoot. A little pond with a dock, an adorable bridge leading to a tiny daisy-filled island in the middle of it, fields with tall grass to my heart's content - it was absolutely perfect. But don't take my word for it - take a peek below and see for yourself.