This vacation mini session was my first job of 2016, and such a fun way to kick off the year! These four, scattered during the year in different cities for college etc., came together in January for a family trip away from the cold weather, and I was lucky enough to capture a piece of it for them!
Rachel and Joel's maternity mini session was scheduled for the very last day of their babymoom trip to Palm Beach. The weather forecast was foreboding, and I would have rescheduled if it was at all possible, but with no choice at all, we decided to meet earlier than planned and make it work. We ran out to the beach, with dark clouds closing in, and shot for 15 minutes before dashing back for shelter from the downpour! The last shot was literally taken in the rain!
I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to capture this beautiful time in their lives, before the birth of their first baby! Not only was Rachel glowing and absolutely stunning, but they were so flexible and willing to make the session work no matter what.
Soon after my husband and I made the decision to homeschool our children, I attended the first Wild + Free conference in Virginia Beach. My involvement in this awesome international community has influenced my homeschooling and parenting in more ways than I could describe. After returning home from that conference, in hopes of a similar community right here at home, I started a local chapter—Wild and Free South Florida. This group has grown tremendously and has become a wonderful tribe of like-minded families, which I'm so thankful to have in my life!
A year ago (how has it been that long already? I have no idea.), we visited a local organic farm for Earth Day. Kai Kai Farm is located in Indiantown, FL. Their mission statement is "Grow and package fresh, safe and nutritious vegetables which customers want and are willing to pay a fair price for, enabling sustainability, growth, and innovation in fresh produce production."
It seemed the perfect place to bring our kids to celebrate the planet. The farm provided crafts, a wonderful tour teaching us about some of their sustainable farming methods, and even a drum circle, making it truly a perfect day.
If I have learned anything through my experiences documenting birth stories, as well as my own births and time spent with midwives, doulas and other birth professionals, it that birth—every single birth—is so incredibly beautiful and powerful, and women—every single one of us—are so incredibly strong, stronger than we usually realize. This mama's strength and endurance left me in awe. I was with her for 14 hours of her labor, which was less than half of it, and she was still smiling in between contractions, and smiling as she held her brand new daughter when I visited the hospital the next day. It's an unspeakable honor to witness and document these moments.
Lani and I first met when I showed up at her home studio with my son Seth for a pottery class she teaches. He was 6 at the time, and I thought pottery would be an awesome experience for him and a good addition to our homeschooling. He took to it beautifully, and still looks forward to every class all these months later. I've been learning too, and have fallen in love with the wheel. My current goal is to create something symmetrical. (Insert goofy face emoji here.) We may have to build more shelving in our home to house the things my son and I have been making.
I was beyond thrilled at the opportunity to photograph Lani's collection of work for her website. We had just a great morning styling and shooting these gorgeous pieces—and then consuming the edible props, of course! Post-shoot cocktails, anyone?)
Beyond the creation of these beautiful and useful works of art, Lani is an incredible, patient teacher and all-around awesome person. She's genuine and kind, and fun to be around. We've continued to collaborate on some things, so I promise this won't be the last you see of her on my blog!