Raise your hand if growing up some of your best friends were your cousins – that would definitely describe me! It was the perfect scenario – our families were often together so I got to see them all the time! And I had plenty to choose from!! Last week one of my friends texted me that it was BFF Day – who knew that was even a thing!?! Anyway, these girls would certainly qualify (for both cousins and BFF’s) Love that they both brought their Elmo dolls to the session – so cute!!
these families, these kids and their session. these images give perfect examples of why i love to photograph babies and kids . . . kids aren’t afraid to look at the camera, honestly look at it with wonder and joy. kids and babies aren’t afraid of pda (public displays of affections) – as you can see in the shot of the group – everybody is touching each other!! babies and kids don’t care if they have dirty feet (ok, their moms might!). this session was focusing on the littlest of the bunch – the two redheads. it’s always a pleasure and a privilege to spend time with these families!!! xo
another example – you never can tell what kids are going to do. it’s like she’s saying “hi!! i’m a very cute baby from france!”
and yet another example. you may look at this photo and see a boy sitting on a bench. but if you look a little closer you’ll see he’s got some bumps and marks on his legs, and sure, i could photoshop those marks out. but to me, this is part of the reason we document our kids. i look at this photo and see a sweet baby boy who is a fairly new walker, so maybe he’s still bumping into things, or maybe he’s just a rough and tumble boy. he’s touching his toes together, which may indicate a little shyness. years from now it’s little things like that which will trigger a memory about when this photo was taken, what was going on. at least i hope so.
i’ve got a lot of cousins. no, seriously, a lot. on my dad’s side alone i have 30 first cousins. yes, that’s right, 30. whenever i tell people that, i always get the question, “do you know all of their names?” of course i know all of their names!!! i’ve got a ton of second cousins, i couldn’t even begin to count. i think i’d need a calculator, or at least more fingers and toes.
i think my family is unique. my dad has 8 brothers and 4 sisters. when i was growing up, most all of them went to my grandma’s every sunday for dinner, socializing, and volleyball games (i NEVER got to play – no, i’m not bitter!) because of that tradition, i really got to know my cousins – all of them. another tradition is the family reunion which takes place every summer in Black River, MI. my family has been going there for as long as i can remember. i think it may have started when i was 1 or 2. it’s a lot of fun and even better now that i can bring my own kids. it’s so cool to see my kids playing with my cousins kids. (would they be 3rd cousins? i have no idea. i can’t keep track!)
this year i was really inspired by a table that my uncle greg and aunt barbara made – they put a ton of work into it. they took a regular table – 8ft long i think. they gathered photos of everyone in the family – my grandparents and their siblings, their kids, the grandkids and all of the great grandkids. everyone is represented. they sealed all of these photos into the table. so every year when we go up for the reunion we can look at these photos and tell stories and remember. it is so unbelievably cool!!! greg and barb, thanks so much for all of your hard work – what a gift for this family! (i guess i should’ve taken a picture of it!)
so, this year, i brought my camera and took a few snapshots of some of the grandkids and great-grandkids.
my husband’s family has also started a new tradition of a summer family reunion. while not as large as my family, it’s also a ton of fun! especially for the kids. it’s so great to hear my kids talk about seeing their cousins. one thing that i learned about the beekman family, early on, is that they are competitive! so the games are always a blast! we had some mean games of kick the can and a game i’ll call “fill the cup with water?”
i feel so honored! we (my husband and i) were asked to be my nephew’s godparents – so for me, that’s two nephews and two baptisms in less then two months – i’m very holy! while we were visiting, i was able to take a few shots of him – but i had to be quick because he is on the move! also, his sister and cousins were tearing around the house and he may have been feeling left out!