In 2018, I photographed the Quinceanera for Jackie’s sister, Alicia. March 2020 was supposed to be Jackie’s turn for her quinceanera, but the pandemic had other plans. Her special day was rescheduled several times as her family tried to decide when would be safe to have the event. I am so glad that we finally got to celebrate Jackie this weekend at the Brentwood Country Club.
I actually got to know Jackie years ago when I coached her Destination Imagination team when she was in fifth grade, so it was extra exciting to get to share in her festivities.
I was a little bummed that it was raining and yucky out because the Brentwood Country Club is a beautiful spot for outdoor photos, but we were able to go out on the covered porch for some pretty shots. Jackie looked absolutely stunning in her dress. And my how formal masks have come a long way in a year.
I have so many photos of the event that I decided to split it into two blog posts. This one is just for the formal photos before the event. Stay tuned for another post soon on the party itself.
We ALWAYS go to the Williamson County Fair on my birthday (or at least within a day or two). I love taking photos of all the beautiful lights and the atmosphere. It’s been a special tradition since Megan was a baby. Last year I still made them go through the little farming exhibit for photos.
As you can imagine, there is no county fair this year. I miss it but also decided that the absolute BEST thing about our trips to the fair is that no one complains. They let me take all the photos I want because it’s my birthday.
I often say that my toughest family portrait session all year is when I take family photos of my own family.
I think the best thing we can do to get through all of this crazy year is to modify traditions and make the best of what we can. For example, my family has chosen not to eat inside restaurants. But last weekend, my husband and I went on a date where we picked up food from Costa Vida and took it to a picnic shelter at Evans park to have a quiet meal together. Honestly, it was better than eating in a crowded restaurant.
So even though the fair was canceled, I didn’t let that opportunity pass me by to take advantage of my birthday to get family photos I wanted. They cooperated better than they usually do and I’m pleased with the results.
What kind of traditions have you altered for 2020?
Now that I’ve managed to get some family photos of my own family, I’m ready to book Fall family portrait sessions for everyone else!
You can book a session directly from my online booking calendar or contact me if you have any questions. Don’t wait to book because I can only fit in so many portrait sessions in the Fall. I always hate turning people away.
So I went from celebrating Lincoln’s 5th birthday with photos on Thursday, to Haley’s 11th birthday yesterday. Isn’t she just gorgeous? I love, love, love the red shirt on her. It’s perfect with her eyes. I enjoy photographing this pre-teen age group. I think it’s an often over-looked age group when it comes to professional photos. We always photograph our babies and little kids, and then again when they are Seniors in high school, but often the middle years are less documented.
A few weeks ago, I went to a photography conference in Atlanta. One of the workshops I took was specifically on capturing tweens and teens. The photographer who taught the class, Neely Ker-fox, had a specific package in her business that focused on photographing this age group at home, focusing on the connection with their parents. I thought it was beautiful and very inspiring.
Another class I took at the Click Away conference was called “Your Voice, Your Vision” with Caroline Jenson. For that class, we had to submit 3 of our favorite photos to the instructor before the class. During the workshop we reviewed each others photos and talked about how the photos we picked gave some clues as to our photographic vision…things that we were drawn to in photography, whether we realized it or not.
Some of the things that the instructor and my classmates said about my images were that I was drawn to bold, colorful images and strong black and white edits. That was no surprise to me. But one thing that the instructor said that stood out to me is that all the photos I chose had at least two people in them. I guess I kind of new that, but it was interesting to have it pointed out. I do very much prefer photos that show a connection between two or more people.
I thought about that as I edited these photos I took for Haley’s birthday. Even though I love the photos of just Haley, who is gorgeous, all of my favorite photos were of Haley and Christy together. This is true for me even when you can’t see a lot of Christy in the photo, but she’s there…I love the way Haley is looking at her mom instead of at the camera. You can just see the love there.
What a crazy time we live in right now. When you stop to think about how many things have changed over the past few weeks, it can take your breath away. One of the things that is different right now is how we celebrate birthday parties.
First of all, let me say that I take social distancing very seriously. I wanted to be able to take these birthday photos for Beth on Lincoln’s special day, but I also thought it was important to follow all the recommendations. We met outside in Beth’s yard. I used only my 85 mm longer lens so that I never needed to be close to my subjects, and I never touched them, like I normally might to move a hand into the spot I wanted for a photo for example. So these are my version of front porch photos. But since Beth lives on a pretty large piece of land with some woods, you don’t see her house which is right behind us.
I photographed Lincoln’s birth six years ago and it was an amazing experience. Beth has been like a sister to meet since we met in college back in 1995. I’m so glad I was able to get a few photos to commemorate Lincoln’s birthday, even though it happened to fall during a Pandemic.
People are coming up with all kinds of ways to celebrate birthdays while still observing social distancing guidelines, so I thought I’d share a few that I’ve seen here in case you have a little one with a birthday in the next few weeks. It’s disappointing to have to cancel parties and other special events, but you can still have a memorable fun time at home.
For my daughter’s 14th birthday last week, I used Canva to create a website “card” that included lots of videos of her when she was younger that were cute and funny. It also included some YouTube videos that would make her laugh. She was disappointed in not being able to be with her friends, so I asked some of her friends to send me a video greeting of for her, and I included those as well. It was a great way to make her smile and feel like her friends were there with her even though they weren’t.
For Lincoln’s birthday, Beth planned a fun scavenger hunt for him in their yard. He had to follow clues that eventually led him to his birthday gifts. They were able to get take-out from Outback for his family meal.
Another friend I had told of how some friends of her daughters showed up in front of their house all dressed up in silly costumes they’d found at home to wish her daughter a happy 11th birthday. They stood across the street and did a fun happy birthday dance fo the birthday girl.
I’ve seen on the internet where there were birthday parades to celebrate a special day.
What other ideas do you have for celebrating a birthday during social distancing? I’d love to hear your ideas!