It feels as if I have known the Palmer family my entire life. I went to elementary school with them, and Stephen is one of my brother's closest friends. So I was very excited when Stephen contacted me last November to set up a family photo session as a Christmas gift for his mother.
Our session was originally scheduled to happen in December, but things came up, as they do in life, and we needed to reschedule for after the holidays. When the new year came and Stephen and I started to discuss rescheduling, we found out that there would be an addition to the family in the spring, so we decided to hold off so that we could include his brother, Joe's, new bundle of joy. After a few attempts at scheduling, we had finally settled on the morning of Saturday, September 8th at Fort Washington State Park.
But then the week of their session came and the weather was looking just awful. With the challenges that come with scheduling an extended family session, neither Stephen nor I wanted to have to cancel. We started to discuss options that would give us some cover so that they weren’t standing out in the rain. After some research, and some possibilities presented, I went out on a limb and suggested an in home session at his parents’ house in southern Maryland. (An in home family photo session normally would be my first thought, but if we had to take the photos all inside I was nervous about finding spaces where I could get the entire family in the picture.) His mother loved the idea, as it meant they didn’t have to rush to be anywhere in the morning, and Stephen loved the idea because it meant that we could include the canine family members. And of course, I loved the idea, because in home photo sessions allow me to include backgrounds that have meaning in the family’s life, that add to the story the photo is telling.
I arrived at the Palmer house on Saturday morning and was immediately offered coffee and donuts, as well as an education in dinosaurs by five year old Jonathan. It was nice to catch up while we waited on the final family members to arrive and for everyone to be ready. Once everyone was ready to go, we decided to head outside since it wasn't raining at the moment.
We actually got extremely lucky with the weather that day! Except for a few drops here and there, the rain held off while I was at the Palmers’ house. The Palmers have an incredibly beautiful house, and their yard provided a variety of backdrops for the fun we had. There were lots of group hugs, lots of love for PopPop and Nana, and I might have thrown in a game of telephone to add some laughs. The kids were wonderful, running and playing, and the dogs joined in the fun as well.
When I got home, I was actually surprised at how many photos I had taken in what seemed like such a short time! But I was so happy that I was able to capture the love and the laughter that this family clearly shares.
Thank you, again, to the Palmer family for inviting me to capture this time in your lives and for making me feel like family.