A few weeks ago I got to spend some time with this sweet little newly-turned seven year old! Bristol's mom called me to book a session because she just couldn't bear the thought of not freezing this season in her little girl's life. She said that Bristol is changing so much these days and she wants to have tangible memories of it.
We wandered around Bristol's hometown, and photographed her in back alleys and side streets. We had a beautiful sunny spring afternoon. It was a bit blustery that day as well, which can be challenging sometimes, but I LOVE the way wind can add movement and life to photos.
One of Bristol's current favorite books...
I heard once that sunglasses make everyone look 80% more awesome. It was a joke, but I thought it was hilarious and a little true. Bristol's mom spontaneously took off her shades, and put them on Bristol, just for fun, and I nearly died at the level of cuteness that ensued. She suddenly looked like some sort of street fashionista - only mini. And we all know everything is way cuter when it's mini. All the heart eyes, kid. You make my job too much fun.
Becca totally wasn't planning to be in photos when she came to the session, but when I asked her to hop in for a quick shot with Bristol, she didn't hesitate or give me a line about how her hair and makeup isn't done, or that she's in yoga pants and a t-shirt. She just bear-hugged her little girl, which brought on giggles and I adore the realness of these shots.
Bristol brought the journal she got for her birthday along, so naturally we captured some fun shots of her doing her thing. And how cute is that little messy bun?!
She's in dance lessons right now, so we stopped outside of her studio and she showed me some of her moves.
My favorite part of the day was when we were heading to the car after we had finished up - Bristol announced that this had been fun, and that she wished we could do this every day. It completely made my day, because that's my heart every time I do a session. Photos don't have to be a stiff and formal affair where we try to pull off some sort of inauthentic version of perfectionism and "look just right." They should be a celebration of who people are. It should be fun. You should feel seen, valued, loved, and like the amazing human being you are when you step in front of a camera. That's the heart of why I take photos - people need to know that they're amazing. I think sometimes we as adults are too "grown up" to receive being celebrated. I know that can be my tendency. I think maybe we believe it's silly or arrogant to receive love or be celebrated, but in reality, those who've learned to receive love are often best at giving it away. The fact that Bristol could say in her sweet and childlike way that this was fun for her, had me thinking that she's likely great at loving others. We should probably all be more like the open-hearted kids around us. I bet they'd teach us a lot about love if we'd listen.