The light cloud coverage and slight bit of humidity hung in the air. It was as if the anticipation of this new baby boy was as savored by the weather as it is his parents. Nolan, I cannot begin to tell you how loved and prayed for you are, baby boy. It was an immense gift to capture your mama, daddy, and big brother’s love for you growing away. I feel honored to have celebrated this milestone with them!
As we approached the photo spot from the cars, after winding down the pathway for a minute, I went from making conversation with Sam and Payton to asking one of my favorite first questions at a session, “do you trust me?” Now, after being friends with the Leonhardts for several years, the kind of friends people only wish they had, I knew they trusted me in the sense that I’m a good friend, loyal and love them, but what I was asking for here was, do you trust me in the sense that photo spots aren’t always what they seem and what I see in the end result is probably different than what you see if you’re looking at a large open field. It just goes to show what you see isn’t always what you get.
This age-old adage along with a deep-rooted friendship drove Sam and Payton to do what seemed very uncomfortable in the moment: climb through tall grass getting their picture clothes, well, wet. Like really wet. The kind of wet that made my shoes squish several times throughout our time together. If we hadn’t been such good friends, it really would have been the perfect picture of trust when you don’t know the outcome! But this sweet family did it, for me anyway: they climbed through tall, wet grass, getting their feet, pants, and ankles puddle-soaked to get to this teeny tiny spot in the back of the field where the light is divine and I love starting my sessions when at this particular location!
Let’s not forget, on top of this grass-soaked walk to the picture-perfect spot, it was also not yet 6:30 am. While Arizona is not known for being cold in the morning, that’s still early to show up in dressy clothes, with hair and makeup ready, and oh yeah, a 3 year old on top of that! This three year old though, he is amazing. Henry had his best listening ears on, smiled so nicely throughout the session and was beyond ready to give baby Nolan some hugs and kisses through mama’s belly! Plus, he got to show me his amazing superhero skills and jumps at the end, which is always a blast!
As I was culling through these images, I couldn’t help but smile. Smile at the love Sam and Payton have for each other, smile at the love they have for their oldest son Henry, and smile at the way I know they’re going to parent and raise their youngest son, Nolan. I’m the one who is honored here: honored to know them and to care deeply for this family. I absolutely love my job. For me, it’s the best one in the world. Sam and Payton, enjoy your images and I hope you love and cherish them for years to come.