The holiday craze is over, Christmas is past us, and my family is enjoying a week at home all together with no school, no work (for my husband anyway) and no cares. This equates to no crazy mornings running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get my daughter's lunch ready, assisting her with wardrobe choices since she shows a consistent preference for the hobo look, grinning and bearing through the screaming that regularly ensues brushing through her waist-long mane, and wrestling my 3 year old son who refuses to dress past his underwear. Every single day. Evrrrryyy day. I mean it. He never misses a morning.
So we've basically been hermits since Christmas Eve, and I don't care if my kids want to run around the house in their pj's (or homeless person attire) from dawn until, well, school starts up again. The only struggle my husband and I are tackling this week is baths and meals (and there's always Christmas leftovers to help with the latter), because, you know, we care about our kids health. But other than that, I finally have some free time to write and take pictures of my own kids and edit to my hearts desire! And with that long-winded introduction (do you see now why I don't have time for these posts otherwise?) I arrive at the topic on hand. My holiday minis!
It all started with the winner of my first ever giveaway, Lexie. She and her son won a portrait session with me, which we conducted at the Rocky Neck State Park in Niantic, CT. We did a sunset session right on the beach, and the images and moments we captured were to die for. Her session took place back in late September, so we still had some warm weather, and plenty of daylight to work with.
Following her session, she and I got to chatting about the holiday minis I was planning on hosting this year, and she mentioned she worked at the Bee and Thistle Inn and would be happy to introduce me to the event coordinator there, Tosh, to discuss the possibility of doing my holiday sessions there. In case you've never been there, the Bee and Thistle is a beautiful, quaint Inn located in scenic Old Lyme, Connecticut. I fell in love the moment I drove onto the property. I mean, look at the place:
(photo from Bee and Thistle's Facebook page)
After meeting Tosh, and getting a tour of the Inn and the grounds, there wasn't a doubt in my mind this was where my holiday mini sessions would be. Wait until you see their backyard.
Try to look past the adorable in the photograph for a second, to the backdrop, to the babbling brook behind that amazing tree swing, and the marsh beyond that. I mean, simply gorgeous! Okay, now you can focus on the two cutest siblings you've ever laid eyes on, look at them holding hands! <3 Gah, I love it.
It was a bit chilly that morning (in the 30's, so definitely not the coldest weather I've taken photos in, but pretty close), so we took frequent breaks between sessions and even during, to escape to the warm sun room inside the Inn. They set the room aside for me and my clients. I was able to set up an area for photographs indoors, and they even had the fire going for us! It was a great place to retreat to, warm our toes, and snack on some home baked cookies (don't ask me where I found the time to bake those...suffice it to say I didn't sleep much prior to these sessions).
But it was totally worth it. I mean, this is what it's all about, right here! These sweet moments between mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, sisters and brothers. I'd lose sleep any day of the week to have the privilege of photographing this:
And this is how we ended the day. It had warmed up a bit, and the sun was at that gorgeous golden hour, my absolute favorite time to shoot. Not to mention this is a sweet-spot time to photograph little ones, right after their midday nap and snack, which often results in photos like this: