This little girl has a special place in my heart, her mom and I have been friends for a long time, but had lost touch at one point in our lives. We were reconciled later after she had given birth to her little girl, Marina. We were briefly catching up at a local grocery store and I mentioned that I had started my photography business, and she got super excited and told me that she was gonna call me up to have a photo-shoot with Marina. We picked a day and set the theme, she wanted to include a bunny or some little chicks around spring time. I called up a local feed store that had both and asked my strange question of “Borrowing a bunny for an afternoon” as a prop for this photo shoot. They told me that was totally fine and we had a blast shooting in a neighbors yard with lush green grass, and beautiful shade trees. Marina was maybe 9-11 months old so she wasn’t walking but could sit and stand, which is my favorite age to photograph (they can’t run away from you). Since then I have had the pleasure of shooting with her three other times. Her 1 year cake smash, a quick spring session with a field of flowers, and the latest session, my favorite, a Winter session with the whole family.
Marina starts every session pretending like she doesn’t know who I am and a bit shy. She is attached to Mom’s hip and refuses to smile for my camera. I don’t mind that one bit because she has the most intense eyes and pouty little lips, and I believe looks gorgeous even when she is frowning at me. So I begin my normal song and dance – trying to get her to crack a smile, even going as far as putting her petty coat tutu on my head as a hat. I get nothing….so we decide to move locations and start with a group set up on a rickety old stair case at one of my favorite locations, in a park. I set mom and dad next to each other, cozy, and sit Marina on their laps creating a tight intimate setting. Dad does great tickling her, cracking jokes, and we all begin making strange animal noises. After I get a few family shots I move on to some individual images of just Marina, we pretend there are spiders in the bushes and feed them a couple of pieces of candy- and she is doing great interacting with me and engaging with my camera.
We move on to a different part of the park and I bring out the “Big Guns!” I had purchased a small bag of fake snow from Walmart. The fake snow was basically shredded pieces of shinny plastic- almost like confetti. I put a pile in her hand backed up and told her to blow, it was magical- for her and for me. She was loving it, I handed the bag to Dad and put him in charge of giving her more, because I couldn’t keep up with her demand. She then began to throw it up in the air and let it rain down on her head, closing her eyes with a big grin across her face. She twirled for me and even shivered because the snow is cold, of course. We live in south Texas, Corpus Christi area and it doesn’t snow but we were still able to create a winter wonderland for this little munchkin.
We decided to move locations and change wardrobe. On the other side of the park there is a large field with tall golden grass in the background and an area where the grass is manicured. She had now changed into what I would call a princess dress, with pink and cream ruffles and gold trim. She was insistent that she carry her purple purse filled with the essentials, a play phone, plastic food from her grocery store, two water guns, and a squeaky plastic shark among an array of blocks. We used these items to continue to play- having the shark swim and bite her for some great smiles, water pistols to shoot each other with, and I was getting a little hungry so we took a brief break for a light snack. I had the plastic sandwich and an orange and she had a plastic ice-cream cone. The sun was starting to set so we were able to get some amazing golden images and her princess dress was just breath taking. Overall we just hung out, had a blast and came up with some amazing images.