THREE COUPLES, ONE FAMILY. PART ONE OF THREE.
Ok, so the sky wasn’t quite this blue- but I was curious to see what it would look like if I really played up the blue theme for just one shot. (This picture perfect sky came from a separate photo taken in exactly the same location one month earlier on a sunnier day.)
Mr. and Mrs. Lister, AKA my boyfriend’s grandparents, have been wonderfully supportive of my photography ambitions. The last time I saw them, Mrs. Lister asked if I might be able to document all three of her sons and their respective families over the course of summer 2013. It is an ambitious request, since the boys and their kids live all over the place. Fortunately, the family cottages in Oliphant keep the Lister crew in contact throughout the year. My BF’s parents met on this very beach growing up with cottages two lots apart. Now there are 4 family cottages in Oliphant, and there are several weekends every year where the beach is overrun with Listers.
Canada Day weekend, we ran into Ken and his two daughters, Meredith and Adrienne, all up for the weekend with their respective partners. Saturday evening, I brought up Mrs. Lister’s plan to photograph her kids and grandkids, and we decided to give it a go- after a campfire and some rest.
We started our shoot around 11am on Sunday morning, with rain in the forecast. The overcast skies provided great lighting for several family arrangements and a mini shoot for each of the 3 couples in this family. It had been years since this group had family portraits taken, and I think we all had a good time with our shoot. I wanted to include the profusion of wildflowers in bloom at the time, and was pleased to have such beautiful, romantic couples to work with.
Can’t wait to see everyone on the beach again soon! Ken and AnneMeredith and AustinAdrienne & JoeThe Family Hovercraft. Yep, hovercraft. Sisterly Love.
Just 5 days old, Miss Hayden was a perfect angel for her first photo shoot. Holli and Graham came onto the scene a couple years ago when some of our best friends moved into a house 2 doors down from them. H & G are a good time, all the time. They have a wonderfully supportive and loving group of friends and family surrounding them, and are always the life of any party. Almost exactly a year ago, my partner and I were sitting in their backyard sharing drinks before walking to Ribfest with a group of friends. It was just a few weeks later that they got the good news.
The next time I saw the two of them, just before Easter, they had a 5 day old baby girl! The first thing H & G did when I arrived with all my photography gear was to show me the outfit they’d picked out for their daughter to wear to Ribfest 4 months later. The second thing they did was show me the silver pot and veggies that Graham had organized for a particular photo he had in mind. It’s always a pleasure to work with a couple that is willing to experiment and play around a bit with different concepts. I was at H & G’s house for several hours hanging out with the new fam, and trying several unique photo setups in their living room. It was long, but exceptionally productive newborn shoot! Take a look.Miss Hayden was such a good baby during her shoot! We worked at her pace, and took frequent breaks to let her breastfeed throughout the afternoon. Her parents were wonderfully patient and it really paid off. One of the best tricks we implemented to keep Miss H sleepy was to preheat each setup with a $14 heating pad before trying to pose her. Most of the time, she snuggled right in and stayed put until we tried to move her to the next setup. If only every newborn was such an exceptional model! She even cooperated while we stuffed fresh lettuce leaves and towels around her in a cooking pot for this one of kind shot.
Once we had captured a few different looks for the baby, we moved on to portraits of the new family, all together. The love in the room was palpable during this session, and I think you’ll find you can see it in the photos.
I can’t wait to see what kind of person Hayden grows up to be. I’m predicting a sweet, fun-loving, mischief maker that’s also really into BBQ. One thing is for certain, she will grow up well loved and well fed. Congratulations to this beautiful new family.
Growing up with my cousin Taylor and the rest of the Merritt cousins, we spent a lot of time in Mem and Papa’s barn jumping around in a tall maze of straw bales and feeding the cows, sharing cottage time in Algonquin park, and at the kid’s table at family functions. We welcomed Kristen into the family a couple years ago after she and Taylor met in university in Waterloo. Their shared class became a friendship, and this May 2013 it finally became a marriage! Kristen brings a joyful presence to every event she attends, and she has been a welcome addition to the Merritt clan from the first moment we met her. She’s endured the full family reunion and several family weddings and let me tell you, this girl is a keeper.
Taylor found the perfect bride, and they had a perfect wedding– as far as I could tell, it went off without a hitch. Although it was tempting to shoot their wedding, we decided I would have more fun as a guest than as the working photographer. We are the kind of cousins that actually hang out every month or two, and we will travel for practically a day to attend a Merritt wedding. Our family parties are not to be missed, and Taylor and Kristen’s wedding was no exception. I took this handful (ha) of photos at their wedding. For the official photos from the day, visit the Rowell Photography blog.
The entire event, including the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner and dancing all happened at the lovely Glenerin Inn in Mississauga. You’d never know you’re in Mississauga, it was a very peaceful and stately property. There were plenty of mature maple trees, a timeless looking stone building, outdoor decks and patios, and a friendly and efficient staff running the event. Each aspect of the wedding happened in a different room of the Inn. The bride’s cousin is a wedding planner and her little touches went a long way. We saw lots of baby’s breath, white lace, a cupcake tower, rustic burlap and twine touches, and beautiful sage green bridesmaid’s dresses.
Welcome to the family Kristen, and congratulations to my little cous, Taylor!