While Preston and I don't have children yet, it has been a truly heartwarming experience for me as I've started to have opportunities to document some of my closest friends' newly budding families. It's always so amusing to me, as I'm photographing their children and seeing bits and pieces of them in those little, impressionable lives. In fact, documenting my friends' children has truly opened my eyes to what I can only imagine are tiny inklings of the beautiful journey it is to bring a child into the world and watch them grow into their own person. From experiencing personality in the photo session, through hours of the editing process, and then putting the final product to the perfect song, becomes a beautiful journey for me, one that I hope carries some of the same sentiments my clients feel when they view that gallery for the first time.
Kinsley's session was surely one of these experiences for me. Every time I document someone through photographs from the planning process onto the final product, I feel different, yet personal sentiments that truly show me the most breathtaking parts of life. Since childhood -- I'm talking about when I was only a few months old childhood here -- Kinsley's mother Laken and I have been around each other and throughout our schooling, close friends. Laken's mother, her home, and her family were comforting and like a second home.
With that being said, I've had truly special sentiments in documenting Kinsley. While I documented Laken and Ryan through the maternity stages, then Kinsley when she was newborn, there's just something about the toddler stages that is so rewarding. This was absolutely the most fun, enlightening documentation of Laken's sweet, young family from my perspective. Laken and I have always been very similar in personality, and for some reason, Kinsley's session truly hit home as I finished up editing and viewing her gallery.
I thought about Laken and Ryan's sentiments towards this precious baby girl -- a toddler growing into so much of her own personality. I thought about how I'll see my own child at these stages, just wanting to savor the moment, to protect them from the world, from growing up, from all of those adult experiences that every child eventually grows into. I thought about these things, and I'm not lying to you guys (and risking what some of you will take as a totally cheesy), I sat there and cried. I cried happy tears for Laken, Ryan, and their beautiful little girl. I cried tears of fear thinking about bringing my own child into this world and wanting to protect them from life's harsh experiences. I thought about the beautiful, crazy ride that just simply makes up this life.
I love the shot above, because it was Little Miss Kinsley being ultra indpendent, just like her momma has been since she was little. She had not a care in the world about the camera. She was a woman on a mission to find her rocking chair and listen to her "Wagon Wheel" song. (:
Oh sweet, independent Kinsley, don't you ever grow up. That's silly, I know you will. And I know your momma and daddy, and the beautiful, independent, successful woman they are going to raise you to be. But for now, we will savor these sweet, entertaining toddler years.