When our friend Paige offered to photograph our family back in September, I eagerly accepted. I knew Paige had mad skills, especially with her cool husband Zach by her side to help wrangle our large family.
We hadn't had someone besides me and my camera timer photograph us since Christmas 2006, shortly before we moved to Gburg, NE, when Noah was about 18 months old. Ah, such was life fifteen pounds and three kids ago...
Anyway, Paige and I planned to meet at the Outdoor Campus West very near our house on Friday September 23. I had worked that morning, got off early, and arrived home only to find Terry and the kids vacated to the ranch. I didn't know what to do with myself, but after a nap, it ended up being good that I had the extra time. I used the entire afternoon to coordinate outfits. I am not the best at that, nor do we have the money to go out buy matchy matchy stuff, so I had try to make what we had work. It was not easy, but after texting pictures to Paige, Ana, and Shari, the end result turned out well.
Paige started us out on the bridge over the front pond. She scrambled down to the opposite bank and used her sweet huge Nikon lens to zoom in on our faces and catch the pretty fall colors behind us while Zach tried to keep Ezra's attention by waving and being goofy. Go Paige and Zach!
We were in a bit of a hurry because a storm was moving in and we were losing light, but we randomly decided to take another shot on the bridge just before we walked away. I love how Ezra is all shy and hiding. He looks so little and cute clutching his baby kitty.
We quickly walked west of the parking lot to where the park just opens up and stopped before we dove into the trees.
In an attempted to lighten the mood (we were stressed as a result of rushing to get there on time, plus Terry had been on his own with the kids all day - yikes), Paige had us take a silly fake laughing picture. I LOVE IT. I love everything about it. I look like a dork (but that was the point??), Terry looks genuine or at least half hearted, Evie makes that dorky face continually, Noah is always a spaz, Samuel is truly laughing, and Ezra is like, "whaaaa?"
Next Paige lined us up in front of some fall foliage and took some individual shots. I got Evie that dress at Once Upon a Child for cheap, the jacket is from Mia, and the boots were $3 from a garage sale. I love her look. I should pin her hair back like this more often.
My oh my, how did this boy grow up so big? I love how his glasses match his shirt.
Oh Samuel. He is so cute.
Adorable littlest Ezra with his ever present kitty. He looks like he's hatching some plan...
Paige turned on a fan to make my hair fly ;) Oh, and I just remembered another reason we were stressed and late - Terry had his haircut right before he got home from the ranch. It was a necessity that it be cut - the clown sides were coming out.
More of us.
Next we fast walked west on the gravel path back to the field and stood in front of some yellow leafy trees.
Light was quickly fading so we hiked up the hill to get a shot of us in front of the storm cloud. Paige added the purple color, but in real life, it wasn't that far off. It was pretty dark blue because the storm was rolling in. Love it!
Next she had us turn around to get a shot of the trees where we had just been.
Being done at the Outdoor Campus, we debated for a short time whether we should visit another location I wanted to try. We went for it, but it was seriously dark as we were driving there - shadows everywhere and lights coming on. However, Paige made the best of it. She knows how to work her camera and let in the most light possible.
We went to the grassy knoll next to Rapid Creek where it empties into Canyon Lake, next to the Chapel Valley bridge. I'd seen people take pictures down there while running and always thought it looked idyllic. Paige is a genius.
The light was seriously gone and the clouds were about to open up, but she took one more just off the sidewalk as we were heading back to our cars. We all drove home for some mochas and the sky finally let loose and we had a fine thunderstorm.
I had my hopes on some sunset shots and Paige and Zach were kind enough to try again three nights later on Monday, September 26. We went for it because there was finally sun! We went back to the same place and got the money shot. This photo is one of my top favorites! I love magical golden light.
We started walking west up the creek when another family with a photographer in tow passed us and went to the sunny creek side spot we were hoping for. Aw well. We stepped aside into the woods and Paige took some pretty incredible photos. Plus, bonus, golden light in the trees!
I think this was one of Paige's favorites. She shared it on her facebook. Love it!
Our friend Aaron didn't think it was complete though. He downloaded the picture and added a few scary dinosaurs to it with some app he has on his phone and captioned it, "Dude, RUN!" I laughed my butt off! I didn't even spot all three until more than a week later.
The family next to the creek vacated the area only after the sun had gone behind the hill. :( But we had so many beautiful pictures it was just fine. Plus, she still took amazing pictures there!
She turned us to face the light and snapped this one. The littles were getting pretty squirrelly by this point and Zach had his work cut out for him to try to keep them in check, especially Ezra. Samuel is being all corny and Ezra is smiling with his tongue on his lip.
Another attempt. I love them all :D Seriously, I don't know how I am going to choose.
Oh, that little Ezra was being naughty. I was trying to get him in line but got caught up in his cute little face. I was joking around with him, showing him how he needed to smile by manually moving his cheeks up and Paige caught the moment. I LOVE THIS ONE. The little stinker is flirting with the both of us. Gah, I want to eat him up.
We opted for some more individual shots here next to the creek and got Ezra out of the way first. Of course he still has his faithful kitty.
Samuel has such a good smile.
"Go play! Throw stuff in the water!" Cute little punk.
Aw Evie, so pretty and sweet.
Working the glasses again :)
And...us. Ha! Not too bad.
Zoom. I think Terry looks a bit like he's contemplating violence against Paige right now. ;)
We went back to the grassy knoll and took another shot even though the sun had gone behind the hill.
I love the light.
We went back to the cars and saw that the light was all pretty pink on the hills behind the lake. So they lined us up on the poop strewn bank. Hehe. So nice!
Paige shared these two on facebook and people had many compliments, especially on the triangle shape we made :D
THANK YOU A MILLION ZILLION TIMES PAIGE AND ZACH!!! WE LOVE YOU!!!!! How will I ever choose what to print?!?!