The only thing better than making awesome photographs for a client is the opportunity to return again and again to continue documenting their story. It’s a huge honor when we get an assignment because it means people trust us, and it’s an even bigger honor when they ask us to return. It feels like just yesterday that we photographed Katie & Nick’s wedding at Bowdoin College, but as evidenced by the size of their growing family… time has flown by and now their three kids are old enough for us to return to capture a bit of their childhood.
And forgive me if the opening photograph made you think that they have only three children, because they don’t. Their oldest, and their best behaved is Austin “the perfect dog”, so let me do a little Brady Bunch montage here and give him his 15 minutes of fame. Lord knows he deserves it, after being pushed to the side by the twins and the youngest. Such a good boy.
Our approach to photographing kids is very different than most. I really believe that if everyone isn’t comfortable and relaxed then the photography will never work. Kids need time to warm up and be happy right? I remembered being tortured as a kid (and as an adult) into family photographs that were inauthentic and not really me. As a result, I’m truly committed to documenting kids as they are… without the confines of scripts and control. Capturing kids that way takes a little time & charm, but the photos are a genuine window into their personality and their lives. Luckily, the Livesay family was on board with that concept and though thunderstorms scrapped our original plans, we met at their family’s farm to run around and play. Spoiler Alert: I had an awesome time. I would seriously go back and hang out with these kids.
Remember that bit I just said about my philosophy that kids “need to warm up”? Yeah. Not these kids. Granted I had met them before, but they arrived ready to party. I mean, it was sort of incredible. They were in their boots because of the rain the night before and were unloading their car and promptly attacking me within minutes. Did you know that a bubble wand could be used as a tomahawk? No? How about as a sword? No? Well, you haven’t hung around with Ryan Livesay then. I secretly wanted to put my cameras down and have bubble fights with them… but of course I wasn’t being paid to duel with their son. Damn. Need to work that into the contract for next time.
After I survived my near execution by bubble wand, I set my sights on their youngest child Keira, who, very intelligently remained suspicious of my every move. It wouldn’t take long before this child felt comfortable enough to attack me as well, though thankfully the motor skills were a bit less developed still.
Bikes are awesome. I should just leave it at that. Lauren was adorable though, she just scooted around on her bike and then would stop and take it all in and occasionally call out some necessary instructions to the rest of the family. She’s already got life figured out!
Keira the baby. Such a sweet kid. Mellow but playful. Wow.
Lauren on her way to open up the old chicken coops for me. In case you’re ever visiting the Livesay Farm, be sure to have Lauren give you the tour. She’s a fantastic tour guide and be sure to ask to see where the lawn mower is stored. She’s very enthusiastic about that spot for some reason!
Brothers and sisters have a special bond. It was beautiful to see how much these two enjoyed being together.
The Livesay Family. Love these guys.
I like people who have a ski lift chair from a famed mountain on their property, and therefore The Livesays are ok by me. I had to plop the kids on the chair for one photo.
My favorite part of the morning was when Lauren showed me the garden and came back with a cherry tomato. She was very sweet and gave it to me as a gift. Regardless of the fact that it was 7:30am and I was carrying 30 pounds of camera gear, I WOULD be eating that tomato immediately she told me. I’m no fool: I ate it right away and it was wonderful. Thank you again Lauren.
Returning to the farmhouse. And another photo of Lauren, the Livesay Farm docent.
Running, jumping, running into the dog, jumping some more, running some more etc.
Keira the super baby.
Thanks for having me there to document that morning. I had so much fun! These photos have already been posted to our Facebook page here and the complete photos are online here.