Purple Lemon Photography

Lakeside Portraits

Thursday, November 12, 2015
Each year I take some individual time with my oldest son to photograph him and do something creative as a photographer. He has come to love this annual event and each year tries to find something special to do or include again, while I try to press in and find something new or different that shows his growth and change. I do what I try to do with my clients in choosing locations, colors, or props that hold meaning to him.

We started this routine when he was the age that our 2nd son is now, so this was the year I planned to give him the same adventure.

But as the time drew near (or so we thought) for our 3rd son to come home to us from Ghana, I stalled. I thought, "Well, maybe this time we should try to get family photos altogether." Then, "We should take individual photos and family photos". I waffled back and forth with all the options, and tended to think we should wait.

Finally I realized that right now we're enjoying who we are as a household right now, and part of that family experience is yearning for their brother. And right now, there are just two of them here. So two of them I photographed.

I opted to take them to the same place at the same time and let the four of us interact together and just enjoy one of the last warmish days of the year together.

Six years.
 Two years.
 I love this because:
1. They are laughing at their Dad
2. Eli always wants to sit on Levi's Rocky Donkey, but rarely gets to
3. Levi is holding our "Silas Doll" which was lovingly given to us as a gift for Silas and gave us a way to incorporate our waiting into the photographs
 Levi wanted to photograph me. Later, he saw it and wondered what happened to my head.
 Brian + Me co-photographing.
A family photo at sunset. Complete with tripod. Nope, actually, I brought pieces from two different tripods on accident, so as the sun sank lower and lower and we stuck the camera on a styrofoam cooler in the trunk and propped the lens up with a pretzel. But there we are, at the end of a nice afternoon at the local lake, and only one brother threw the other brother's boot into the lake.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Earlier, I posted about the beauty in the everyday, the details that make our lives so enjoyable. We have a package called a This Season package which documents just that, and shows the season of life you are in right now, so later when many seasons have passed you can recall those special details. 

The idea for this documentary-styled approach to a photography session was birthed, in part, from our family's shift in eating and living more accordingly to the change of natural seasons around us.  Part of that includes actually harvesting and preserving our local in-season foods, such as apples. Each time I do it, I simply love the entire process and find it so enticing for my eyes. It's lovely for my tongue to partake of ripe, fresh raspberries and peaches, but also for my eyes to see such lovely colors, shapes, and forms. It's truly delightful. 

Here's a small sampling of the experience we shared as a family making applesauce. 

A Boy and his Rocky Donkey

As a business, I am in particularly interesting season, because as a person I am in a particularly interesting season. We thought that right now I would be on maternity leave, so most of our Purple Lemon work is on hold.  We are adopting a son from Ghana and his homecoming has been delayed. (To keep up with that story, you can follow our adoption blog, Ghana Love.)  This has left me itching to photograph, and with time for small personal projects. 

A few weeks ago, the sun came falling in soft stripes across our floor in the familiar way that it does each fall as the sun sits lower in the sky. Our not quite three year old's Rocky Donkey (his rocking horse) sat right in the shafts of light, accompanied by a sole cowboy boot.  As I began to photograph this little scene, our son began to engage with the scene and realized there was a stray string on the boot. Determined to fix the problem on his own, he got a table knife and began the detailed child's work of cutting the string. 

It was a such a pleasure to document this everyday scene, seeing the artfulness in our common occurrences, as my child matures and does the hard work of learning and figuring out his world. 

There are so often moments we have with details you'd rather not soon forget.  I love the photographs we have of my kids reading books with my husband on the couch. With projects spread across the kitchen table. Or of our family getting apples ready for apple sauce.  These are moments that are full of beauty and memory, and I have found a great love in capturing that with my camera both to share and remember. 

A year or two ago, it really struck me how valuable these tidbits are and how much enjoyment I get in photographing the experiences and the details. It's part of why I love our specialty of photographing weddings, it's full of experiences and details.  But it applies to so much more of our lives than big noteworthy events.  The little things are, too. 

We have even created a package called This Season that does exactly that. It lets me be a fly on the wall of whatever it is you do as a couple, a family, even an individual- as you do it on purpose with those you love. I'd spend a few hours just capturing the details of This Season of your life. 

As winter comes, often full of warm fuzzies, and you think you are stuck indoors for months on end, (First, consider going outside. It's nice.) consider it as a perfect time to use your own home as the location you have for This Season. 

(Yes, I know I have this exciting maternity leave coming sometime, hopefully sooner than later, but it won't last forever, so let's get something on the calendar...)
Then he climbed on the trampoline, which perhaps, lacks some of the darling aesthetic of his Rocky Donkey with it's neon orange duct tape, but still, a photograph I'd like to keep.

Fall Family

Thursday, October 29, 2015
One of the wonderful parts of my job is to help document families as they grow and change, following them from season to season.  This particular family I've know since I moved to St. Louis and have photographed them just as long. As we wrapped up this session Rachel mentioned a particularly hilarious photo I had taken of them at a friend's wedding several years ago which they had never seen. And it made me realize that I have scads of photos from years gone by of shared experiences and how valuable those photographs are of Brett with long hair and my son dressed in a coat that looks like a monkey in their apartment when we were neighbors (the 2nd or 3rd time). It's valuable to have photos of these big moments and small season changes from weddings to children and the fun moments in between. 

And this particular time together, it was extra special to be able to photograph Rachel's parents with them.  It was a difficult time on their wedding day when her parents were unable to make it to the wedding at the last minute due to weather and health.  But now we have some photos of them together with their grandchildren, and I hope these are special for many years.  

Today I'll share a few photos of their darling children. Here's J!

And little N, who just had her first birthday!

Anthony and Carrie's Alice In Wonderland Wedding

Friday, October 2, 2015
Friends of our family, Anthony and Carrie, had a local wedding celebration after some other recent wedding adventures, and allowed us a fun way to usher in the first weeks of fall.  For us, this time of celebration was well-needed.

This particular wedding had been in many ways, up-in-the-air for our family for quite some time as we anticipated our newest son, though adoption, to join our family here in St. Louis.  We had no idea if we would be in the country or if I would be on maternity leave, and had back up plans and back up plans for back up plans.  As weeks drew nearer for us to go to see our son, the weeks also drew nearer to their wedding date, and I did not know if we would be able to make it or not. While gone, we expected our trip to be extended and that our back up plan was headed into action. Then we had to unexpectedly leave our son in foster care for a while. After a harsh emotional week without him home with us, we were able to join in with Carrie and Anthony and enjoy a most beautiful September day.  (To read more of our adoption journey, head over to our other blog www.ghana-love.blogspot.com)

I began to wonder if I'd have to be like the white rabbit in saying, "I'm late! I'm late, for a very important date!"

This wedding was no doubt, one of great visual interest, unique inspiration with an Alice in Wonderland theme, and a lot of fun.  I have been to many interesting weddings, several relaxed and fun, but none complete with costumes, yard games, board games, and a food truck! What a unique way to spend the evening with your family and dear friends.  There is much I could say, but I'll let the photos tell the story of their intimate garden wedding and unique Alice and Wonderland party.

 Many congratulations and smiles as wide as the Cheshire Cat.