These sweet girls! It’s no secret every time I go home they pop up in front of my camera and there is a huge reason for that! You see, these sweet girls have so much of my heart! They are wild and sweet! They are crazy and rambunctious! They love life and I mean love it in a way that makes me want to look for the magic that they see in it every second!
These girls are totally free and they have their mama to thank for that!
Ashley and I met as just a client and photographer coming together for some good old family portraits! We hadn’t met before and it wasn’t until later on that we actually figured out we knew some of the same people. I’d like to say it was a completely random meeting, but I know in my heart it wasn’t. We were meant to meet. We were meant to have little ones almost the exact same age and birth date (Waverly’s is just a little after Linc). And we were meant to become great friends and support for one another!
Did you ever just meet someone and in the first few seconds know that this particular relationship was going to be a great one?
Have you ever met someone and instantly felt like wow, I feel like I’ve known them for a lifetime already!
That was how it was and still is for Ashley and I!
I adore Ashley for so many reasons but the one thing that I admire about her and really try to bring in to my own life is her ability to be completely spontaneous with her girls!
She is a fabulous mama and she never seems to worry too much when it comes to letting them “be them”!
In my eyes, she is the mama that has this whole balance thing figured out. She is able to set boundaries for her girls while also letting them go and do and be in a way that is so much yes! I know that sounds a little weird and off, but it’s so true and if you have little ones of your own, you will totally understand!
We have done some crazy things together: like that one time Ashley indulged my crazy idea of having a pillow fight with her girls and there were feathers all over her house! I’m still finding feathers that I brought home to Florida with me and I’m sure there are still some hidden in her house somewhere waiting to be discovered when they are most needed as a reminder of all the fun this family has together!
We’ve embraced the snow, the rain, the storms and had our fun and our fill of splashing in puddles and swimming in the brackish bay water!
I know that I can call her up and pitch an idea for a photo session and Ashley will have those girls ready in under 30 minutes! When we get together it’s just pure fun mixed in with a little bit of crazy magic!
The best part for me is knowing that Ashley has given these girls something that is rare these days…. she is giving these girls complete, uninterrupted, quality time with her! Not only is she there 100% but she is documenting that time for them so when they are older then can truly see their story! They can see themselves growing and changing. They can see how much they are loved and how affectionate their parents are. They can see how they were allowed to have a rich childhood filled with dirt, tears, waves, laughter, and creativity!
Whenever I come home from a visit with Ashley, it’s a fantastic reminder for myself as a mother to continue taking photos of my own family and at the same time to BE in the moment with them as well. That sometimes having a “yes” day is just as important as setting boundaries. (I have more to come on that realization later in the week!)
She reminds me that allowing our little ones to actually BE little and to be children in every way possible is the best thing we can do for them in the long run!
On this specific outing together, we decided to take the girls to one of our favorite spots in Virginia Beach. It’s a beautiful area where the girls can run wild and we know they are safe and sound.
I had every intention of making this session one way and then once we arrived and starting walking… I realized our time together this evening was all about just capturing the girls as they are right in this moment in time.
Here are some of my favorites from our time together:
Oh my goodness this next one is probably my favorite of the night!!!
Joe was able to meet us after he got off work and the girls truly lit up when he came strolling down the path!!!
Every time I hop in my car and pull away from my time with this wonderful family, I always think: This was my favorite session I’ve had with them! They always just keep getting better and the truth is, they are all my favorite for different reasons!
Sometimes, when we think of having a family photo session we think they have to be perfect! Each family member dressed up to the nines and smiling for the camera. Everyone wants to put their best selves forward. I do too, which is why we don’t often get in front of the camera! We are crazy over here.
But every time I come away from a session with the Brickner’s, I remember why I fell in love with photography in the first place. It’s always great to have that one picture where everyone is perfect and smiling and happy; but it’s so much more beautiful when you can see your evening unfold like the story that it is.
It’s important to remember that kids are kids and the more we can freeze them as they are in this moment, the more grateful we will be when they are older.
It’s important to remember that family sessions should be about play and love and adventure! That sometimes, just an evening out exploring with no agenda or perfect pictures we need to capture in mind, can lead to some of the best moments we will cherish for years to come!
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