It all started as a weird series of text messages between my brother and I. A friend of his was looking to do a family photo session. We went back and forth on the details, and then things went kinda pear-shaped.
“What would you think about a trade,” my brother asked. Asking for more details, my brother offered up the goods – “Grant is a craft cocktail specialist, and he gives lessons.” My interest was officially piqued. I like to think of myself as a whiskey aficionado. In particular, I have a rather strong predilection for Manhattan’s. I discussed the matter further with my brother, and then started discussing the trade with Grant. What started as an idea, quickly morphed into something that would happen. The pear-shape idea went completely square and the whole thing was set in motion.
Grant and Monica would come to Cleveland for their family session and to give friends at my house a craft cocktail lesson. The next day, we would capture some family photos for them. After weeks of planning, the weekend finally arrived. The craft cocktail party went off without a hitch. Both Monica and Grant really hit a home run. I think everyone had fun, since people stayed until well past midnight. We met for the family session the next morning, starting at the Cleveland Museum of Art and then we headed into a local park. Monica & Grant’s family is small – just the two of them. They were recently married and wanted some good portraiture to add to their wedding photos. Personally, I’m thrilled with how everything came out.
Before I move onto the highlights, I thought I would share one of my favorite cocktail recipes. Warning though, these are strong and addictive -
Classic 212 Manhattan
2 oz. Maker’s Mark Bourbon
1 oz. Carpano Antica vermouth
2 dashes Agnostura bitters
STIR over ice till chilled
Serve up in a martini glass
Garnish with two Amarena Fabbri cherries
Michelle and I stood in the her beautiful living room and chatted while Amir was upstairs getting ready. Michelle mentioned being Filipino, which immediately lead to a long conversation about our shared past. While we chatted, I slowly flipped through their wedding album. It would be an understatement to say Michelle, Amir and I share similarities. We are the same age and we all live in the same small corner of Cleveland. We share an appreciation for good food, travel and new experiences. We are even dog lovers. Eventually everyone was ready and we started the family session.
Due winter stretching late into the spring, we decided to simply capture their family session at their home in Lakewood. After all, it’s a gorgeous place filled with light and color. No need to go outside into the cold, especially with their new son Michael. Instead, we kept to the warmth of their home, which I honestly preferred. Staying inside allowed us to captured portraits in a relaxed, comfortable and warm environment. No need to rush due to the cold winter outside.
My favorite part of the entire family session had to be Michael. Being only 8 months old, you would expect a restless boy. The exact opposite was true. He was calm and relaxed the entire time. He wasn’t spooked by the odd events. If anything, he was a ham. I think you can see how relaxed he was in the photos below. Each photo turned out so loving and warm and I’m excited to share just a few highlights below.
It was really hard to choose some favorites. Between Amir’s loving embrace of Michael and Michelle’s radiant smile, it was tough to narrow down the photos. One of my favorites is Michael’s faux-hawk seen just above. I’m still blown away by how well the film turned out. Like just about every session I shoot, this one was captured on film as well. I love how the colors and light came out so…ethereal. And for Michelle and Amir – thank you so much for having me into your home. It’s a treasure I won’t soon forget.
Back today with more from January. It almost seems like I will never get caught up on my blogging, but I am nearing the finish line. As you may recall from early posts, I visited California in January for a very special photography workshop. I joined in with ten other photographers as part of Caroline Tran’s Propel Workshop series. All of us lived, ate and shot together for three straight days. Part of the shooting included the gorgeous styled maternity session you see below.
Kym, the mom-to-be, is also an amazing photographer. She was kind enough to donate her time for us, and she was a dream to work with. I love that you can see her tattoos below, which really help to make the photos personal. Also, huge thanks to WilmaRose from Lovely Jubilee for the perfect styling and Ngoc from Skybox Events for helping to organize then entire week. Simply put, their help was priceless.
Like all of the photos I shot in California, these too were captured on film. Film and California light are like eggs and bacon – they just go together perfectly. So, here are a few highlights to enjoy -
I was also fortunate enough to get some of these photos published. The series, including work from other workshop attendees, was recently featured by On To Baby! Happy camper = me.