Extended Family Session | Indianapolis Lifestyle Photography
A couple of years ago I shot this session for a photographer friend out in Pennsylvania and it will forever be one of my all-time favorite sessions. When I reflect on why it struck such a chord with me, I think it’s because I spent time getting to know Mary Beth and her family through social media before ever meeting her in person. I knew about her awesome property and how her family lived on and contributed to the garlic farm. But then when I got there, it was her family’s energy that took over. They were comfortable, playful, barefoot… they were at home. I knew the images I was shooting were more than just freezing a family together in time for an instant, it was documenting this place that they had grown to love and had allowed them to grow. It had more depth, more meaning, there were hidden stories in every nook and cranny of the land and my frame. Mary Beth… I’m coming for you and Kelly next year. Let’s get it on the calendar! 😉
So when Amy reached out to me a couple of months ago wanting to do something similar on their property, I jumped at the chance. They had just moved out to Brownsburg to their dream home and had acquired some land in doing so. Both of her kids and her two grandkids were going to be in the same place at the same time and she wanted to squeeze in an extended family session. I’ll admit I googled the property a few days before their session – both so I knew what I was looking for when I drove out at sunrise a couple of weeks ago, but also so that I could get a feel for the lay of the land. It can be tricky to show up at a new location as a photographer, not knowing where the sun is coming from or whether you will be able to filter the light through trees to achieve the look that clients have seen and are expecting from your portfolio.
I had recognized Amy’s last name when she booked, and had read all the details of their session on her intake form, but didn’t truly make any connections until the night before their session when I was reviewing it a second time. It then clicked – I had already met them. I met Amy and Bill a couple of years earlier when they attended an open house event at the nearby high school where I teach part time. I had their son, Will, as a student in one of my photography classes when he was a senior. I had been excited to begin with, but now I was REALLY excited.
I showed up to their property about 15 minutes early so I could walk around and get a feel for the light and the land. If you’ve ever seen Parenthood, I basically felt like I was on the set… with a lot more land. Their property is majestic and when Bill and Will came out and offered to move a couch out of the barn and to the location of my choosing, I nearly teared up. These people just GET me. Kudos to Hailey, their daughter, who was the one who pointed Amy in my direction when she wanted to book. It’s sessions like these that drive me. I’ve been shooting a lot of extended family sessions this year and they just fill me to the brim. There’s nothing better than getting to sit in on extended families as they come together and reminisce, catch up, and soak up one another’s company.
So off they went with the couch (which aside from rain being an issue I hope becomes sort of a permanent fixture in their lawn… maybe add in some little globe string lights for future summer evenings?!) and our morning adventure begin with three generations and a dog. I say this a lot (and I really need to stop outdoing myself) but I had a heckuva time culling this session, which means these guys are getting A LOT of images, but if I love them all, I know they will, too. So, Ziegert family, pull up an projector and screen to your outdoor couch and get the popcorn ready. You are going to want to have an evening slideshow when your gallery arrives.
When you realize mom caught you jumping on the couch… and she’s just as excited about it as you. <3
A little something special for Will, who picked this puppy out 6 years ago. <3
I just can’t. Best. Face. Ever.
This momma broke her left arm in three places the day before our shoot and still managed to nail every shot… and put her own hair up mid-shoot. Her cast wasn’t going on for another few days and despite being in pain all morning, she put a smile on and snuggled her babies. She’s a rockstar, without a doubt.
casey and her camera is an Indianapolis Lifestyle Photographer offering extended family photography sessions and specializing in couple, lifestyle, wedding and family photography for Indianapolis, Indiana and the surrounding areas.