Up next on my adventures of an Indianapolis family photographer turned traveling photographer, a session that is near and dear to my own heart for several reasons.
Shana and I met in the first grade – we had to do some reminiscing on this trip after not seeing each other for 18 (YES, EIGHTEEN) years to figure out exactly when it was that we had met. You see, I was born in Rhode Island and didn’t move out to Michigan until I was eleven. Some of you are scratching your heads and thinking ‘wait a minute, I thought you were from Montana/California/Colorado/Indiana? Yes. To all of it. And add in Rhode Island.
So we met in the first grade. Her grandfather had a house just down the street from where I lived and she was there a lot in the summer, so we naturally spent most of our time sliding down rocks (ouch??) and crawling around under bushes (also ouch!). We both had a love for horses, softball, the great outdoors, and more.
Fast forward 18 years and we’ve kept in touch – first through writing letters and staying pen pals, and later through social media. We’ve kept up a little, so we had a lot of catching up to do, but I swear we click as adults better than we even did as kids, which I’m not sure is even possible.
Enter, Ella… otherwise known to Shana as the Monstah. As parallel as Shana’s life is to mine already, she also got her pup 10 years ago. Ella has been through EVERYTHING with Shana. Can you imagine being 19 and getting a dog? That companion sees you become you. You’re a very different person at 19 than you are at 29. You become an adult in that time. You achieve amazing accomplishments, celebrate successes, start to define your life values differently, and ultimately, grow into the person you want to be.
Ella has seen all of that.
So after being rained out for our evening shoot (which we spent catching up on life, so it really worked out anyway) we met at sunrise at Shana’s house for the most perfect pet photography session I may ever shoot. Elle is the sweetest boxer and behaved like a doll… no exaggeration… and no bribery needed other than her tennis ball. These two truly have a bond that is what most strive to achieve with their pet. Ella is family.
And after a brief scare with cancer last year, Shana and Ella both understand the value of life and their time together. Having my own pup who is about to be ten and is now having some health issues, these photos make me want to tear up at their importance and value. I know what these images mean… and I know some of you do, as well.
So we met at Shana’s house…. and this is my absolute FAVORITE photo from our session. You see, Shana has an amazing backyard and it is beautiful and gorgeous and luscious, but on that little plot of land is this house. Her house, now, but formerly her Dad’s house. It’s an old 1800’s farmhouse that her Dad bought years and years ago and fixed up. It’s the house she grew up in. Last fall she bought the house from her Dad and she just moved in this spring. Does it get anymore perfectly sentimental than this? <3 <3 <3
Show of hands from everyone who does this to their dog! ((hand raises))
So to Shana and Ella – thank you for inviting me to document this time together. I could not be more thrilled to have reconnected after all of these years. Much love to you both. <3
casey and her camera is an Indianapolis Family Photographer specializing in couple, lifestyle, senior, wedding and family photography for Indianapolis, Indiana and the surrounding areas.