While I'm incredibly grateful for every client, sometimes an inquiry comes in that just makes me feel especially honored that THIS family wants ME to be the photographer to capture their special memories for them. This was most definitely the case with Kristina and Carly's family.
Carly is an uncommonly independent 9-year old girl. While she may be shy at first, once you get to know her, you see her fun, bubbly side (she has some excellent dance moves), and conversing with this girl is like talking with an old soul. Carly is patient, nurturing, and an amazing sister. Kristina, at 12-years old, is the big sister. A lover of music, she is gentle, warm, and full of life - enviable qualities for anyone. Kristina also has severe autism. While this, of course, changes the dynamic of the sisterly bond and family, this absolutely does not define them. In this family, I see such an abundance of love and positivity in the face of adversity. These girls both inspire me in their own way, and I feel truly blessed to have met them.
(Light It Up Blue is the annual campaign by Autism Speaks for autism awareness.)
Based on the three words that Mom selected and the color scheme/decor of their home, I wanted the images to have an almost Calvin Klein, classic feel to them. But, I also wanted to inject some fun, and I won't lie - I was a little nervous about this session. I hold myself to such a high standard, and I wanted to ensure that these girls, this family, received the same experience that everyone does, that everyone enjoyed themselves, and that they left with an abundance of beautiful images to cherish. In hindsight, my concerns were obviously for nothing. We had a wonderful time together, playing with snow for our wintery theme, singing songs, and making memories. (I may or may not still be finding pieces of snow around my studio.) We even managed to grab a quick image in front of my record wall backdrop for them to use for their annual charity walk to raise money for autism. I'm so glad that Kristi's Rockers will have this image for their event this year. Rock on, guys.
The icing on the cake of this experience for me was coming home one day to find this email:
I just want to thank you for an amazing experience for my girls! You were so kind and patient working with Kristi and I'm so happy I didn't let my fears stop me from booking the session. I know Kristi isn't the easiest client, but you made it so relaxed and comfortable for all of us.
And for Carly...she often takes the back seat to Kristi's special needs, but you managed to give her the day she needed. She had a fabulous time and loved every minute of bringing out her inner super model! The details from the snacks, music, and the relaxed studio were perfect.
We will cherish the day and the photos forever!
Michele, Kristi and Carly
Before I start to tear up again, I'll get to the images...