The whole time I was shooting at Samantha and Greg's amazing downtown Raleigh apartment, I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn't back in New York City. Exposed brick, beautiful old hardwood floors, original plaster, roof-top outdoor space, & sweeping views of the city... it was everything I ever dreamed of when I lived in Manhattan. (And let me just emphasize the dreamed part: I spent the majority of my time there in a 300 sq. ft. third floor walk-up with a husband and two cats!) The big difference, really, were Samantha & Greg, whose warm welcome and total lack of pretension reminded me that I was in the south.
Samantha and Greg have an amazing little boy named George whose beauty is only eclipsed by his speed and energy... the child does! not! sit! still! Much of my time with them was therefore devoted to trying to do justice to his sweet eyes and amazing curls, which would've been challenging even if he were one to sit and gaze at the lens. I only caught him in a couple of peaceful moments:
The rest of the time, he was gleefully zipping around having the time of his life, and I was (more or less) zipping around after him. I give huge credit to Samantha and Greg, though - sometimes parents get stressed about their children acting a certain way in front of the camera, but these two stayed totally relaxed and just enjoyed 18 month-old George being 18 month-old George... which was absolutely perfect. That is, after all, the point of the type of portraiture I provide: to capture real life at that particular moment in time. And life isn't always perfectly posed in front of the mantelpiece... but that doesn't mean it's not perfect:
As you've undoubtedly noticed, George is about to become a big brother. I was so excited when Samantha contacted me to schedule a portrait session before their newborn was due, because amid all the excitement of a new baby, it can be hard to take the time to appreciate the baby that's already there. If my own experience is any indication, it isn't long after the second child is born that it's hard to even remember life as a family of three... so I think having portraits to commemorate that time is an amazing way to give yourself a glimpse into the past.
Samantha and Greg - thank you again for inviting me to document this very special time in your lives. Good luck with all of the excitement in store... I can't wait to get the call that your new bundle has arrived!