Starla's 2nd Birthday, Pittsburgh, PA
How sweet it is....to be 2!
A few weeks ago, I had the joy of meeting up with Gretchen and Jeremy, parents to the now TWO year old Starla!! I have been photographing this little sweetheart since a few days after she was born. I have loved seeing them every few months for the year leading up to her first birthday. Covid put some things on hold as far as photographing those months in between. But I was so happy to see them and stop time (not Starla!) in it's tracks for a few minutes with my camera so that they can relish in the fact that they now have a happy, healthy toddler!
Just having fun...
It was a cool Sunday afternoon and Gretchen not only picks the BEST outfits, but she also knows about these amazing little spots that are a dream to shoot at! The ladies had on matching dresses that moved with the breeze, complete with accessories to coordinate. I've often thought of hiring Gretchen as my personal stylist...because she is ALWAYS so well put together!! Her hair, makeup and outfit choices are so beautiful!
We decided to start with family photos first. As well all know, toddlers tend to have a very short attention span and often times, to get the best shots, we do it in the beginning and then I follow their lead for awhile. It's always fun to warm up with some walking or movement shots to get the child and family ready. I know it's easy to have high expectations of how a session "should" go (myself included when my family is being photographed!) but a lot of the times, it's the candids that turn out to be the most beautiful and end up hanging on the walls.
A girl in nature...
We took a little break after some family shots and I just watched Starla take in her surroundings. I watched her twirl in her fancy dress as the sunlight illuminated her face. She seemed fascinated with the gravel and the ants and any other little bug that crossed her path. She gazed at the flowers that were blooming and the tall grasses that were starting to grow. I always remind parents to bring snacks and some noisy toys to capture attention but it seemed like nature itself was doing the trick that day (although she certainly didn't turn down the yogurt bites from daddy). It's so important for me, as a photographer to capture those moments that are "here and now." I love looking back on photos of when my boys were infants and toddlers and it's so amazing how one photo can take you back to that exact moment and memories flood your mind. It's fun to remember what was important to the child at that moment because they sure do grow up fast!
Remembering the moments...
I love capturing moments of true love. I love watching the little ones play with their mom's jewelry or give daddy kisses. These moments are fleeting and those little hands that wrap around their necks for a snuggle are only little for so long. I hope that when Starla grows up and sees these memories, she knows JUST how much she is loved. She may not remember walking hand in hand, barefoot in the gravel, but I'm sure Gretchen and Jeremy will remind her of how sweet she was on this day. They will joke that she was NOT going to keep that bow on her head. And they will smile as they remember how she ran to them to give them hugs. I hope that when Gretchen and Jeremy look back, they remember this day as a celebration of Starla's growth over the last two years. Starla, I wish you health and happiness in the years to come and although I wish everyday for time to slow down, I can't wait to see you as you grow into your next milestones!