Picking up where we left off with our family portraits that I created back at Christmas my sister was really keen for us to create family portraits for her in the forests surrounding our Sugarbush homes.

We actually went out twice to really capture the images she was looking for.  Both walks in the forest yielded some absolutely magical images of her family and both were incredibly different in the feeling and atmosphere created.  In the first case, we focused on capturing images of them as a family.  In the second, the focus was squarely on Erik and Anna and their relationship with each other.

Not to say that I didn’t capture some beautiful images of each of them alone, but this image above just rocks my world.  My nephew, Erik, is at that awkward age when being photographed means making funny faces and clowning around.  Jen and I are quite used this behaviour in kids and just rolled with the punches.  Eventually, Erik found this fallen tree to climb on.  After a couple of minutes, Anna wanted to try too, but she didn’t have the confidence to climb the log on her own.  Big brother to the rescue!  I just love how Erik is taking care of his little sister and helping her get her balance sorted.  After a couple of tries she was on her own, mastering that log!

While Erik was having some fun on the log and had his attention focused on his balance, guess what?  Guard was down, and check out this truly magical portrait of a boy at play.

Anna, at nearly 3.5 is very much into running and loves an opportunity to show off how good she is at it.  (Crocs, not withstanding!!!)

Portraits of children are always fun, however what I get a huge amount of pleasure from is capturing the relationships between children and their parents.  After all, it’s the relationship between parents and their children that is most precious in our memories and creating images that capture this is, in my opinion, the highest goal of a family photographer.

This series of Erik and his dad, speaks an entire story of their relationship.  I won’t go into all the details, but my sister told me a story about Erik the day before I started processing these images.  I knew I was capturing gold during the moment, but the meaning didn’t burn through until I put Sarah’s story together with the power coming through these images.  Meaning so deep that these images reduced me to tears and I had to take a day off from processing them to get my head around it.  Not sure if I was just making it all up on account of my sister’s story, I forwarded these images to my good friend, Pamela Joye, whom I’ve featured here in the past, and asked her to tell me what she saw in the series without knowing any of the background of the relationship.  Darned if she didn’t write back and sum up Erik and Jason’s relationship to an absolute tee.  Magic.  Here it is. (Hit play and the full-screen button to get the full impact of this series.)

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A family interaction story isn’t complete with just half the family, though, is it?  My niece Anna, loves to laugh and play and giggle.  She loves attention like only a 3 year old can. And, like most children, and especially little girls, she loves her mommy…. Oh and wearing crocs in the forest gives her very dirty feet….

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This final image requires some introduction.  My sister’s family isn’t about frilly goodness and make-up and dressing up in the latest styles.  Jason runs a triathlon business and my sister, while a teacher, is just as deeply committed to physical fitness with a goal of completing a half-Ironman triathlon by her 40th birthday.  Their lifestyle is all about getting outdoors and enjoying nature.  Thus, we decided that their family portrait should reflect this outdoor focus to their lives and feature them hiking the trails in our local county forests.  I love this image of them hiking hand in hand, complete with day packs for everyone….

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