Have I told you how much I enjoy repeat customers? It just says a lot when a client has so much faith in your work and ability that they want to keep you using your services. It comes in especially handy in this type of business. If you get in good with the right family, you could end up having their business for years. Shooting the children, graduation parties, engagements, weddings, maternity pics, newborn pics, senior pics...the possibilities are endless. So yeah...it's rather a big deal.
Summer has been one of those folks that have supported XL-Images since day one. I can still remember the first shoot and how it happened. We were expecting rain in Des Moines. It was the perfect opportunity to do the shoot in the rain that I always wanted to do. I sent out a message to all my FB contacts asking if anyone was game. She responded. I had forgotten I had even added her as a contact so had to look up who she even was. Just the fact that she was willing to shoot was already a huge plus. Naturally, the rain didn't cooperate since it turned out to only be a very light drizzle, but it got me in the door with Summer so the day wasn't a total waste.
That ended up being the first of several shoots with Summer. She had no problem being a guinea pig of sorts whenever I had different concepts I wanted to try. It worked out perfectly since she is not only very photogenic but easy to work with as well. You may recall she was the vampire in that epic Halloween shoot that made the countdown a couple of years back. The same photos that would end up having some religious folks unfriend me. That still cracks me up. Anyway, I would quickly find out that her daughters took after their mom in both regards.
The first time I did their family photos was a few years back. Wow, time flies by. Doesn't seem like it was quite that long ago. Even that was an experiment of sorts. It wasn't the first family session I had done (although it was one of the early ones), but it was the first I had done with the family pet included. I would discover that even their dog worked well with the camera. The shoot produced some incredible captures of everyone. Of course, Cabo (the dog) included. We all worked so well together that I was asked to do the family photos again the following year. Which brings us to this photo.
First of all, it's important to note that any number of pictures from their session could have made this list. That's always the hardest part about making these selections. What I eventually end up doing is choosing the one picture that can act as more or less a representative of sorts for that entire shoot. And I really hated not choosing a photo that incorporated Summer's other daughter also, but this one just cracks me up everytime I see it.
Anyone that knows Summer knows how much she loves her children. I made sure to say "children" because it extends beyond just her two daughters. It also includes her pets as well. But she REALLY loves those two girls. I've never seen any parents dote on their kids as much in a shoot as much as she does. Naturally, they are to the age now where the gushing can sometimes be amusingly embarrassing. That's exactly what we get in this picture. I have no doubt at all that the girls really enjoy it inside. Being teenage girls, they still have to try to be somewhat cool on the outside and act like it's not a big deal. Even though it really is.