Just Call Me Dimples {The Gatien Family}

I’m always amazed by how small the ultimate frisbee community is. We only play recreationally during the summer each year, except for our brief appearance at nationals this year. Thanks to social media, “news” of my love for photography has somehow found its way to some of my ultimate friends who have been very supportive and encouraging of my passion. I’ve even been fortunate enough to do a couple of sessions for some of these families.

Just recently, I received an inquiry from a couple, Cathy and Patrick, who are also part of the ultimate frisbee community. We know some people in common, who have very kindly recommended me to do a session for them (THANK YOU, Wendy and Dan!!). I don’t know Patrick very well and have not yet met Cathy. Derek and Patrick played on the same Nationals team this summer and he’s told me all about how adorable their kids are, especially their little girl Maya. Cathy’s mother and sister are in town for Thanksgiving and she wanted this session to be a gift for them – what a thoughtful gesture that is!

Thankfully, we are in this spell of beautiful fall weather so we were able to do a session outdoors at Queen Elizabeth Park. We scheduled for an early morning session so I could have that lovely morning sun through the trees (you’ll see that a lot in these images :)). When they arrived, I finally got a chance to meet Cathy. She introduced me to her sister, Heather, and mom, Margaret, and then to her two huggables – Maya, who’s two and Samuel who is just a few months old. Gosh, they are just so darn adorable, all smiles and dimples, a trait that they inherited from their dad. Those dimples, paired with their twinkly eyes, are the magical ingredients for making you want to crack a big smile!

I asked Maya if she would like to check out a little bridge with me. She is more than ready; she’s been walking the perimeter of the water fountain with her dad already. Cathy tells me that Maya can give any boy a run for their money when it comes to being physically busy and active. I don’t doubt it for a minute and with an adventurous heart like that, she’ll be a trail blazer! Here she goes, blazing that bridge :).

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We started with some group shots – Margaret is up first with her grand babies. Maya was being goofy, hiding behind her jacket. Patrick and Cathy had a pep talk with her and explained that these photos are important to do for her grandma and auntie. Try #2, this time with everybody and Patrick behind the camera working his magic to engage his littles. I’d say he’s pretty great at it, don’t you? Just look at that laugh from Maya!

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We wandered across the bridge and down the windy path to this gorgeous yellow tree with leaves waiting to be tossed – and that’s exactly what they did! Patrick has such a special relationship with his little girl, getting right into playing with her in the leaves and tossing her upside down, sneaking in lots of kisses in between.

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This very photogenic tree is also calling for some group shots to be had here. One with everyone, just the four of them, and the two little stars who own the show.

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After this, we headed for the lower gardens. I recruited Maya to be my assistant to find the perfect dry bench for another family group shot. She couldn’t resist climbing one :).

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The light was just getting to be at the perfect height for some backlit photos through the trees. We wanted to get some of just the girls, and just mom with her girl. Daddy couldn’t resist playing around with Samuel and once Maya saw this, she wanted a toss in the air too – my absolute favourite image of the session!

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While Samuel was being passed around and cuddled, he fell asleep. Gosh, I can’t believe my luck – I get to photograph a sleeping baby outdoors :). Here he is nestled in Auntie Heather’s arms and is she ever glad to have this cuddle bug!

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Time to pass him on to Daddy and get some shots of Heather and Maya and of the two sisters. Heather lives in Toronto and misses her niece and nephew so dearly!

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As we walked back up to the Conservatory, I asked Cathy how it has been being a family of four. She said it’s been a great few months. Samuel’s been such a sweet easy baby and due to some rearranging for childcare for Maya, she’s gotten to spend some lovely time with both her babies. Cathy’s also just finished her Ph.D. in mental health so I’d say in addition to a newborn (whose birth story, I hear, is something to behold), there’s been lots of reasons to celebrate.

Finally, we get back to the bridge where I wanted to take some photos of Cathy and Patrick. Maya wouldn’t hear of it, so we took another family picture. Thanks for great tip Maya – even with Samuel asleep, this might just be my favourite family photo of the four of them :).

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Finally, resourceful grandma Margaret was able to lure Maya away and Heather happily took Samuel again. Now I have the gorgeous couple all to myself. They are both from Ottawa and have found themselves calling Vancouver home, well for now :). In matters of hockey, I suspect they’re no Canucks fan. I asked them how they made their way out west. Cathy laughed and said she did her post-graduate here and Patrick followed her across the country…what a heartwarming, sweet story of their love!

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Cathy and Patrick, thank you so much for letting me capture these memories for you and your family! Happy Thanksgiving and I feel so blessed to have been asked to do this for you.

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