In every person’s photography journey, there’s always at least one special person that has been integral in their growth. One of those people for me is someone I’m so happy to also call my good friend, Cassandra, of Cassandra Hamilton Photography from Auburn, Washington. We were introduced at her sister’s baby shower/open house a few years ago and that’s when I asked if she would be able to take some family photos for us on one of her trip across the border to see her family. Our first session with her was when my oldest girl was just one year old and I’m so glad we had them done with her. There are so many images that I look back on with such fondness! I think that was the first time I realized there is such value in those images, especially from a photographer who has such a wonderful way with bringing out the connections that are truly authentic. Since that first session, we’ve had a couple more, each time for big milestones in our lives and every time, she’s documented that part of our lives so beautifully. Somehow, along the way, we started sharing our lives with each other and became friends. You see, with Cassandra, it’s just that easy. Her warmth, her sincerity, and that big, open heart of hers are some of the things that make her so loveable!
Around the Fall last year, I received the biggest compliment from her. I had just started my photography business and was gearing up for Fall Mini Sessions when she pitched the idea for an exchange in the Spring, in time for Mother’s Day gifts. I was excited and nervous about the idea – after all, she’s MY family photographer and now she’d like me to take photos for her family. I saw this as my chance to do for her what she’s always done for our family; capture the way they truly are.
We picked New Brighton Park as our location and that evening could not be more gorgeous: warm spring sun, big playground, mountain views, the beach. One of our go-to spots for a family hangout. Here’s where I’m going to make a little confession to Cassandra – I had no idea her parents and sister’s family were going to be there too! I don’t know why I didn’t clue in…she did mention group shots and trying to align everyone’s schedule. Sometimes, some one needs to hit me over the head with a smart stick! It was a good thing that it was our family’s turn first, it allowed me to quickly think about how to be creative with 12 people and 30 minutes of time. I knew the starting point had to be the family-sized teeter-totter on the playground :). As our mini session with her progressed, I soon let go of the brainstorming part of me and just relaxed and enjoyed my time with my girls and Derek. She has that amazing way about her that makes you just be, and enjoy, and forget she’s pointing a camera at you. It’s really what makes it so lovely!
So here’s what I came up with for her family. Thank you so much Cassandra (and all of your family!) for indulging my crazy ideas through all the whirl-wind evening, especially the fabulous heel clicks you and Ben pulled off! Your help, particularly with the kidlets, was absolutely necessary and appreciated! I may be the one behind the camera for your session, but you taught me so much about how to get their attention and infuse true laughter and happiness in their expressions! I am so thankful to have you as my photographer and share in this friendship that we have!