I love family reunions. They often mean that it’s a special time of year or a special occasion has brought everyone together. This one is for two special occasions: my friend, Kimmy’s mother is turning 70 and her baby sister, Anna’s, wedding.
I had the fun opportunity to photograph Kim and Vince and their family in the fall last year in the urban setting of the Village of False Creek. Photographing my friends and their families has certainly fed my passion but her recent feedback has given me so much joy because this is why I create what I do. To the framed collage of her family session images, she tells me: “Thought I would share with you what I look at every morning before I get out of bed. This hangs on the wall that faces our bed. Brings a smile to my face every day.”
Shortly after our session together last year, she gifted a one and a half-hour session to her younger sister, Anna, as an engagement present. As it turned out, the engagement session became a family reunion session. Then she sent me the list of her family members: her parents and her four siblings, and their children. That’s right; two grandparents, ten parents, and fourteen children. Definitely bigger than any family session I’ve ever photographed! I suggested a big park to allow for plenty of space to run around for this gaggle of kids – Queen Elizabeth Park’s duck pond area.
I typically don’t recommend group posing but this exception had to be made for Kim’s family. How often do they get together in one place, when half of them are living across country? So we started with some family groupings. Even as we tackled the group list, it is evident to me that they are quite comfortable with each other. The older kids were chatting together, while the younger ones ran up and down the hillside as the parents tracked them to make sure they didn’t get out of sight. Standing at the helm is Kim’s mother, directing traffic and keeping her eye on all her grand babies. This is her legacy, one that she shares with her extremely goofy husband, who affectionately calls her his girlfriend.
Larger groups are challenging to photograph and my preference is always to capture the candid moments, so I snuck in a few of those while making sure the group list request was being fulfilled. Below is a mix of our time together and I think one of my favourites is the reality of trying to get a group shot of the grandchildren with their grandparents! Don’t get me wrong, smiling images are lovely but this – this is what it’s really like and is what would make me laugh when I look back on it later!
Kim and Vince, thank you of letting me capture the wonderful “chaos” of the moment! It was such a pleasure to work with your easy going clan. Above all, what I loved most about this session is being able to capture the togetherness of your beautiful and fun extended family! I hope to be able to do this again for you soon!
P.S. I’m so happy that the sun came out for Anna and Michael! Many blessings to the happy couple <3!