Friday, October 21, 2011

Family Reunion

Ally, Esme and Audrey came to Bermuda with their parents, Mel and Willy, to visit their cousins and Aunt Hazel and Uncle Eddie. This was their family's first trip to the island and their first time meeting their two younger cousins and now they can't wait to come back for more. 

It had been four and a half years since the two families had all been together so a lot had changed, namely two more boys have joined big brother Ethan! How divine is it that one sibling's family has three gorgeous girls and the other has three delicious boys - such perfect symmetry.

It was a family reunion for all of them, with Grace Lee, the matriarch of the group, also making the journey to see her beloved children and six grand children. She is 74 years old and had a heal scare earlier in the summer. She has made an incredible recovery, but it made the reunion all the more special and important to capture he with her clan. 

Willy and Mel met in college at Oberlin and now live in San Francisco with their girls.

Ally is 13 and spent the summer dancing in New York and Boston. Dancing is her dream.

Ten year old Esme (can I say I am obsessed with her name) is a book lover and loves painting, dancing and magic. I am sort of swooning in those eyes - are they not extraordinary?

Darling Audrey - the baby of their family - is seven and plays soccer, dances and generally keeps the family in line!

This winter, Ally will be performing in the San Francisco Ballet's production of The Nutcracker for her third year so we thought it would be fun if she showed me some of her moves.

Eddie and Hazel have been living in Bermuda for five years now and when they came, they had one son, Ethan, who was a wee toddler at the time. They now have three beautiful busy boys and I was thrilled to meet Micah, who is the same age as Noah was when I did their first family shoot.

I have photographed Hazel and Eddie's family before for Noah's first birthday, so they were keen I focused on Eddie's brother's family and the three girls. I have to say, I am grateful that was Hazel's plan as for some reason, I had a bit of a struggle to get her boys to warm to me that day. A rare occasion.

Six year old Ethan was Mr Serious that day, but more than that, he was very aware of me taking photos. Usually, I can get the kids to forget about the camera and just have fun, but this very clever boy never forgot for an instant. We all killed ourselves trying to be funny and even when he wanted to laugh (how can you not when I iz so funny lookin'!), he held it in. But I still think we got some fun moments of him, despite his best efforts otherwise!

Ethan loves to read and play with Lego and is the serious one in the family.

Then sweet Noah, who absolutely hates bugs, was tortured by the no-see-ums (flies) which were driving him batty so this was the best I got in that moment of trying for a nice tight face portrait! The rest of the time, when not loathing insects, he loves to play knights and swords.

He decided he was happiest wearing a helmut where the bugs couldn't get him - great image to remember the humour of the day, but not so good for a photo to remember what he looked like at age three!

This sweet little chap in orange is 16 month old Micah. He is a content little baby who smiles all day long, but I think the chaos of the day with so many kids and big brothers not happy about the shoot made him a little more wary than usual. Nothing a few treats couldn't cure.

And speaking of curing anyone from the blues, if there is one thing that is a sure fire success it is g forces. Chuck a kid into the air and the giggles can't help but escape even the most reluctant of smilers.

Hazel and Eddie - it was so lovely to see you again with your new addition, and to meet the rest of your lovely family. I imagine you all had a wonderful time together again and what special memories for you, the kids and especially your mum. Love and appreciation xxx

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