I have photographed this family at least six times, from their wedding at Ariel Sands to pregnancies on the beach to several family sessions at Fort Scaur, Botanical Gardens and Spital Pond. This year, they were keen to do their annual photo shoot at their gorgeous new home where they have been having so much fun in their lovely garden. Ryan and Jenn had built a magnificent play castle out of refrigerator boxes for the kids' joint birthday the weekend before so the shoot was perfect timing since the elements had yet to destroy it and the novelty was still high.
Josh had turned five and Ryley turned three and they chose a knight and princess party so as you can imagine, the castle was a hit at the party. They boys coloured wooden shields and Jenn's parents had made red and blue tunics and found foam swords for "jousting" into rings. The girls came dressed as princesses and made big princess hats and did a treasure hunt. Then everyone played with the wooden catapults that Ryan and Jenn's father had made. All round, it was an amazing birthday party and were full of those magical moments that childhood is all about.
Jenn had seen my photos of Indigo (my daughter) in her spotty dress with these balls and since Ryley had almost the identical dress, she thought it would be fun to include the balls for some of the photos of Ryley.
The other big news for the family, aside from moving house, was their new puppy, Cooper. He is the most gorgeous labradoodle you have ever seen, but what do you expect, with such fine lineage - his father happens to be our beloved dog, Cairo!!! Cooper was only four months (and already bigger than his papa bear!) and just such a bundle of fuzz puff love that I had trouble concentrating. I could have gobbled him up in one mouthful!
The other highlight was that Jenn's parents, Helen and Peter, were visiting their grand children and although they were nearing the end of their stay, they were thrilled to do more of what they have been up to for a large portion of the holiday, and that was pushing the kids on the swings.
Lego is a favourite or the kids and they love to build things with their parents.
Another fun family pastime is all of them reading together. At the time, "Superworm", by Julia Donaldson, was one of the kids' favourite, as well as "In The Castle" due to their birthday party theme.
At the end of the shoot, Jenn brought out some special birthday cupcakes for the kids. They were so sweetly decorated with each of their ages in mini marshmallows on top.
These two photos of Josh are particularly amusing since he didn't actually eat the cupcake. He is one of those rare kids who doesn't actually like to get messy - can you imagine - lucky mama bear! So he pretended to eat it, and then lost interest and that was the end of Josh and his birthday cupcake.
Ryley on the other hand, has no qualms about getting filthy. She was definitely not pretending as she tucked into her cupcake (how delish is it that her purple pants match the purple icing!).
By the end, her hands and face were covered - and she was in heaven.
Since I shot Ryan and Jenn's wedding, I always like to try to get at least one shot of them having a cuddle just the two of them. So cute.