A Day in the Life of the Kowal Family

So this past Saturday was awesome. Just awesome. 

Backstory: A couple months back, while attending the CTPPA annual Converge convention, I was so inspired by the speaker I was watching that I decided to do an impromptu giveaway on Instagram for a Day in the Life Session. There are a few great things about giveaways: 1. You get to photograph in the way that you love to. Your rules, your style, your favorite kind of magic. 2. You get to make someone's day BIG TIME by giving them photographs they'll love forever and ever and ever. 3. If you're lucky, the winning family will allow you to share the photographs with the world and hopefully convince every mother and her partner that they, too, need their family to be photographed in this fashion. I think this giveaway session nailed those bullets dead on and I'm so in love with that. 

So the winner of the giveaway was actually a high school friend named Heather. I explained to her that what I wanted to do was a Day in the Life documentary session with her family. I pointed her to a previous blog post of mine which would lay out all of the details, and just like that she was game! She got her family on board and this past Saturday was the big day. 

I can't even put into words how nice and refreshing it is to spend time with such a nice family like Heather's out in their yard on a beautiful, sunny, 75 degree day. Her husband Matt is also from Southington and is just a few years older than us. The first time we worked together was in the studio a little over 4 years ago when their oldest daughter Cameron was just a newborn. Heather and Matt now have three beautiful, spunky, sweet children together and live near Roger's Orchards in the back side of Southington. When I arrived at their house, Matt was just getting home in his truck and Heather was getting the older two kiddos together to go out back with some bubbles. Their dog Bear met me at the front door along with their middle babe Matthew. I could tell Matthew was a little skeptical at first, but he quickly warmed up to me. Cameron and Matthew got their shoes on and ran out to the back patio where we spent a while blowing bubbles & playing on the swing set. Soon after, Dad came out to join us with baby Benjamin, who just woke up from a nap and was beaming with smiles! We caught up on old times, laughed about how much life has changed since starting families, and shared stories of common experiences as parents. When lunchtime hit, Matt threw some kielbasa on the grates of a great big stone fireplace he helped to build, and the family ate outside on the patio. I have to say, their kids are some of the better eaters I've seen! And any parent knows what a struggle mealtime can be, especially parents of  three young children. (#toddlersknowbest.) For the Kowals, though, it was a breeze and a pleasure. After lunchtime, everyone headed inside for a bit of jumping on the bed, followed by books and pre-naptime snuggles.

Words can't express how enjoyable it is to just hang out with a family and take pictures with them. Without the pressures of smiling, posing, and getting everyone to do the same thing at the same time, you're left open to capturing the magic that can only be seen in the details. The moments that, as a mom, mean the absolute most to me now and will especially in the future when my babies are grown and off to college. The secret expressions that happen they're not paying attention, the silliness when they are, and even the shy bits are all part of the beautiful innocence of childhood. Not to mention the expressions you miss while you're busy lifting them up into trees and fixing their bubbles for them. Welcome to behind-the-scenes of your own life. 

Thank you Heather & Matt for participating in the giveaway and letting me be a part of a day in your lives together. It was more beautiful than I could have imagined. I hope you enjoy these images as much as I enjoyed taking them. Xo!