Heather, Jesse & Family Beach Session

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If you know me at all, you know family is super important to me. Being with Andy, my dad and his partner, my sisters and their hubbies, my nieces & nephews, cousins and aunties…it’s just where my bliss can be found.  Don’t get me wrong, we have our share of family drama…like everyone. But, when we all get together and everyone is clicking and enjoying each other, there is little else that makes me as happy.

And, when I look back over my life, I am sometimes struck by how quickly the time has passed and how those moments of togetherness and family bonding are so fleeting, too far and in between. And life seems to have move at a pace which leaves me feeling as if I can’t keep up.

So, documenting families has become a bit of a passion for me. It’s a way of giving families an excuse to stop and just be…..together, to enjoy a sunset and a couple of hours of silliness on the beach (or whatever favorite place they covet).

We get to document that time of togetherness for them and in turn, they provide a beautiful visual reminder to us of just how precious our moments of family togetherness are….and how we ought to savor them, because before we know it, the kids are grown, having kids of their own and all that is left are our memories and if we’re lucky….photographs that highlight our time with one another.

This time of year, Andy & I are generally so busy that there is very little time for enjoying togetherness with our own families. But, this summer, we got to enjoy a rare week away with family. It was an incredible time of enjoying one another…something I am sure we will all treasure forever (thank you sweet Debbie for making it happen!!!). My only regret is that I didn’t hire someone to document our togetherness. Andy & I took some photos, but it’s not the same as having someone else do it for you…someone who allows us as photographers to be present, in the moment, and part of the story. I won’t make that mistake again!

Anyway, family time is special…and it was something I was thinking a lot about when we got together with a very special family a couple of weeks ago. We met up with Heather & Jesse, whom we first met when they were planning their 2011 Wequassett wedding.

Andy & I fell pretty hard for Heather & Jesse and their wedding was everything we knew it would be and more! We’ve been fortunate that they’ve kept in touch over the years. But, we hadn’t met their sweet kids, Ella & Jackson, until our recent get together at Chatham Lighthouse Beach.

We LOVE kids…we love their energy and enthusiasm for life’s little things. We love their innocence and curiosity…their timidity or excitability. Getting to be around children brings us both a lot of joy. But, Heather & Jesse’s kids were exceptionally awesome! They are the perfect combination of their parents and our bond with them was instantaneous. And, it’s why I think the photos came out so awesome….if I do say so myself.

I’ve already blathered on too long…and if you’ve read this far, I’d be surprised. So, let’s just get to the good stuff….Say “Hi!” to Heather, Jesse, Ella & Jackson, and prepare to fall in love…as we have.

01 kids running

These are some very happy kiddos…..makes it hard not to smile looking at them, doesn’t it?!

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Kids loooove when adults act ridiculous. Fortunately, I am very good at acting ridiculous! In this next one, I was crawling around on the ground, growling like a lion and challenged Ella & Jackson to give it a try. They were not opposed!!

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After we all got comfortable, it was time to get at least one Christmas Card photo for mom & dad. Taaa Daaa!

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Then back to silliness….which is my favorite way to be…and to photograph families being.

04 family playing cape cod

Because sometimes amid all the fun, the kids give you this….

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And this…. Sweet momma, I love these moments. Breaks my heart a little that I won’t ever have one of my own, but I just love watching women who I admire and care about enjoying their special moments!!!

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Big sister pig pile….yummy!

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Ella is a ham and I just loved out time together. She was silly and sweet, playful and just generally super excited to be spending the evening on the beach with her family and her two funny new friends. I wanted to take a few photos of her on her own, and all of a sudden she gave me this pose and face….I nearly fell in the sand. Love her! Meanwhile, Andy captured this super sweet moment with Jackson, who was admiring a piece of driftwood he found.

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Cuddling with Daddy….

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Cuddling and kisses….does it get any better?

07 beach kisses

Yup…it does! Flying makes it better! Hello sweet Ella-bella!

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Come on Daddy….this way!!

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Mom, I’m so funny…..Yes, Jackson…you are!!

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I love this next photo….it makes me think about where these two were in their lives when we first met them and how far their love has taken them since. I am excited to see where their love will take them next!

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A family that plays together, stays together.

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Yippeeee….

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Happiness….Heather & Jesse have created room for a lot of it in their lives and we couldn’t be happier for them!

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Big sissie, showing baby brother the way. Be still my baby-loving heart!

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Sweet Ella kept giving me specially-selected seashells all evening. Here she is hunting for some goodies, while jolly Jackson reacts to his new pal, Andy…the funny guy behind the camera!

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Run Daddy…the waves are coming!

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Days like these….where we are with the ones we love most, just enjoying the moment. Being present and open….it’s what it’s all about!

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Eyes of an angel, like pools of ocean water….look too long and you might drown in the yumminess!

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It’s a wrap….the sun has set on a wonderful evening with some really wonderful people and their wonderful little lovebugs! Togetherness preserved….

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Heather & Jesse….thank you sooooo much for sharing your beautiful family with us! We remember when you first reached out to us for your wedding and how important preserving memories were to you. We hope we did you proud here with this sneak peek from our super fun evening together with your sweet boos! We absolutely loved seeing you both again and getting to meet Ella & Jackson was even more of a treat than we expected. Just adore them and both of you and we thank you so much for keeping in touch all of these years and for letting us be a part of your family togetherness time!  Big love & hugs, Christine & Andy xoxo

Aimee, Rick, Tess & Brooks Family Session ~ Mashpee Beach Photographers

It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years since we photographed Aimee & Rick’s Ridge Club wedding. Happily, we’ve kept in touch and have been able to get them back in front of our cameras a few times over the years. One of my favorite sessions was three years ago, when I photographed them as they welcomed their baby girl, Tess, into the world.

I love me some quality baby time, so getting to photograph Tess just a few weeks after she made her way into the world was a real treat! Click HERE for a look.

I remember after our session, Aimee looked forward to the time when they’d have another baby for us to photograph. Baby number two came a little over a year and a half later. Sadly, it was to be some time before we’d get to photograph baby Brooks. He had a rough start to life, having to endure several surgeries to repair a cleft palate.

As difficult as it no doubt was for sweet little Brooks, I’m sure it was absolutely torturous for Aimee, having to watch her sweet boy be wheeled into the operating room more times than any mother should have to.

Happily, Brooks is on the mend, and although he still has more surgeries ahead of him, he is a happy, healthy, sweet, playful, delightful little boy, who is very much adored by his big sister.

We got to finally meet Brooks two weeks ago, when we got together with the whole family while they were vacationing on the Cape. Our gathering took place at The Spit, the same spot where we first photographed Aimee & Rick for their engagement session. It was a lovely full circle moment for us. Here’s a peek at our time together.

All grown up at three, Tess strikes a pose that had us in stitches…which she and her little brother seemed to enjoy. Love these little munchkins.

Brooks plays with his Dada and is all smiles…..big, beautiful, delicious smiles!

Happy, curious little Brooksy.

Andy has a way with kids that has always been something I’ve loved about him. Seeing these photos he captured while playing with Tess just about made my heart explode. Look at how enchanted she is with him….

I don’t know what he said or did to get these reactions (and there were a couple more in the series that were equally as delicious!), but I LOVE it!! And, from the looks of things, so did Tess!

A little beachside stroll with Dad….that look….too much!!!

Playful, lovely, gorgeous Tess….the way children smile lights my heart on fire!

While the kids play, mom & dad take a minute for a little snuggle time. Yaaaay for enduring bello love!

Such a sweet family…..

Be still my heart…..

I often will use reverse psychology on kids….telling them NOT to look at me or my camera when I feel like I’m losing their attention. Well, Tess LOOVED this game, and kept shouting, “IIIIIII’mmmmmm lookin’ at you!!!!” which was cracking us both up and making her baby brother wonder what the heck she was shouting about. The results….adorable! I knew those college psych classes would come in handy eventually.

After all the formal stuff was done, it was time to play in the water…and Brooks was loving it!

While the boys played in the waves, I got the girls in front of the camera for a little one-on-one time. Moms & their daughters…..one of the most complicated, intensely loving and utterly important relationships that ever existed. These photos make me miss mine and envy my sister for the two sweet daughters she has!

And, no better way to finish the evening than with a little skinny dipping. Baby bums are my fave…that and a little peek-a-boo.

And, with that, we said goodnight to this lovely family! Aimee & Rick, thank you so much for letting us be a part of documenting this next happy chapter in your life. We LOOOOVED meeting Brooks and getting to see you and Tess again! Your kids are just delightful and we’re so thrilled that Brooks is doing well and seems completely unphased by everything he’s been through in his short life. We hope these photos help celebrate this milestone for Brooks and for your whole family! He’s a resilient little trooper and we cannot wait to see him continue to blossom in the years to come!! Love you all to pieces and feel so grateful to have you all in our lives! Big hugs, Christine & Andy xoxo

Amy, Todd & Family on Cape Cod ~ Falmouth Family Photographers

I’ll never forget Amy & Todd’s wedding. It was early October 2005, our third year shooting weddings, and we were still pretty green. It was one of those freakishly hot days…so hot that I could feel the sweat dripping down my back while crouched in the front of the church, searching for the best angle, while staying as unobtrusive as possible.

But, it wasn’t the heat, or the early nerves that made Amy & Todd’s wedding so memorable.  It’s how happy they were, how much fun they were having on the dance floor with their friends, who, by the way, were amazing and so warm & welcoming to us! I’ll never forget the look on Todd’s mom’s face just before the ceremony or the way Amy’s dad held her tight during their special dance. I’ll never forget staring that kind of love in the face and knowing it would last.

It was in all ways….a perfect day!

Right from our first meeting with Amy  & Todd, we knew we wanted to be in their lives long after their “I dos!” had been said. Happily, the friendship we felt when we first met these two smart, funny, creative,  kind, super cool people has, like their marriage….stood the test of time. We’ve seen them a few times over the years, meeting their crazy cute little boos, Max, Shea & the newest addition…Griffin.

Sadly, like with all of our friends, we don’t get together as often as we’d like. During the summer, when most people have a little extra free time for family & friends, we are at our busiest. But, we finally got together for dinner a couple of months ago and nailed down a date to get these two sweeties and their mini-mes in front of our cameras for a little bello family time.

We met up at one of our favorite spots in Falmouth and had a blast! Perhaps too much fun! It’s so rare we get to see the kids, all we…and they…wanted to do was play. But, we were able to hold them down for a couple of quick seconds…just enough time to snap some fun pics of this lovely family thoroughly enjoying each other!

Say hello to one of our very special families….Todd, Amy, Max, Shea & Griffin. Are they cute or what???

They all have these crazy beautiful blue/greenish eyes that you can easily get lost in. Max is a happy, adventurous, wild little boo who loves Pokemon and could have spent the entire session comparing collections with my big man-child. And, Shea is as smart, fearless and kind-hearted as she is so obviously beautiful. I love this photo of her…she looks like some wild jungle princess.

Oh these eyes……sweet baby Griffin hasn’t known us for as long as his big brother and sister, so wasn’t quite sure what to make of me sticking my big camera in his face…thus the expression. But, he still seemed to be enjoying himself, right along with his siblings.

Of course, nothing beats snuggling with momma!! Love the very natural moment on the left…Shea & Max would have kept climbing these rocks all day if we’d let them.

Because my husband is a big man-child himself, he really has a special way of connecting with kids that makes me fall deeper in love with him every time I witness it. Look at the expression he’s getting from Griff and his beautiful momma!! Just delightful!!!

As a fellow Daddy’s girl, I can totally relate to what sweet snuggly Shea is feeling in this moment and it makes my heart SWOON big!!

Love the dichotomy of these two moments…Griff running wild, and Max just chillin, looking ever the impish little boo that he is.

Mommas and their baby girls….a love like no other!! Be still my momma lovin’ heart!

Max no doubt talking about Pokemon…thus the big toothless grin. And, Griff not minding one little bit being sat on by his big idol of a brother! That wave….can we talk about that for a second??? Seriously?!!

Amy and her babes having a little chat…I think they were also playing patty-cake, but I’m not entirely sure. Either way, I just love the perspective and those EYES!!!

Lovely Shea….enjoying the little one-on-one focused attention from her new friends. Be still my heart!

Love is feeling the sand between your toes and knowing how very much you are loved! This is L.O.V.E.

And so is this!!! My sister has a little boy about the same age as Max and I know how precious these moments are for my sister…for before too long, sweet Max will feel too big to snuggle and smooch his momma. Sniff, sniff.

Max was pretty much done with us at this point…thus the grumpy face. But, I also think he was enjoying making us work for it…and making Andy jump around like a crazy person to get a laugh. As I’ve said before….we’ll do anything for a great photo!!

And, with a cheeky tilt of the head and some more big smiles….it’s a wrap!

Amy & Todd….thank you so much for your continued friendship, for sharing your sweet boos with us, for your patience when we drop off the radar for months…and sometimes years at a time. We love you guys and love spending time with you both and your really AMAZING children!! It’s no wonder they are as cool as they are….they’ve got you guys guiding their way. Thank you for trusting us so many years ago, and putting your trust in us once again! Hope to see you all again real soon!! Until then, we hope these photos serve as happy reminders of this fleeting time in life…big love & hugs to the whole gang!!! C&A xoxoxo