Three years ago I stood in a hospital room and captured my sister Kelly giving birth to my beautiful niece, Olivia Grace. Every milestone I get to photograph for Livy is my favorite until the next year comes along. As a newborn, she was more perfect than we could have ever hoped for. At one, she was developing her personality and a head of thick curly hair. At two, she grew her sense of adventure and love for Elmo. This year, all of a sudden, she’s so grown up!
For this year’s session, I met Olivia + Kelly and Devil’s Den in Gettysburg, PA. I’ve captured a number of engagement sessions there over the years but it’s also a fun location with little ones. There are open spaces for them to run and natural rock stairs to climb encouraging fun and allowing us to capture authentic happiness.
From Kelly + Richie (Olivia’s parents): Everyone always says this, but we feel like Liv is growing up twice as fast as Riley did. We cannot believe she is three already (although she definitely acts the part). Maybe it’s because of our constant on-the-go lifestyle, but we feel like we BLINKED and all of a sudden she’s getting ready to start preschool (!) at the end of summer. If we could describe her in one word, it would be FUNNY. The stuff that she comes up with cracks us up and her expressions make any bad day instantly better. She is sweet, snuggly, kind, smart, fun, beautiful and goes with the flow of our ever-hectic life. She tags along to every event and has been a trooper during the late practices and long games. She absolutely LOVES her family (especially her brother and cousins) and her friends at school and would live outside 24/7 if we let her. She is adventurous and much more of a daredevil than Riley ever was at that age. She’s not afraid of getting her hands dirty – loves fishing and four-wheelers, but is into all the girly things too like painting nails, wearing “make-up” and stick on earrings. We are so proud of the little human she is turning into and can’t wait to see what the future brings – but a little slower, please!!!
Olivia brought along a few of her favorite things to our session including her baby doll and toy stroller. She’s so loving and caring towards her baby. It’s one of her favorite things in life right now and it’s fun to see this softer side of her adventuress personality!
Being a photographer’s sister and a mom of two little ones, Kelly knows how to come prepared for milestone sessions. She brought along a bag of Fruit Loops and gummy snacks, two of Liv’s favorites, as a treat for during the session. When Olivia would listen to my direction, Kelly would reward her with one of her favorite treats. Small rewards, when used correctly, come in handy especially during the end of children’s milestone sessions.
Livy, of course, brought her Taggie to our session. While sucking her two fingers and holding Taggie is a habit Kelly is trying to get Olivia to break, it’s still one of her favorite things and we wanted to be sure to capture this part of who she is to remember for years to come. Kel even joked with Livy during our session telling her this would be the only time she will ever hear mommy encouraging her to do “Taggie Two Fingers”. These photos in particular tug at my heartstrings and one of my absolute FAVORITE images from our whole night together is the one at the end of this blog post capturing a small quiet moment, one filled with innocence.
Kelly brought along two outfits for Olivia, one being her birthday outfit that included her age and coordinated with her party theme. This year the theme was “lunacorns” (unicorns) and her shirt could not have been cuter. There was one major difference in her look this year though, the addition of stick-on earrings. She is obsessed with the accessory and can’t stop wearing them!
Livy Grace, you are growing up so fast! You are such a bright light in our lives and you keep us all laughing. While I wish you would stay little forever, I can’t wait to see how you grow and what makes you smile in the next year. Aunt Jame loves you!