ericamay photography blog: thought studio.

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Operation: Love Reunited Session in Leavenworth February 22, 2009

Last week, my brother went back to Iraq to finish his tour. It was so nice to spend time with him while he was home on leave, and I feel like through his deployment, I can understand a little bit better what the families who are experiencing military deployment go through during that time. I am even more excited about my participation in the Operation: Love Reunited program, where photographers offer free sessions to families during a deployment. 

This weekend, I got to meet another wonderful military family through the program. Both parents are active duty Army, stationed in Ft. Leavenworth. When Jen e-mailed me to do a portrait session of them to send to her husband, who is currently deployed in Baghdad, I was excited. I love these surprise portrait sessions — I send an album directly to the deployed soldier, who usually doesn’t know that it’s coming! It’s such an awesome way for me to give back to the men and women who sacrifice so much — including precious time with their families — for our freedoms.

I met the family in their Leavenworth home, since it was too cold outside for an outdoor location. With sessions in the home, I like to capture families doing what they do best — spending time together! So we started off with Mom reading a book to the kids (their dad’s favorite one!).




And we even got a few close-ups of the kids by themselves to send to Dad! I love these, and I’m so excited to send him portraits of his beautiful children!




I can’t decide which of the next two photos I love more. She is just the most precious girl! These are definitely some of my favorite kids’ portraits.



And some sister-brother bonding!



I love this classic headshot of Mom! I’m sure her husband will, too. :) It’s no wonder the kids have beautiful smiles — look where they got it from!


Mother-daughter photos just never get old, especially not with two lovely ladies. :)



Such great smiles! I love everything about this — from the joyful smiles, to the American flag print in the background…



The bear in the photo below is “Daddy Bear” and it plays a recorded message from Dad to daughter!



Jen, thank you for scheduling a session with me. It was a joy to meet your family, and I can’t wait to send the surprise package to your husband!

If you know a military family who is going through a deployment, send them my way for more information about an Operation: Love Reunited photography session!

This also helps me meet my goal for #81 on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days (don’t worry, even though I’m crossing that item off, I’ll still be doing may more OpLove sessions!).


Fall Family Portraits: The Harrells November 2, 2008

The morning of the Harrell’s family session, the air was so thick with fog I couldn’t even see the sign for the Overland Park Arboretum! It ended up being a wonderful backdrop and great weather for their session!

With younger kids, it’s always great to choose a location where kids can be kids and have a little bit of fun exploring and being themselves. The Overland Park Arboretum has neat trails that are not only great for photos but for letting the kids play. Since a session with me is not as still and formal as a studio session, we can get some great shots of kids being who they are. I love how these shots of Luke and Lauren turned out!

See what I mean about kids being kids? :)

And if this isn’t completely precious sibling love, I don’t know what is…

The Harrells have to be one of the most photogenic families I’ve ever met. They look so naturally “posed” in these shots — I love it. It helps that Lauren is quite the little model…I can always count on 8-year-old girls to tie it all together. :)

They also chose great colors to wear for the session, which was especially helpful since we ended up with a very foggy, subdued background. Bright colors like this that complement each other are wonderful for family sessions!

I love seeing photos of me with my parents when I was younger. I hope these shots are a treasure for the parents right now, and can someday be fun and special reminders of childhood for the kids!

Some more fun shots of the kiddos!

Great job, you guys! You were such a joy to photograph…thanks for a really fun session, and enjoy your photos! :)