the ralph family | a summer afternoon at home | peoria, il.

Back in 2015, I photographed Madeline and Tate’s wedding. They were sweet and young and fun and kind, and it was the sort of wedding day that stayed with me long after. One of the best parts of social media is that it gives me an opportunity to follow along with what’s happening in my clients’ lives in the years after their weddings, so I virtually cheered on Madeline and Tate as they changed jobs and cities and bought a home and brought a baby girl into the world and then later, a baby boy. I’ve seen their kids’ sweet faces online as they’ve been growing up before all our eyes, and I imagined what great parents they must be. So when Madeline reached out to me about doing a session at their home this past summer, I leapt at the chance to see the two of them and meet Catherine and Daniel.  
 
Though weddings are still my favorite experience to photograph, lifestyle sessions in the home are the next best thing. There’s a comfort that comes with being photographed on your own couch, in the backyard where your kids play, just off the kichen where you make muffins together. We landed a beautiful summer day for our session, so we started outside – the kids were already hanging on the back porch when I arrived, and they proudly showed me their stuffed animal friends, Rocky and Owly, as they made their way to the slide. Mom and Dad eventually joined them, and we hopped inside for a break from the sun after a bit. The cool thing about a session like this is that it’s mostly just me following them around and documenting what happens – Catherine climbed up on the piano bench (which obviously meant Daniel did, too) and they hit a few keys before some couch snuggles and reading and applesauce pouches. After that, the fam changed clothes and we made our way out to the same park where Madeline and Tate had taken their wedding photos years ago.  
 
They picked flowers and held hands and giggled and twirled, and it was exactly what I’d think of if trying to imagine a perfect afternoon. Catherine and Daniel are spunky and curious and sweet, and absolutely none of this surprises me because I already know they have two of the very best as parents. This session and witnessing them all together was as much of a gift for me as it was for them, and I feel so fortunate to have been part of it.  



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