Milestone Session: Jacey & Kessa

Hey there! This session is another one of my impromptu Laurel Highland Minis and I cannot wait to share because this session in particular is a part of our Milestone Series. I have been photographing these girls for as long as I can remember and I love being able to document the transitions they’ve made over the years! Y’all, meet Jacey & Kessa!

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My longtime childhood friend, Jessy, and I had made plans to spend the morning at the park in downtown Latrobe, Legion Keener. Seeing that this place was a favorite pastime of ours, both Jess and I thought that this spot would be the perfect backdrop for the girls’ shoot.

We figured we could bribe them with swings and jungle gyms so long as they both behaved during the shoot. Which, thankfully, they did. Jace has taken on this older sister role with such grace. She helps with Baby Kessa and is constantly looking after her, holding her hand, giving her a hoist up somewhere she shouldn’t be, all the things big sisters do for you when you are too tiny to get in real trouble by yourself.

KESS+JACE_07.17-10We walked behind the park and headed towards the train tracks above the Loyalhanna Creek. After walking around the tracks for a little while, we headed down a dirt path that led us to a clearing near the water. All the while, Jacey filling me in on school, boys, how bad Kessa is and all the usual elementary gossip!

Kessa, or “Goose” as I like to call her,  stumbled around the park, honking at any and everyone in her way. She was on a mission. If we turned around for one second too long, she would already be down a different path, taking off into the woods. She’s a handful, quite like someone else I know, cough Mommy cough. But, that’s what our mothers’ would call our penance. Payback for all their sleepless nights.

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By the time we made our way to the water, Kessa was ready to get in. Nevermind that she was wearing white shoes or that Jacey was grossed out by all creatures residing even remotely near the creek, they both jumped right in. We had to stop Kessa from drinking the water a few times but she was loving it. She kept splashing around giggling at her big sister. And, we even managed to stumble upon a small waterfall!

Jacey resumed her big sister role and managed to help keep Kessa from diving in head first. Not one spot landed on either of their pretty dresses! Jacey especially loved showing off her “toothless” status since the fairy has recently come to visit. It really was kind of crazy seeing Jace being so grown up. I remember her running around in her diaper like it was yesterday. Isn’t it amazing how fast the time goes by!?

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And Kessa, one minute, she was this teeny tiny baby who only slept and ate and now she’s this little human running all over the place with her precious blonde locks and those big blue eyes, constantly getting into everything. It’s time like these that I wish I could just freeze her at this age. She still wants to snuggle every now and then but she’s also craving her independence. She wants to do everything on her own…until she can’t. Then she is super sweet. Anyone say heartbreaker??

Both these girls need to slow down. I feel like every time I come home, they are 2 feet taller and ten times prettier than the last time I saw them. More than anything though, I am thankful for the opportunity to not just document their lives through photographs, I actually get to be a part of their memories and play with them. Since I am gone most of the time, I really try to make an effort and show them how much I love spending time with them when I am home and I hope these photos are a reminder of our time together.

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If can’t already tell, Jess and I go back…like wayyyy back and I am so thankful for her friendship. I am even more thankful that she was the first one to make me an “Auntie”. Both Jacey and Kessa are such a wonderful addition to my tribe of little ones and boy do they know it. I don’t think it’s a secret that these girls have me wrapped around the finger. But, then again, who isn’t at this point? It’d be hard to say no to either one of these little princesses! Love ya girls. See ya soon!

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For more information on how to book your unique portrait session or for more information on our Pennsylvania travel dates, shoot me an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com.

To see more of these Milestone Sessions, take a look at our other photo shoot with the Ray Girls! Or check out Kessa’s Newborn Session. It is seriously the sweetest set of photos!!

Meet the Grasmick Family!

Hey guys! I know, I know. I have been blowing up your timelines with all the Portrait Sessions from my last trip home but seriously, they all turned out so cute! In fact, the family featured on the blog today scheduled their session one day prior to the actual shoot. Totally impromptu and completely adorable. Meet the Grasmick Family!

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I was introduced to Colby through our mutual friend, Kelly, and we immediately hit it off. Once she found out that I was a portrait photographer, she asked if I might be able to fit her family in the next day for a quick Mini Session. I told her to be there by 5:30 and we would make it work! I love having the chance to shoot an new client while in the Latrobe area.

Little did I know, Miss Colby just so happened to have recently become Mrs. Grasmick. She married a childhood friend of mine, Dave…aka “Doobie”. He had played football for my dad as a kid and in high school, his cabin was the place to be on a Friday night. I was so excited to see that Doob had settled down with such a lovely lady and even more excited to find out that they had recently had their first baby.

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To celebrate their little guy’s 1st Birthday, we headed to the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve at Saint Vincent College. They have a small pond located on one of the walking trails and Mama Bear thought it would be cute to put Baby Dean in a fishing hat and give him a little pole. Seeing that Baby Dean isn’t the best walker yet, I was worried we may not be able to get a photo of him holding the rod but sure enough, this baby boy was over the moon once we put the pole in his tiny hands!

After throwing his hat in the water and hamming it up for the camera, we headed to the Lochry Block House to snap a few photos of this Mama and her boys. After surveying the grounds for that perfect light, I made sure to get individuals of both Miles and Dean with their sweet Mama.

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And, then it was Daddy’s turn for photos with boys! While Doobie lugged the baby around like a football, older brother, Miles, helped by tickling Baby Dean and making funny faces at him. The boys were perfect. Not too smiley, not too tough, just the right amount of boyish charm in each photo. I mean, look at those blue eyes!! Colby better watch out, her little guys are going to be a lady killers!

I can’t stress enough how beautiful this backdrop was. The flowers are so vibrant in the Laurel Highlands this time of year. I didn’t want to do anything too girly because of the boys but I did want Colby to have a few classic images in this collection so we headed into the adjacent garden. I told Colby to just love on her baby boy. Baby Dean was wiggling and dancing around in her arms the whole time. He was all smiles for his Mama.

I stood back for awhile and watched them all together as a family. Colby, the carefree boy mom, and Doobie, the first time Dad, are just about the best contrast. It may be that they have boys and Moms and Dads of boys tend to be a little more lax about getting dirty but I think it’s also just their personalities. Both Colb and Doob are loving parenthood. They have figured out how to give each child the right amount of attention and how not to sweat the small stuff.

Their love story isn’t half bad either. They met on the street at the 4th of July parade in downtown Latrobe and a few months later, they headed back to the same spot to get hitched. Colby’s son, Miles, stood by and smiled as he gave his Mom away to his new step dad. Simple, sweet and absolutely perfect.

Yeah, so you could say that these two seem to have it all figured out. Or at least, they look good while trying to figure it out. Doob rough-houses the boys while Colby sits back and gingerly smiles at her new husband with their children. If I had to guess, I would say that their chance encounter in front of BC Kenly’s just might have been destiny playing its’ hand.

We worked our way from the garden to the big red barn located near the entrance. Miles climbed up on Doobie’s shoulders for the photos which I thought was such a great touch for the photo. From their simple wardrobes to the genuine smiles on their faces throughout the shoot, you can see that this session was a piece of cake. We were in and out of the park in less than 30 minutes; just a family of 4 taking a walk around the park. It was an absolute pleasure meeting and spending time with the Grasmick’s and I hope to have many more chances to photograph this family when I am in the area.

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To book your unique Portrait Session or to inquire Pricing, Packages and/or Travel Mini Dates, shoot me an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com. I would love to hear your vision and help bring it light!