When I say this shoot has been years in the making, I mean it! It all started back in the summer of 2021. I had just recently launched ETP. Shayla was a colleague of mine who happened to live closeby in Albuquerque. (This was unusual since our organization was based out of Baltimore!) I was looking to do my first maternity shoot. Shayla happened to be expecting baby #5. So, having never met in person before, she agreed to meet me at a random arroyo in ABQ overlooking the Sandias so I could capture some maternity photos for her. And the rest is history…
Okay, I won’t leave you hanging there! Turns out Shayla was so happy with her maternity photos that she booked a full family session later that year to document Charlie’s first Christmas. We explored Juan Tabo Cabin together and her older kiddos loved climbing and running around there. A few months later, the news of our upcoming move hit and Shayla, sweet as she is, asked for one more session before we headed east. In one of our last few nights in Albuquerque, we met the Heavners in the Bosque and made some magic once again.
I was prepared for that last shoot to be our final one together, but Shayla had other plans in mind. After seeing me advertise DC cherry blossom photos, she was determined to come for another session. We texted back and forth. I did some location scouting. She figured out where they would stay. And then one day I got an incredibly happy text. “Bought our plane tickets!!” It was official. This sweet family was bringing their five kids across the country for photos with me. I was so honored, humbled, … and feeling the pressure! I had to deliver!
After days and days of tracking the weather and the blossoms, we ultimately decided to meet at the Jefferson Memorial on a Sunday evening. It was the week after peak bloom, so crowds were lighter than the week prior, but there were still plenty of blossoms to be found. I chose an initial location behind the memorial with a few cherry trees and beautiful light. We played together there for awhile and then made our way to the memorial itself. The kids loved climbing on the steps and the views of the Tidal Basin and Washington Memorial were just perfect. We couldn’t have asked for a better evening.
Shayla and Jeremy, saying thank you doesn’t feel like enough, but I’ll say it anyway. Thank you so much for trusting me with your family’s memories. For being up for whatever I think is best. For flying your whole crew across the dang country for photos with me. I appreciate your support of ETP more than you know and am already looking forward to our next session together!
We’re out of time for cherry blossom photos this year, but if you’re looking for a session next year, please let me know. I officially understand the hype and can’t wait to create some more magical cherry blossom photos next spring.
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