When someone you know and admire asks you to photograph one of their most prized possessions, it still makes me inhale quickly in almost a sort of shock. Then, my brain goes into "photographer mode" and asks all the questions about date/time/location/hobby interests etc. I get to know someone new, shoot somewhere new, learn about their interests afresh every single senior session. 

So, when Elliott's bonus mom, Kirsten, caught me in the hallway at work, we were laughing at her quick witted banter and then she caught me off guard to tell me about Elliott. My laughter halted and I went into photographer mode as the smile stayed on my face. I admire both Kirsten and her husband, Steve, greatly as educators and was so excited to meet the entire family! I'd heard Steve's name float through the band room YEARS prior as the new band director for Dallas-Center Grimes, he's brought his jazz band to one of our annual contests and I felt like I could wave/bow my hands at him in a I-am-not-worthy manner. 

Suffice it to say, I knew if Kirsten has the quick-wit that she does, surely, her other half matches it toe to toe. I was not disappointed! I can only imagine the conversations in their home as Elliott has an awesome sense of humor too that kept me on my toes throughout our time together. All told, I feel like I've known this family for a really long time and that's not because of posts I see on their Facebook feeds-we just fell in step that quickly and comfortably! 

I'll stop my yapping :) and let you admire the work we created together at Elliott's senior session: 

I love the legacy of music in this family (clearly). Steve is an outstanding jazz musician and it came as no surprise that Elliott has caught the music education bug as well. He and his tenor sax were like this. *insert a crossed fingers emoji here*

See what I mean about sense of humor? This kid doesn't lack. And while he may have felt odd or out of place in front of my camera, his relaxed modis operandi totally worked in his favor. 

Here's a secret: I've been amazed at how many families and seniors have taken me up on my 6:30am session slot this summer! Not only does it beat the heat (perfect in this case for Elliott) but it also avoids any conflicts with sports or music rehearsals/camps! On this particular day, humidity reached tropical levels (weatherman's quote directly) so we did part of Elliott's session at 6:30am and finished at Noce Jazz Club at 3:00pm where it would all be indoors, since that's when Noce's owner comes in to work. 

To photograph in this space is to die and go to heaven.

Elliott, Steve + Kirsten: You guys are so wonderful! Thank you for the pleasure of meeting your whole family (coming in the next post!) and being real/fun/hilarious in our time together. I felt like my camera was a side gig our entire session and that we were just hanging out. (which is a great feeling!) Enjoy the remainder of your summer and we'll be in touch soon!



PS You can view all of Elliott's antics and funny faces in the rest of his session HERE. 

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