My kiddos know that I am pretty much unreachable during sessions. I often don’t have my phone on me and usually can not check it. Newborn sessions run about 3 hrs, plus set-up/clean-up. Last Monday, the very FIRST day of summer vacation, I was in my downtown studio with a newborn. I see my 13 yr old daughter and her crew of girlfriends walk by, giggle and wave. A couple hours later, my sweet newborn clients leave and I check my phone… Several text messages from my daughter, Elle, “Mom, call me ASAP” “Call me when you are done” “When are you done?” I am pretty laid back and not one to worry much, I figured she would have called if in trouble/hurt, ect… She was probably just being impatient, making all sorts of plans with her friends and needed her personal Uber, me. So, I call….

Elle - “Ugh finally! The girls and I are picking out dresses and Emily (the talented Emily French of Meraki Salon, my downtown neighbor and mom to two of the girls in the group) is going to do our hair and make-up and then you are going to take our pictures!”

Me - “Um, what? Today? I know we talked about doing a shoot, but how about a little more planning for the right outfits, shoes, props, ect?”

Now, like I mentioned before, I am pretty laid back and can usually roll with impulsive ideas, but with a shoot like this, we needed to plan a little. I didn’t want to waste my time or Emilys with a thrown together, not coordinated shoot. I love the idea of mixing sports and fanciness. Remember last fall when I had the U8 & U9 Somerset United Soccer Club girls teams on a tufted velvet sofa outside in the soccer goal?! So cute!

Recently, I have had several friends and clients send me images from pinterest of girls in fancy dresses looking tough with their athletic equipment. This is pretty common with HS Seniors, but lately a new trend with the tween/teen girls. I have photographed a few of these sessions in the studio and will share a more of those awesome images in another post. So much fun! These were planned studio sessions, not like what my daughter was planning.

Okay, back to the point of this blog post. Let’s recap… Last Monday, after a 3 hour long newborn session and on the FIRST day of “schools out” summer vacation, I headed home planning to work on the computer editing images for the next 5 hrs, to find 5 girls going through my daughter’s closet trying to find dresses for a photoshoot that they have planned for that day and expect me to drop everything and photograph. At this point, I am getting a little cranky. All I want to do is have lunch, sit at my computer, crank Wilson Phillips and edit pictures. Elle and I have talked about a fierce softball shoot, I know what I was envisioning for the styling and I know Elle does not have anything fancy in her wardrobe. I took a deep breath, a few swigs of diet mt dew from the 2ltr in the fridge and a B12 vitamin. I reminded myself I only have a few years with this moody teen before she goes off to collage. As usual, Elle has won the battle. I tell the girls to get in the car and we head back downtown to do some shopping. We have two stores to choose from. We start at Skills, a thrift shop. While they did have a rack of “promish” dresses, nothing worked for the girls. Next, we headed across the street to a sweet boutique/consignment shop, Madlyns. The girls go wild holding up the dresses and twirling around. 15 minutes later, we leave with the perfect dress for one of the girls. The other 4 girls convinced me they had “perfect” dresses to match.

Okay, I guess I can set some guidelines, like NO CROCS and we can make this work. I headed home to my computer to work for a bit while the girls went to the salon. They did each others nails while Emily went to work… haircuts, eyebrow waxing and then fabulous updos and make-up. It was about 6:30pm when we got to the HS softball field. The weather was great and the light was so perfect! The girls were so excited and surprisingly, their dresses all did coordinate. Emily did such a great job with their hair and make-up. I start snapping pictures hoping we would be done by 7:15 so I could run over to the baseball field to scoop up my youngest. He had his last Cal Ripken baseball game. Not the case, so I sent a text to a friend (who was at work) to text her husband to bring Finn home with them (he had plans to spend the night at the lake with them, but thought I was bringing him there). Good thing all my friends are used to last minute texts from me and my kids are used to being stranded, ha!

So, long story short… This little impromptu shoot my daughter and her friends came up with actually turned out great! I cannot wait to do it again in 5 years when these little ladies are HS Seniors, wahhh!

Emily and I would love to offer more of these “BFF Sessions” Beach, Horse Barn, Soccer Field, Outdoor Basketball court at sunset, Old Port Portland, whatever. Groups of 5+, $125 per person, full hair and make-up, a variety of individuals & group shots in both color and black and white, 10+ high resolution images each to download with print release. Don’t need hair and make-up, $75 person. Get in touch if interested.

End result of our crazy day… here are a few of my girl Elle and her friends. Youth football players are often referred to as “The Boys of Fall.” Well, here are “The Girls of Summer!” Tough, strong, smart, athletic girls who endure the heat to play in all day long softball tournaments almost every weekend, all summer long, while during the week going to basketball and soccer practices/camps during the day and softball practices in the evenings.