I met the Whitehead family not long after I started dating Drew in 2013. He has been friends with them for several years and they welcomed me with open arms, lots of absurdly funny stories, and the occasional place to crash whilst adventuring. Justin, Christen, and their daughter Reilly are really great people.
Reilly is one tough customer when it comes to getting a photograph of her, but that doesn't change the fact that she is, hands down, one of the coolest tiny humans I know. She really took to me last summer when we were in Gatlinburg for Christen's sister Leah's wedding, and while I get a little awkward around most children, Reilly and I operate on the same level. She's such a smart kid, very sensitive and amazingly unique.
Saturday, I met with Christen and Justin to hang out and take some spring photos of Reilly. It took a lot of coaxing, bribing, and cajoling, but I managed to get a few good shots of her, albeit not many where she wasn't glued to mom or dad. The thing with kids is you just have to let them be themselves, and capture the moments as they come. The picture below, on the right, is the very last one I captured. We had called it a day, and Reilly on the swings as the three grown-ups stood and chatted. As we decided to leave, Christen asked her if she was ready to go home, and she said no. So I asked, "Reilly, do you want to sit in the grass with me?" and to my surprise, she nodded. So I sat her in a spot that was filled with beautiful light, plopped down next to her, and we chatted for a minute before she decided she'd had enough. I was elated.
That smile was a huge victory! Justin must have been doing something extremely goofy behind my back, haha.
If you'd like some spring portraits of your own, feel free to contact me!