Christmas family cheers are even merrier when a newborn joins. Check out this family shoot for one of the longest-standing clients of mine.
This wonderful woman needs no introduction to my longtime readers and followers. This is the 7th photoshoot for the fabulous makeup artist. It all started with her boudoir photography in 2014, followed by the equestrian trash-the-dress session, first and second maternity photoshoots, several family shoots and events. We’re now on their 3rd newborn. At some point, they started referring to me as “uncle Ed” when mentioning to their boys.
Shannon was among the supporting clients who helped me with the coronavirus fundraising in the spring of 2020. As things stalled during the lockdown, I ran a series of special offers. The unprecedently largest discount (larger than this one-day flash sale!) was not published but offered exclusively to my mailing list subscribers. Without stimulus checks, forgivable PPP loans, or unemployment benefits for our family, this was one of the ways we made it through the pandemic. Consider signing up to receive such unadvertised deals closed to public.
Since the pre-purchased studio credit was open-ended, we didn’t know exactly how we’d use it. The arrival of their third boy Ryan presented a perfect opportunity which could also be tied to the Christmas family cheers!
We did the session at their house earlier in December and started with the Christmas décor by the fireplace. Shannon graced a stunning blush pink robe. As this was a newborn/family shoot, I gave a lot of attention to little Ryan. I especially loved the merry moments when all three boys rolled around on the rug by the bed. They reminded me of jingling the bells on that proverbial one-horse open sleigh. So, that bed in form of a little house? Their dad custom-built it. Al is a fabulous handyman and did a lot around their home. He’ll probably keep those three busy later on!
Curious facts: The staple Christmas song Jingle Bells was written by J.P. Morgan’s uncle, a rebellious James Lord Pierpont. At the age of 14, he ran away from the boarding school to sail on a whaling ship for almost a decade. The original song’s name was One Horse Open Sleigh and was far from intended for Christmas. In fact, the lesser-known verses of the full lyrics by the adventurous songwriter speak of joy-riding and drifting the sleigh at the highest speeds with the picked-up girls. “Go it while you’re young”, no less. Lastly, the author was a staunch supporter of the Confederacy. He enlisted with the Georgia Cavalry and wrote Confederate anthems including We Conquer, or Die! Uhm… should we cancel Jingle Bells, too?
It was time to feed Ryan towards the end and we created a few artistic breastfeeding moments. By the way, I believe the sacred beauty of breastfeeding was first covered by me for a new immigrant from Zambia at the plush Gramercy Park Hotel in 2016.
As I finished and packed up, I spotted a cool illumination on their front yard tree on my way out. Without a second thought, I took my equipment out again and invited Shannon to briefly step out into the cold December night. Curiously, the lights that appeared continuous did not all look lit on the photos. They must flicker, undetected to our eyes — my idea was to show her wrapped in little stars… a spectacular constellation.
I feel like this portrait makes a perfect finale as homage to the artistic soul of this phenomenal mom and loyal relationship of a very special client.
I stayed at my Zotel that night and flew to Las Vegas from JFK airport the following morning to do a 3-day creative project for two powerful ladies from New Orleans. That might be my next blog post.
P.S. Allow me to share Shannon’s feedback on this post: