I didn’t meet Vera through photography, although I did already know and respect her work. Where I got to know her for real was when my family and I went to her house to buy her bedroom set, and our boys talked smack about butts and poop while the husbands loaded the truck and I bombarded Vera with camera questions. She’s always been unflaggingly generous and informative, which isn’t a given in an industry where there’s fierce competition for business. She knows a lot, she’s a perfectionist, and she’s honest (not to mention funny as shit).
So I was jazzed when she suggested that we swap family sessions. She’s got this fantastic family, and I knew we’d have fun. Plus, there’s no denying an extra little zing when a fellow photographer steps in front of your camera.
We met at Caumsett on an Indian-summer evening and got started in the Walled Garden with the pretty berrying trees:
Then we asked the boys to sit and be adorable, which they’re pros at . . .
. . . until I ruined that setup by telling Oliver that Little Giraffe might be feeling camera-shy and I could keep him safe in my bag: “You spoke too soon,” Lucas said.
Okay, live and learn. So I asked them all to stand in the middle of the road. Vera kicked aside some unsightly leaves, and I promised I wouldn’t let them get hit by a car.
Next we traipsed through the fields to find a barn that Vera liked for a backdrop. On the way, we were captivated by this tumbledown garage: “Stand here. Right here.”
And then all of you, here:
Moving on, we found some color we liked, and Lucas found a flower for his mama:
And then, to keep the boys focused, they played a game of “Tell me a secret” . . .
. . . which evolved into “Tell me the filthiest word you know” (Oliver’s was “spit”).
And then we moved on toward the barn.
Sometimes you have to take a break and tell off your brother for trying to hold your hand:
But these boys are troupers (not to mention delightful).