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I have been dying to blog about this particular session but per usual got caught up in the craziness of home life, work life and all its various overlaps.   Anyone who follows us on Facebook has mos def already seen these photos and heard the story, but here goes for our lovely blog followers…

A few months prior, I did a Malaya shoot of super nice, aspiring photographer Pam.    So pretty!

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She really dug our style, so she asked to book family portraits for herself, her boyfriend Chris and their 6 year old daughter Paris.   Due to Chris’ insane travel/work schedule, it took another 3 or 4 months before we were able to coordinate a shoot day.

The day of their shoot rolls around and I wake up late, due to a gig the night before (I play bass/sing for a local band called the Astropop 3) and see that I missed eleventy billion phone calls from Pam and Chris.    I panicked, assuming an emergency came up, but when I finally got in touch with Chris, he told me he had a BIG surprise planned that he wanted us to capture.  And so, through a few more sneaky phone calls,  we devised a loose plan which included a series of signals and semi-code phrases to use when the time/place was right.

Muhahahaha….

Btw, huge style points to all of them!  They were a perfect example of coordinated yet fashionable outfits that didn’t need to resort to that whole white shirts and khaki pants standard.   I honestly don’t know how Chris wore a sweater vest with a long-sleeved shirt in that heat, but it worked out well!

Such a beautiful family.  They were so fun to shoot too; willing to try anything and not taking themselves too seriously:

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Here’s their satire of those uber-serious family portraits.  Little Paris is a pro, she went w/ the flow of whatever her parents were doing and pulled it off perfectly.  She was a total sweetheart too:

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They wanted a fair amount of real moments and ended up buying this next photo as a huge canvas wrap.   I heart their choice because it’s definitely reflective of how they are as a family and it’s an unusual (in a good way) pick for an enlargement.  It’s pretty sweet having clients who think out of the box…or frame, as it is.  Oh and I believe what led to Paris’ laugh in this photo was her dad asking, “Hey, remember that time you farted on your mom’s neck?” Classic.

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This was the last location on our photoshoot, so it was time for the “big show”.    Chris gave us the signal and we responded in affirmative with our code phrase, “We’re going to change our lenses” –  we actually did change lenses, to buy a little bit of time and get everyone in place.   Meanwhile, Chris nervously chainsmoked cigarettes while Pam and Paris were completely oblivious.   Finally, we got all of them into position and stood there awkwardly for a moment (I honestly wanted to yell, “Do it now!!” but thankfully, refrained) and then, to Pam’s complete and utter shock…

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I remember her being so caught off guard, she asked him, “Why are you doing this here?” not realizing that we were all totally in on it the whole time and it was set up.   She hugged me twice afterward.  And look how cute and stoked Paris is for her parents…this photo was so precious, they chose it as the cover to their engagement album:

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So CONGRATULATIONS to Pam and Chris on their engagement and big ups to Chris for having the foresight to do it during a photoshoot.  Not many people get their proposal caught on camera, let alone professionally, so I thought this was a pretty awesome way to put a ring on it.     Here they are, freshly engaged:

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We were super excited for them to see their photos, so there’s a quickly edited slideshow up I did the day of, if you’d like to see more:  http://photos.dc-pg.com/cabatit/

Speaking of engagements/weddings, my partners are leaving today for Las Vegas.  Lester and his BFF Allen are both getting married later this fall (not to each other, although I’m sure its crossed their minds…kidding!), so they’re having a joint 5-day bachelor extravaganza with Mendell and the rest of their homies.  Someone’s gotta stay put and run this joint, so I’ll be here doing shoots and answering emails as always – send me a message 🙂

– Cies

Jasmin and Rina have been good friends since they were kids; I have some fond memories of those two that I cannot post on here because they’d probably kill me (haha).  Anyway, we are shooting Pat + Jasmin’s wedding in October and if their e-session was any indication, we’re going to have a ridiculously good time on their wedding day.  I think we spent most of the time laughing so hard we were crying – Jasmin told me the next day her cheeks hurt from laughing so much.    That’s why I love photographing people I know; there’s a built in comfort level that makes everything easier.

Due to our insane hurricane season, it’s been raining pretty much 75% of the summer, so we decided to shoot indoors  at Chesapeake’s Aloft hotel.   Since Mendell does graphic design/marketing for Aloft’s owner compay, the staff hooked us up with a room to use while we were there and the bartender on duty was super accomodating; letting me go behind the bar for some shots and even making drinks for them as props.

We did this Malaya-style, with Rina doing Jasmin’s makeup and both of them having 2 outfit changes.  Both of them have great style (love the grey/orange palettes!) and were willing to do pretty much everything we asked, even the silly stuff, so all in all, a great shoot.  Can’t wait for their wedding!

Cute:
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Jasmin, being cute in the 1st pic then gettin the drop on Pat in the 2nd pic , “LOOK AT MEEEEE!!!!”

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Relaxing in the courtyard:

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And finally, a quiet and beautiful moment:

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After we wrapped their session, they invited us (and all our kids + spouses) over for pizza, wings and UFC fights on TV.  Great end to a great shoot!

– Cies