I first photographed this little cutie a year ago, right when she turned the big ONE year old. This time, we headed out to nearby fields to give her more room to run and roam than our downtown Rochester location last year. Running and roaming: two very important things to a two year old! I confess we used a bit of bribery to capture some of these images, up to and including fruit snacks, promises of hugs, and my personal bribe of choice with my own kids: an iPhone. Kennedy loved the music, and spent several minutes dancing with the volume turned way up. And she insisted on holding the phone herself. She knows what she wants.
I remember when I first heard about the possibility of a children’s museum here in Rochester. My oldest – now almost 6 – was about 2.5 years old and we were waiting in line at Rochesterfest one summer so he could spray the fire hose. Off to the left on a grassy lawn was a small group of activity stations, which turned out to be a local grassroots effort to raise awareness and funding for a children’s museum.
This group has been the real-life version of the Little Engine That Could. They fought for their cause, found a location, spend hundreds of hours fundraising, and partnered with the Minnesota Children’s Museum in St. Paul to become the Museum’s first satellite location. Their grand opening was last month, and the wonderful people who work there asked me to spend a couple of hours documenting the first few days of the museum’s life here in Rochester. Additional images are on the children’s museum web site: check them out, buy a membership and go have some fun!
When Amy first contacted me about doing this session, I sat back and thought, “Do I really want to do this session? EIGHT kids? EIGHT kids running around outside, playing, screaming, jumping?” I called her back and told her I’d do it. (I’ll try anything once!)
Amy and her son only make it back to visit family in Minnesota every few years, so she wanted to make this trip special and document what an afternoon in this extended family looks like. She spent lots of time planning, so we had plenty of props and toys to keep the kids busy. She supplied a parachute, a lawn sprinkler, a golf cart, watermelon and a slightly cranky dog that chased a few of the toddlers. I brought bubbles, umbrellas, kid-sized chairs and a couple of blankets. And the kids tossed in lots of smiles, a few tears and some funny faces.
It was actually kind of fun.
And at the end, we pulled the flag off the house and let the youngest hold it during the last few minutes of daylight before sunset. He and his sister’s daddy is deployed to Kuwait, and the family wanted a special patriotic photo of this little man to send overseas. I didn’t realize it at the time, but this little guy was holding a Buzz Lightyear superhero toy. So he holds a superhero while waiting for one to come home. Keep the faith, little man.