When I heard this family was moving back to Richmond I might have done a cartwheel! While I didn’t meet Jacqueline or Andy in RVA, our relationship feels like a friendship formed here: one where it seems we’ve known each other much longer than we actually have. It all began not quite three years ago with Roscoe’s birth and its hard to believe its already been a year since this peanut, aka Merritt, was born:
He’s still got the stylin’ hair…
Speaking of births, this is such a cool picture for me. Merritt’s birthday brought up the topic so Jacqueline pulled out the photos from Roscoe’s birth to show him. When I photograph a baby, I know that baby will eventually grow up and develop their own relationship with the photos. To actually be there and watch Roscoe look through the pictures and process what was happening in them, to see him begin his understanding of that event vis-a-vis photographs, that was really an unexpected treat for me.
This particular family has a very cool birthday celebration tradition. There is a special restaurant outing followed by a trip to the toy store where the lucky birthday boy can choose his gift. I was so excited to tag along this year, they decided to hit two well known Carytown spots: Bev’s ice cream and the infamous World of Mirth.
But before we go, let’s start at the new crib. Merritt was feeling a little under the weather and Roscoe, all too aware of the fun outing to come, was hyped up and ready to go. But still, there was such nice light in the playroom that I just had to give it a try…
Now I would never post a photo like this unless a) I knew Jacqueline wouldn’t kill me and/or b) I didn’t redeem myself later on in the shoot. But what can I say, this one was so special I had to pick it out to show you:
I just love the “tude” in this one:
Though these are probably more fair portraits of Roscoe at age two and a half!
We tried a few shots of the boys rough-housing on the bed but it proved a bit too much for Merritt:
So he opted for a nap instead. After nap time, the family packed it up and off we went for… I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM.
Who needs cake?
I wasn’t sure how the boys’ striped shirts were going to play out within our locations but I don’t know if it could have been more serendipitous. There were the stripes on the wall at Bevs…
And the crazy, colorful tile work outside of World of Mirth.
Inside, World of Mirth is indeed that. I don’t remember what Merritt is looking at, but its awesome:
As for a nice, welcome back to Richmond family portrait, I think these were the most successful. Not only is Bev’s the backdrop, but any Richmonder recognizes the reflection in the window as the scene across the street with the historic Byrd Theatre. I love the crazy, surreal depth within the photo’s partitions. And the ice cream eating dude in the upper right.
Speaking of partitions, here I come with my art school mumbo jumbo again. During nap time, Jacqueline told me about the challenges of dividing her time and attention between two small children, both of whom need 100%. She wasn’t complaining, mind you, just reminiscing on the process of sorting it all through during Merritt’s first year. The partition on the glass reminds me of that even in moments of division there is cohesion and togetherness, even in the midst of confusion where things seem ass backwards there’s humor and vibrant color. (Neato mosquito, art nerd.)
But this one is a close second, just because of both the album cover nature of the photo and because of the way each parent has their attention targeted on the opposite kid. It looks like organized chaos but its merely team work…
We had to laugh because the most fun of the day happened right outside the toy store where the boys decided to play with their new acquisitions on the hard concrete, despite foot traffic coming in and out of the store. It wasn’t the world’ most convenient place to play but it worked so well visually, who were we to stop it?
Here’s a slideshow set to a very cool song with a very cool title and if you would like to see the gallery, click here. Thanks always, Jacqueline and Andy, for sharing your beautiful boys with me. I’m so glad I got to be part of birthday tradition this year!