i have always been interested with time: eras, periods, trends, social norms, expectations, etc. i love history and how it evolves. the roaring 20′s, the depressing 30′s, the war time 40′s, and the homogenous 50′s all fascinate me!
the 60′s and 70′s make me sad; i just think those were dark times, on several levels. the 80′s, i might lose some readers here, i didn’t particularly care for, at all. and the 90′s well, were RAD! i do wonder what my children will think about when they consider “the past” as the time i grew up in. what will they be interested in? what questions will they have? i love asking my parents about their youth growing up in the 50′s. they have distinctive memories of where they were when historical moments happened; i listen, riveted, to their experiences.
recently i have been considering the 10 years that make up the 50′s: america had just come out of a gnarly war where all the social roles had been altered. men went to fight and dig trenches and the women stayed home to support the war effort. many women had to work outside their homes to make do; many of them found themselves working just as hard if not harder than their men. children were sent home alone, to fend for themselves and create games in the back yard with their buddies whose fathers were also gone and whose mothers were working to contribute. after the war was over america wanted a return. a return to the way it had been before the men left. they wanted defined roles: men work, women stay home and tend to the house and children. they wanted things to feel safe, secure, normal, and predictable. if i had been born then with the same personality i have today i wonder how i would have fit in. i might have really struggled. good thing cherry coke was so popular… although i have an affinity for this time, i don’t know if my spirit could have with-stood the social role and expectation that would have been placed on me. interesting ideas to consider and ponder…
although i do think i would have loved 50′s fashion…maybe that’s how i would have come to terms with it all: i would have shopped!!
speaking of ideas, when i get one in my head it is hard to get it out until i make it a reality. i have been wanting to do something different in terms of a family portrait session for a while now. something really distinctive, noteworthy, and cool. i thought trying to re-create a 50′s family, with all the little details and nuances would be perfect. all i needed was to find a family who would be willing to wear swimsuits, all of them, in their family pictures. when bethany and i started talking about family pictures i thought i would just throw it out there and see what she thought. she is a super fan of the vintage look and feel to pictures, and happens to be one of the most detail oriented people i know, who really enjoys finding vintage-y things. i knew she would be excited to gather our props; i was just hoping her excitement for gathering would pool over into her excitement to be photographed in a swimsuit. i was elated when i got the email that they were on board, had totally bought in to it, and would love to do their family pictures this year a little bit, “out of the box.”
i met bethany through the blogging world. she also is a photographer specializing in family and children’s portraiture; her style is vintage and is saaawwww-ee-eeeet. she lives in arizona in the surprise area. i don’t know the geography, but if you are anywhere near her or in a reasonable driving distance from her you should get in contact with her for pictures. not only will she capture your children as they are, lovely and genuine, she will also make you feel like the most important person in the world. every time she and i have any type of conversation, she always finds a way of making me feel special and loved; i am grateful for her friendship and think she is wonderful, exceptional, sweet, kind, considerate, real, creative and so talented.
i also think she is very, very, very brave. i love her for doing this. and doesn’t she look so fabbity fab fab in a swimming suit? i had to give her some extra blogger love for having such moxie and for donning a suit for family pictures. b, you are so rad!! and so gorgeous…seriously! you are one 50′s beauty!! (you are a 2009 beauty too, but you know what i mean.)
this is one of my personal favorites. i loved her hair being swept across her face; the whole essence was exactly what i wanted to capture:
rad water; super chic bethany:
love the feel of this one:
and that “excuse me? i am mrs. robinson!” sass in this one:
so stunningly perfect; my little 50′s pin up:
bethany and chris have two darling children who are no strangers to the camera. i loved what we got from them. every. single. shot.
gentry, kind-of owned the shoot, and her turn was during the most phenominal light:
love and love and love this one! bethany had every detail we needed:
just. so. awesome. the duck floatie? seriously? so cool!
she’s a kid sister to a big slugger brother, huntler:
this chair and his hair couldn’t have been more perfect…he couldn’t have been more perfect! he’s so sandlot-esque!
his muscles kept running out of air; so awesome:
sweet, sweet big brother:
i know she could have taken this one herself, but here they are together: darla and alfalfa (right? little rascals?)
and a few of the man of the house, the bread winner, the bacon bringer, chris:
just. so. cool.
dad at the grill, quintessential 50′s:
chris, you were such a good sport!
one with the mr. and his mrs.:
every 50′s story needs a dennis the menace. you know the kid who invites himself over, raids the pantry, walks over the furniture and the freshly vacuumed carpet with muddied feet, and then decides to take a swim in the pool, in his underwear, and then decides to be a part of the family picture. that’s right. every 50′s story needs one of those guys:
one without a dennis appearance:
the expressions here make me laugh, audibly. i love it so much:
bethany, chris. gentry, and huntler, thank you for helping me realize a dream! these are some of my most favorite family photographs ever. b, may you always remember that you are beautiful, in or out of a swimsuit. chris, may you always celebrate the talents of others like you did with me. gentry and huntler, may your spirits always be filled with the timeless joy we know as childhood.
i loved that bethany personified carpe diem and her beauty to be a part of this shoot. i love that chris was so willing to be a part of this because he knew it meant so much to his bride and to a complete stranger who just had an “idea”. i loved that gentry and huntler really had no idea what was going on but were happy to have new friends over.
i loved huntler’s face here. loved it:
i loved that this little family embraces life, and that, no matter what decade you live in, is living.
thank you all again so much for such a classic shoot experience!! xxx kj
p.s. chris thank you for holding my baby, and almost saving “dennis” from a near death experience; i am so grateful.