I think it would be difficult for me to express how much fun I had at the Ongleys’ extended family session, but I’ll try. Pam (whose Grandma name is “Lolly”, how cute is that!?) is one of my mom’s close friends. She has a son and a daughter (Ryan and Erinn), and five grandchildren between them. I originally met the Ongleys two years ago when I had just started my business. I was so pleased to get a chance to photograph them again. And a lot has changed for both me and them since!
We met the day before Thanksgiving, since their entire crew was in town (Lexi, Ryan, and their three kids live in Colorado). SO MUCH ENERGY! We quickly got the big group shot of the 10 of them out of the way, and I swear I only had to do three face swaps. Everyone had their most beautiful smiles on! Well, most everyone.
The grandkids range from ages 3 to 13. Violet is the oldest (and taller than me!). I loved her younger sister Lily’s sense of style – is that blue hat not the cutest? I think she pulls it off WAY better than I ever could! The boys, Lennox and River, are 7 and 3, and mischievous in their own individual ways. (Lennox mean mugged me a couple of times – but I got those smiles! And River basically couldn’t stop wiggling, running, and dancing). Their older sister Izzy was basically my Photographer’s Assistant for the afternoon. She came up with poses, groupings, and helped me pick our spots. Literally at one point she shouted at her mother, “I have all these GREAT IDEAS and nobody will listen to me!” She told me if I move to Colorado, I can have her as an official assistant – what a deal!
Pam asked me to snap a secret shot of her sweet husband, Craig (whose Grandpa name is “Pop” – LOLLY AND POP!!! I seriously can’t get over it). Since it started to rain on us a bit toward the end of the shoot, I had limited time to do this. As everyone gathered their things to head back to the parking lot of Arbor Hills, I aimed the camera at him. As you can see above, he caught me. But he did not even question why I singled him out, and his smile never faltered!
Erinn and Ryan, sister and brother, do the same pose (pictured above) every time they’re photographed together. This seriously cracks me up, and I totally remember it from 2017! It was such a joy to see this wonderful family again. They’ve all grown up so much. It took me a moment to place everyone’s names and faces – hairstyles have changed, faces have matured. But I saw so many similarities between these kids and the sweet little I photographed 2 years ago, and I definitely hope I get to see them again next year.
Thank you for being so cool, Ongley family! You guys were a blast and I hope you had the best Thanksgiving vacation, full of family, and food, and fun.