We’re off to Italy! – Footstone International Post 5
July 25th, 2016

After 5 incredible days in Scotland for Ashley and Scott’s wedding, we packed up what we considered our “winter” gear and planned to ship it back to the States so we didn’t have to lug it around in Italy.  We found a local market that gave us some boxes and we were able to stuff our jackets, boots, sweaters and jeans into two relatively small boxes.  They were taped up and ready to go and our friends Bea and Leslie, also guests at Ashley and Scott’s wedding, had offered to take the boxes Sunday morning and ship them back for us.  Paul and I (Kristin) were so excited because as we’ve #learnedthehardway, overpacking in Italy can ruin your day.  (stay tuned for a post coming soon about some of these stories)

Paul did a little research online about the cost because we’d have to leave Bea and Leslie with some cash for the shipment.  Well…. Paul found out it would be about $140 to $150 dollars to ship ONE box.  So, at about midnight the night before we left out at 5am for the airport, Paul went on the hunt for a cheap suitcase instead.  The price to add a bag on the plane was a fraction of what it would have been to ship, so we decided this was the better idea.  You ask why we couldn’t just put it all back in the bag we had because it obviously all fit on the way over?  Well, funny thing happens when you travel… your stuff seems to multiply.

Our good friends Steven and Charlie were our first clients to join us for a Destination Portrait Session.  We introduced them in an earlier Scotland post because they were also guests at the wedding.  So they flew with us on the same early flight to Venice.  Because we had already adjusted to the time change, this time flying into Italy was such a joy.  As soon as we landed in the Venice airport, we felt like we were home.  Paul knows this airport incredibly well so he walked us right to a little cafe near where he’d be picking us up shortly in the rental van.

Now Paul was driving on the “right” side of the road again and these roads are very familiar to him.  He LOVES the way Italians drive, I think I’ve shared that before… they are serious about driving.  You’ll even see drivers wearing driving gloves.  You get where you’re going and you get there fast.  Or you get out of the way!  I would honestly be a little scared to drive.  Paul must be scared of me driving too because I’ve never been a designated driver on any of our rentals (I get the hint!). Paul asked a policeman one year how strict they are about speeding.  The policeman answered in his thick Italian accent, “Well, let’s just say… police are a little different here.”

driving in italy

Our first stop after picking up clients is going to sound funny to you.  Unless you’ve just gotten off a full day’s journey having missed lots of sleep and feeling much like a zombie at the moment you’re reading this post.  But we stop at an AutoGrill on the interstate, or autostrade.  With Steven and Charlie, our first clients this year, they happened to be flying with us because of the wedding.  But with most, Paul will pick you up from the airport, put your sleepy self in our rental van stocked with soda, water and snacks, then head to the first AutoGrill and let you choose a yummy sandwich and anything else that may make you feel better at this point.  What we love about this moment is watching our clients take their first bite into their sandwich of choice.  We know what they’re thinking… “why are Paul and Kristin making me eat a sandwich from a rest stop?  I’m starving and tired and this is my only option?”  Haha!  Within five seconds of your first bite you’ll look at us is disbelief and utter joy.  You see, these sandwiches are on fresh bread with fresh Italian meat and ridiculously yummy fresh Italian cheese.  What we’d pay $15 for at a restaurant in the States, you’re getting from a rest stop for maybe 5 euros.  There are so many reasons I love this country!

For Steven and Charlie, they got to experience their “first yummy Italian sandwich moment” at the cafe in the airport while Paul got our van.  We headed off from there to meet Dario, the marketing director at GraphiStudio, for the keys to the Castle!  Steven was actually interested in a short tour of the GS plant.  You see, years ago before we opened Footstone, I worked for Steven with Herff Jones Yearbooks.  Steven has worked in the book printing industry for decades and has heard me rave about my obsession with the quality of GS books.  He had to see it for himself and Dario was happy to show him around and share some of the key components of their printing process.  After our tour, Dario took us next to the the Ceconi Castle!

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Ceconi Castle Italy

Here’s a short video of us pulling into the Castle for the first time this year.  Wow does this place never disappoint!

After we got settled into our rooms in the castle, Dario treated us to dinner at our favorite local restaurant down up the mountain where we were excited to see our host, Davide, who remembered us from last year.

traveling in ital

Our Destination Portrait Sessions this year were planned where the first day we spent the afternoon at the Ceconi Castle, a private castle owned by GraphiStudio.  Our wedding and family albums are all printed here and because of our close relationship with them, we have the incredibly opportunity to bring clients to stay in the castle. Our second day we spent exploring the magical city of Venice and our third day included a wine tasting and tour of the extraordinarily beautiful Fruili wine region.  Of course, our clients will be the first ones to see their portraits from their session so I can’t share them yet with you today.  But I can say that our time with Steven and Charlie was incredible.  Steven commented at one point that his favorite part was that he didn’t have to think or navigate.  He and Charlie could sit back, look around, enjoy themselves and not have to worry about directions, trains, transitions, the time or anything but what they’d be eating and seeing next.

photographing in italy

Our second family to join us were Lem and Dana along with their young daughter Cakki.  Lem and Dana are friends and clients of ours and we’ve had the honor of photographing their family portraits every year for the past few years.  This year, for a special birthday present for Dana, Lem surprised her with this trip to Italy.  Our next post will be sharing a few behind the scenes videos and pictures of their trip plus the fun the kids had playing at the castle!

 

For information on our 2017 Destination Portrait Sessions, email photo@footstone.com

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Pitlochry, Scotland – Footstone International Post 4!
July 21st, 2016

Kristin said to me (Paul), “I’m going to write a blog post about our day in Pitlochry”.  “I’ll do it”, I said.  Kristin laughed, then looked at me as if maybe I wasn’t joking, then laughed again, then looked at me as if maybe I needed to lie down.  Blog posts are not my forte, and those posts I have written are considerably shorter than most blog posts you’ll read anywhere.  However, this day was special.  Pitlochry was special.  It allowed me to relive something from 27 years ago when my family traveled through Scotland.  We went to multiple places in Scotland on that family trip, but the memories that were burned into my mind were the ones of the Highlands.  The grass that seems to be greener, the wind that makes the barley dance, the sheep that are only sometimes contained by small rock walls that were built ages ago.  Here is how our trip went –

We decided that our last day in Scotland would be an exploring day.  We would drive to the Highlands and find something to see.  We didn’t really have a good idea of what we would explore, because we found out the famous stuff like Loch Lomond and Nessie were a little too far for a quick afternoon trip.  At the recommendation of Dave Finlay, we decided to head to Pitlochry.  The drive was beautiful, the day was amazingly sunny and not rainy, and our crew, along with Sally and Patrick, arrived there late afternoon on Sunday.

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Now some may say my man card should be revoked for saying this, but I like asking for directions.  That liking stems from the fact that I do not like being lost.  I have a fairly keen sense of direction, and I start to get kind of nervous when I don’t know where I am and where I’m going.  So I jumped into a little shop and told the man, who actually had a hard time communicating because he wasn’t Scottish and didn’t speak much English, that I was looking for the best place to view the countryside.  After a few attempts at conveying this information, he finally realized what I was looking for and said “Queen’s View”.  He also said it was near Blair Atholl, but I had no earthly idea what he had said until I saw “Blair Atholl” on a sign down the road, then it clicked.  Queen’s View is a short and very narrow drive from Pitlochry, and apparently was named such after Queen Victoria visited the area in 1866.  We arrived at the parking lot and were greeted by an honor system parking fee.  Am I the only one that wonders if I can get away with it every time I’m parked in one of those lots?  If I am the only one, please forget I said anything and don’t think less of me…

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As you can see, there was no one else there.  I still paid the parking fee.  Anyway, on with the story.  We hiked up a short trail and were rewarded for our efforts with a spectacular view of Loch Tummel and one of Scotland’s best known hills called Schiehallion.  Guess who was excited to go hiking!  Patrick was!

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We discovered that there were trails that led off in every direction, and since our boys love to explore, we let them lead the way.  The forests in Scotland have such a different feel than what we are used to in Florida.  The forest floor had little vegetation, except for some grass and wildflowers where the sun might poke through the dense canopy for a few hours a day.  These vibrant purple wildflowers are called foxglove. Kristin loved them… she said they were “Footstone plum”.DSCF2974

Just a quick technical note – I only took my Fuji XT1 mirrorless camera on this outing.  I have a 35mm 1.4, a 56mm 1.2 and an 18-135 3.5-5.6.  I bought this set up for stuff just like this, where I don’t want to be lugging around all my heavy gear.  I’ve been super happy with the camera!  I find the autofocus to be painful sometimes, but it definitely wins on size, weight and capabilities.  It’ll never replace my Canon gear for client work, but it’s an impressive camera system.  Back to the story…

Kristin mentioned in the St. Andrews post about how Brasher picked flowers for her and stuffed them in his pocket for storage.  He loves his Momma and is always on the lookout for flowers to pick for her, whether they are growing wild or growing in a private garden.  He found some wildflowers along the trail and promptly presented them to her.

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Here we see the boys in their triumphant pose as they climbed to the top of the rock.  We also see Patrick in some kind of pose on his way up the rock.  Sorry for picking on you Patrick, you just made it easy this time…

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Here are a few more pictures of the beautiful hike through the forest.

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As the boys were exploring, Kristin and I walked past Brasher, who had climbed a small hill.  He said to us as we walked by “Watch out for predatorsssssss…”  He then slowly sank into the deep grass and took on the appearance of a big cat stalking its prey.  It was a little creepy.  And cute of course.  But also creepy.

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We corralled everyone back in the van and headed back to Pitlochry for dinner.  I mentioned in the beginning of the post that we arrived on Sunday, and the significance of that will now reveal itself.  We found a busy little place called McKay’s and sat down at a table.  We were all hungry and excited about the menu.  I had decided on steak and ale pie, and Patrick was going to get Haggis and let everyone try it.  DSCF3040 DSCF3049

You order your food at the bar, so we went to place our order and were told that they were busy and the kitchen was backed up.  We should expect to wait an hour to get our food.  What a let down.  We had to drive back to Edinburgh to head to Italy early the next morning. There was no way we could wait that long.  So we said thanks and headed out to find another restaurant.  Guess what happens on Sundays in Pitlochry?  Not much.  McKay’s was the only restaurant open.  I take that back, there was another one open, but they didn’t allow kids.  We were hungry enough to consider leaving the boys outside, but we decided to drive on and see what we could find on the way back.  What we found on the way back was McDonald’s.  Yep, all the way to Scotland to eat at McDonald’s.  No steak and ale pie or haggis there.  We don’t frequent the Golden Arches, so it was quite funny when we pulled up and our boy’s eyes got big and round and Win said with a look of disbelief, “We’re going to McDonald’s???”

Scotland holds a place in my heritage and my heart, and I look forward to returning someday.  Don’t know when you’ll see another blog post from me, so… thanks for reading.

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Playing in St. Andrews – Footstone International Post 3!
July 19th, 2016

Today’s post might possibly be the one story that will get my father to travel internationally… I’m hoping anyway!  My dad is quite a golfing fan and an excellent golfer. So one of the items on his bucket list is to play the Old Course at St. Andrews, the oldest and most iconic golf course in the world.  Our bride Ashley’s soon-to-be in laws are members so we had the fortunate opportunity to spend the morning enjoying the course in a way we never could have without the generosity of Scott’s parents.

Today was also one of those days that we tried hard to make mostly play time for boys.  Win and Brasher had done well with the previous few days of mostly walking and sightseeing, so today Paul and I tried to make it super fun and very kid-focused.  However, before the play started, they did have to sit appropriately in the St. Andrews Links Club house while Janet and Dave, Scott’s mom and dad, treated the group to tea and cake before we headed down to the course.

St Andrews Golf Course - Traveling and places to stay and visit with children  in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational St. Andrews Links Club House - Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

The sweet part of this picture is that the boys didn’t want tea of course, so I put a little cream in their cups and the smiles on their faces when it touched their lips… pure delight!  I guess they’d never had just cream on its own, so they literally drank the entire cup of cream that should have been meant for Paul’s and my tea.  Whatever keeps them calm and happy at this point, I will do!  We were in a room of well dressed Scottish golf course members and my worst fear was our little “loud Americans” would get noticed in a mother’s worst nightmare kind of way!  But they were perfectly respectful and shortly we headed out to the putting green where we’d get to play a little golf ourselves.

St Andrews Golf Course -Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational St Andrews Golf Course -Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational St Andrews Golf Course -Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

All of the close friends and family who came in early for the wedding were invited to spend the day in St. Andrews.  So Janet, Scott’s mom had a “friendly” competition between each group.  Our group consisted of the four of us… so much to your surprise, we came in last place!  But Janet was kind enough to have a prize for the “youngest” two members of a team and the boys walked away from the competition winning a chocolate golf ball.  Janet has three boys… she gets it!

St Andrews Golf Course -Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

This is the lovely mother-of-the-bride, Susan.  We figured out by talking with Susan and Ashley that we have known their family for 15 years.  Ashley was only 16 when I first met her!  Below is our groom, Scott.  Scott is an avid golfer, also a member of St. Andrews course and not surprisingly, his team won the competition of the day.  I don’t remember what reward his team received, but I bet they’d rather of had the chocolate golf balls.St Andrews Golf Course -Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational St Andrews Golf Course -Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

Here’s Ashley and her two freezing bridesmaids.  This picture shows you how Ashley must be adapting to the windy and cold weather in Scotland while her two Florida natives have obviously not!

St Andrews Golf Course -Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational St Andrews Golf Course -Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

You can tell in our family portrait above that Brasher didn’t finish his round well.  I have two quite competitive boys.  I wonder where they get it from… no comment Dad.

St Andrews Golf Course -Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

Above shows actual golfers on the 18th hole, near wear we were putting.  So we waited and watched them finish the hole.  The Old Course still remains open to the public and these players were likely not members.  Dave, father of the groom, explained that if you’re not members, they require you to hire a caddy to walk with you. Make sense to me.  This is definitely a course worth protecting.

Below is The Royal and Ancient, a club within a club… I think.  It was founded in 1754 and if I understand it correctly, which if I don’t, my dad can help me update this portion the post, the R&A isn’t owned by St. Andrews. It works with it as a members-only facility that provides first class accommodations for it’s members, works alongside St. Andrews in preserving this area as the “Home of Golf”, and also houses records and prized artifacts relating to the history of golf.

The Royal and Ancient by St. Andrews Golf course - Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternationalSt Andrews Golf Clubhouse - Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

After we patiently waited for the golfers on the 18th hole to finish, we headed to lunch at the St. Andrews Golf Clubhouse. I had to take a picture of the “private” sign and text it to my dad of course.St Andrews Golf Club -Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational St Andrews Golf Club -Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

Terrible picture, but I was so excited!  Who knows, we could have bumped into Jack Nicklaus!  I was however a bit nervous again because our boys would have to sit quietly for a little while, but they did great… perhaps with a little bit of bribery (don’t judge).  We ended up sitting with Dave, father of the groom, for lunch and he graciously answered all of Paul’s questions about the course, Scotch and St. Andrews history.  You see, Dave was born and raised in St. Andrews and while his career sent him around the world, he landed back in St. Andrews to spend his retirement.

Here is Dave, pictured below. After lunch, the group was supposed to tour through downtown St. Andrews which would’ve been lovely, but Paul and I were thinking we’d sneak away from the pack and head to the St. Andrews Castle, an open area where the boys could run and play.  Notice how Dave seems to be thinking to same thing… well, turns out he was.  He offered to sneak away too and head on with us to the castle.  We spent the rest of the afternoon with him while he showed the boys all the secret tunnels and dungeons within the castle grounds.  I teased Ashley later that I think Dave is itching for grand-children… sorry Ashley!  I’m sure she’s already getting enough of that from her family. 🙂

St Andrews Golf Course -Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternationalSt Andrews Golf Course -Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational St Andrews Golf Course -Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternationalSt Andrews Golf Course -Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternationalSt Andrews Golf Course -Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

Before we departed for the castle, Brasher kept leaning over the fence and picking these little yellow flowers for me.  I laid them all down on the ground and when we went to move, he reminded me to grab them.  I asked him if he wanted to hold them for me and he shoved them all in his pocket.  Throughout most of the day, when he’d see more flowers, he pick them and shove more down in his little pocket.  I kept trying to remind myself to remember this when I went to wash his clothes.  Precious child.Hamilton Grand -Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

Quick story about the building above (Paul loved this story), the Hamilton Grand was built by Thomas Hamilton more than a century ago.  As the story goes, Thomas Hamilton was denied membership to the Royal and Ancient multiple times.  So he then decides he’d build a “bigger and better” building on the property directly facing the 18th hole.  It started as a luxury hotel then during WW2, it became a host for the Royal Air Force.  After the war, it transformed again with St. Andrews University bought the building as a residence hall for students.  (Can you imagine this being your dorm room in college?!)  Now, the Hamilton Grand is divided up into luxury residences available for purchase.  I remember Dave making a joke about the price having to come down on these residences over time because the owner had one too many zeros at the end of his asking price.
St Andrews Castle -Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

The St. Andrews Castle was the home of Scotland’s leading bishops throughout the Middle Ages.  During it’s 450 year history it was also a fortress and a prison.  There’s an entire underworking of tunnels, dungeons and mines giving you a sense of medieval warfare.  I reluctantly followed my boys into one of the tunnels and literally took skin off the crown of my head.  Awful.  The video below doesn’t show my embarrassing injury, but it does show the boys and Dave walking through their first tunnel.  I love hearing Dave speak… Scots have such a cool accent.

St Andrews Castle -Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternationalSince Dave grew up in this lovely town, he was able to share all kinds of really unique facts about St. Andrews.  He even shared with Paul where he and his school buddies would go swimming, which if you look at the clothes Paul and Dave are wearing in the middle of summer in the above picture, it’s hard to imagine anyone being crazy enough to go swimming!

St Andrews Castle -Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

I can’t say enough how grateful we are that Dave would spend the afternoon with us.  It was so neat to get to hear about St. Andrews from a local who obviously loves his home and its history.  When asked later what the boys favorite part of our trip to Scotland, they both said the castle.  Thank you Dave for being so generous with your time and giving our family an experience we will never forget.
Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternationalTraveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternationalAfter we left the castle, we walked down a few lovely little streets and ended up on North Street.  The boys were clamoring to climb St. Rule’s Tower, so I decided to let them have the fun of climbing all those steps, and I would have a snack where apparently Kate and Prince William would meet for coffee during their studies at the University of St. Andrews!North Point St. Andrews where Prince William and Kate would eat together -Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

Pictures don’t do justice to the size of the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral.  The cathedral took over 150 years to complete, and at one time was the largest building in Scotland.  Robert the Bruce was present at the consecration ceremony!  The boys loved climbing and running through the ruins, and then they tackled the stairs.  St. Rule’s Tower is the square tower that can be seen beside the ruins of the cathedral.  It actually predates the cathedral, and at one time was used to house the relics of St. Andrew himself.  At 108 feet tall, and 156 steps to the top, it provides breathtaking views for miles in every direction.  If you look closely at the picture Paul took from the top of the tower, you can see the golf course in the distance along the coastline.  Yep, we walked from – and back to – there…

St. Andrew's Cathedral & St. Rule's Tower -Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational St. Andrew's Cathedral & St. Rule's Tower -Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational St. Andrew's Cathedral & St. Rule's Tower -Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational St. Andrew's Cathedral & St. Rule's Tower -Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

Our hike ended as every hike should – with ice cream.  St. Andrews is now on our “must go back” list, and on Paul’s “must play golf at” list.  So Dad, we’ve been extended an open invitation to come back and play whenever we like… it’s just a short 8 to 10 hour flight.  You can do it.  🙂

Traveling and places to stay and visit with children in St. Andrews Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

 

 

 

 

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A Day in Edinburgh, Scotland – Footstone International Post 2!
July 15th, 2016

Our Scotland Bride, Ashley, suggested this incredible apartment she found on AirB&B.  It was centrally located within the city with lots of restaurants and shops within walking distance.  And the rooftop sold us all.  You walked up a flight of spiral stairs to a sunroom and a rooftop deck with beautiful views of the city.  Our boys begged to sleep up here and I (Kristin) considered it for half a second.  Then I started thinking about them opening the door of the sunroom and heading outside in the middle of the night… or climbing down a spiral staircase to use the bathroom when they’re half asleep… or heaven forbid a thunderstorm come through and scare them to death… alas, sorry boys.  The answer was an apologetic no.

Traveling and places to stay and visit with a young family in Edinburgh Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternationalTraveling and places to stay and visit with a young family in Edinburgh Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

Though we didn’t spend much time in the apartment during our stay in Edinburgh, we did have a few experiences of what midday recess sounds like outside our window.  See the space in between our apartment and the building beside us in the picture above?  Yes, a playground.  Perhaps this is why our apartment was an AirB&B and not someone’s full time residence!  Our boys did enjoy looking out the window and watching the kids play.  Win asked why all the children weren’t wearing kilts.  🙂 Traveling and places to stay and visit with a young family in Edinburgh Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

Ediburgh (pronounced Ed-in-bur-ra, not “ro”… as I was corrected multiple times), is divided into Old Town and New Town.  In medieval times, Old Town was the city’s main drag.  It is enclosed within a city wall and the town grew upwards.  The cobbled streets, narrow alleys and hidden courtyards are what I’d assume most of us imagine when we envision Scotland.

In the late 18th century, the city became quite crowded while it continued to grow from 25,000 in the 1700’s to more than triple that by 1767.  The city council announced an architectural competition to design a “new town”.  A young architect named James Craig won the competition and by the 1830’s, New Town became one of the largest planned city developments in the entire world.  The streets contrast the winding roads in Old Town with broad and straight streets lined with stunning Georgian architecture.  The wealthy class moved from Old Town in the 1800’s and the city still looks as grand and beautiful as it was back then.

Our apartment was located in New Town, but we journeyed up to Old Town to walk the famous, “Royal Mile”.  This road runs from the ridge of the Edinburgh Castle downhill to the royal palace.  Believe it or not, when we stepped foot on the Royal Mile we heard multiple fires from what sounded like a cannon.  After asking around at what was going on, we discovered that the fires were to announce that the queen had just stepped off the train.  Just down from us!  Then we found out later that the Queen had actually visited a pub, the Sheep Heid Inn, while we were in town.  How fun is that!
The Royal Mile Edinburgh - Traveling and places to stay and visit with a young family in Edinburgh Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational The Royal Mile - Traveling and places to stay and visit with a young family in Edinburgh Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

No ordinary street vendors here!  It was the perfect moment when after the cannon being fired we talked a few steps down the Royal Mile to find this gentleman making our Scotland experience even more complete.

Ok… I’m going to take a quick opportunity to share my rant about street vendors.  I love them and you should too.  These people have decided to offer a service and an experience for us tourists.  They are not begging for money.  A pet peeve of mine is when people stop, watch, and even take pictures or videos of these performers and don’t leave money.  If you walk right by and ignore the vendors, then no, I don’t think you should have to pay them.  But if you stop and enjoy their performance even for a second, I believe you should compensate them.  Ok, I’m done ranting…

Traveling and places to stay and visit with a young family in Edinburgh Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

The picture above shows Sally and I trying to sneak away from the boys for a quick second of shopping.  We ended up buying matching small bags with the iconic tartan pattern in pinks and purples.  My one souvenir!Traveling and places to stay and visit with a young family in Edinburgh Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternationalEdinburgh Castle - Traveling and places to stay and visit with a young family in Edinburgh Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational Traveling and places to stay and visit with a young family in Edinburgh Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational The Royal Mile - Traveling and places to stay and visit with a young family in Edinburgh Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

The Edinburgh Castle stands on an extinct volcano, which really made our boys excited to see it.  We fielded lots of questions about was it really extinct and what IF it erupted, what would we do… talk about a fun fact to make a simple day of sight seeing even more enjoyable for two small boys!

It is not known exactly how old this castle is, but I read there is evidence of human habitation here as early as the 9th century BC.  Unbelievable!  They believe a stone fortification was built in the late 6th century AD and then the first proper castle was built in the 11th century.

There was a small souvenir shop at the main entrance of the castle where we found two toy swords that the boys went nuts over.  How perfect to sword fight in front of a castle in Scotland?!  See the boys in action…

Sometimes our days of travels are long and tough for our boys.  Some days consist mostly of walking and looking around, which can be enjoyable but just as often not enjoyable for two small children. Then other days revolve completely around them.  I think all days are important for children to experience.  I like that they are learning that travel isn’t always easy, but it’s special and worth it when you’re patient.  I also like that they know that sometimes it’s ok that the day doesn’t revolve around them.  These are the days where we try to insert fun moments like sword fighting and running through parks while they also have to be ok while we walk into churches and stop and look at things that they find no significance in.  Paul and I try to plan in days that are all about the boys from beginning to end after they’ve put up with a few days of sight seeing.  Like the day we took the boys hiking in the Highlands… I can’t wait to share that story!

St. Giles Cathedral - Traveling and places to stay and visit with a young family in Edinburgh Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational St. Giles Cathedral - Traveling and places to stay and visit with a young family in Edinburgh Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

About a third of the way down the Royal Mile, the two pictures above show St. Giles Cathedral. There is rich history of this “Kirk”, including where John Knox is buried and it has been a religious focal point for Edinburgh for nearly 900 years.  Notice the telephone booth?  Yes, still in operation all throughout the city!

Traveling and places to stay and visit with a small children in Edinburgh Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

Brasher, shown on the left above, has always loved stuffed animals.  If you follow us regularly, you know of Henley, the cat who has come overseas with us three years in a row.  We found “Nessy” in Edinburgh and Brasher had to have him.  He refuses to call it Nessy though because “he’s a BOY, not a girl.”  So he is still unnamed.

I got made fun of for wearing my beanie in the summer.  Sorry Scots, this girl is from Florida and as much as I love having a reason to wear boots and a jacket, this was like our winter weather and I was quite happy in my beanie!

Activities and Learning while traveling internationally with children - Traveling and places to stay and visit with a young family in Edinburgh Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational Educational Activities and Learning with Kids while Traveling in Europe - Traveling and places to stay and visit with a young family in Edinburgh Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational Great ideas to plan educational activities for children while traveling! - See this blog for traveling and places to stay and visit with a young family in Edinburgh Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

We had an amazing lunch at the same place we first ate at when we arrived in Scotland.  The place were we went in order to stay awake that very first day after our international flight.  When your stomach isn’t quite right after a trip like that, we knew it was a place we wanted to go back to when we felt good!  It’s called Hamilton’s and it’s a MUST when visiting Edinburgh.

My goal for this trip was to have educational activities for the boys for both Scotland and Italy.  So the night before we left, when most people would’ve been sleeping… Paul was just beginning to pack and I was printing out worksheets and coloring pages.  (Why do I wait until the last minute every year?!!!)

But I’m glad I missed an hour or so of sleep, because these activities were precious.  The boys loved working on them right after they experienced the content first hand.  Plus, they made meals much for enjoyable for the adults.
Hamilton's Restaurant - Traveling and places to stay and visit with a young family in Edinburgh Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational Hamilton's Restaurant - Traveling and places to stay and visit with a young family in Edinburgh Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

We took a picture of the menu just because there are some unfamiliar words on it, even though it’s English.  Notice the black pudding and the walnut dukkah?  Also we learned that “chips” are what we know as fries.  Ask for chips, you get fries.  Ask for fries, you get fries.  But if you want what we know as chips, you must ask for “crisps”. Hamilton's Restaurant - Traveling and places to stay and visit with a young family in Edinburgh Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

Paul got the pan fried french toast with Virginia cured bacon and honey.  He was quite happy with his choice.  Patrick got the Sunday pot roast, see below.  Another happy customer!Restaurants in Edinburgh, Hamilton's - Traveling and places to stay and visit with a young family in Edinburgh Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational Hamilton's Restaurant - Traveling and places to stay and visit with a young family in Edinburgh Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

I got the grilled tiger prawn wrap with a cup of sweet potato curry soup.  And chips!  It was delicious!  See below, I think our furry onlooker was wishing he’d had ordered what we did.  Funny thing about Scotland restaurants… dogs were seemingly quite welcome.Traveling and places to stay and visit with a young family in Edinburgh Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

An interesting fact about the sun… During the summer, it goes down around 10:00pm, which is when Paul took the picture below.  And it comes up around 4:30am, which makes sleeping in difficult.  But we’ll definitely take it compared to the winter time, when they have as little as 7 hours of sunlight!

Traveling and places to stay and visit with a young family in Edinburgh Scotland.  Lots of tips and fun ideas for young kids from a couple who travel internationally as photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

Edinburgh was a beautiful adventure and I will treasure our time here.  Our boys have carried their swords with them everywhere since and their adventure on the “volcano” will never be forgotten.  I’m excited to share next about our time in St. Andrews.  Though just an hour and a half away from Edinburgh, it was a whole other world there.  Thank you for following our adventures and stay tuned the beginning of next week for more stories!

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Traveling to Scotland! – Footstone International Post 1!
July 12th, 2016

We have finally slowed down a bit on our trip and are able to start sharing some of our stories!  It’s been an amazing ride so far with significant ups and funny downs and we’re excited to update you on our journeys.

Paul, Win (8), Brasher (5) and I (Kristin), flew out of Orlando International Airport around 4pm on Tuesday, June 27th headed to Manchester, England then on to Edinburgh, Scotland where we’d be photographing a wedding on July 2nd.  This trip would be our 3rd international trip with our boys, but no matter how prepared we think we are, there are always surprises along the way.

One super helpful tip that I can share when traveling with young children is to be over-prepared with snacks.  We were embarking on a 12 hour flight and no matter how great your airline is or how much time you have in layovers, you can never depend on your airport or airline to adequately feed two young children.  Do you see the purple bag I’m carrying in the image below?  Yep… full of snacks!  I had tupperware containers of blackberries and grapes, a bag of popcorn, a bag of chips, apples, cookies, almonds, etc.  Paul thought I was ridiculous, but by the time we made it to Scotland, we had eaten our way through most of it!  And think of how much money that saved… just the bag of almonds alone would’ve been nearly $10 in an airport. (insert the emoji that’s rolling his eyes 🙂

Advice on traveling Internationally with children to Europe (specifically Italy and Scotland) from an amazing couple who are photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

Also notice in the image above that Brasher’s little cat, Hinley is now on his 3rd international trip as well.  This year B decided to bring along his jaguar as well.Advice on traveling Internationally with children to Europe (specifically Italy and Scotland) from an amazing couple who are photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternationalOne thing we learned from last year was that our regular headsets don’t fit in the small ears of our children.  I don’t know how many times we’d hear them shriek in frustration last trip because they couldn’t keep their headphones in.  And when it’s 2am your time and you’re five and you haven’t slept… this is quite a tragedy!  So we invested in kid friendly headsets and the boys were set!

Advice on traveling Internationally with children to Europe (specifically Italy and Scotland) from an amazing couple who are photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

When Paul first told me we were flying on Thomas Cook Airlines I went, “Who?!”  It’s a slightly scary thing to never have heard of an airline before but Paul had spent a lot of time reading reviews and said he felt really good about it.  Though this airline isn’t as common in the States, it is considered in Europe a reasonably priced ticket with great customer service.  Because the ticket was relatively inexpensive, we decided to upgrade to business class.  We had more leg room and they gave us this adorable little bag (and I always get really excited over little cosmetic bags like this!) with an eye mask, ear plugs, socks, a toothbrush and toothpaste plus headphones.  They walked the aisles with orange juice and champagne as soon as we sat down and delivered a relatively good dinner about an hour later.

We had individual monitors and lots of movies, kids movies included, to choose from.  Our boys never even asked for our iPad because they were perfectly happy with their choices.  I had to monitor the choosing process though because the kids movies showed up on the same screen as adult movies… I saw Win watching a movie with Ben Stiller and shrieked for him to turn it off.  But then he said it was “A Night at the Museum” and I apologized and then approved.Advice on traveling Internationally with children to Europe (specifically Italy and Scotland) from an amazing couple who are photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

We landed in Manchester at what would have been around midnight our time.  The boys nor I slept a wink on the flight over but I sneaked a few glances back at Paul who was sitting in the row behind us and I think he got a couple hours of shut eye.  What was supposed to just be 45 minute layover (which I wouldn’t suggest in the future… this meant a lot of running) turned into an almost three hour layover.

We made it to our gate which we would’ve walked right by because it was located in the middle of an empty hallway with no shops or conveniences close by of any kind (thank you snack bag) and just had a couple benches where no one was sitting.  I guess even though it was an international flight, when you’re in Europe, these are considered simple flights and no one shows until right before boarding? As we waited, I got a kick out of finding porridge in the vending machine.Advice on traveling Internationally with children to Europe (specifically Italy and Scotland) from an amazing couple who are photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

When it got close to boarding time we could tell there was a problem.  No attendant was standing at the gate yet and we looked out the window to what we assumed was our plane and saw two service men laying on top of it and pulling parts out and reassembling… comforting.  The fact that it was a purple prop plane was already disconcerting enough!  At this point, the boys starting shutting down quickly.  Brasher and Win both laid down on the empty benches and slept for almost two hours.  This is a dangerous circumstance because try waking up children at 3am after only sleeping two hours and ask them to walk upright and board a plane… risky!  But fortunately no tears were shed (just zombie like stares) as we finally boarded our purple prop plane for our last leg to Edinburgh.Advice on traveling Internationally with children to Europe (specifically Italy and Scotland) from an amazing couple who are photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

Here’s a quick video of my poor exhausted boys…

Finally around what felt like 6am our time, we landed in Ediburgh, Scotland and picked up our rental car.  Paul was aware that in Scotland the driver sat on the right and cars drove on the opposite side of the road.  Usually Paul is quite excited to drive and navigate new places, but he admitted this really freaked him out.  When the roads are already super narrow and many do not have lines to separate the lanes, driving on the “wrong” side isn’t as simple as one may think!

Here’s a video of us leaving the parking garage at the airport.  You’ll hear our friends Steven and Charlie (who are close friends with our Scotland Bride) chuckling with me in the background.  Paul is so brave!  Everyone else refused to try to drive the entire trip!

After Paul’s successful first drive and great navigation through the streets of Edinburgh, we made it to our adorable little apartment right near the city’s center.  Ashley and Scott, our bride and groom had gift bags waiting for us with snacks, caffeine, tylenol and other fun gifts.  We forced ourselves to stay awake because we have learned this the hard way…  no naps!  If you dare, you’ll spend three or four days of your trip trying to recover from jet lag.  Instead, we unpacked and got settled then went out for a meal… breakfast, lunch?  Who knows!  But we just walked across the street to an adorable little place that we’ll share pictures of in another post.
Welcome Bag gift ideas for wedding guests from the bride and groom for a Destination Wedding in Edinburgh Scotland - from www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternationalWelcome gift bag ideas for a wedding in Edinburgh Scotland from www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternationalAdvice on traveling Internationally with children to Europe (specifically Italy and Scotland) from an amazing couple who are photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternationalAn amazing place to Stay in Scotland - from Advice on traveling Internationally with children to Europe (specifically Italy and Scotland) from an amazing couple who are photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

Advice on traveling Internationally with children to Europe (specifically Italy and Scotland) from an amazing couple who are photographers - www.footstonephotography.com #FootstoneInternational

Our AirB&B was a perfect find and had an amazing view from the rooftop.  We’ll share those pictures soon as well.  We stayed awake until what was 8pm Scotland time and then we finally went to bed.  This first day is somewhat tortuous, but if you can manage to keep busy and not sleep until nighttime, I promise you’ll recover from the time change so much faster.  We awoke the next day about 7:30 or 8am (12 hours of sleep!) and felt great.  Our next post will be some of the beautiful landscape of Edinburgh and the fun things we did in the city.  The hardest part of the whole trip is over!  Thank you Lord for a safe trip!

 

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Ashley & Mike’s Outdoor Trail Engagement Session
July 5th, 2016

This adorable couple has been studying in Gainesville for several years now and after their wedding next Spring will be moving to South Florida.  To document this milestone in their lives, Ashley and Mike wanted the quintessential look and organic feel of what they’ve grown to love living in Gainesville.  Not to mention this area was even more special because it was where they were engaged.

Ashley and Mike met through mutual friends at a UF baseball game. Ashley told us she instantly had a crush on Mike, but tried so hard to hide it. When Mike finally asked her out, he won her over completely with his home cooked coconut curry and lovable personality.

Mike whisked Ashley away on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day for one of their favorite activities together – looking for shark teeth. Ashley told us Mike led them on a hike for what “felt like hours” until they came to a beautiful clearing on the creek.  There, he pointed out a “shiny object” in the shallow waters of the creek. That shiny object was a beautiful mother-of-pearl jewelry box that, *spoiler alert*, Mike had placed there for her to find! When he proposed with the gorgeous ring inside the box, Ashley was nearly too excited to answer!

She told us that Mike prompted her as she was admiring her brand new sparkle, “So.. is that a yes?!”

“Of course, I said “yes!” and then  we took a bunch of selfies. I skipped all the way back to the car. It was so perfect! Mike kept it a secret from everyone – he never told anyone about when or where he would propose, and it was so special that it was just the two of us.”

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Ashley shared with us, “As soon as we started dating, I knew he was the one with whom I wanted to spend the rest of my life!”

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When we asked Ashley how she would describe her relationship with Mike, she answered very simply: “More than I could have ever dreamed.”

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Ashley and Mike, we are so excited for your big day.  Thank you for allowing us the privilege of capturing your beautiful personalities and the chance to tell your love story.

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Footstone is heading to Scotland!
June 22nd, 2016

We are thrilled to share some exciting news today!  Many of you may have heard the buzz, but if not, we’re incredibly excited to announce that in 5 short days we’re heading to Scotland to photograph a wedding!

Ashley and Scott will be getting married at the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh.  This historic building dates back to the 1800’s and boasts a stately grand hall lined with royal columns, a library with floor to ceiling handmade oak cabinets featuring a vast collection of antique books and a stunningly ornate arched ceiling.  Paul and I (Kristin) cannot even begin to describe how excited we are to photograph at this unique and special venue in such an incredibly lovely city.  But what we are most excited about is spending the day with Ashley and Scott.

We have known Ashley’s family for about ten years and though we don’t get to see them often, they are some of our most favorite people in the world.  Paul and I, along with our boys, will head to Scotland early so we can have a few days to explore and play in St. Andrews and the countryside.  We’re excited to see the castles, cathedrals, cliffs and of course, the Old Course at St. Andrews Links.  The wedding is Saturday the 2nd and then on the 4th… we head to Italy!

It’s going to be an amazing adventure and we are incredibly grateful Ashley and Scott would choose us to be a part of it.  Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, IG and now SnapChat to see the adventure unfold!

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For our Mothers during the Month of May
May 13th, 2016

On Mother’s Day, Paul delivered a 5 foot long framed Panoramic Wall Portrait of all 27 of the Privettes to his mom.  It’s truly spectacular and we’ll share soon.  For my mother, we gave her a Framed Wall Portrait of one of her favorite pictures of our boys in Venice, Italy.  Yes, our family receives pictures quite often as holiday gifts!

Even though Mother’s Day has passed, we are celebrating our mothers the entire of month of May.  With your family session, you’ll receive a 10×10 Framed Fine Art Portrait as our gift.  You can customize the quote and the frame so it fits beautifully on the walls of your home.  We are honored and excited to get to work with you this Spring and thank you to all of our moms.  We hope you were celebrated and loved on this past weekend!

Wall Decor

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A Tender and Snuggly Outdoor Family Session
May 10th, 2016

We’re super excited to share a few portraits from this perfectly snuggly outdoor family session we had the honor of photographing this Spring.  This beautiful family lives on property that has been part of their lives for generations, and it is now where they call home.  Paul and I (Kristin) had visited the property once before and were very excited to photograph here.  We knew the time of day the sunlight would start to fall behind the trees and cast a soft warm light all over the property.  The mother of this adorable family, Sara, nailed their wardrobe with perfectly coordinating blues, greys and greens with a pop of yellow.  And personally, I think it’s always a good idea to put a little boy in a bow tie.  🙂

At the session, we started with the entire family first.  Then, my job was to chit chat with mom and dad so Paul could take the little ones off by himself and make magic happen.  He found his favorite spot in front of the family’s blue barn.  Who knows what Paul said to get the soft expressions or even what he said to make them laugh out loud.  But this is Paul’s favorite part when he’s able to capture the precious personalities of children.

Today was the day we delivered Sara’s wall portraits to her.  Yes, the images are beautiful here, but we can’t wait to show you what the wall portraits look like hanging on Sara’s walls.  The first portrait shown below will hang in the main room of their home over the fireplace.  It will be striking.

To Sara, David, Joseph and Madison… your family is so special and we are truly honored and grateful we could photograph you.   Sara, I enjoy talking about decorating and life with you and after all of our pretty projects are done, I still hope we find reasons to get together!

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Ella’s Fabulous Senior Session
May 5th, 2016

All we can do is… sighhhhh.

Ella is a beautiful soul inside and out and it was crazy fun and incredibly honoring to photograph her senior session.  She is a ridiculously intelligent young woman and her personality and style is simply fabulous.  We enjoyed every minute of photographing her and hope that we captured her heart in these portraits.

We designed a Senior Album for Ella that includes some of her favorite quotes from Marilyn Monroe and Maya Angelou.  Her Announcements were absolutely stunning and we’ll share a picture of those on the blog soon.  I want to make sure her friends and family receive them before we post them here!

To Ella and Dana and your entire family, we are honored we could share this milestone with you.  Ella, you are an incredible young woman and we’re excited to see what amazing things you do with your life.  Get ready world!  We have a feeling you’ll take it by storm.  🙂

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Thank you to Kara Winslow for Ella’s impeccable makeup.

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