Back in July, I got my favourite kind of email - a request from a fellow American (and southerner to boot) asking me if I could a photo shoot while she and her husband were visiting Europe. So last week, I had the pleasure of strolling through an unusually chilly Amsterdam with Abigail and Tim to take photos of them chilling with (but not in) the canals on the second to last day of their Eurotrip. Thanks for finding me, Abigail!
Lauren and her husband Karl came to Groningen from California, and thus share my struggle to find decent Mexican food here in the land of the Dutch. Lauren was a friend of my friend and client Erin, and we both assumed we would end up meeting at some point due to the mutual Americanness in Groningen, but I decided to just introduce myself, and almost immediately Lauren asked me to do a maternity shoot for her. The international love continues!
Aside from always enjoying meeting other expats here in the north, Lauren also recommended to me a totally decent Mexican restaurant in Leeuwarden, which brings me joy, too :)
It is always especially fun to work with clients who are a little bit crazy in a good way, and the Permentier family definitely set a new standard for hilarity during our photoshoot a couple of weeks ago. I know Irene through Stichting Didi, and I had a great time with her sister-in-law, Christy (a fellow American in the Netherlands) and her brother Matthieu when I did a newborn shoot for their little girl, Eleanor, this spring. She has gotten even cuter since our first shoot, and she's a healthy, smiling addition to a family that is big on smiling.
Falling in love with a place is not so different from falling in love with a person, especially if either that place or that person happen to be thousands of miles away from the place you come from. This place-and-person love is something that Erin and I have more intensely in common than most: Erin, originally from North Carolina (Winston-Salem, even!), chose somewhat randomly to study abroad in Groningen, subsequently fell in love with a nice Dutch guy (René), and is now living here in this special Dutch city running her own business. It's a trajectory I know incredibly well: it is exactly the same origin story for how I came to be living here myself! Erin just happened to do it about 10 years before, so I was following her example without realizing how parallel it was until she introduced herself to me about a year ago. She and I have happily become friends since then, and it's so satisfying to have someone with the exact same background of sweet tea and Southern living with whom you can talk about the charms and weirdness of our new adopted culture. Above all, it is inspirational to see another American and Dutch love story being celebrated in such a beautiful place - congratulatons, Erin and René, and thank you guys so much for letting me be a part of your day.
This is Eleanor, she is tiny, and she is very patient. Her aunt, my friend Irene through Stichting Didi, asked me to take photos of her newborn niece in Den Haag, and I was happy to oblige! Eleanor's mom, Christy, is American, and her dad, Matthieu, is Dutch, and these two actually met in the exact same way as my fiancee and I - she studied abroad, fell in love, and got her Dutch significant other much more into American college sports. They are a great family, and it was a fun time hanging out with them in their beautiful apartment in the center of Den Haag, along with their four pet rabbits. One of the bunnies makes a cameo in the shoot, and almost every toy Eleanor has is also a bunny of some kind, so it wound up being a bit of a theme.
And so, a month after doing a maternity shoot with her mom and dad, I got to spend the afternoon taking photos of Anna. She is already such a laid-back and pleasant personality, much like her mom. I channeled a little Anne Geddes (hopefully in a good way), since there's is simply no way around the preciousness of a newborn, and I'm looking forward to getting to see her grow up!
Michelle's mom has been staying with the family since shortly after Anna was born, so we wanted to get a multigenerational photo while she is here visiting from America.
When Dutch families have a child, it's traditional to put up the congratulations cards up in the house on display, so I figured we may as well have a photo of the reason for all the cards. Congratulations, my friends!
Merry Christmas and fijne feestdagen! Today I'm blogging from the quiet Frisian village of Warns, taking it easy on tweede kerstdag, as it is called here. But, way back this summer, I was lucky enough to end up in the same level two Dutch class as another awesome American woman who's now calling Groningen home. Michelle and Jeroen were so nice to work with, they're just effortlessly photogenic and were very sweet with each other, and their soon-to-arrive baby. It was an unbelievably beautiful day in Groningen on Christmas eve, and I really enjoyed getting to be a part of this time with them.