Fun Family Photos For A Deployed Daddy

Fun Family Photos For A Deployed Daddy


A few things to celebrate today! This week marks the Matty blog’s 5th birthday. Really hard to believe I’ve been mashing away on my keyboard, sharing my photo adventures for that long already. Over 300 posts, averaging a post every 5 days for 5 straight years. Pretty cool. I have over 6 months worth of shoots I still need to bring to the blog, but that’ll take some time. If you are a regular reader of mine, you know I don’t mindlessly toss some photos up on the wall and explain the obvious (“here is a picture of a person’s face…”), and I like to give you little nuggets of insight into the shoots themselves and the people in them. To me that is interesting and I don’t feel like it will bore the crap out of your day for reading them. But, “interesting” takes time, so in-time I’m hoping that the bulk of those shoots will grace the blog. And, of course, today is Halloween, so I thought I’d share a recent shoot involving some more fun costumes.

My relationship with the Lemen family started half a year ago when Eric and Sara, along with their munchkins, Preston and Isabelle, visited me at the studio to begin building a family photo concept. After a great consult, excitement and planning started, however, before we got the project off the ground, Eric was unexpectedly deployed with super short notice. Sara already had a master plan in the works when she broke the news to me. Plan B, aka “Sara is an awesome wife/mom,” was to completely reproach the shoot. Now it would be a surprise present for husband/father Eric, who was thousands of miles away from his family. Photos of Sara with her son and daughter having fun and being silly. Our goal was to make Eric smile and laugh, seeing his family being goofy just for him, that they were thinking of him. It was a great idea, something to keep his spirits up! We decided on an in-home setting and the local playground for the shoot to give it a more personal, recognizable touch to resonate with Eric . We planned three concepts: 2-year old Isabelle’s tea party with her stuffed animals, 4-year old Preston’s ninja-like sneaking abilities, and then a fun cowboy/bad guy/damsel in distress shot of the trio.

First up to bat was sweet little Isabelle. We utilized her cute room and busted out the cookies for the tea party. A great addition to this series was a military stuffed animal which framed a photo of Eric’s face on the doll. I’d never seen those before and got a kick out of it.




Sharing a cookie with dad.

I’d heard tales of Preston, a little guy who loves to be sneaky. I tell you what, Sara was not joking! That little guy was like that crazy bird, Kevin, from the movie ‘Up!’, with the way he’d effortlessly move about and be somewhere completely different between the split seconds you blinked your eyes. He wasn’t even trying, that was just his nature! When he turns 18 he can just go straight into the field working as a secret agent, no training necessary. Watch out, Mr. Bond, you’ll be meeting your match in about a dozen years when this kid is gets the green light. When we were coming up with ideas for the shoot, Sara thought this would be a fun side of Preston to showcase. We came up with a series to tell the story of Preston doing what he does every day – sneaking treats with ninja precision and then getting caught.




We did shoot a couple of the troupe in front of the house. I setup a light only to look back and see Preston already up on the deck’s handrail (standing on it) giving a salute. That kid.





The best was for last. We headed out to the playground which was literally one house away, pretty lucky kids! Preston was our cowboy/sheriff out to save his mom (damsel in distress) from the evil sister. Being early October, it was easy to locate all the extra little props needed. Both kids got facial hair drawn on, and we all got a laugh when Isabelle got her beard stubble and brows. Alice did an awesome job with Preston’s mustache too!

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Fun photos, right?! We were all laughing and having a good time. And the perfect ending to boot, Sara got ahold of me the day before their photo review, Eric surprised her with another unexpected piece of news. This time it was good news, he’s back quicker than expected from his deployment and here to stay. So he got the chance to come in for the review and enjoy the slideshow and help select his favorite prints! A shoot for the whole family to enjoy for generations. Thanks, Lemen family, for letting me bring this to life!






Happy Halloween, Lemen Family, and everyone else!