laura + jeff + greyson

Filed in engagements, portraits shot by on at

Ahhhhhh!!! What a gorgeous day this was! Just look at that sky!! Actually, it was two different days, both with amazing blue skies, so the weather gods were definitely smiling down on this cute little family. Part one of our session with Laura and Jeff was at Griffis Sculpture Park, and as much as I have always loved this place, I have to say that I’ve never seen it look as good as it did on this day. We started out pretty early in the morning, and I remember quite vividly that there was a serious nip in the air! It was COLD!! But, as the day went on and the sun rose higher in the sky, it warmed up nicely, and literally became the perfect Fall day. Laura and Jeff are getting married next year, and we are so thrilled to be a part of their day! They are both so much fun to be around, and we had a great time chatting about everything under the sun as we strolled through the beautiful grounds of Sculpture Park. We can’t wait to hang with them again!! :)

How would you like to hear a crazy story?  Oh, you would?  Great…because boy do I have one to tell!  ;)  It’s not uncommon for us to run into some kind of “trouble” during a shoot.  Not that we go looking for it, mind you, but for some reason, people get “funny” about things like cameras and trespassing and private property.  I make every effort to avoid knowingly trespassing on private property because I hate creeping around and I hate getting “in trouble” even more, but there are times when we do it unknowingly, meaning no harm to anyone, and something weird and crazy happens.  This was one of those times.  The amazing tree (pictured below) was at the very far end of Sculpture Park, in a spot that made it difficult to tell whether or not it was part of the park.  I kind of knew that it wasn’t part of the park, since there was a barbed wire fence separating it from the road, but there were no signs, and Ben was pretty certain that it was NOT private property (and was laying on the peer pressure pretty thick).  As I stood there, trying to rationalize that this was an old cow fence for old cows of days gone by, Ben started setting up lights and stands, and before I knew it, Laura and Jeff were up in the tree and I was shooting…on the other side of the fence.  All of a sudden, I heard a noise, so I turned around.  There stood a hunter, in full camo, with a loaded compact bow about 12 inches behind me.  He said something to the effect of, “You can’t be here.  This is my uncle’s land.  You can’t be here.”  I apologized profusely, trying to explain that we didn’t see any signs, and that we were just taking some photos of the beautiful tree.  He didn’t care.  He again told us, “you can’t be here.  You have to go,” and he turned and walked back into the brush, as quietly as he came out.  So, Laura and Jeff hopped down, and we all made our way back to the safe side of the fence, confused and bewildered at the hunter’s strange behavior.  And, just when we thought it couldn’t get any weirder, the “uncle” came tearing up the road on a huge tractor.  He stopped to talk to us, and we all tried to explain at once that we didn’t see any signs, that we were taking engagement photos, and that we were terribly, terribly sorry for trespassing.  He just smiled a huge toothless smile, and said something that sounded unlike any language we had ever heard.  He was all gums.  It must have been “gum language.”  We understood his smile, though, which means “there’s no problem here,” in any language.

As you can probably imagine, we all had a pretty good laugh, and the story behind them makes me love these tree shots even more.  :)

Part two of our session with Laura and Jeff took place about a week later at Chestnut Ridge Park, so that their adorable little son, Greyson, could make an appearance.  He is SO cute!!  This part was pretty much a family session, but we were still able to grab a few shots of Laura and Jeff alone, while Greyson was still deciding whether or not he liked us.  ;)  Once again, they lucked out with an incredibly gorgeous Fall day.  We had an amazing time shooting this adorable little family!!

Laura and Jeff – thank you so much for spending some time with us! Great times were had during BOTH sessions…we really enjoyed shooting you guys! Thanks for being such good sports about the hunter/tree incident…not a story that will soon be forgotten! Greyson is ridiculously cute, and the three of you together are everything a family should be. We can’t wait to capture more wonderful memories for you at the wedding!! Much love, J + B :)

  • Laura Nightingale SAYS...

    Love, love, love!!!!!

    Thank you both for such fun shoots and amazing pictures. Having these moments fovever frozen in beautiful pictures means so much to us!!!

  • sharon gates SAYS...

    great shots of my son, future daughter, and beautiful grandson!!! can’t wait to see wedding pics know they will xtra special. sharon gates

  • Jeff Gates SAYS...

    Thanks Ben and Jenn!!!!

    The pictures are amazing and the experience has been comfortable throughout.

    We cannot wait to complete the process at the wedding!

    You both have been awesome!

    Your composition and editing are unparalleled.

  • Ayres Photography SAYS...

    Awwww, thank you so much, Jill!!! I really think Fall is my favorite season for photos (orange leaves and all), although, every season has its own little bit of magic. ;) Greyson is such a cute name…I love it! Can’t wait to meet him!!

  • Jill SAYS...

    OBSESSED with the shots through the orange leaves at Sculpture Park. My jaw literally dropped! Great photos, and I love little Greyson (my sister is having a Greyson of her own next month, and this made me even more excited about it all!). Great stuff, J & B!