I am SO EXCITED to share with you the 2021 Winter Wonderland Photo Session!
To give you a little refresher in case you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, back in November, I started a giveaway where you could nominate people who have had a rough year to win a free winter photo session with me! It was so exciting to read all the nominations and truly each person nominated deserved to win. It was so difficult to pick a winner! In years past, I’ve chosen the winners at random with different ways to enter. But I wanted this year to be very intentional. I think intentional is my “word of the year.” I’ll go more into that later I’m sure.
So I thought about it, I prayed about it, and decided on this nomination from one of my past brides, Richelle (you can see her wedding here!)
“I would like to nominate my best friend of 20 years to be able to have the chance to get a proper family photo. She always wanted to have one taken but never could get herself to pay good money for a good photo knowing that that money could be used to better her family. Her mother‘s been sick for quite some time. She sadly couldn’t even make it to my wedding last year. This year she’s been hospitalized a few times and were afraid this time she might not make it. Her mother has missed the birth of her second grandchild and her grandchild‘s first birthday, but has gotten to see photos while being in the hospital – which is helping her fight to stay with us all a little longer. I really, really think this would brighten her year up, and give her something more to show her mother.
She’s been a full time mom, support system and caregiver to her family, and beyond her household. If she were to win this it would make her so happy and I would love to see her smile through all the pain she is going through. Like me her mother is her best friend and after losing mine I know how she feels. To be able to take her mind off of the pain for even an hour would be a blessing and to have something to show her mother would be wonderful. Especially with the pandemic, her mother sadly has only gotten to see her daughters grow through photos over the last year. So I think her winning this would be so precious for them. Thank you Ellen for giving the opportunity to brighten someone’s day.”
I cried when I read that. I know so much how photos are a luxury that many people just can’t afford, but also how they also can keep people going in the hard times! I knew I had to pick Renee and her family to be the winner of the winter wonderland session.
I remember calling her to tell her she won, and she was so happy that she broke down and cried on the phone. She had no idea that Richelle had nominated her family and I’m sure she hung up immediately and called to thank her.
January came around, and we were preparing for their session when Renee’s mom passed away suddenly. I was so sad when I found out. We postponed their session until a later date to give them all some time to process and grieve.
Renee told me on Saturday that us postponing their session ended up being a gift from her mom! The day we originally planned for the session, there was no snow at all. I think it even rained a bit. But now, we had so much snow, and a beautiful day!
I had such a great time photographing Renee and BJ and their two girls at Oak Hollow Park in North Huntingdon! It can be hit or miss with young kids to whether or not they’ll want to be in the snow for long, but their girls had SO MUCH FUN! Their little one was not happy when we were all done and she had to go back to the car. She wanted to keep playing! It was so precious!
We were able to take some great photos for their family, had some fun playing in the snow, and they even went sledding down the big hill! With the ice we got a few days before, the hill was extra slick. They went down super fast! It was so much fun and I’m so excited to share these highlights of our time together!