In May I entered a contest via the Women of Vienna Facebook page to win a free maternity shoot – and I won! I was pumped, because not only did I win something for the first time in ages, and not only was it free, but I won without having to tag 3 friends and follow 20 other people I know nothing about and will later unfollow who also want me to tag 3 friends then share about my having tagged 3 friends in a tweet and a Facebook post and even a Google+ post if I’m feeling wild all to maybe possibly but most likely not win a photo shoot.
I won a maternity shoot with GL Photography, a charming husband-wife duo from Argentina who, despite having lived here for a short period of time, have already been well received by Vienna’s most popular photographers and photography groups. GL Photography teamed up with a small but flourishing little business, Handmade Hairbands, in order to feature not only their own talent, but the talent of the women behind the beautiful hairbands. I have a weakness for anything flowers-in-hair, so for me this was crazy exciting.
First of all, it’s important you know that Lucila, the “L” in GL Photography, has the patience of an angel. Before the shoot, she told me I could bring Will and Elliott along to join me in the photo shoot, and since Will and I very recently realized we don’t have a single family picture of the 3 of us all looking at the camera at the same time, I readily agreed to bring them along. Dressing them was no simple task, and I wanted the shoot to be as perfect as possible, so I sent Lucila several pictures of Will’s clothes. And my dress. Then Elliott’s clothes. I even went to the mall and took pictures of possible shirts for Elliott in case her “outfit vision” was different from mine and sent them to her. If I annoyed her with my “Is this okay?!?!” messages, she never showed it. She happily guided me through the outfit-picking process without complaints or a cease-and-desist form.
We met up with Lucila and her husband Gabriel, the “G” in GL Photography, in one of Vienna’s most beautiful gardens, Volksgarten. If you’ve never been to this particular garden, make it part of your must-see list during the spring and summer months. There are roses absolutely everywhere – it’s breathtaking. We immediately hit it off with Lucila and Gabriel, Elliott included. So far, Elliott doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to family pictures. He’s either been cold or cranky, or cold and cranky, which has made for some pretty… interesting results. But we were filled with hope this time around because he was warm and outside and with his Oma (that’s german for grandma).
What’s wonderful about Lucila and Gabriel is how quickly they make you feel comfortable when the rest of your body wants to feel uncomfortable. Photo shoots make me hyper-aware of everything I’m doing – how I’m sitting, how my head is tilted, how I smile, how badly I need a hair cut. Then when you add a husband and squirmy toddler to the mix, the hyper-awareness only increases. It’s enough to make a person crazy. But Lucila and Gabriel were calm and smiley, and made our family feel like rock stars. They showered us with compliments which upped our confidence, they had tons of ideas for how we should be positioned while also allowing for ideas of our own, they even let Elliott inspect their photography equipment and used those moments to snap pictures of him being himself.
My favorite part of the entire photo shoot experience with GL Photography can be summed up in the picture below and I will try to write why without getting all emotional about it:
Ha – ok. Can’t do it without emotions. Anyway, over the last, well, 21 months, I’ve learned that getting pictures taken with a baby/toddler is a purely stressful event. Not fun – stressful. And I said earlier, Elliott has greatly disliked each and every instance we’ve hauled him outside so friends of ours could take pictures of him being cute. It’s also stressful because as the parent, you’re praying your kid will sit still for just like, 2 seconds and not frustrate the photographer. Is that too much to ask? Well yes, apparently. Elliott loves being outside, but he likes to be free. He wants to explore and touch every blade of grass he sees, not sit and pretend like he loves being kissed by his parents. But this picture is everything. Lucila and Gabriel could have been frustrated that Elliott wandered into a picture he wasn’t supposed to be in. They could have let me shoo him off, which I started to do when I spotted him walking toward me. They could have put down the camera and waited in awkward silence for Elliott to find something else to do. But they didn’t do any of those things. Instead, they told me to go with it. They invited him to be himself and continue on with his mission, which in the picture above, was to gift me with rocks. That’s another reason why I love this picture so much. They perfectly captured my current relationship with my son. When Elliott wants to give me something, it’s either a single rock or a handful of rocks. And I love those rocks. I don’t keep them, but I love every single one of them, because he gave them to me. Now I have one of those moments frozen in time and I couldn’t be more thankful for it.
We absolutely adored our experience with GL Photography and are looking forward to working with them AGAIN after Lucy is born. If you’re looking for talented, incredibly friendly, confidence-boosting photographers, GL Photography is who you need to contact. And as an incentive – if you contact them and give them my name you will get 20% off of your photo shoot!!!! Their package price is already very reasonable so the additional -20% makes it an even sweeter deal, and this is coming from someone who searches high and wide for reasonable prices. If you have questions about the shoot or about the price+discount, you can of course ask me or contact them directly through their Facebook page. If you want to get to know them on a more personal level and check out their photography, definitely check out Lucila’s blog at The Light in the Road. Lots of amazing stuff in there.
Again, don’t forget about the -20% if you give them my name. Now go schedule your photo shoot!