Springfield, MO is home to the Botanical Gardens at Nathanael Greene Park. If you ever have a chance to come to Springfield, make sure this park is on your list. This particular day was warm. Not a cloud in the sky. The temperatures felt like summer, but the scenery looked like fall. Literally, you could not pick a more perfect day in October. The park was bursting with people. People walking on the trails. Kids riding their bikes. Families laughing in the shade. Everyone is getting outside for those last few beautiful days until winter makes its appearance.
As I arrived, Abby’s family was waiting in the rose garden under the gazebo. Her grandma was there, her parents, and her sister’s family. Our first mission was to get pictures of the entire group and then break out into Abby’s and her sister’s families. My shoutout goes to this whole group. If you’re reading this, you guys nailed it!! We got a shot where everyone, including little Dovie, was looking at the camera. I know you can’t see me as I write this, but know that I am celebrating because that is no easy feat.
Small disclosure, I do take a lot of photos ;) I also apologize to Grandma Hall. I made her get in the middle of her two granddaughters and while I was snapping photos I gave the prompt for them to look at each other. Abby and Samantha immediately turned to look at their grandmother, but Grandma Hall was forced to pick one or the other. Abby jokingly mentioned how whoever she looked at was her favorite. We settled for her looking at me lol but Abby and Samantha, I can assure you she loves you both a TON!!
Abby’s dad was a hoot!!! He kept the tone of the session lighthearted and everyone smiling. I think his toughest crowd was Dovie :D We got some leg kicks, some silly faces, some wrestling moves. You name it!!! We also had a furry friend as part of the crew. Patti is a 12 week old puppy who was ECSTATIC about life! Also named after the Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes. For this reason, I fully approve of her name. She wanted to be a part of everything. Her shining moments came later though in a smaller group setting ;)
After completing the large group photos, Abby’s family (Gabe, Charlie, and Dovie) and her sister’s family (Samantha, Joe, Treyton, Brooklyn, Patti) headed to a new spot for some more pictures. Shoutout to Patti! This puppy is a master poser and we got her to look straight at the camera. She was a rockstar. Brooklyn and Treyton, thank you for being troopers. I know it was a lot of hugging and hand holding, but you did it!!!
We took photos of Abby’s family next and my main mission was to get a photo of Dovie and Charlie smiling in the same picture. WE DID IT!!! Not only that, but we got several of Dovie and Charlie smiling together. Gabe and Abby cracked me up lol Apparently Dovie is not a fan of doing anything that someone else wants her to do. As she was sitting in the wagon eating a snack, Gabe says “This is Dovie’s natural habitat.” I might have snapped a photo of that moment just for memories! Charlie, whenever you’re older and reading this, I want you to know that you tried your absolute hardest to help Dovie get in a photograph with you! She was not feeling a lot of the photos, but you tried to do all of the things we asked you to do. High five bud!
One more final story for the session, Charlie and Brooklyn were having a great time! Charlie was getting a piggyback ride from Brooklyn and I had them stop to take a photo since they were conveniently right next to Dovie. Dovie looked at the camera and we got a great photo! Once I gave the go ahead that we were done with the shot, poor Brooklyn turned too fast and may have ran into Dovie 🙈 I swear you could feel all the adults around saying “oh no, oh no, oh no” in their heads because we had just got Dovie to relax. It may have taken a bit for her to settle down again. 😂 Poor Dovie!!!
As we wrapped up, the sunset gave a beautiful orange glow across the park. I actually think more people were there as we were leaving then when we arrived. A big thank you to this family for giving me the opportunity to capture memories! I hope you cherish these photos for years to come. Chuck, Jackie, Grandma Hall, Samantha, Joe, Treyton, Brooklyn, Abby, Gabe, Charlie, and Dovie. I hope that I get to have the chance to capture more memories of you all in the future!!! You guys are the best.
P.S. The pie was delicious!!! Thank you so much.