For those who aren't new here, you'll know who this family is. For more on that story and Natalie's maternity session, click here. Last year around the same time and after shooting this session, we decided to make it an annual trip to Ottawa. This year we planned our visit with the Spencer family after shooting 3 September weddings and before shooting a Quebec engagement shoot. Wakefield, Quebec was on our path from the Spencer's home in Carp so things worked out perfectly. Or so we planned.
Nat and I frantically texted ideas back and forth about our styled shoot. The weather looked perfect and the backdrop of her grandparent's home awaited. Natalie had the teepee ready to be set up in the desired spot and noticed the neighbours had cut down all the gorgeous trees that we had planned as our backdrop. That was the least of our problems, so we would soon learn. We were making great headway. We had left our home at a great hour and were trekking along at a decent pace. Until the dead stop of traffic. There was a transport truck collision, and every side route we attempted had some sort of detour; a marathon, construction, traffic. We called Natalie's husband Lucas who maneouvered us through the country roads but things were looking grim. The sun was going down, it was well past their daughter Ellia's happy hour and we had been on the road for 8 hours. We texted each other: I'm going to cry.
With about 15 minutes to spare before it was completely black, we ran out of the car, quickly hugged, and although I hadn't seen her family in a year, had no time for pleasantries. The mosquitos were awful. There was no time for a re-do. We had planned this for over a year and now had 15 minutes to make it happen. You do what you gotta do. And this is what we captured.
After the shoot, we visited with Nat's grandparents and had an espresso in true Italian form. The Italians differ a bit from region to region. For example, in Hamilton, we pronounce their last name Pap-AY-lee-a. They pronounce it Pap-a-LEE-ah. Either way you say it, the Papalia's as always were hospitable and lovely to visit with. We stayed the night at Nat's gorgeous new home and ordered in take out from Lucas' bar. We treated ourselves to some drinks and chatted until the wee hours of the morning.
When the sun rose, we could hear the awakenings of the local Carp fair. We all went for a walk, exchanged hugs and promised to visit more often. Maybe one day, if we are very lucky, we will be on the other side of Nat's lens.
We love you, and a very special Happy Birthday to beautiful Ellia. You're such amazing parents.
p.s. A video from Ellia's first birthday, shot from her insanely talented sister Mercedes.