On Sunday afternoon Matthew and I held four family mini sessions on Panorama Farms just outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. We were delighted with the weather, the landscape, and—above all—the children. First of all, their outfits were amazing. Nine-year-old Ike worships Justin Bieber, thus he arrived in full urban regalia, boasting not one but two gold chains. The R&B teen idol fashion theme might not have corresponded to the rural location, but we went with it, and managed to bring the farm out of the boy/Bieber.

Taking a breather from break dancing.

Taking a breather from break dancing.

The little girls E and M wore cowboy boots and black patent leather shoes, respectively. Baby J wore a hat that his darling mother insisted was a “bucket,” not a bonnet, because buckets are a far more masculine accoutrement than what Little Bo Peep wears. And the little boys wore collared shirts, just like their daddies.

Hey Dad, we match!

Hey Dad, we match!

Matt likes to experiment with placing objects in the foreground of his photographs. We found a field of grain that the kids enjoyed roaming around in, and used the blades of grass to create an ethereal atmosphere. The stalks of wheat that M is holding so sweetly were originally used to tickle her nose.

Full-on angelic.

Full-on angelic.

One of the cutest moments of the day was when lifelong friends L and E trotted up the farm lane hand in hand. It was like seeing a vision of their future prom night. Only the corsages were missing. L is usually bold and rambunctious, but when leading E by the hand (and occasionally being led), he was a perfect gentleman. If these two are still besties in 15 years, I hereby declare that we will shoot their portraits for free. But they have to wear the same outfits.

Boy and girl holding hands on country lane

That’s right, just ease it in there.

At the end of the day, we’d shot holiday card photos for all the families, and collected an entire field of grass in our tennis shoes. Next time we shoot in the country I’ll have to take a page from E’s book and wear cowboy boots—far more practical.

Sassy sister and her little brother