As soon as I blocked the dates on my calendar for a visit to Cleveland, Meghan began brewing up potential locations for the photo session she wanted me to conduct while I was in town. Meghan and her family (her husband Ryan, and their twin boys Lincoln and McCann) are active in their church, so she decided the church/convent grounds where they spend a great deal of time would make for a perfect backdrop.
The day of the shoot was gorgeous. After capturing some photos inside the convent, we headed outside to take photos on the beautiful paths and sprawling grounds. Linc and Mac –joined by their parents, their doting grandpa, and their adoring friend Sister Adele– wandered straight to the the gardens. Once inside the gardens, they zeroed in on a water feature. The evening was a warm one and Linc and Mac are true water babies, so naturally they wouldn’t miss an opportunity for a good splash. As soon as backs were turned, the boys ran straight to the fountain and began running their fingers through the cool water. Although it wasn’t in the plans, boys will be boys, and we let them have at it as we all looked on admiring their spunky spontaneity. After soaking themselves through and through, they were changed into clean diapers and overalls (which their mom luckily had stowed in the trunk from a recent outing) and we set off toward the back of the grounds for the second half of the session.
As we walked down a path, two year old Lincoln –as if drawn by an invisible hand– veered from the stone walkway and began toddling through the convent’s modest cemetery. As Meghan called to him, I adjusted my camera settings to accommodate for the fading light and then, holding the camera at chest height, grabbed a few shots to test my settings.
I hadn’t had an opportunity to view most of the photos from this session until just a few days ago. As I grazed past these ‘test shots’, my fingers moved to click delete. But then I saw something that made me hesitate. I grabbed the mouse and zoomed in upon the center of the frame. There stood Lincoln, nearly 50 yards away from the rest of us, at the edge of the cemetery, raising his arms toward the sky. By happenstance he had entered the frame just as I had released the shutter. I looked closely. My heart stopped.
The expression on his face is so sincere, it makes the hair on my arms stand on end. Maybe I’m crazy, but I believe his eyes surely see something I don’t. I’ve posted a few of these photos in this blog. I’d be surprised if goosebumps don’t appear across your skin when you scroll past them.
As for the rest of the photos, I’ll let them tell their own stories…