When I first met Toanie, I marvelled at her calm nature. For a mama of two boys, Gavin who is 13, and Kane who is just barely a year old, her personality is just cool as a cucumber, and I admire the heck out of her for it.
The kind of kids you dream about having
When I met her family down at the river bottom in Lethbridge, I immediately understood how her demeanour had been shaped by her sons. Both of her kids, while vastly different in age, had such similar personalities. They were both relaxed, easy going and the kind of kids you dream about having when you think about becoming a parent.
This woman was strong
Although Toanie and I didn't chat much about life as a single mother, I got the impression that this woman was strong. So very, very strong. And that she could carry the emotional and physical weight of raising these two boys, without batting an eyelash.
Finding a new rhythm
As I photographed them, I could see the new connection that they had built together, as their family had grown from one son, to two. I could tell that Gavin wasn't entirely sure how everyone would fit together in their new lives, but that through his reserved, watchful nature, he found a new rhythm as he and Kane formed a very strong bond as brothers.
Big brother was his guide
In the beginning of our session together, Kane was inseparable from Toanie, which is usually fairly common when little ones have a big camera pointed towards them. But as Kane realized that the camera couldn't hurt him, he began to venture out more to see what Gavin was up to. I could see that mama was his protector, and big brother was his guide to all the cool things in the world.
An inseparable bond
All three of them were so happy to explore the river bottom together, and Toanie explained that they had actually been here the week prior, and came to this location often together to hang out as a family. I love shooting in locations that have meaning to each family because it makes their images that much more important and special to them.
Our session that evening had been sprinkled with little bouts of rain, but I knew it was getting close to the end when we all heard a distant rumble of thunder. I photographed as long as I could before the rain really started coming down. And it was at this point that I saw little Kane was happily chasing after Gavin, in what will grow to become the theme of their brotherhood I am sure.
So Toanie, if you're reading this, thank you so much for inviting me into your family's adventures to photograph these moments. Sometimes it's the most simple ideas that produce the most beautiful results, and I think that's certainly the case with your images. It was so lovely to spend an evening getting to know your family, and to witness the strength and bond of all three of you. You are truly lucky to call those boys your own!