I'll admit, I was really worried that morning when I was driving down to see them. I missed my first exit. Everyone else on the two lane, windy road decided it was "drive 10 miles under the speed limit day." I got there late. The sky was hazy and not at all the lighting I had hoped for. It was cold, and I was afraid that very shortly into the shoot people would start getting cold and would get stiff... making for stiff looking photos.
But, I had underestimated the Hogan family.
They were all brilliant and their personalities all constantly bounced off one another to make for a perfect shoot.
The haze cleared away and the cloud cover was beautiful. They wanted to show me the treehouse they'd built. I wanted to take pictures of them IN the treehouse they'd built.
I could have spent the entire two hours just in their backyard. Everything was exactly perfect. Col. and Mrs. Hogan, who have been married over 20 years, were absolutely adorable. Kelly, Melissa, and David have all very different personalities. They all blended to make the most hilarious mix ever. Throw a little Italian in the gene pool and you can't help having a blast. The dogs, Winston and Shadow, chased each other around the yard at dangerous speeds and then ran up to give very happy, messy kisses.
And we found trains!!! I'd been eagerly searching for some old train tracks and train cars to do a shoot on since roughly.... four years ago. Nothing I'd found was satisfactory. When I told Kelly this, she told me that there was an old track not far from where we were going to be. When we got there... I think I died and went to heaven.
So many unexpected things happened that increased the joy and the fun.
As Melissa put it.... "A day with the Hogans isn't just a day. Its an adventure."