Last year’s Fall Mini Session season was….well… hectic to say the least. I remember coming to this location before my fall sessions were even announced to location scout and see if this would be a good spot for mini’s. As I was walking back to my car I noticed smoke starting in the distance. I remember thinking ugh, a fire started, bummer. I had NO idea the nightmare that was going on at that moment up in Paradise or how profound the Camp Fire would be.
I’ve lived in California my whole life, specifically the Bay Area and never have I experience going over a month with constant, intense smoke filling the air. My fiance having to close down his gym for a few days because it wasn’t safe for kids to practice their acrobatics, my daughters dance studio following suit and kids having to stay home from school. There was a day I was driving home and I could barely see in front of me on the freeway it was so thick. Mind you, we are over 3 hours away and it was like our own town was on fire.
I cried. So many times. I cried for the stories that were hitting the news of lives lost. I cried for the people I know in Chico dealing with worse conditions than us. I cried for the beautiful town of Paradise which was gone. I just remember wondering if it was ever going to get better.
In the midst of all this, my fall mini sessions were starting and so began the task of rescheduling depending on the conditions that day. Some days it actually seemed like the smoke was lifting and so we were able to keep the session. This day was one of those days where we woke up and the day seemed almost clear, hallelujah! So we decided to move forward with our mini session. It wasn’t until just before we arrived that the smoke started to roll back in. We decided to go with it and pretty much nailed this beautiful family’s fall mini session in about 15 minutes!
Although the smoke was stemming from a terrible event, it added an interesting characteristic to these portraits that although I find incredibly beautiful, I hope we never experience again. Mother Nature definitely stamped her mark on these portraits and we’ll always remember when the unfortunately historic Camp Fire ripped through Northern California.
I can’t get over how sweet these pictures are of brother holding his little sister’s hand as they walk along the path together. I hope they always share this close bond. I know the town of Paradise is still rebuilding and can still use donations.
Click here to see ways you can still help!