It's been a looooong time since I had a family brave enough to schedule a morning session! As soon as we were done, I was asking myself why I don't do these more often, especially at this dreamy fall location. It was chilly, and I was so impressed with how well all of the kids did, and they even just recently moved here from the south. My own kids have lived in CO most of their lives and would not have been that cooperative in the cold.
The little boy apparently was a snake lover. Before we started walking down the trail, Mom and Dad kept reminding him that they might see a snake out in the woods. I pointed out that it was cold and we probably wouldn't see them (mostly to just reassure myself that I wouldn't see any than anyone else ha ha), and they told me they realized that and just noted that they were just saying it to keep the little guy motivated to smile.
On our way out of the woods, we stopped by the river for a few last shots. Mom wanted some of just her and the little guy, so I stepped into the grass near some kind of animal hole and told him to come look, that there might be a snake down in the hole to get him to come over. And then I looked down myself, and what did I see?? An actual snake. I jumped out of the way while the family did the opposite and crowded around it. It was not moving (there was still tons of frost all around, it was likely just frozen), so Dad comes over and actually lifts it up. I was terrified, because I had no idea if it was a rattle snake or not or if they had any idea if it was a rattle snake or not (later discovered Dad hunts, he knew what he was doing). It was a very long bull snake with a large bulge by the neck that was very likely it's last meal making it's way down. I was equal parts terrified and fascinated, as I am with most slithery slimy creatures.
Look at the little man's face!!! He was ecstatic. We actually saw a snake on our shoot after all. He was so thrilled, they actually tossed the thing in his soccer bag in their car and took it home (only later to discover that it was either dead when we found it or nearly there, and I was told that the little guy and Dad decided they wanted to find out what it had eaten and had a little dissection adventure...blarf, ha ha).
I handled myself okay considering my first instinct was to just grab my bag and run back to the car every-man-for-himself style. It would be my worst nightmare to have my clients find, pick up, and then get attacked by any kind of snake. Thankfully it was more of a creature study than a battle, but even despite the snake, I came away wanting to get back out there at sunset ASAP.
Gorgeous family, gorgeous light.