September 25, 2019
Every portrait session is memorable for me. Sometimes, though, something absolutely insane happens to make them even more memorable. Brooke’s Senior session started out like most but it ended with me taking home two baby squirrels. What? You read that correctly. Let me rewind a bit.
Like many sessions in late Summer, Brooke’s session was rescheduled more than once. First, because of the impending hurricane forecast — that by the way, completely missed us. Secondly, due to rain. So when the day finally came and the weather was perfect, we were thrilled. Brooke and her mom met me out at one of the various battlefield parks in Spotsylvania, VA. I was super excited to return to that spot (a frequent place of shooting for me a few years back) and was waiting in my car when I saw Brooke and her mom. They looked very excited and asked me if I had seen the squirrels. My confusion cleared up pretty quickly when I looked where they were pointing and saw two baby squirrels. Apparently, while I was waiting in the car, Brooke and her mom had watched someone release the babies at the edge of the parking lot. I did what anyone would do — absolutely gawked and approached them. The three of us, along with two other good samaritans, coaxed them out of the parking lot and onto the wood line — because parking lots aren’t great places for tame squirrels. We realized exactly how tame they were when they began to climb on our feet and follow us around. One of the bystanders told me they would probably let me pick them up and sure enough, they all too eagerly climbed into onto my hand. It was an exciting and elevating feeling for all of about two minutes and then the man spoke my concerns into existence. “There’s no way they will survive out here, they’re completely tame.” I knew this already from the little knowledge I have about wildlife. I’m pretty sure at that point I made a joke about taking them home and then the man asked us if any of us had a purse we could put them in. Mind you, I hadn’t even started shooting yet — but all I had was my camera bag.
So after a quick call to Joey, I shot the entirety of Brooke’s session while the baby squirrels slept in my camera bag. Brooke’s mom was kind enough to babysit them until we were finished and I was able to take them home. Luckily for us (and Brooke’s mom stated, perhaps fate with all of those reschedules), Joey’s dad used to rehabilitate wildlife when he was a kid and offered to come and pick up the babies. That way, they could be introduced back into the wild slowly.
And of course we took photos with them! How could we not? You can see how tiny they are in Brooke’s hands — we estimated them to be only 3-4 weeks old. I lovingly nicknamed them Edie and Andy. So, when we talk about strange occurrences happening at sessions, this one takes the whole cake 🙂