What began as an exploration in bringing the outdoors inside of my studio during portrait sessions with little ones three years ago, evolved this year into moving them outside entirely. The ‘Lost and Found’ series are nature-based photo sessions I hold once or twice a year, asking each little one to spend some time in nature and find a fascinating object they’d like to share. Sometimes I see wonderfully crafted objects like flower crowns hand-woven by local florists or last minute roadside wildflower up-rootings. Sometimes the child and their parent pick something together, like the skull of a deer their dad hunted and they harvested together as a family.
Every time I hold these sessions, there are new surprises and endless stories to be told. This year, I finally made the decision to move that facilitation of bringing natural wonder indoors to truly take that feeling full circle because I feel that the never-ending divinity in natural structures is entrancing to all, young and old, and appears magical, invoking a sense of wonder and awe. That is exactly the essence I yearn to capture during photography sessions and much easier to do when children hold flowers, feathers and shells or roadside shrubs with roots dangling wild and free beside their young faces. It’s a curiosity, a true sense of wonder and an honest capture of their innate nature in a specific moment in time.
“Rene’s pictures preserve Juniper’s particular wide, beautiful smile and soulful brown eyes perfectly. They capture the magic and wonder that is just below my daughter’s skin. They capture her innocence but at the same time her deep ancient knowing. I also love that Rene’s photos create for my daughter proof of her strength, courage, and wonder: they create a kind of reality for Juniper that is, perhaps, more beautiful and real than her real-life reality. She can look at her pictures and see her inner world represented in the outer world. And for us grownups, they are beautiful, fine works of art. They will be on our walls forever,” says Meg Winnecour of her daughter Juniper’s participation in the Lost and Found sessions.
As someone who is most comfortable in nature, I feel the outside world truly provides the most stunning landscape. That comfort holds us and evokes a stillness and peace that you can’t find indoors. Our bodies simply attune to the outside world and awaken our senses to the divine order of creation. That is exactly why the majority of my work is done in a natural setting—whether it’s family portraiture or a wedding party. I’m inspired watching the feeling it invokes and being able to capture that moment is magic.
“We always look forward to our shoots with Rene. They are as much fun for Juniper and me as they are productive. They’re a chance for Juniper to dress up and play– be a fairy or an owl or a snow queen– and for me to sit back and watch another adult connect in a deep, real way with my kiddo. It is such a treat,” says Winnecour.
Next Sessions will be on October 15th, 2016
Enjoy the images below from my latest Lost and Found session…..
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