So from January (yes, that's seriously when I tell him what I want, she books up fast!) alllllll the way to the summer time when we have our session (which, since it's insanely hot and humid EVERY year, I'm beginning to rethink the timing, here!), Jeff, Caits and I go back and forth on location, ideas, and (last minute) outfits! Since my family and I are anything but typical, we always try to think of something different, fun, and just us!
Last year Caits managed to find the PERFECT building that just screamed "DEBS FAMILY". It was retro, it was yellow and green, it was striped....helllllo gorgeous!! And, AND! I had managed to pick out retro inspired outfits----can you say PERFECT?! So, of course, this year had to be just as perfect! We went back and forth on some ideas, some awesome, some not so much....and finally decided that we wanted to get our family pictures done at Eastern State Penitentiary. Yeah, a REAL old school Jail, that is totally up my alley :) (Seriously, I've lived in this city for 10 years now, and I've never been there--truly a crime!) We were all so excited! Jeff emailed them to check photography policy, to make sure we didn't need any kind of special permission, we got the all clear, and preparation went on! (Yeah.......remember this sentence!)
Finally, the big day arrived! We managed to show up with minimal fighting from the kids (who were equally as excited to be going to a prison), all outfits managed to survive the drive downtown and the short walk from the parking lot. We were ready to go. We met up with Caits outside the prison where there was a rather large French Tour Group also waiting to go in. Once they opened, we walked in, paid for our tickets, then patiently waited while the large tour group passed by to get started. That's when it all went down! We hadn't gotten 2 pictures in when we were approached by someone telling us that we weren't "allowed" to take pictures. My wonderful husband said that he had gotten permission, and first guy walked away........to find someone else. 2 more pictures in (after waiting for another group to pass--we didn't want to be in anyone's way, so we were sure to let people pass!), all hell broke loose! Another person proceeds to tell us that "models" aren't allowed. We explained that we are NOT models (HA!), and that we checked the policy before hand. She proceeded to ask for the email, then went on to tell us that she couldn't allow us to stay, because you're not allowed to model. And, by her words, any "giving of instruction to a person" is considered modeling, and that they would even tell Grandmother's and Mother's telling their children to "stand there and smile" to leave. WOW!!!! By this time, we were all getting upset. We left to find a manager, and Jeff had a "chat" with some people in the Visitation Room, while Caitlin and I took a selfie to commemorate being kicked out of the Jail (which she posted to Instagram saying that we were being kicked out.....and ESP LIKED it!!! What?!?!?!). Well, once we left, you can imagine how everyone was feeling.....kids were upset because they wanted to see everything, Jeff was upset because of the really REALLY poor and unclear policy (as well as the poor customer service), and Caitlin and I were scrambling with ways to save the day!
Needless to say, since she's so amazing, we DID save the day! We used their outside wall (HA! You can't tell US no!), and found some other great places to take pictures. One of the things that's great about Philly, there's a plethora of places to take pictures! Caitlin worked her magic, and we walked away with so many AMAZING photographs, and such a fun story, too! Well, once the anger subsided anyway!
Now......to start planning something to top this year! We LOVE you Caits!!!! Thank you SO much for such wonderful memories. You always know just how to capture the moments that are special. And just so US! Seriously, if you don't choose me to take your family's pictures.....then I very VERY highly recommend Caitlin! (Again, though, I'm biased!)
Here are just some of the most special images from that day! Including some new Headshots she did for me! Enjoy!
(All images are copyright of Photography by Caitlin Domanico, LLC)