Winter at the Missouri Botanical Gardens | St. Louis Family Photographer

Baby, it's COLD outside. More like frigid. Frosty. Wintry. Miserable. Wretched. Wait, wait, wait! This post is getting off to a bad start! Don't get me wrong. I love cold weather... only when there is snow! We should have something pretty in exchange for having to wear so many layers just to get to our cars.

This time of year in St. Louis can be difficult for photographers. There are limited places to go with a family that can provide shelter from the elements. But, from time to time, St. Louis provides a nice day in January to get outside and grab some portraits. This day happened to be one of those glorious Spring days in the heart of winter.

We had chosen to have the portraits of the Arnett family in the Missouri Botanical gardens when their session was scheduled; because we thought the weather would be unpleasant in January. We lucked out! So after taking a few inside we ventured outside to soak up the sun!

Check out the looks! I love this picture on so many levels!

The Arnett family is such an endearing family. The kind of family that you feel their quiet support of you. The kind of family everyone should be friends with. Don't you just feel that from the image above?

A dad and his boys!

I tend to prefer the un-posed pictures because I feel that they tell the whole story. The ins and outs of their relationships. You really get to know them. You, my faithful readers, may not know this family, but you can sure see the love!

"There has never been, nor will there ever be, anything quite so special as the love between a mother and a son" -Author Unknown

"Son, you'll outgrow my lap, but never my heart." - Author Unknown

We were able to travel through the gardens to find some spots that showed us a bit of color during these dreary months of winter. The Missouri Botanical Gardens didn't let us down!

Arnett family, I cannot wait to watch these boys grow. Let's just pray it isn't too fast!

Birds of a Feather | St. Louis Nature Photographer

I love to photograph birds.  Images of these dainty winged creatures adorn my walls in every room in my home.  Perhaps it's their gracefulness or spying them among a tangle of tree branches which I enjoy.   I wonder if it isn't the fact those tiny animals are resilient to all types of weather.  No matter what Mother Nature tosses at them (snow, rain, hail or sleet) those little birds are tough and strong. 

Branson, MO

Branson, MO

Why certain images evoke lovely feelings from us has been cause for discussion among philosophers for millennia.  Many discussions over late night coffee begin in this way:

What is art?

I heard a story from an artist friend who had a touching encounter with another artist in residence at a convent.   More years than my friend cares to admit,  she was once visiting a convent and an energetic, bubbly outgoing nun gave her a tour of the historic Dominican mother house in Racine, WI.  She insisted that this visitor meet their resident artist, who was also a nun.  The artist was in hermitage which meant she lived alone and kept a vow of silence and my friend surely didn't want to bother her.  But the sister giving the tour insisted that the two should meet.

With great reluctance the narrator was dragged into the hermitess' art studio to see her beautiful creations. The art was stunning in proportion and technique.  But neither knew what to say, after all, the artist wasn't much of a talker,  having taken a vow of silence!  The sister giving the tour was beside herself with excitement as she had triumphed and brought a visitor to see the recluse.  And a visiting artist at that.  This perky nun was convinced two artists together would have LOADS to discuss.

She prompted them both into a conversation neither of them wanted.  What was there to say, except an occasional question of technique? 

The artist looked at my friend, and my friend at her, both understanding that art, a creation, can only be experienced.  So they mingled in her studio, soaking in the sculptures, not commenting, just being. 

Outside Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery, Branson, MO

Outside Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery, Branson, MO

All artists understand.

(It drove that extroverted nun crazy.)

Creating art is a marvelous endeavor. Fine art stands alone- without words. Her art was transcendent, evoking thoughts of Unconditional Love of God.  There wasn't anything TO say. 

Just BE.

Missouri Botanical Gardens, St. Louis, MO

Missouri Botanical Gardens, St. Louis, MO