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  • Writer's picturePamela Buddenhagen

Our first sessions in the mobile studio, some birthday and dad’s day fun

My Elizabeth turned 20 years old this past week and my how time flies. She was born just under 5 pounds and I have no idea how we got to where we are so fast. Lizzy is my sidekick and my photography assistant. She has the biggest heart and her personality just shines. She was diagnosed with Autism and graduated high school last year and we were all so proud of her accomplishment!

For her gift this year I surprised her with a mama and daughter trip to New York City. I woke her up very early and gave her an envelope! It was train tickets and boy she was excited when she saw where our destination was. We’re in love with Harry Potter and I knew she was going to be ecstatic to take the train because of the movies, so i decorated the envelope accordingly too. It was a 3 and a half hour ride and we pulled out of the station at 7:15am. We were not bright eyed and bushy tailed so we slept most of the way.

The sights along the way are just so amazing to me. The world is so big and there is just so much to see

When we got off the train it was HOT! We headed straight into Starbucks and got a Pink drink for the walk to the new Harry Potter store. We knew there was a good chance we weren’t going to get in as it said on their website you needed to check in for 7 to get a return time to come inside. Just as expected there was no chance. We took a few pictures outside and I promised her we would come back and get to shop inside.

After we were able to pull ourselves away from this crazy cool area we figured we would find lunch along the way. We wanted to eat somewhere unique to us, somewhere we couldn’t pop into back home in Rhode Island. We came across a place called Sticky’s and what a great choice that was! The food was delicious and we took a window seat and ate while people watching. We both love people watching.

Once we finished eating I took out the envelope with Lizzy‘s birthday surprise, the reason why we came here on this day of the summer solstice. Tickets to The Friends Experience! We always watch Friends together and are huge fans. She was so excited and ready to go. It was a 4 minute walk from where we were. We got there and waited outside for 15 minutes before our ticket time. We were melting

Once we got in we were in another world. It was amazing

We had such a great time and had some really good laughs. The staff here were so great! A+ customer service. After we finished at the Central Perk coffee shop we hit the gift shop and Lizzy bought herself some Friends goodies, and on the way back down the street we hit up the Lego store where she picked out a few Harry Potter sets. Can’t get into the Harry Potter store so this made her feel a little more fulfilled haha. We stopped in a couple of gift shops on the way back to the train station and picked out a few more things. Once we got back to the station we were beat. It felt so good to get back on the train and relax in the AC. It was definitely a birthday trip she will never forget. The day after our NYC day was Father’s day. Randy is a fisherman and I know he’s been waiting to get in the kayak and just fish. So we loaded them up and headed for Echo lake that morning while the girls were still sleeping. He caught a fish so that made his day and I brought my book to read while I floated around nearby

It was another very hot day so after a few hours and some heat stroke we headed home for the pool and some cooking on the Grill. Back on the mobile studio home front it was getting ready to go! We placed the order for the logos that are going on the outside of the trailer. We also chose some of my favorite photos and ordered some gallery wraps to finish decorating the walls with. Those were some hard decisions and now the wait for this all to come in is killing me.

We had our first two sessions in the studio this week and boy were we excited and nervous. We met with our clients at Johnston Memorial Park to do some indoor and outdoor shots. The night before we went to Home Depot and Randy picked up some clips and rope, velcro tape and cabinet handles to make sure we could secure everything while we were driving. Certainly don’t want to open up on location to find a chair let went through the wall or newborn props flew out of the cabinet. It was a hot day so we turned up that AC and it felt great inside but not too cold for the 6 month old that was on his way. I’ll always let mom and dad determine if they want the temp to go up or down. I get super hot when i’m doing sessions so i’m not a good judge of temp, I would have it set to arctic haha. The sessions were back to back and went great. We did panic towards the end when we had a generator issue but we did end up figuring it out. I just kept thinking we’d have to send it back and wait for a new one to be shipped and I have a newborn session in 6 days!!! That is not going to work. I felt a tantrum coming on, But alas Randy did what he does best and got it running and realized why it did what it did, phew. Im almost done with the edits for those 2 sessions and will be posting photos soon. One of the last things we’re looking for and I feel like we’re going to be picky over are chairs for our clients to sit in while waiting. I want to provide comfort but we want them to look pretty as well. The two don’t always go hand in hand plus we need something that works with our space as well.

We were super busy with back to back birthdays this past week as well. Emily turned 22, wow and I surprised her with a trip to her favorite place ever, Salem. We visited 2 museums, had a great lunch at Derby’s and of course did some shopping

We watched a re-enactmeant of witch trial that included actual script. We were blown away by that and then cells we saw in the dungeon. If you were poor, the cell you stayed in while awaiting your hanging was the size of a phone booth. We had a great day together and even though the temps were in the upper 90s we went from museum to gift shop to res into their nice cold AC. The nice thing about Salem is everything is right there. We figured a surprise day out for all of the girls birthdays this year was what we were going to do and so far it’s going great, next up is the twins in December.

Thanks for reading, back to editing for me. My next blog will be about locations throughout RI that are great for your family sessions. We’ll be traveling about this week to check out some different spots and I cannot wait to write about it! Have a great 4th of July weekend!

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