Laurali
Hi, I'm Laurali! I live in a tiny, seaside fishing village in Florida where I nurture my plants, go hiking in the woodland, and wear flowers in my hair.

Photoshoots in Nature: A Mother-Daughter Tradition

Laurali Star and Daughter Chloe in Hammock Park, Dunedin, Florida Kiss to the Cheek
I might have mentioned this before, but my daughters and I have a longstanding tradition of photoshoots in nature as a mother-daughter tradition.  It started well over a decade ago and it's something that has stuck to the point that even when I'm not in town, like right now, my daughters carry on the tradition without me!

Through the years we've widened our scope and as our family has grown, we've included new family members and friends.  It's something that has become so popular in the family that it's kind of expected now.  Whether it be a photoshoot in the woods or a cotton candy sunset on the beach, the landscape might change, but our love remains the same.

Through the years, I've done maternity photoshoots, newborn photoshoots, and spur of the moment engagement pics for the family, but long live our photoshoots in nature family tradition!  When I get back home to Florida in the next couple of weeks, my oldest daughter Angeleah will be moving into her 9th month of pregnancy, so I plan on getting some maternity pics of her.  In fact, it's pretty much expected!

How it all began: It all started with a little point-and-shoot camera, a digital Elph that I received as a Christmas present from my stepfather.  Over the years the camera changed, but the ongoing family tradition with my three beautiful daughters remained the same.  We would go to the local parks, take walks to the nearby bowling alley where we used to live, and even get nighttime photos under the neon-colored lights.

At Christmas time, we'd walk around town into nearby neighborhoods to see the Christmas lights and Christmas decorations and snap photos of each other while we drank hot chocolate and sang Christmas carols.  It seems like all of our best memories always involve a camera where we captured magical moments in time.

When spring came, we'd head to nature preserves for hiking pretty in our Sunday best.  We'd take hours curling our hair and touching up our makeup just so we could get pretty photographs under the sun filtered light of the trees.

In the summer, we'd go barefaced, knowing that the Florida humidity would unfurl our curls and fade our makeup into the sunset.  Did we let it stop us?  Nope!  It was all worth it to head out into nature just to get a couple of cool pics together as a family, even it felt like we were in a convection oven.

In the fall, the air would whirlwind around us and dance, welcoming our laughter as we drifted in and out of trees and meadows, playing in fields of grass dotted with wildflowers.  It was awesome to have the girls put up props of baby pumpkins and plastic spiders on fall foliage, as we enjoyed the fleeting sweater weather that came to Florida for a quick visit.

Then came winter, perhaps the most magical time in Florida, where the weather was picture perfect postcard seasons and we'd use the forest as a backdrop for fluffy scarves and gloves and cute sock monkey snow hats.  We would dream of a white Christmas wonderland, but accept our fate as sometimes Christmas would be a picturesque Florida postcard on the beach in our bathing suits and Santa Clause hats.

It didn't matter where we were or what we were doing as long as we were together.  Here are a few of my favorite pics through the years of our mother-daughter bonding through whimsical wanderings in nature!
Hammock Park in Dunedin, Florida With Three Beautiful Girls and Their Grandmother

Photoshoots in Nature: A Mother-Daughter Tradition

From left to right (Veronica (middle child), Angeleah (oldest child), My Mom (Grandma Trisha), and Chloe (youngest child).  See?  A generation of nature seekers!
A pregnancy photoshoot in the woods + maternity photoshoot in nature
My oldest daughter Angel kissing Veronica's pregnant belly in mother nature.  This is when Veronica was pregnant with Baby Noah, who only lived two-months after he was born.  I'm so glad we have this photograph to remember our little man.
Three Adorable Sisters Living the Slow Life in Florida at Boca Ciega Millennium Park in Seminole, Florida
This is another great pic from when Veronica, my middle child, was pregnant with Noah.  I guess I'm thinking of him a lot right now because we saw a huge double rainbow the other day.  Every time I see a rainbow it reminds me of him.  The day he was born there was a huge rainbow in the sky and the morning that he died, I had a precognitive dream of Noah and Veronica with a triple rainbow.  I think that was his way of saying goodbye to me!  Love you, baby boy.
Dressed to the nines in a black flower-patterned dress for a hike in nature
Chloe and I going on a hiking adventure together as the girls trail not far behind.  We seem to have a special place in our hearts for Hammock Park in Dunedin, Florida.  It's honestly where I spend most of my time on hiking adventures when I'm in Florida.  It's near my home and I love that it's one of the few places in Florida with hills and elevation.
One of our other longstanding traditions is throwing a pool party in my backyard with indie music and frozen margaritas.  Sometimes there are bubbles, there's splashing, but without exception, there's always a family photoshoot of some kind.  Above snapshot: Veronica or "V" as we like to call her.
Swimming pool part in sunny, tropical Florida with palm trees and a kiddie pool
Chloe and I horsing around in the pool with mermaid props, better known as seashells and coral.  Cute!
Young blonde woman running down the pier in Safety Harbor, Florida in Orange Shorts
My little blondie bear, Angel, running down the pier in Safety Harbor, Florida where we go to see the manatees every May or late spring.  There's a family of manatees that show up like clockwork and we act like tourists when we see them.
A Blue Photo Filter to Highlight the Beauty of Tide Pools at the Beach in Dunedin, Florida After a Rainstorm
This is still one of my favorite pictures!  It was after a big storm on the Dunedin Causeway, filling up all the potholes to create tidepools that rippled with my girl's reflection.  I added a blue photo filter to it and it ended up being the perfect touch to a perfect day!
Black and White Webcam Toy pic of mom and daughter at home hanging out, listening to music
Really old school pic!  This is my daughter Veronica and I playing with the webcam toy app, hanging out, and listening to music.  Still one of my most treasured family photos to this day!  What's funny is that for a while there, webcam toy was one of our traditions too.  At the time, Angel had moved out so it was just me, Veronica, and Chloe.  This is how we placated our boredom!
Black and White Nostalgic Photograph in a Florida Wildlife Nature Preserve
Finally, one last one of my daughter Angel and I at Boca Ciega Millennium Park in Seminole, Florida.  This is still one of our favorite hiking adventure spots and photoshoot destinations.  So many good times and happy memories here.  Angeleah is twenty-three now and pregnant with her first child.  She even has stepchildren.  Back then, she was just a young teenage girl coming to visit her mom from Orlando!  Her boyfriend at the time, Chris, took this photo for us.  Now, she's engaged to the man of her dreams.  It's funny how life works out sometimes.

Okay, looking at these is making me nostalgic for days gone by.  I even got a little teary-eyed.  The good news is that our family is growing, evolving, and changing.  Some members of the family have gone, like old boyfriends from a different time in life, while new family members come in.  It's all very circle of life.  It's exciting to see the possibilities for new family photoshoots with grandbabies and the like.  Can't wait!

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