The Traveling Hat Project
Over at The Kindred Path, we are moved by the connection and emotion that can be found in family photography and think the work of family photographers is honored, sacred work. We also love including details and accessories in our sessions. We love how adding a few special pieces really elevates a session - whether it's a handful of freshly picked wildflowers, the perfect warming cardigan, or a lovely hat. Back in February, we teamed with up GigiPip and launched the Traveling Hat project. Not only were we hoping this project would help build a sense of community, but we also wanted to give you a chance to use one of the fabulous hats made by GigiPip.
We opened up the application process and the first 5 entries joined the first-ever community-based project here at The Kindred Path. Their mission was simple, create beautiful, family-centered work while sharing the same GigiPip hat.
We love the work these talented photographers have created and we are thrilled to share it with you here. It's always interesting to see how different artists use the same elements, whether that's light, or color, or accessories. We hope their work inspires you and challenges you to try something new in your sessions!
A Motherhood Session on the Mountain
By: Annika Jean Photography, Indianapolis, Indiana
From the Photographer:
To the woman who wears many hats,
It’s easy to look at these images and think “Oh my, her hands are full!” But what most don’t realize is that, full hands creates for an even fuller heart. The Traveling Hat Project inspired me in more ways than one. I was completely humbled and beyond shocked when I was chosen to participate in such a creative masterpiece. Immediately my creative thoughts began to storm me like a tornado, interrupting my daily activities. Many scraps of paper and quick notes on my phone later, the magical motherhood session of my dreams came to life. This project inspired me to coordinate pieces that were vintage and simple, to introduce new natural prompts, to let the children organically direct the session, and to build an encouraging relationship with a mama in the area. As I look through this gallery, I can’t help but be brought back to my childhood memory of Anne of Green Gables, a classic film in our family of four girls. After my time with Anna and her sweet family of seven, I think Anne Shirley describes my thoughts best. “Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”
When I received the Gigi Pip hat, I immediately noticed that in the lining was stitched the phrase “For the woman who wears many hats.” I could not think of a better phrase to describe motherhood. So many hats to wear, so many roles to fulfill, and so many little ones to love. Anna is such a beautiful portrayal of this role of motherhood. A woman who wears many hats. This mama of five is a mother, wife, daughter, sister, blogger, teacher, pastor’s wife, creative, writer, and homemaker. And while some would say her hands are full, she will tell you that motherhood is full of so much more. Full of extra grace. Full of laughter and tears. Full of snuggles. Full of educational moments. Full of small moments that stay ingrained in your memories forever. Full of new seasons of life.
It was a warm spring evening, when we met in the mountains of South Carolina. Anna and her husband originally met at a college in Greenville, and here they are thirteen years later bringing their 5th little one into this world in the very same place. It was the perfect location to document this season of life for them, so as the wind whistled through our hair and the sunset warmed our souls, I witnessed Anna and her little ones love on each other with lots of sweet kisses and endearing snuggles. Throughout the session, the wind blew the hat across the mountain many times. One child or another would run over to pass the hat along to someone new to wear. I found it so inspiring how this simple act symbolized the passing on of knowledge, love, and leadership from their beautiful mama to each child. What a beautiful, busy season for Anna and her crew!
As a family and newborn photographer, I realize how important it is to document every season of life. And motherhood is filled with many, many seasons. But even in the midst of all the chaos during the busiest of seasons, motherhood is still such a beautiful role to carry. Your little ones won’t remember the tears and piled up dishes. But they will remember the way you hug them after school and sing to them as you tuck them into bed. Maybe they don’t remember to thank you for their meal, but someday they will call you up for their favorite recipe to make for their own family.
To the woman who wears many hats, just remember...
What you are doing now has an impact on our future generation. Remember that even though the days may feel long, the years will fly by. And ultimately, remember that motherhood is a beautiful, heart-filling gift.
Wardrobe: Baby sling from Wild Bird. Anna’s necklace, which has the birth flower stamped on it for August (when Alice will be born) and that she’s worn the entire pregnancy, is from Amazon.
50 mm 1.8
A Family's New Home
By: Courtney Houk Photography, Fresno, California
From the Photographer:
This mama had just moved her family from the city up into the hills where they wanted to provide their girls with the homesteading lifestyle. Their stunning new property is a place for these girls to run around, be free, and explore all of God’s beautiful creations. With a creek down below, hills on one side, goats and chickens on the other, and a pasture out front with the most stunning oak trees, I wanted to capture this family and create images the represented the beginning of their new life together there. Mamas have a beautiful role in a family that no one can do quite like she can — she’s the one that holds it all together and the reason for memories to be captured the way that they are. Having mama wear the hat during their session represented the role that she has and that she is the only one who can do it like she does!
Zeiss 55 1.8
A Sunset Motherhood Session
By: Molly Puckett Photography, Saint Francisville, Louisiana
From the Photographer:
Just down the road is a vast, glowing field of unruly golden grass. The forest that lived there had been cut down before the city denied a new subdivision to be built, and nature reclaimed her space with a beautiful vengeance.
Every time my husband and I have driven by it the past few years, I've let out a dreamy sigh, "I want to shoot there..."
"Why don't you?" he'd ask.
I wasn't sure, but now I know the stars were aligning for this opportunity with The Kindred Path and Gigi Pip. When I was chosen to participate in The Traveling Hat project, visions of twirling in a white cotton dress in the field with my Eli danced in my head. A dream manifested.
Now I'm headed to the post office to send the hat to the next lucky lady, Grace, along with wishes of that twirling kind of joy this project brought to me.
Canon 5D MarkIV
A Session under the Blossoms
By: Grace Paul Photography, Nashville, Tennessee
From the Photographer:
This session happened right on the cusp of spring. The Chinese Magnolias were in full bloom and their large pink petals signaled a new season was on the horizon here in Middle Tennessee. The morning haze lingered and the ground was cool which lent itself to even closer snuggles for Noah and his mom Laura.
Laura is expecting her second son and in just a few short weeks Noah will have a new brother that I'm sure will be his best friend. But until then I wanted to capture the unique relationship these two have. One filled with lots of quality time, tender hugs and playful explorations. Like the blossoms on the tree that bloom for a few weeks and then fall to make way for new leaves, so is the season of pregnancy and motherhood. Although ever changing it still moves from beauty to beauty.
I took individual photos of Laura honoring her second pregnancy and new baby while being sure to include plenty of images with the little boy who first named her mama. I knew I wanted to use the hat to add an element of playfulness and mystery to the session.While also sticking true to my authentic and traditional style of shooting. To do this I gave Laura prompts to tip the hat so the viewer can just see her soft smile or not see her at all. I wanted to pull others into the images so that other mothers could also see themselves here.
It challenged me to incorporate the hat while prompting Noah to love on his mama. Normally I would have him hug her neck from behind or nuzzle her cheek and instead we did a lot more with hands. Holding hands, touching hair, walking around. A challenge, but still a fun one! Same goes for her holding him, the brim was wide so I had to have them on different levels to accommodate it.
This session came at the perfect time and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to use the hat from Gigi Pip.
Pentax 645n and a mix of fuji pro400h and portra 400 film
Zeiss 85 1.8
A Family Picnic
By Kelli Seeley Photography, Sacramento, California
From the Photographer
At the time of my session, there was a super bloom of lupines and I knew it would be the perfect location (I discovered this location one day as I was kayaking in the American River and felt like I hit the location jackpot).
Big families, warm weather for picnics, the river and the lupines were all the things that inspired me during this shoot. I love photographing big families because there is always a lot happening which makes my job as the photographer so fun.
Since the weather is warming up and we can feel the beginnings of summer starting to unfold, we started with a little picnic before heading out on a walk to the lupines and the river. I think the hat is perfect for a warm evening out and gives off the perfect "summer is coming" feeling.
Styling: Stacey Smernes
Contax 645 (fuji 400 film)
Sony a73 with a Canon 50mm 1.4 lens