Before Winnie Bruce picked up a camera and before she came to California at fourteen, her family owned coffee and coconut farms in the Phillipines. She comes by her love for coffee naturally not that she seems to need any caffeine. Her energetic, positive disposition shines through in her photography and her attitude towards clients. Unsurprisingly, her clients quickly turn into friends.
As a military spouse, Winnie was fortunate to stay on the west coast for almost a decade until last year when duty called over yonder to Maryland. She said good-bye to the only house her two young sons, Elliott and Finnegan, had known and an established photography business. Two days after she and her family landed in Maryland, Winnie posted a message on Facebook from her new, empty house saying that she fantasized about going back to California to shoot. Within hours, that dream was a reality. She had booked enough sessions to make the trip a reality. While it snowed on the east coast, Winnie flew west to shoot families like the Butler family.
Meet the Butlers. This wasn’t the first time Winnie took pictures of the Butlers; but it was the first time that they chose an at-home lifestyle over a standard portrait session. Their daughter had developed sensory issues that made clothing choices and poses uncomfortable so the relaxed unstructured session fit their family. Instead of well-ironed outfits and a flawless location, they chose breakfast at home which unexpectedly led to a water fight and ended in a grown man in a wolf costume. You just never know what will happen.
Nothing from the session was planned. We had coffee, breakfast, Evan went outside with a little tupperware, Mason joined her with his legos. All of a sudden, a water fight erupted! Tyson disappeared for a few minutes, then out come a wolf! I’d have to agree with them as well that out of all the sessions we’ve done, and I think there’s been about 6, this is my number one favorite. It was a great change, and just shows all of their personalities!
In accommodating the Butler’s personal needs, Winnie managed to shoot their favorite session to date. While we all want that shot of our perfectly coiffed family looking dashing and blissful atop a heavenly mound, what a gift the mundane reality of our lives is. Especially if there’s a wolf involved.