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September 8, 2017

Introducing: Tag Along Sessions


Welcome to a different take on family portraiture! I’m excited to announce the start of Audrey Thomas Photography offering a brand new type of family photo session. If you’ve ever asked your loved ones to please get family portraits done, and they replied with a groan – not wanting to dress up or pose for the camera – you might be interested in a Tag Along session…

The Tag Along session involves NO posing or direction, whatsoever. Say whaaat?!

You heard right, but before I explain, let me take a detour.

This past spring, my Mom and I made a date with my Grandma to learn her famous Polish pierogi recipe. I have been eating these “peedoggies” (the way we jokingly pronounce it in my family, since the “r” is supposed to roll off the tongue like a “d”) for as long as I can remember. It wasn’t until the Fall of 2015, when a class assignment prompted me to interview my grandparents on their experiences growing up on Wisconsin farms, that I realized how far back these peedoggies went. When times were tough, my Grandma’s family survived off of meals like peedoggies. The ingredients were simple, and the food was hot and filling. It may sound silly to some, but I get chills when I think about the fact that this simple recipe that I’ve loved all my life has fed four, if not more, generations of my family. Pretty amazing.

Anyway, so we arrive to my Grandparent’s house on a cold Sunday in March. My Grandma has all the ingredients for the peedoggies portioned out already, and my Grandpa is reading the paper in his recliner with Honey, their senior Beagle, snoring underneath. I had brought my camera along because my Mom requested I film the “cooking class”. My Grandma, who usually doesn’t care for a camera in her face, apparently felt more optimistic that day. Before I could even set my focus or find my exposure, she straightened her shirt, fixed her glasses and started talking to the camera. “Good morning! Today we are going to make pierogi. As always, the first thing we do with cooking is wash our hands.” In full instructor mode, class was in session!

As the beating of the eggs and the rolling of the dough began, and as my Grandma’s teaching dialect faded into normal conversation with my Mom, my Grandpa and I, the photographer in me was thinking about the photos I wasn’t capturing of this experience. I switched off video mode and began shooting, taking breaks to help with the food, and then to eat it, of course.

When I got home I immediately brought the photos up on my computer, and I couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face. I knew immediately that these photos were going to mean everything to me someday. Heck, they already meant everything to me in that moment. These are the photos I would use to show my future kids who my Grandma was. These are the photos I would have to remember her by. I thought about how awesome it would be to have photos of my Great, Great Grandma making this meal, and it made me feel good to know that my future kids will have that.

At this point, you can probably guess where this is going. A Tag Along session is simply me tagging along as your family does what it does best.

Your common loves. Traditions. One generation passing knowledge to the next.

What are the moments you treasure more than anything? Do you… knit with your grandmother? Garden with your mom? Cook a famous family recipe with your dad, or play the guitar to lull your child to sleep at night? Does your family have an annual tradition? Do you simply just throw the BEST PACKER PARTIES in all of Titletown?!

When we’re doing something we love, alongside those we love most – our instincts tell us to capture the moment! But how impactful will that memory be if it only contains part of what made it what it was? A Tag Along session allows everyone to exist in the photo, making the memories complete. I want to capture these memories, of you and for you. And not only just for you, but the generations who will come after you, that will treasure them more than you can imagine.

I hope you’ve got something in mind, and I hope you’ll ask me to tag along!




  1. Jennifer Neavolls

    October 6th, 2017 at 4:28 am

    These are wonderful! Thank you for sharing your process and the beautiful photos from the session with your grandmother. What an amazing memory you have created! I feel like you would bring a degree of sincerity and the genuine love for what you do, to any client’s ‘Tag Along.” I’m inspired – what a lovely fresh take on a photo shoot!

    ~ Jen, from Marketing Content Management

  2. Audrey Thomas

    October 6th, 2017 at 4:40 am

    Wow Jen, thank you so much for those sweet words! I am glad you enjoy the idea and feel inspired! I’m so inspired by families and long lasting traditions, so hopefully this theme can generate some great photos and memories. 🙂

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