Desi Robinson - Children's Portrait | Emily McGonigle Photography

[TL;DR -- See some gorgeous photos of an amazing little girl name Desi below. -- But I mean really... you should read. Because this story is awesome.]

OH MY GOSH, I have been ITCHING to blog about this. It's literally been killing me. (Okay, obviously not *literally*, but still...)


(Please excuse me while I freak out over how awesome she is for a few more moments...

...Okay. I'm good.)

This is Desi.

Desi is AH-MAZ-ING.

LET ME TELL YOU... how I found Desi.

So WAY back in June 2014, I was shooting a wedding with Matthew Simmons, and there was this little girl who was the flower girl in the wedding party.

I couldn't get over how adorably gorgeous she was. When I saw her, she *immediately* reminded me of a tiny little version of Cara Delevingne. (Later comparisons would be made between her and Emma Watson as well.) I went through the rest of the pre-wedding photos, the ceremony, and all the detail images as I normally would, but every time I saw Desi, all I could thing was, "I *need* to photograph her." And not just within the context of the wedding, but I wanted to photograph *her*. In a shoot that focused on *her*.

Finally the reception came, and Matthew and I were sitting having dinner during our break, and I brought up the fact that I wanted to ask Desi's mother about photographing her. He thought it was a good idea as well, so after finally convincing myself that it *wouldn't* be creepy of me to do so, I walked up to Desi's mother, Renee, iPhone in hand, with my website pulled up, ready to defend my legitimacy and said, "I hope this doesn't come off weird or anything but... Your daughter is beautiful, and reminds me of a young version of this one high fashion model, and I really, REALLY... just want to do a photo shoot with her, if that's okay with you. Here is my work!"

To my relief, Renee was immediately receptive to the idea and thrilled that I asked. *PHEW*.

But as with what usually happens when I get an idea for a project, life gets in the way, and time got away from me, and I never had the time to schedule the shoot I was wanting to schedule.

Then winter came.

Now, I don't know if you know this, but winter for a lot of photographers is a slow time. I don't... particularly know why that is. I guess people don't get married during the winter... senior portraits go into hibernation because most of them want location shoots, and NOBODY wants to be out in the cold... so unless you're getting clients who just LOVE the cold, snowless weather in Tennessee, or your a Christmas card photographer... life slows down during the winter months.

It was at this time that I decided I wanted to do the shoot with Desi.

I reached out to Renee, hoped she remembered me and was still interested in getting Desi in for a session, and when she said yes, I immediately let Matthew know that Renee was into it, and got him involved as well.

This brings us to January 2015.

In January, we FINALLY got the opportunity to work with Desi.

I was actually a little bit nervous, because as I recalled from the wedding, Desi was very quiet and shy, and not super responsive to my communication with her, so I was a little bit nervous about how the shoot was really going to go.

Was she going to warm up quickly? Was she going to be stiff, shy, and resistant the whole time? I had literally no idea.

I had three photo shoots scheduled for that day, and the ONLY one I was actually nervous about was *Desi's*. Not because I felt like she or her mother would have high expectations, but because *I* wanted it to go well, and I was so excited about it that I worked myself up into a nervous frenzy, haha.

Matthew and I got to the studio early to set up our different looks. He went first, as his look was more complex, conceptual and required more pre-shoot testing. The week before, I had gotten my friend and hair/makeup artist Chelsea Blair, on board with our project, so when Desi arrived at the studio, Chelsea got to work with her right away.



She is SO GOOD with kids.

When Desi first arrived at the studio, all the questions I asked her were met with a shrug and an indifferent "I don't know...". But when Chelsea got Desi up in her chair, and started on her makeup, and got the conversation flowing, Desi started to loosen up and have fun.

Chelsea finished up with Desi's first look, and we got her on set for Matthew to photograph her.

Matthew's images are cool. He used a projector to light the set and create some conceptual art images with Desi. You should check out his blog post here, and his Instagram feed (@matthewsimmonsphoto), to see some of his amazing images of Desi.

After Matthew was through with Desi, it was MY turn.

By the time I got my time with Desi, she was warmed up, and having a blast.

I could NOT believe what happened when I got her in front of the camera. She went full-on model mode.

Let me stress... that this little girl has NEVER has a photo shoot before. She's never modeled. She's never done anything to the capacity that Matthew and I had her working in, and she FREAKIN. NAILED. IT.

This kid is going places.

She just felt so comfortable in front of the lens. She followed direction *flawlessly*, and her connection with the camera is incredible. All without my having to really coach her into anything aside from body positioning. And even then... when I'd instruct her to make a movement or a pose change, she did it with full understanding and total beauty.

UGH. I can't even. 

I love her so much. Hahaha.

ANYWAY... I'm gonna stop talking now and just let you look at photos.

Here are the final images from Desi's shoot!



And she's so adorable and bubbly too...


Be sure to leave Desi some love below!

Also, special thank you again to Chelsea Blair ( for helping out on this shoot!

Also, KUDOS to anyone who actually read and made it through this blog post! I'm pretty sure this is literally the longest blog post I've ever written, ever. Haha.


Emily McGonigle Photography is a Nashville Portrait Photographer, and can be contacted for booking inquiries here.