Southern men are known to love their mothers. So, we couldn’t get enough of this mother-son photo shoot in South Carolina. A’leah and Jayden brings out the beautiful summer scenery with their colorful attire and bright smiles. It’s nothing better than a family shoot in the southern summer sun!
Where’s the mom from?
Greenville, South Carolina
Where is your current location?
Rock Quarry Garden of Cleveland Park in Greenville, South Carolina
What is your favorite thing about being a mom?
My favorite thing about being a mom is watching my son’s success and knowing I played a vital role. Each milestone is paired with the same pride. Potty training, a touchdown or his bilingual studies at school are all sources of great joy. I love helping my son reach goals.
What do you love about raising a child in the South?
Greenville, specifically, is a great place to have the wide open spaces for my young boy to grow, play and learn. It also has the great bonus of a drug store at every corner. I love the mix of culture my son can experience. I love the historical sites that allow me to teach him our history. I love being a days drive from the coast. We can always find something to do together!
What are some of your family’s favorite southern dishes to eat?
My son loves Barbeque chicken. We love a good barbeque. Getting the family together and sharing plates of potato salad and deviled eggs with chicken hot off the grill. We also love sweet tea mixed with lemonade.
Which do they only eat if you make?
I have a secret ingredient I use in my barbeque sauce. My son will eat all the chicken if you let him. He will only eat my honey bun cake. No person has come close to getting him to change his mind. He even requests it for his birthday.
Why did you choose this location to do the family photo shoot?
I chose this location because it is a beautiful outdoor space. We both love being outside. It was open enough for him to run freely, and be himself during our session.
What are your favorite lessons to teach your children?
I teach my son that self respect is the most important value he can hold. If he values his life and what he has to offer, he then can respect and appreciate the lives of others. I want him to be proud of himself, his efforts and his heritage. I teach him to work hard for the results he desires and to do all things with confidence and humility.
What is your favorite southern activity to do with them?
We love to be outside. We get dirty. We do not care about getting wet, or fear bug bites. We do everything outdoors. We love to go to the lake, or park and firing up the grill. Spending all day outside until the fireflies come out (We can them lightening bugs) is a large part of how we bond.
Do you have any favorite restaurants you like to take them?
I prefer to cook at home, but to get the best southern smoked or fried chicken wings, collard greens and macaroni we head to Dr. Mac Arnold’s Blues Restaurant. (1237 Pendleton St Greenville, SC 29611). Best soul food in town.
What are some of your favorite books you read to your son?
We love to read as a family. I love to chose books where the characters look like him. A few of our favorites are: “Each Kindness” by Jaqueline Woodson; “Light in the Darkness” by Lesa Cline-Ransome; “Probuditi!” by Chris van Allsburg; and “Fifty Cents and a Dream” by Jabari Asim. I teach him the world is at his fingertips when he holds a book.
Who styled you two for this shoot?
I styled us both for the shoot. I chose a bright color for him to accentuate his skin. The sandals were as close to bare feet as I could get, and for him bare feet is the best way to be!
What southern values do you hope he inherits as he grows up?
I hope he inherits a strong sense of hard work and determination. Being black in the south is all about those things. As he grows, I hope he stays true to his roots and knows that family and community are important and should be nurtured.
What advice did you get from your parents on parenting?
My father raised my sister and I. From him I learned that there is nothing that can not be done without hard work. He also never microwaved food for us. He taught me to feed my child what he called “real food”, and stay active. The best advice he could have given me as a single parent was to not be afraid to ask for help.
Where did you get some of the clothing items?
My dress is by Calvin Klein and his neon colored Ralph Lauren Polo shirt are both from TJ MAXX.
Images by www.smitnphotography.com