Henderson Homestead Session

Morning of September 5, 2015

You may know Laura and Tyler Henderson from their work as the founders of Growing Places Indy, a collection of initiatives that foster urban agriculture- including the Slow Food Garden at White River State Park, the Indy Winter Farmer’s Market, and the Public Greens Micro-Farm on the Monon Trail. Or you may know Laura as a local yoga instructor, leading classes at Invoke, the Indy Winter Farmer’s Market Yoga Series, and the summer solstice Monumental Yoga event on the circle.

I know Laura and Tyler from our days back at Butler University. Laura and I lived in the same house and were roommates for a while, both of us sharing a love for Australia and the semesters we spent there. Tyler was an advisor at the Institute for Study Abroad located near Butler’s campus and had a hand in helping me get there. This was fifteen years ago, before they had even met. Fast-forward to today and it delights me to see the connection they have and the impact they’ve both made on the Indianapolis (and international) community. Frankly, I feel proud just knowing them.

This Homestead Session was a way for me to capture images of a typical weekend morning at the Henderson household. On this particular morning’s agenda: harvesting Concord grapes, having a go at turning them into grape juice, and a family yoga session.

Laura teaches yoga at Invoke Studio here in Indy. But she also makes it a part of her morning routine at home- stretching, bending, folding, holding the poses, all while her four-month-old Aanika soaks it all in and plays on her own blanket. Her passion for yoga and dedication to incorporating it into her life throughout the day is pretty amazing to me. I can barely find (or make) ten minutes in my day to complete a few back/core exercises to help heal the slipped disc in my lower back. Laura is inspiring! I don’t see how I couldn’t find some motivation on my own now. (Fingers crossed.)

When I arrived I had it all planned out in my head how I could photograph Aani (four months old here, remember) lying on some blankets and quilts. I was shocked when Laura told me that she was already sitting up on her own! At four months! She surely inherited some of that core strength, right?

I like to ask parents if there are some parts of their babies that they just adore, can’t get enough of, and would like for me to capture in photographs. Laura mentioned Aani’s cute little baby hands (then I’m pretty sure she added a few more parts and then said, “Oh, just all of her!”). Look at her grabbing for these Concord grapes.

Aanika, the fruit of their labor, sitting in, literally, the fruits of their labor. The grapes are growing up there above their chicken coop, just over Laura’s head in this photograph. Tyler said that it started not too many years ago as a tiny plant given to them from a friend’s vine that they just kind of threw in there to see what would happen. That bowl is holding a fraction of the crop!

Tyler is cleaning and juicing the grapes while Aani hangs out with Mom. Notice Tyler’s apron- he told me that he asked a friend of theirs if she could make him a “manly-looking apron.” Wonderfully functional and looks great, too!

Huge thank you to Laura and Tyler and Aani for letting me come take a peek at what an everyday weekend morning looks like in their household. I’m thankful to be able to capture these family images for them. And in case you were wondering, the grapes and juice were both delicious!

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