One photographer decided to do magical shoots for her kids' birthdays this year. The reason why might make you a little teary-eyed.

By Rachel Wermager
September 13, 2019

There are few things we love more than an adorable family photoshoot, especially when everyone involved commits to the theme. Recently, a five-year-old boy and his great-grandparents dressed as characters from the movie Up, and the photos have captured hearts all over social media. What's more heartwarming, is the story behind the photoshoot.

When photographer Rachel Perman asked her son Elijah what he wanted to do for his special birthday photoshoot, his answer wasn't surprising: It had to be Up themed. “Elijah is very particular. He is borderline addicted to Up and has been for several years,” Perman says. So she invited his great-grandparents to dress up as the movie's characters Carl and Ellie Fredricksen, and surprise him. 

Credit: Courtesy of Rachel Perman Photography

There’s a little more behind these adorable photos than a love for Up, though. Shortly after Elijah and his twin sister Emilee were born, Perman was diagnosed with cancer. “My oldest [Mikayla] was five at the time and I hated not knowing if I would get the same time with them [the twins] that I got with her,” says Perman. “So for their fifth birthday, I wanted to celebrate the things they love with photos. It’s a celebration for me and them.”

Credit: courtesy of Rachel Perman Photography.

Perman says the inspiration for these magical photoshoots came directly from everything her kids love most. While Elijah opted for an Up theme, daughter Emilee—who loves all things girly and princess—requested a photo session fit for royalty, complete with her very own unicorn (once Perman was able to find someone who would let her put a unicorn horn onto their horse, that is).

The photos of little Elijah with Perman's grandparents, Richard and Caroline Bain—who both turned 90 this year!—have gone viral on social media, and it's easy to see why: The three of them look as though they were plucked right out of the movie.“I had no clue this would receive recognition,” says Perman. “It’s been fun to see how many people are touched by it.” 

Credit: courtesy of Rachel Perman Photography.

Perman shared that she currently has no signs of cancer and feels very blessed and fortunate. As for Elijah, he's loving the attention the family's gotten with the photos. Perman says she keeps telling him, "You are good at bringing happiness to us, now you are making the nation happy too!"


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