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In a recent Facebook post, my friend Paige commented that she'll be sad to see school resume next month because she's loved having her daughter at home with her. I thought that was sweet, but my first reaction was, "Beg pardon?" I'm not a parent, but I'm pretty sure my mother had us lined up outside those heavy double doors well in advance of school opening, like fans camped outside a Ticketmaster.

Still, while everybody likes a little peace and quiet, I'm sure others share her sentiment—particularly those who let summer be summer. That is, peeking out the kitchen window to see a backyard game of soccer, rinsing muddy feet after a day in the pluff mud, and lounging by the pool while the kids swim the summer away. There's a thrill to all that that gets tucked away in backpacks once school starts.

The first time I met Maria Prouvost, I was scouting her house and it was the first day of summer vacation for her sons Lucas, 6, and Emile, 5. Clad in matching soccer uniforms, the boys had miles of backyard adventures ahead of them. And Maria's the kind of mom who lets it all play out—doesn't busy the family with running from camp to lesson to playdate to camp again. Summer happens right there, at their Seabrook Island home. In the marsh, in the pool, in the makeshift soccer field in the backyard, on the back porch, and at the lunch counter in the kitchen.

Like her style? Check out the Prouvosts' laid-back home vibe in the upcoming family issue of Charleston magazine, scheduled to hit newsstands August 1. In the meantime, what's your summer style? Let me know! And here's a sneak peek behind the scenes at the Prouvost photo shoot:

(Photographs by Hannah Maple)


TOP AND ABOVE: Photographer Wilson Baker shoots the backyard "soccer field," which overlooks a panoramic marsh view and the fishing boats of Rockville.  Intern Kellie Duff assists (top) while associate art director Julie Wood lines up a shot for Emile.

ABOVE: Maria and I scan her cupboards for a bowl or cup or plate or who knows... Styling photo shoots is the politest way I know of to root around in other people's houses.

Maria and Julie in the kitchen. Don't you LOVE those barstools? And the green shiplap?

Maria smiled all the way through the shoot (and not just because a camera was trained on her). It was amazing. These things can get pretty tedious, but she was so lovely. When she left to take the boys on an errand, she even put out a whole array of healthy snacks for our crew. 

Emile riding their very patient, gentle dog and me bossing people around.

Wilson and I trying to get the right shot on the porch, with Emile (behind the camera) and Lucas lending their insight.

I may have been doing some bargaining here. As in, "if I can get you to give us for just one more shot, we'll go fishing next." Talk about photogenic kids... and these two were as patient as can be. You usually account for at least one meltdown per shoot, but these guys were pros.