While I’ve never rea
d The Secret Garden myself, I do know that the story involves mystery, magic, and a beautiful garden. This scenic spot called The Fabyan Forest Preserve is located in Geneva, and its no secret. Its a favorite among runners, cyclists, fishermen and photographers. I’m sure you can see why! Every time I walk around the grounds and see its many old elements that are so special and unique, I am always reminded of The Secret Garden. It truly is unlike any place I have ever been to. When I walk through the grounds, I am surrounded by so much beauty, I almost feel like I’ve stepped into another time in history.
The Fabyan Forest Preserve was once a large estate owned by George and Nelle Fabyan. They came to the area in the early 1900’s, bought a farmhouse, and over time acquired more than 300 more acres of land. Situated along the Fox River, the Fabyans later referred to their land as the “Riverbank.” By 1940, the Fabyans had passed away, the Forest Preserve District of Kane County purchased a majority of the land and turned it into a preserve. It is now a showplace to a stunning Japanese koi garden, worn sculptures, stone and concrete foundations, and cages (yes cages!) for the various wild animals the Fabyans brought to the Riverbank (www.kaneforest.com). If you haven’t been there, taking a trip there is something you should add to your summer wish list. You can even have a family picnic; just be sure to bring some bug spray!
I really enjoyed getting to know this family. The youngest of the crew feel asleep in the car on the way to the session, so he had to be woken up. I thought, “Oh no. This might be a rough one.” However, it only took him a few minutes to get his barrings, and once he was fully awake he was ready to go. Really, all three kids were a pleasure to work with. Photographing a beautiful family in a place that is equally as beautiful is a perfect summer night for me!