So Much Love

families

This family.

Man, I love their story! It’s one of heartache and faithfulness in the midst of grief and the joy that comes in the morning.

About seven years or so ago our church experienced a baby boom of sorts. We had two mamas due in September and then one due each month thereafter until February or March if I remember correctly. Except for January. We all just sort of laughed and said that must be JJ and Katy’s month to adopt. And wouldn’t you know it January rolled around and sure enough they got a call that a little fella had been born that morning and the birth mom had signed over her rights, did they want him? Within hours of his birth they were able to be there holding him and loving on him. At his baptism a few months later they were also able to announce that they were expecting in November.

Those Irish twins were quickly followed by another brother and then their first sister.

I say their first sister because baby number five is due next month. That’s right…five kiddos in seven years. What a full noisy home and full happy hearts! Who would have thought of the life God had planned for them?

“For to have been born in God’s thought and then made by God is the dearest, grandest, and most precious thing in all thinking.” ~ CS Lewis

No Chance Friendship

families

The long awaited Stout family portrait! Okay, it’s been about two weeks but still I think it’s safe to say that they have been eagerly waiting to see the photos from their session. We took them at a park in Milton and I always forget just how lovely a location it is for portraits. The ground can be a bit mushy because it’s by the river but they were troopers.

I love doing multi generational pictures. And I love how the personalities of the kids are so front and center. The only thing that would make this better were if Patricia and her husband and kiddos could be in it. (Fingers crossed that maybe one day that will happen!)

We tried to recreated one image with Al and Mary from our first family session back in 2012. I don’t think we did too badly. Al’s hair definitely looks a bit lighter though.

Whenever I do multigenerational pictures I like to get various group shots like all the men folk, all the women, folk, etc. We did these as well as a really great father, son, grandson portrait that I love.

We also did some sweet pictures of each smaller family units. I was really happy to get these pictures of the Johnson family because they will be moving to Virginia in a couple of weeks. Man, are we going to miss them! Sean has been a teacher at the school our girls go to and having wonderfully delicious dinner parties talking about literature with him and Heather has been a highlight in our lives the last few years. I know that Virginia is gaining a gem with their move.

Oliver wasn’t sure how he felt about all this photo business and it was such fun catching his expressions throughout the session. Alice has not been home since we did his pictures at around three or four months old so it was great getting to know him now that he is a little older and meeting his little brother Teddy. And who doesn’t love Josh and Alice? Two of the funniest people I know and such fun to hang out with.

It was just such a perfect morning especially considering that not an hour after we wrapped it up the bottom fell out of the sky. I loved spending time with these dear friends both behind the camera and just in sweet fellowship while everyone was in town.

“In friendship…we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another…the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting–any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,” can truly say to every group of Christian friends, “Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.” The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Oldyweds

families

After last week’s throwback post we were all happily reminded of how much life our families have lived together. What a blessing to have family friends for over a decade! Graduations, weddings, babies, all manner of celebrations sprinkled among the ordinary life stuff.

And oh, how much fun was it to spend the morning capturing various family groups for them last week! So much fun to see the little people with their various personalities who have added to their number. But some of my most favorite images came from Mr and Mrs. Stout…married fifty-six years come August and never have I seen a young man look as tenderly upon his wife as Mr. Stout does his bride.

He is a very gentle and thoughtful gentleman and while all of the children were running around and appropriate parental units were in hot pursuit he quietly moseyed over to the river and stood for a few minutes.

Most men don’t really like being in front of the camera and it shows but he didn’t seem to mind cozying up to Mrs. Stout and letting me snap away.

Very little direction was needed and there was just such a sweetness between the two.

What a precious example to their family of faithfulness.

Later in the week I will be sharing more pictures from our session but I couldn’t think of a more fitting bunch to share first. Someone once said that “Newlyweds become ‘oldyweds,’ and ‘oldyweds’ are the reasons that families work.”

I think there might be something to that, don’t you?

Guernsey Throwback

throwback Thursday

I love looking back and gathering pictures for a post like this! I first did G-man’s pictures when his mama was teaching at my kids’ school. He was such a cutie with those big blue eyes!

I don’t think he was even a year old at that time but a few years later I got to do family photos out at Ft Pickens. Honestly, it has been so long ago I almost forgot I had done them but as I looked through them again I was reminded of how absolutely adorable they turned out! These are some of my favorites from that day.

Fast forward a few years more and we did family pictures again that included his new baby sister! My heart still melts when I see his precious smile and that cowboy hat.

I think Jojo was my first watermelon one year old session and she could not have been any cuter!

We also did a family picture when we did her first birthday photos and it has always been one of my favorite images! Definitely one for the portfolio with the beautiful light and sweet smiles.

I cannot wait until next week when I will be sharing their most recent family session!

Grand Greats

families

I always think doing pictures are a good idea whether it be to document a special occasion, as a surprise gift, or just because. When it is a gift it can be difficult because I have to wait to share them. It is even harder when it’s my niece’s babies and they are just so cute! But Father’s Day has passed so now I can finally post a few of my favorites.

Somebody please tell me how these kids grow up so fast?

Their mama is the firstborn of my sisters’ children and I can still remember holding her for the first time. It’s a little surreal to be photographing her kiddos. I had to look up exactly what term is used to describe their relationship to me and it seems that both grand or great are equally correct…as in my grand niece or great nephew.

That first grandnephew of mine was more interested in being a crocodile than taking a picture with his sister and brother and this outtake just made me laugh. Especially because of Miss Jae’s expression.

He didn’t mind getting into the spirit of things for his own pictures though.

And oh my goodness, she did just fine in front of the camera all on her own.

And the littlest mister was not about to be outdone in the cuteness contest.

While Mr. E was not too thrilled at the idea of a sibling shot his brother and sister didn’t seem to mind. I love how these two are so sweet together.

After we did pictures we went over by the brand new splash pad that opened at the park and E had a bit of fun in the water. I loved this picture of him that finished out our time together. Such a classic summer picture, don’t you think?

It’s The Week of Edgar Throwback Thursday!

families, The Week of Edgar

On Monday I mentioned that I have been photographing the Edgar for family for about a decade now. Their family has grown (and so have my photography skills!) and getting this post together was so fun as I looked back over the years.

I really feel like I did a family session of the original four Edgar’s but maybe not since I cannot find them so my throwback post is is starting with the earliest pictures I could find…engagement and wedding pictures.

When Jeff and Alicia had their first baby I was just getting into newborn sessions with only a little experience. I remember the first picture I took of Leah because it was the first time the first image was a keeper and I knew it. There has never been a time since that I have photographed that child and been disappointed. She is always so pleasant and cooperative and of course, so pretty.

When she was a little older and Uncle Chris was getting married she was part of the wedding party. So was Aunt Zena’s family dog and the two hit it off really well.

Not long after the wedding Leah’s new baby sister arrived and I am so disappointed to not be able to find those pictures. There is the sweetest shot of Leah kissing Anna’s little newborn head but a few months later we did do family pictures with Mom’s family and we got this sweet moment.

Aren’t they just the cutest? And as you could see from Monday’s post their little brother and cousin just add to the cute factor. Just wait until you see Mr Ethan’s birthday doughnut session tomorrow as we wrap up our week of Edgar!

Your Children’s Children

The Week of Edgar

One of my favorite blessings in Scripture is found in Psalm 128 and it came to mind as I edited these images, particularly the final verse…“May you see your children’s children!”

What a special delight grandchildren must be and what a special delight it is for me to photograph this special relationship. There is something incredible and amazing about being a parent and from what my friends who have moved into that phase tell me grandchildren are just even more of that incredible amazingness.

These friends are blessed to be the grandparents to the four precious kiddos who are all a part of the Week of Edgar. I think they enjoy them, don’t you?


Can I just point out how well the girls did keeping their eyes trained on me and their sweet smiles while the shenanigans were taken place with the two little guys? And there were shenanigans! But my goodness, those littel fellas are adorable!


We did manage to get some really lovely portraits of the six of them together though. I really hope I get to do more of these grandparent/grandchildren sessions. There are precious few pictures of my grandparents much less ones of me and my sisters with them. What a treasure to be able to look back on these and see portraits from a time in our lives that we don’t really remember that well as we get older!

Once I knew we had gotten “the” shot the girls were off and playing so what else was there to do other than little those two young men work at getting their legs under them?


I love how fat both their little feet are! And I also think it is great that they are so close in age and can grow up as the best of friends.

According to Proverbs 17: 6 my friends have quite the beautiful crowns!

Cousins

families, The Week of Edgar

These pictures proudly brought to you by The Week of Edgar. As I was culling through the images from this session last week I realized I have been photographing this family literally for years. First, it was just a family session of four. And then it was the engagement and wedding of one son. And then the engagement and wedding of the younger son. Two gender reveals, including the one where I accidentally spilled the beans about the baby before the session (not my finest moment and I still cringe whenever it comes up) and two newborn sessions. Two of the little guys in today’s pictures were born during my hiatus so I was delighted when the opportunity came up to do first birthday pictures for one of them and in a few weeks we will do the youngest one’s pictures.

Since the cousins were all together at the birthday shoot we did some cousin pictures and man, these are four of the cutest kids!

I love that many times the sessions we’ve done have been in Gary and Cheryl’s backyard. It has such lovely textures and lively green color but really let’s the people be the focus of the image.

The next two images made me laugh. From the chubby little foot in the air to the expression on sweet girl’s face they were such good sports about doing their pictures.

I won’t mention which one so as to protect the dignity of the guilty party but one of them got bribed with fresh blueberries when he got a little too squirmy. It worked though and we got some sweet portraits.

But birthday boy did make it clear that enough was enough and he was ready to move on. I wonder if he realized he was going to get donuts? But those are pictures for another day so stay tuned for more! Tomorrow it’s all about a little grandparent love.

Worth The Wait

families

Sometimes the opportunity to photograph a family takes a little while to become a reality. Schedules can be hard to navigate and just finding the right time weather wise can make for a delay. Sometimes it can take years. That is exactly what happened with this sweet family. Lockett (cool name, right?) is a teacher at my girls’ school and we have talked in general about doing her family’s pictures, in passing, and in depth. Finally, last week everything came together and we made it happen.

And it was so much fun! I mean, at least, I had fun and at the end of our time together Dad said it was the least painful picture session they had ever had done and I am going to count that as a win and high praise.

Sometimes I am amazed how much kids have grown and changed when I look at them through the viewfinder on my camera. While my girls don’t have any classes with her boys our school is small and so I see them frequently but there is something about narrowing my field of view and I suddenly notice how much of young man her oldest has become and how her youngest has lost that little boyish babyness.

You know those boys are full of shenanigans and keep mom and dad on their toes! They were cracking me up photobombing a few of the pictures I was taking.

As I said, I really enjoyed my time with this sweet family and while I hate that it took us so long to make it finally I happen I loved having them in front of my camera. Lockett, be sure to let Chris know that next time will be even better 😉

Practically Perfect

Mother and Child

It is not unusual for a photographer to see a random spot and daydream about doing a shoot at that location. It’s how I have ended up in drainage ditches and such. (The pictures were fabulous from those sessions, btw.)

This session is a culmination of months of looking all starry eyed at the way light filtered through overgrown trees and brush around an old stone house that is next door to the home of some friends. The house actually belongs to a family member of our friends and they had let me shoot there before with one of my daughters. But there was something different in the way I was seeing the spot this year and I just couldn’t stop thinking about what kind of session I could do there.

But I also had this idea of taking the opportunity of Mother’s Day this month to do something specific that would focus on mothers and daughters. It all clicked together and since Heather just happens to live next door to the stone house and she has a precious baby girl who just happens to be the only girl with three older brothers I thought my chances were pretty good that my daydream would become a reality. I was excited when Heather agreed and it was as close to what I imagined and practically as perfect as it could be.

The light…the lovely green of spring…the beautiful mama and the most adorable little girl. This is how people get hooked on photography, y’all. Baby girl was a little hesitant at first but even that made for a sweet picture.

She warmed up to me though. Isn’t she just the cutest?

The whole thing from start to finish lasted maybe forty minutes but things just kept getting better and better and I probably could have kept shooting. It was so hard to stop.

I mean, just look at that glorious light spilling over these two!

But then we walked around back of the little stone house and even though the light gave us a completely different look I would be hard pressed to choose a favorite from either side. We went from light and airy to rich and creamy smooth.

All in all it was incredibly satisfying and I was so dang happy with the results! A great big thank you to Heather and little Miss R for being in front of my camera.