Once upon a time we had a mom come to us for a family photo session. She wanted to take some pictures of her kids and husband. She wasn’t too sure about where she wanted to go but she wanted it to be totally Hawaii and beautiful. Maybe someplace by the ocean, maybe someplace by the mountains. She hadn’t decided. But she wanted some pictures, it was going to be fun and pretty but beyond that, she hadn’t given it much thought. Maybe there would even be a picture she could use for Christmas cards.
What she didn’t know when she first started looking for the perfect photographer was that there was something missing in her life. It was something that had happened gradually…over time…she hadn’t meant for it to happen but it just did. It was the inevitable drift of modern life. She knew she loved her kids and her husband but man, life was busy. There was never enough time to just sit and soak every family member up. Who even does that!??
It was like a tiny itch, hovering just out of reach, slightly irritating and every so often she would bat at it, trying to get it to go away but no matter how hard she tried, it was always there. It was her wanting to connect with her family but never having the time. And she could feel the drift, the kids moving steadily away to friends and school activities. The drift in her marriage, the casual assumption that the other person would be there no matter what.
She wanted more. She wanted to feel loved and connected. She wanted to see her family exactly as there were…imperfect and perfect, loving and complicated. She didn’t even realize that this was her soul’s ask.
But it was…and we saw that. We asked and we listened. We pushed her to see her family for what they truly were…beautiful and precious and sassy and flawed…and her’s…her family…the one’s she was lucky enough to live with for these oh so sweet, but few years.
And after we listened to her story we took the time to hear her partner’s story. It was so different from her’s…the story she told about how they first met was completely different for him. The way he described their love story was halting and hesitant, how unusual for a photographer to want to speak to the dad, to want to know what he loved best about his family. But his description was touching and heartfelt. He loved her in a way that could barely be described. His love was strong, like a lion guarding his pride. What a blessed woman…she had no idea.
And then we photographed this family. Portraying each individual as exactly who they are and what they bring to the group. Each person unique and totally special yet completely part of the unit. And these pictures are what this family chose to put on their walls. These are the pictures that they look at every day, when things get tough, when they are tempted to brush off the beauty of their bond and ignore what binds them together.
These are the pictures that totally describe why they are a family.