This was our first meeting, and new families mean I get to hear and see their unique expression of what love looks like. These bright-eyed, beautiful little girls both gave me lots of smiles and laughs, and I got to watch their parents do that tag team thing that happens when a couple has a pair of busy girls. They did so with affection and ease, and while I'm sure there are days that aren't so quiet and simple, what stands out to me about this session is how peaceful it was. I am continually humbled by the goodness that occurs when I get to show up for a photo session and bear witness to a family who decides to fully show up for a session, bringing their best. That's what happened here, and while I love how wardrobe choices and warm light played into how these photographs look and feel, what stands out is the interactions illustrative of how a family goes together just so. So much joy to behold here...
This beautiful family and I met up for the third time this fall, and the triplets are now three, talkative and full of ideas. I let the kids take the lead, and the end result was a collection of photographs that are pure joy. Any time I work with a sibling group, I want to capture both their relationships and the individual personalities of each child, and I think this session allowed me to do just that. Family photos that are illustrative of real life preserve the story of children growing up that I like to think they will one day show their children and grandchildren. When I get to photograph families who relax and enjoy the process, what is beautiful about that family naturally emerges. These guys shine, and the way they love looks good on them. I can't wait to see how they grow and change when they turn four.
Not sure how it happened that my little friend Super G turned 4. When I was growing my business, Grant was my nanny charge during his first year. One incredible part about being a photographer is that a lot of the littles I nannied through the years have an annual appointment for photos, so even if I don't see a whole lot of them in-between, we minimally cross paths then. These guys are so low-key and fun, so shooting around Denton was a great fit. I loved hearing an update of the past year and hearing Grant's stories from the State Fair (he'd been there the day before). This little man is learning to live big. I think everyone's favorite part of the session was hitting up Hypnotic Donuts, where Grant managed to put away his doughnut in about thirty seconds flat. I love how Grant's parents are committed to each other and to loving Grant well, and I think it shows in these photos. They're an amazing family.
It's been just over three years since this crew became a part of my life and over those three years, Christina and I have become friends and launched our wedding photography business together. Christina does (stunning) portrait work as well, so we planned the session primarily with family interactions in mind. Moms tend to be holding the camera when it's time to capture candid memories, and when Mom is also a photographer, that reality seems to increase. Alongside becoming friends, Christina and I have talked a lot about the value of family portraits. We believe kids having photos with their parents matters. We believe photography can allow families to see what is beautiful and true about their lives. We want to create tangible memories of what a family being who they are looks like at any given season of life. I think great photographs provide parents with reminders of all that is good on those tough days when nobody's minding and everybody's crying and nothing seems to be working. Those days happen. But they do not define a family.
What defines a family are walks to the nearby park, running up and down the hill, collapsing into tickle fights and all the things that add up to "I love you, I love you, I love you." I am so happy with how these photographs turned out, but I'm happier to call the Childress family friends. I'm honored to be a part of their story.
If any story can be redeemed, which I believe to be possible, then the car accident that led to the premature arrival of baby Claire (the youngest of this foursome) had an element of redemption in the way friends rallied around the family during that time. I was more of a friend-of-a-friend back then, with mutual relationships connecting us. I'd done their photos before, but Claire and her mama needed a little help, and I had a little time. So help I did. And now we are friends, a sliver of redemption perhaps. Maybe it's presumption to make this speculation, as I did not suffer through the pain and challenges caused by the accident. But I can't help but think that the way friendships form and thrive in the midst of hard things puts a stout solidity in their foundation. For this I am grateful. I'm also grateful for a beautiful day at the fair with my friends. We rode rides and weathered crowds. We ate funnel cake and fed animals. We made plans and re-planned based on better, more thrilling activities. And I think (I hope) I captured the blend of relationships that is siblings who are oftentimes also friends on a super fun day for a kid or four. The State Fair of Texas is an institution, and that we got to do this year's portraits there gives a little more fun to the photo session punch. I always love sharing photographs from a session, but when those photos are of friends, the sharing is that much richer. Just love these beautiful kids!