Archive for 'Family'

June 03, 2014
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It was several years ago when I first met the Johnson family. As a photographer, I witnessed pregnancy, births, first smiles, first steps, and family togetherness. As a friend, I came to love this family as my own and have been forever grateful for all their support and encouragement throughout the years.

I was just a fledgling photographer when I did their first session — nervous, unsure of myself and my abilities — but they believed in me.  It was an honor I’ll never forget.

As I think back about all that I have experienced with this family, two special occasions always come mind. The first was the birth of Miss Aubrey.  My family and I had traveled to Tennessee to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. At 3am, I received a text that the baby was on her way. I completely panicked. Although they texted again telling me it was ok if I couldn’t make it, there was no way I was going to back out! Between rental cars, getting lost, asking directions and breaking the speed limit, I found myself careening into the hospital in a dead run and actually had some time to spare.

The second special occasion was anticipating the birth of Miss Amelia. I had four weddings scheduled, including one in West Virginia, all within days of the baby’s due date.  I remember my phone being an attachment of me — I was never without it — eating, sleeping, shopping, you name it, the phone never left my side. I was so nervous, I was nearly sick thinking what might happen if I were in West Virginia when she went into labor.  Thankfully, the baby arrived before the scheduled wedding shoot, and I was there as they met their daughter for the first time.

Although these were occasions that will never leave my memory, it was the time I spent with the family that I most cherish — we truly have created beautiful memories together.

So to the Johnson family, thank you.  Thank you for believing in me, for sticking by me over the years, and above all, for your encouragement and friendship.

A memory is a photograph, taken by the heart
To make a special moment last forever.

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March 26, 2014
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“Just act natural.”  Those words are said over and over again by photographers across the globe in order to capture the perfect moment between two people.
Does it work? Not usually at first — it takes most people awhile to warm up to being photographed and eventually let down their guard, but when that happens — lookout!

Sissy of Simply Beautiful Artistry, is my ‘go to’ girl for bridal makeup and hairstyling, as her talent is amazing.  Typically, it’s Sissy’s work that’s photographed, not her — so it took a little adjustment and some words of encouragement. Near the end of the session, I said the magic words, “Just act natural,” and turned my back to grab another lens. As I turned again to face the couple, I quickly began shooting because they were doing just that — acting as natural and playful as they do each and every day.  Sissy had laughingly grabbed David in a headlock just moments before he swept her off her feet and began twirling her around.  Not content to quietly stand on the sidelines, their son Mason rushed over and joined the fun.  Amid the laughter, Sissy said, “This is the real us, Julia!”

There was not a doubt in my mind.  This was a family who knew how to play, and excelled at the game.

As twilight started fall at The Ivy Place, I pictured a romantic couple silhouette shot against the skyline and prepared for just that. As the pictures began to roll, I caught a short image running from the left toward the couple. I couldn’t help but smile. Mason was only doing what came natural . . . running to join Mom and Dad to complete the family circle.

Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life.

 

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December 19, 2013
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I’m so thankful to be able to offer a handful of Family Sessions during the Spring and Fall. With each family, there’s always something new, but each also have a common thread of ‘togetherness’ that always makes me smile.
When I photographed this family, I couldn’t help but think about my own sister. Watching these two little sisters as they paraded before my camera lens, holding hands one minute, laughing together another, took me back to one story in particular . . .

It was a few weeks before Christmas, and I was about five years old. Mom had taken my sister and me to see the Christmas parade in the local rural town near where we lived. Last in the parade, riding on a huge red fire truck with blasting sirens, was Santa Claus. I can barely recall my excitement, but Mom told me I stood like a statue, eyes as big a silver dollars, mouth open in awe of the spectacle before me.
As Santa climbed down from the fire truck and walked up the steps of the local bank to his special chair, children lined up for a visit on Santa’s knee.
I wanted to see Santa so much, but all of a sudden, I was scared. Very scared. Mom took my sister and me by the hand to get in line, and she had to nearly drag me into place. “Don’t you want to see Santa?” Mom asked. I looked at the ground and refused to answer. I was still scared.
All of a sudden, my sister took my hand, looked at Mom and said, “I’ll take her, I’m not afraid,” and up the steps we went to see Santa. I remember thinking I had the best sister in the world. She stood beside me and held my hand while Santa lifted me up to his lap.  I was no longer afraid, but it was my sister who helped me take that first step.

There is no better friend than a sister. And there is no better sister than you.

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September 19, 2013
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It’s not often that we encounter someone whose life is so similar to our own, that it’s nearly like a mirror image.  That was my first thought when I met Lindsey and Steve, and their son, Jackson.
A couple who loves to travel, who is devoted to their son, and most of all, enjoys life to its fullest, finding humor and fun in nearly every situation. I couldn’t help but think of my own family.

Lindsey met Steve over four years ago. Although they worked for the same company, their paths seldom crossed until they were both chosen to attend a conference in Dallas. For Lindsey, it was her first trip by plane, and she was so nervous her knuckles were white holding onto the armrests. Steve, seeing her distress, sat with her through take-off, engaging her in conversation until they reached their destination. After two days in Dallas, the couple became fast friends, and within two months, they were dating.

Following the birth of their son, Jackson, the couple began a new tradition called Sunday Funday, in which they put everything on the back burner to enjoy a day of family togetherness. Regardless of how hectic work schedules may be, the couple is totally devoted to each other and to their son. As Lindsey said, “Steve has a genuine, true love for me and our son. He would move Heaven and Earth if it meant making us happy.”

The couple’s engagement session was held at The Ivy Place in Lancaster, SC, and true to the family’s tendency toward playfulness, Jackson joined in the fun, completing this beautiful family circle.

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September 18, 2013
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The ways of God are mysterious and known only to Him, but occasionally; we are witness to a miracle that can only be attributed to the Almighty.

After several years of disappointments and broken dreams, my friends Michael and Melissa had nearly lost their hope of having another child.  During this time, Michael’s father, Junior, was one of their steadfast allies, always ready to lend a listening ear, and quick with the kind of encouragement only a parent can provide.  Described by Michael as “the greatest Dad a guy could ever have,” Junior was his hero, best friend, and role model in life.

All too soon, Junior passed away in May, 2011, without ever setting eyes on the legacy that would soon be his.  The family was distraught and felt adrift without Junior’s presence.

On what would have been the couple’s 41st anniversary, Junior’s wife, Kathy, wrote, “41 years ago today I married my soul-mate.We grew up together and made many happy memories together. But 74 days ago I lost him and my soul has a hole in it. I miss him so very much and although I know we will be together again, I still don’t know how to live the days until that happens. In my memories you’re smiling and laughing, I will always remember the happy times. Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband. Junior, I will love you forever! A life that touches others will go on forever.”

As the family’s first Christmas without Junior approached, the mood was solemn. The holiday excitement was missing. That is, until Junior’s son and daughter-in-law received a gift  — the news that they were finally expecting.

In August 2012, baby Kayden was born, and it was if the family did a double-take when they looked into her eyes.  For staring back at them was nearly an identical resemblance to Junior’s smiling cheeks and deep-set eyes.

In some Eastern religions, we read of the belief that the soul of deceased person comes back to life in a newborn.  Whether or not this is to be believed, one thing is certain — a beautiful child has a way of helping mend the soul’s wounds – a way of healing the emptiness of that which has been lost.

The truth from Kathy’s words are apparent as you look into the eyes of this beautiful child, “A life that touches others will go on forever.”

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January 30, 2013
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I have always prayed before each of my sessions, asking God to work through me. Asking Him to help me use my heart and soul as I look through the camera lens, asking Him to guide my actions as I capture a precious moment in time.

And for the Davis family, time is precious indeed.

Scott and Jayme met over a decade ago, and they both agree it was love at first sight. They married, had a daughter, and took a leap of faith moving from Florida to North Carolina. “We just literally picked a spot on the map!” said Jayme, knowing that God would be with them regardless of their destination.
Theirs was a typical life, as they joined a local church, and added to their family with the birth of a son. Being such a close knit and loving family, life was good and the sky was the limit.

Then, a few short weeks ago, Scott was diagnosed with Peritoneal Mesothelioma, an aggressive type of cancer.

“You just never imagine waking up one day to your world being turned upside down, let alone looking in the eyes of your nine and three-year-old and breaking the news,” said Jayme.

And it was with the Davises I found myself last weekend, capturing a loving family who knew not what tomorrow would bring.
Their love for each other was so evident, their happiness as a family so joyful.  To watch them together, one would never know the family faces great emotional trials and heartbreaking decisions.

With each shot, I became more emotionally tied to this family. While I am a believer, it was hard for me, knowing the burdens that had been placed upon them.  At one point, I had to turn aside and ‘adjust my camera’ because my eyes were so full of tears I could no longer see to focus.

I can’t say enough about the love this family has for one another. Words fail me.

After the session, I sat in my car and let the tears and prayers flow.  And it was during this time alone, that I realized I had just witnessed a life changing experience not only for this family, but for myself as well.  When faced with the possibility of a terminal illness, families come together.  They cherish each moment, each smile and each word.

In some ways, this family is actually one of the lucky ones — as they already know that each moment must count.
Scott and Jayme also know there is nothing too big for God in His greatness.

Thank YOU Davis Family. My life is far better for having met you – as through you, I have learned the importance of each moment in time. May God Bless You.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
Corinthians 13:13
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When the call went out to the Photog Divas (a photography group in Charlotte, NC) that the Davises needed a family portrait, within minutes over 20 photographers had volunteered their services.  This group is amazing in their generosity and compassion, as they began putting together a lasting tribute to this wonderful family.  One member contacted ProDPI (a photo imaging company based in Colorado used by several of our photographers) to see if funds raised by the group could be matched in order to purchase a collage of photos and album for the family. In the true giving spirit of photographers, ProDPI declined to accept payment, and instead offered to provide this family with a huge gift of portraits for their home.

Read Scott’s online journal and leave words of encouragement on his guestbook – http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/scott_davis/journal

Help the family with meals – http://www.takethemameal.com/meals.php?t=KCAV5072&welcome=1

Make a donation to help the family – http://www.giveforward.com/scottsjourney

Send a word of thanks to ProDPI – https://www.facebook.com/prodpi

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December 05, 2012
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Here is the growing family of photographer Mary Morgan with Pink Life Photography.

I photographed Mary’s family last year as well when they were expecting their sweet miracle and blessing, Kam. As you can see, there is clearly a lot of love, silliness and happiness in this family and it was a complete honor being able to capture that again this year.

Thank You Mary & Johnie for traveling down to this magical sunlit field for your session…I do believe it’s now my favorite spot!

Enjoy!