Her chubby little hand wrapped tight around her Moms finger as she toddled her way down the driveway towards me. Her hot pink mary jane shoes wobbled one in front of the other, as if she had to focus on each step to be sure she could keep up with herself. I crouched down and said hello to this little miss and it was a mere 3 seconds before I knew why she could steal hearts. The youngest of 4 girls, with a smile that reaches all the way to her eyes, could just burst your heart.
This family is very dear to my heart. We’ve been friends for a long time now. Stephen is an incredible musician (Check him out HERE) He is amazingly talented and is one of the most extraordinarily heartfelt writers I’ve ever met. More than that, he’s an absolutely amazing Father. Kirsten is radiant. Her smile and spirit are infectious and anyone who is in her space knows exactly why her family and friends are so lucky! She wears motherhood like an exquisite gown that just fits like it was designed for her. Their 4 girls are full of life, full of light and so much fun to be around. Each one of them is beautiful and smart, silly and sweet and so incredibly special. In just a short amount of time, it is easy to see why this family is so beautiful.
When I first started photographing families, I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was that I loved so much. That is until I photographed this fabulous bunch. About 7 years ago, when I was just starting my business, I visited with these peeps who graciously let me document some of their family memories. Sweet Sophia was just 3 years old and was about to become a big sister for the first time. Playing in the backyard, we were cataloging these moments before their family of three became a family of four. As if that wasn’t special enough, they are such dear friends who just exude love. It was then that I understood my passion. I loved capturing those moments in time, those giggles, smiles and hugs. I knew I was in the right place.
Over the years I’ve thought back to that session as it stands out so vividly in my mind. What was it about that session? What was it that felt so familiar, so genuine and so much like home? I struggled to figure it out as years passed, but this weekend it became clear. Their family had grown since our last session. A total of 4 girls now and each of them radiates a light unlike any other. I was welcomed back to document their family memories and just like that, as soon as our session began, it was as if someone turned a light on in a pitch dark room. They are so connected.
This family LOVES. Stephen and Kirsten have designed a home where love seeps from their pores and shines so bright that it can almost blind you. They love hard on their family and that is what drew me to them. 7 years ago I couldn’t put my finger on it, but this past weekend it was more clear than anything. My absolute passion is to document families who have a passion for their own. That’s a big deal right there. I love real life, real memories, real moments. I love the stolen kisses, the messy faces, the belly laughing. These are the things I love. These are the things my clients love. These are the things that this family is so good at. It is the honest, genuine emotions of families that are connected that makes my heart soar. This family has graciously given me more than I could ever thank them for. While I know they feel grateful to have the memories of their family, I am the grateful one. They have given me clarity of what is so meaningful to me about my passion, my gift, and my purpose.
I so strongly believe that we are supposed to share our memories with those who share our space. Put these moments on the wall so that you can remember that when the day is long, the kids are tired, and the laundry is piling up, that yes! This is all worth it! That these little blessings, these little sparks of light are ours to take care of for a little while. You can remember that these little spirits will change the world with a little guidance and a lot of love. What an amazing gift to watch. We really are so lucky.
It doesn’t matter to me if you are an actor, a CEO, a doctor or a garbage man. I’m willing to bet that the greatest thing in your life is your family. I’ve never cared much for status, I’ve always cared for love. Who do you love the most? Would it shine through if someone were watching? It should. It matters. Make them feel it. Show it to them.
I can’t help but feel that if every family were as lucky to love one another as much as this family does, we could all learn something. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle, to get held in the chaos, but when it’s the end of the line, its really all about the love. I won’t try to convince you, the images speak for themselves. I can only creatively document what I witness in its most organic sense. This family is truly an example of the most important gifts in life.
Learn by example. Drench them in love. It’s good for all of us.
I am so very grateful for you, Kelloggs. Thank you for sharing your greatest blessings with me. I’m already excited for our next session!
(…And it will definitely be sooner than 7 years!)
In gratitude with big hugs,
In gratitude with big hugs,