I recently got the chance to photograph my brother, Samuel, his wife, Jessica and their two boys (my nephews- Káel and Cedar) on a Sunday morning. I’ve been wanting to do more in home family sessions, and I’m going to start offering this, this year in my collections.
They started their day with waffles, bacon, being silly around the table… I just hung out for 3 hours or so and was a fly on the wall. It was really sweet for my heart to see my brother being such a wonderful father and loving husband. They are a super talented family. (You can visit their work at http://riverfolkfilms.com/ and http://bohemianink.com)
I was thinking recently about family photos/in home photography sessions, how in the moment of having them taken, they aren’t as special to us as they will be in a year or even in three years. I remember having photos taken of my family a few years ago (before I had my second son). I loved them, but today, I love them more then I ever did before. Why? Because in the moment, that is what is normal to you, the way your kids look, the way they smile, the large amounts of diapers you change, the book you have read 100 million times, the way they can destroy a room with a plastic car, the way they ask you for things, or hug you. In a year from now, they won’t be the same. They won’t even look the same, your mundane routine will be completely different and you’ll wish that you had more photos of your daily routine a year ago to remember. It’s marvelous and its full of the mundane. I think making the jump to have an artist photograph your family and realizing that in the moment these are beautiful but in a year or in ten years they will mean the world to you. I love giving back those memories to families. Especially to all the hero moms who take care of their kids day in and day out, through wonderful days and awful horrible days. We deserve to remember what was beautiful through all the rough. I am one of those moms and the photos I have with my boys mean so much to me. I can photograph my husband with the boys all day long, but at the end of the day I am the one who takes care of them day in and day out while my husband works so hard to provide. I started a 365 day photo project this year of just the men in my house. I have called this “The Marvelous Mundane.” and this phrase has helped me through so much this year. I have needed those moments of finding that marvelous moment in the middle of sick boys, messes, laundry, cold weather… etc. It keeps me sane to see my beautiful life. I know that at the end of the year I’ll have this story to tell of my two boys who became best friends. My favorite quote right now is “Motherhood is the sacred marriage of the mundane and the eternal.” – Lisa-Jo Baker So cheers to remembering those marvelous mundane days.
So with that long intro, here is a day in the Gatlyn family. Enjoy!
Everyone knows her as Ariella, I know her as Kami. She is a childhood friend that me and my brother spent so much time with. (She was even my flute teacher!) Kami is a fighter and always has been. She was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at a very young age and has fought for her life over and over again. She graduated college as a lawyer and her fighting led her to amazing things like working as an attorney for Mayer Bloomberg in NYC. She spent some time living in Israel and came back to the states…. the last few years she has been fighting for her life and has almost died quite a few times the last couple years. It’s been a very rough year for her.
She recently contacted me to see if I would do a shoot for her. (we haven”t seen each other in 13-15 years, but have been friends on facebook keeping up with each other.) She recently won Miss Wheelchair North Carolina and wanted some photos for it. (You’ll see her wearing a crown in a few photos!)
We spent an evening at a new venue in Mooresville “The Historic Plantation House at Langtree” (which has lots of childhood meaning for both Kami and I- long story) We fought rain and made the most of it! I’m so happy I got to do this with her.