I spent two days in South Carolina this past December with the Hildebrands, documenting little rituals like bath time, and capturing their visit to Sullivan’s Island, a beach they frequent on sunny days. But even before taking photos, I ate with them, I sat with them, I talked to them about their lives. I walked around their house, entering every room, getting a feel for their story that was slowly surfacing. The first few hours were not only about getting in the right mental space but envisioning the outcome of their session before it even began. I’ve never been the type of photographer to just show up and shoot. Whether it’s a wedding or a session there is a lot of time I invest with my couples and families long before they are even in front of my camera. This will always be more than a job to me. It’s more so a rally to bring out the best and most honest interactions and emotions between my subjects. The imagery, the edit, it’s all secondary; it’s all just proof that it even happened.
I’ll never forget the first time Kimmy and I connected. We had followed each other on instagram for some time, and eventually she scheduled a family session with me. This was almost two years ago, when she was still living in Seattle, before she had her sweet baby boy Shep. I remember the days leading up to the session. We would send texts back and forth about all sorts of topics. This woman truly spoke my language with her big heart and perspective on life. We are also both huge empaths and tad bit eccentric, so we clicked off the bat.
Shortly after our first session, Taylor, Kimmy and their daughter Sawyer moved to South Carolina. It made me sad to see them go so soon because Kimmy had already started to feel like a friend. To my luck, after Shep was born, Kimmy reached out again. Now that they were a family of four she wanted more images in SC.
This family session represents the way I love to capture families, and all relationships. Like I said, I’m really not a show up and shoot kinda gal. If you ask me to meet you at park for 20 minutes and snap a few pics, it would completely go against everything that makes my business so near and dear to my heart. It would undermine the power of connection that fuels all of my creative work.
If I could walk away from my passion as a photographer with one fundamental belief ringing strongly in my ears, it would be:
It is not my desire to mold my client into someone they are not. It is not my hope to pose them, direct them, capture them in a way that doesn’t feel genuine or represent who they really are. And by taking time to observe what makes them feel most alive, most themselves, I am setting myself up to successfully tell their story.
Part 1 for now because it’s hard to let all these images go at the same time. Like dropping off your first born at Kindergarten, wouldn’t you love to do it all over again. Well that’s what part 2 is for my friends 🙂 Coming soon? Stay tuned.