My friend Beth has four daughters. Being the oldest of four myself, it’s possible that that’s why I feel so utterly at home when I’m with her. It also might be that they model so beautifully making family their ‘home’ or that they’re well traveled as a unit, and have a comfortable way about them that will put you at ease in their presence. After returning from a few years in Mexico, their most recent move has landed them in Asheville, NC where they’ve opened a thriving taco shop. Beth also writes (exquisitely) and mentors (heart-centeredly) over at Revolution from Home. My point is, they are busy folks, with just small windows of time where all six of their schedules might overlap to capture them together. They returned to Austin for a few days over the holidays to visit their oldest daughter, families, and their newest (3 weeks) nephew. I met them at Hunter’s sister’s house to reconnect for a spell and capture a bit of them together. I love to be present with a family as they are on that day. Lazy mornings, washing hands to hold the baby, making breakfast, doing the dishes, rolled eyes, crossed eyes, goofing off. My deepest hope is that I am capturing a small time capsule that saves the beauty of the everyday that we often don’t pause long enough to see in our own families. The value that we put on our time together as a family often grows with hindsight. While I remember milestones and celebrations with my family growing up, the memories I treasure most now seemed so small at the time. Like the way my parents held each when they were just doing it for each other, the way my sister fit perfectly on my papa’s knee and how her eyes would all but disappear when her smile was candidly beaming (still does). I remember how for years, anywhere you found my brother, you found him with his guitar in hand or how my other brother often looks off into the distance when he’s telling a story, he’s so lost in it. My goal for every family session is the same. Try and get some of *that*. Some of the “remember how goofy?”, “remember how tender?”, “remember the silly shit we used to fight about?”, “remember what used to make her laugh so hard?”, “remember her carrot soup?”, “remember how she used to knit everywhere?”, “remember how hard he worked to get things off the ground that year?”, “remember what a 3 week old baby sounds like, smells like?”, “remember what that whirlwind trip to Austin felt like?”. To me these just feel like the ingredients of remembering the love and the shared experiences that make a family, a family. This sweet family has it in spades, and as always, I feel so blessed that I was asked see it through my lens. <3
*There are some portraits and posed family shots thrown in at the end, because omigod, when in the world will I get them all in one place again?