VAN GORDEN. family photoshoot.

love and snuggles, love and snuggles... this is how we're going to have hope and healing in our world. 

i'm pretty sure this group is leading the charge in that department. let's all hold our people a little tighter. 

(scroll to bottom for more on this shoot.)

this sweet family booked a sesh with me about one year ago. i was dealing with recent grief at the time because my mother had just died. it's hard to function in the superficial when something like that happens in your life. so i wasn't sure how approaching this family would be, but even though i met them upon arrival to do their shoot, working with them was soothing to me in that tender space. and i mean really, how can you feel too much grief when you're greeted with hand drawn kitty whiskers on that sweet face?! here's the email i sent them following their shoot: 

I have been wanting to write you since the minute I left your home after our session... I want to say is that your session meant so much to me. I hope this isn't over sharing, but my mom passed away from dementia in February and needless to say, it's caused a good deal of soul searching for me. I've looked deeply at my life choices and I've wanted everything to matter. Mostly in my portrait work, I focus a lot of energy in GIVING to my clients. I want people to walk away seeing more love, more beauty, more life from their portraits. That being said, I walked into your session a little more selfishly. I needed to get something... and I feel like I left with such a full heart from photographing you four! 

I'm so thankful for your family's ability to be so real with me. To just be yourselves with no pressure or expectations of performing or presenting in a certain way. It takes a deep level of vulnerability and self acceptance to do that. I'm not even sure if I'm able!!, but you're my favorite type of client. And I wanted to say thank you for showing up like that. I hope that your portraits make you feel the way I felt from taking them.

as you can see, it meant quite a lot to me. that's the thing with portrait photography; it's such a give and receive type of interaction. i think i'm the luckiest photographer alive to have the type of clients i do. <3