Years ago, I photographed her sister’s wedding. It was a beautiful event with so many special moments. I was brand new and still figuring out this photography thing. I took all the photos and proudly delivered their gallery. Even though they’re so different than I shoot now and definitely a newbie’s work, I’m still proud of that gallery.
You see, a few months after her wedding, their dad suddenly passed away. And my photos were some of the last of him. It was then that I learned these moments that we as photographers document matter. What I captured for them mattered! They’re not just pictures, they’re memories. Things to hold onto when life doesn’t go as expected. They’ve been used since to honor him and so many ways, and every time I cry. I will never forget reading the words that he was gone, and immediately knowing I was able to give them something to hold onto him just a little longer. It rocked me, and I’m serious when I say that moment changed the way I view my career.
Ok, now that I’m crying, let me bring this back full circle as I type through my tears. This sweet little princess is her grandpa’s name sake, and the photo of her below holding a necklace…that’s his finger print. She’s his third granddaughter, and I know he’s smiling down from heaven as he watches his girls raise girls.
This family (I’m looking at all you Smith girls and your men) is a real as it gets. They’ve pushed through the heartache and let this bring them closer. No doubt their dad would be proud. They’re raising a second generation of Godly women to rise up and show the world what grace, love and strength looks like. If we raise my girls to be half as beautiful on the inside as these women, we will have done our jobs well.
It’s been the biggest honor photographing all their milestones. Two NC weddings and now newborns for this newest member. I can’t wait to watch her grow and see the beautiful woman she grows into.
Olivia & Joseph, you know I love you two but I have to say it again. Thank you for trusting me to capture these for you. Eden is perfect in every way, and beyond blessed to have you as parents! She will change the world. I have no doubt about it.
*make sure to scroll all the way down to see their first baby stealing the show!
Film scans by PhotoVision Prints