Holding hands, we walked into a tiny indiscreet storefront on Clark Street and hoped she was going to be “the one”. When we interviewed photographers for our wedding, I wanted to hire someone who knew to photograph what I call now, the “significances”. They are the things you think are insignificant, because it is not people, it is not the over the top moments, and it is not the things that are jumping off the page for you to photograph. The significances are quietly hiding in the background, but if you know how to look for them, they bring all the beauty to the story. I LOVED “significances”. As a hobby photographer at the time, I continued to pay special attention to these moments by photographing them. Quite honestly, it was the only way to really tell a story, not just take ‘photographs’.
We since married and it became my purpose to tell our story in the same way I wanted our wedding told. I wanted to photograph every significant detail, big and small. I wanted to document the time we took our first son to the beach to let him sink his toes into the sand of Lake Michigan. And the time I entered the kitchen to find our 2 year old deep in a puddle of honey pouring spoonfuls into her mouth AND onto the floor. And when we drove 18 ½ hours straight home from Florida (yep…you read that right) because my husband and I couldn’t decide which was worse…driving those 18 ½ hours or attempting to check 5 of us into one hotel room and desperately coaxing 3 kids (under 5!) back to sleep, leaving none for us. (You can see how we came to the conclusion to, well, keep on truckin’.)
I photographed every beautiful significance that created those memories. Those significant details became characters in our family’s story. They played the part equally with those that could speak. I photographed his toes in the sand with little waves washing over them, the little fingers holding the spoon lying on the floor in the puddle of honey, the mileage on the dashboard and the headphones with smudged fingerprints that needed new batteries.
And that’s how my passion was born. It was born because I purely obsessed over details that were told without words. I loved finding those details and knew every family had them and they were not being told. I reveled in it so much I wanted to do this for everyone. And now I have been invited into these families’ lives to document these memories and I have fallen in love with each family..
Undoutedly, it happened again this morning. I was welcomed into Lori and Bryce’s home and was privy to so many special rituals only a house full of little voices could create. It involved a little girl’s (well…almost big girl’s) lavender crocheted blanket that once needed some serious stitches or there were going to be some somber tears. I witnessed a “Hulk Smash’ that has become a tradition in its own right. It also presented one of the best photo ops ever! And I caught a glimpse inside a special kiss that mom and dad have with their beautiful little ones. It is so tender and sweet it makes you recall every memory with your own children and rekindles your own childhood memories. That was just the beginning.
Watching these stories unfold before my eyes is why I do what I do. It’s the feeling I get when a family opens themselves up to me and asks me to capture their story, their life. It’s the feeling I get when I see their own story written, not in words but in imagery. I get to feel and see firsthand the love and connectedness that knit these families together. I feel blessed to be able to call this my work.
Many blessings to Lori, Bryce, Ellie and Devon