I believe family is one of the most important things you can have in life - or more specifically, a really loving and supportive family. So whether you appoint friends as family or whether family is the one you were born into, having a group of people who are there is essential to the pursuit of happiness. To me family are there to share holidays with, to celebrate love with, to pick you up when life has run you over, and they are there to make you crazy, but help you grow. I had the extreme pleasure of spending the day with a family who are goofy, driven, fun, and gorgeous - did I mention I'm related? Most of my family sessions are spent getting to know new families and documenting their life and love, but for this family lifestyle session I drove to the home of my mother's sister, Cheri, her husband, Wayne, and my cousins, Heather and Victoria; a home which I've visited countless times in the past for graduation parties, christmas mornings, and sleepovers where we all wore footy pajamas.
The afternoon started out with some laughs and giggles with the family dog, Lincoln, who has a completely unique personality all his own, but he fits in perfectly with these goofs.
As we walked around their family yard, we stopped to capture some classic - and some not so classic - head shots of the whole family. And my Uncle Wayne felt compelled to show us his gun collection.
The whole family loves being outdoors in nature, with Victoria studying for her Master's in Marine Science, Heather a former member of the SVSU waterskiing team, to Wayne who collects all matters of creatures and to Cheri who enjoys going for walks everyday, nature needed to be a factor in this session. They took a few minutes to look for frogs and check out the ecosystem in Wayne's new lily pond.
I just love them to pieces and the fact that Lincoln was thoroughly enjoying this faux tug of war between the sisters.
The family walk continued into the back field and they took a minute for a collective group squeeze with Lincoln looking on in the distance.
As they walked and chatted about all the comings-and-goings of everyone, Wayne decided to open up one of his wooden bird houses. A bug infested surprise awaited their discussed faces.
Heather and Victoria you both are seriously so beautiful and Heather, you tooootally rocked the America's Next Top Model "smize."
As the session wrapped the group walked through Cheir and Wayne's veterinary clinc's memorial garden and admired all the beautiful change.
As we all hugged good bye I had to capture the family with their home as it is just as much a part of their life right now and has grown with them, creaking and sighing with the love protected behind it's walls.
What is it about your family, today, that you always want to remember? I'd love to hear in the comments!