Mount Rogers summit hike with my dear, dear Dallas. It was one of those days where everything is just right. Where you’re so full up on happy that you could burst. All good things.
While shooting is slow this winter, I’ve come to Southwestern Virginia to help out some good friends with getting settled into life with newborn twins on top of a 6 year old a 3 year old, 1 horse, 1 dog, 2 pigs, 2 sheep, 2 cats, 2 peafowl, 6 turkeys and 38 laying hens. I’ve been seeking a chance to step away from the glorification of busy that comes with living in our modern society and this was the perfect opportunity. One might think I’m off my rocker by suggesting that I could get away from “busy” with all the shenanigans that unfold in a full house on a farm, but it’s the best kind of busy. Teaching children yourself and making every meal from scratch. Helping kids explore in the woods and rocking two babies at once. Planning a garden big enough to largely feed a family of 6.
I’m full of joy out here in the country and I want to document the beauty that surrounds me. This is the first post in a weekly series I’ll be doing on my life at the farm.
It was such a privilege to photograph Megan, Dave, McKay and Grandma at home. McKay regularly plays animal hospital in bed with Grandma. Megan is a gluten-free genius in the kitchen and that’s where you’re likely to find her at any given moment. Family playtime on the floor, toddler tantrums and comforting momma-tummy rubs are all part of the story. A beautiful story it is.
Fort Collins, Colorado
My good friend Nick is funny. He’s hot..and he lives life the way he sees fit. Nick has an enthusiasm for living that is contagious. I wanted to capture that zest- especially the way his whole face lights up a room (or in this case a dark alley).
Capitol Hill, Seattle, Washington
This family is a special one. Through a series of unlikely events while on my bike tour, I showed up, stinking and sweaty, on their steps with my cycling friend, Sean, in tow. Dave and Cindy welcomed us inside and slid plates of watermelon in front of us. When we told the Grooters about our journey, they insisted that we stay in their home. They had an engagement to attend that evening, so they left tow strangers alone in their home. If that’s not goodness and trust, then their next gift surely is. Sean and I wanted to take a peak at the Royal Gorge so we asked how far of a bike ride it was. We were told it was about 15 miles uphill. We had a rest day planned for the next day, so we thought we’d go ahead and try it.. but then, Dave HANDED US THE KEYS TO HIS TRUCK and told us to have fun. I don’t know about you, but as much as I trust people and try to see the good in everyone, I’m not quite sure I’d be willing to let a complete stranger drive my vehicle.
The light this family emits is contagious. As a way to somehow try to thank them for their kindness, I shot their first ever family photos.
One morning, about 5 months ago, I received an email from Danielle connecting herself to me by way of a mutual friend. She informed me that she’d be following my Instagram for awhile and said that if I was ever in Jacksonville, she’d love if I could take her family photos. The funny thing is, I already had a trip to Jacksonville planned for the week before I was to leave on my epic bicycling adventure. The beauty of it is that Danielle had no way of knowing my travel plans.
Just as beautiful is the way our at-home session turned out- there isn’t a moment about the morning they shared with me that would change. Danielle answered the door in her robe and immediately offered me a coffee (in a camera lens mug no less). We chatted and laughed and eventually I pulled out my camera to document the morning. The Ramirez home is SO brilliantly them and they allowed me to capture them in such an authentic way. <3 all around.
The mouth-watering smell of homemade pizzas surrounding us. A beautiful hodgepodge of table settings and seating arrangements. fresh.cut.flowers. The heavy Southern sun that drips from the trees and makes everything gold. Jazzy/bluegrassy/lovely-like sounds dancing through the thick Florida air. Foxy red-headed friends. Twinkle lights. TWINKLE lights.
Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014