Katie is an old classmate of mine and although we ran in mostly different circles, our school was small so it was pretty easy to stay connected after graduation. I remember watching her journey through social media, as she became a mom. At the time, not many of my peers had children. I paid attention to each of her posts, always absorbing the magic she put out. I had begun to look up to her as a mom before I ever knew I’d become one myself.
When she reached out a few years back for a family session with her and her oldest, I was ecstatic. I had recently started my photography business and was so nervous to photograph someone I had known in another life. I spent some time with her and Jackson and captured some of my favorite pictures to date.
It wasn’t as much about the photos for me as it was the connection that I saw in them. Jackson was only a few years old at the time, and she treated him with so much love and respect. He was more than a toddler in her eyes, he was his own person. Their bond was undeniable. The way that little boy looked at his momma gave me a feeling that I wouldn’t understand for a few more years when I had my own. Looking back, I think that session is what started to change the way I saw things.
I remember driving home that night in such awe of Katie. She was patient and gentle. Everything about their interaction lead me to believe that she was pouring her all into Jackson each and every day. Katie was raising him with so much curiosity, kindness and love, and she was doing it mostly on her own.
When she reached out this year for a family session with her husband and two boys, my heart just swelled. It made me so happy to see that all the love and patience I had witnessed the first time around, had only doubled. The four of them were just as bonded and connected as Katie and Jackson had been. It was incredible to see Katie get to do it all over again.
Her and her boys arrived in the cutest neutral toned outfits, and we spent the evening running around Ledge View Nature Center. So much of their session was focused on letting the boys be little, and enjoying all the giggles and sass that comes with each of their ages. With Jackson old enough to entertain Theo, we were able to sneak in a few of Katie and John too!
Our time together went too quickly, and as we were leaving Katie said something that struck my heart. She said “it’s always been my dream to have the same photographer capture my family, so I hope we can do this again.” Katie, you are the one who inspired me to document moments and feelings rather than just perfect photos. I would love to be the one who helps you remember each season of your life for as long as you’ll have me.