Monday, April 23, 2018

RYAN & JAMIE || PARTY OF NINE

Many of you know that my sister-in-law Jennifer passed away in May of 2017. As you can imagine, being a single dad to 4 little kids has been REALLY, REALLY hard for my brother Ryan. In July of 2017, he met an amazing woman, Jamie, and they started dating. In October, I went home for Skylar's homecoming, and they were just starting to talk about getting married, but hadn't picked a date and Jamie hadn't even met our family yet. We invited her to spend the weekend with our wild crazy family, we figured she would either survive being with ALL of us for a few days, or it might scare her away from our crazy crew!! {we are a lot when we are all together!}

I guess she decided she could handle us, because I had only been home to Chicago for a week or two when Ryan called and asked me if I would be willing to come back and take their engagement photos. {uhm, sure, why didn't we just do it while I was there? Kidding, Sort of!!} We made arrangements for me to come the first weekend of December, and I was only going to be in Utah for a little over 24 hours. I PRAYED for good weather and a good day to take photos. I also prayed that I could keep control of 7 children under 11, that none of them would end of in the stream, {in hindsight, that might not have been our brightest idea}, and that we would get ONE good photo for the announcement!!

When we pulled up to the park, there were protesters EVERYWHERE, apparently we had just missed a rally at the capital building and we were stuck in the middle of everyone leaving. Luckily we found some parking and went to some stairs far away from the water and the protesters...and because prayers are answered the weather was beautiful and somehow we managed to get ONE almost perfect shot!! Oh man, they are CUTE together!!


Personally I think this one is my very favorite, maybe my favorite from all of last year. This is real life, especially with 7 kids!!


And because somehow everyone was cooperating {mostly} for a couple seconds, I was able to grab some individual shots of each of them. While I was trying to get a few shots of Ryan and Jamie {and while trying to make sure the kids weren't in the water} we had a few little helpers who wanted to be a part of the action, I'm pretty sure this is going to be their new normal. {They better plan lots of getaways because there isn't going to be any relaxing at home!} But man, these two have some CUTE kids!!!













Happy engagement, I know it's totally anti-climatic now that you're already married, but hey, I didn't pick my busiest time for you to get engaged and married!! :) I love you both and can't wait to watch you raise these little munchkins!! 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

THE STEWART FAMILY || JOY AND LIGHT

It was pretty clear from the moment they stepped out of the car that this little girl brings this family so much light, and has them all wrapped around her little finger. She was the sweetest, most adorable girl the whole time, and she was very cooperative while we were doing this photo shoot. Most of the shots were centered around her, and she was such a good listener. We weren't sure how long she would last - you know how kids can be, especially when you really want them to cooperate, but she did a great job and we got SO many great photos. I had such a hard time choosing my favorites from this photo shoot.

I know that this family has had it's fair share of struggles. I know they have had health issues and pain and just really hard times. But, you wouldn't know it when you meet them, they are so positive, happy and full of light. They make you feel special and important. I loved watching them together, I loved seeing how much they all care about each other and how much they cherish being together as a family.

I know from my own personal experiences that going through hard times, and struggling together makes you stronger and more united. I find this to be true of the Stewart family. Thank you Dawn for letting me capture your family. You should be very proud of each one of your children and in-laws. They bring light and joy to all those they meet. I am blessed to know you and your children, keep doing what you are doing. Keep cheering them on to be their best and know that I am inspired by your love, your strength and your light.



























Thursday, January 25, 2018

CALLEIGH'S BAPTISM || 8 IS REALLY GREAT

There is something so precious and special about an 8 year old child who is ready to make covenants, choose the right and be baptized. There is something special about being able to have your very own photo shoot, especially if you're like me and you grew up in a big family and you rarely got to do anything alone!! There is something beautiful about being dressed all in your Sunday best and getting to have all the attention on you for a whole day. And, if you've ever been to a baptism, you know that the spirit is SO strong and you can feel the love that our Father in Heaven has for each one of us.

I was so excited that we had a beautiful, mostly warm day in November, to take these pictures of Calleigh. Her mom had so many cute ideas that she wanted to incorporate into her photo shoot, and I'm so happy with how they turned out. Calleigh and I both love sparkles - especially sparkly shoes, twirly dresses and taking pictures. She would have stayed with me all day and let me take her pictures for hours and hours.

Calleigh, I am so proud of you and the choice you made to be baptized. Your Heavenly Father loves you so much and wants you to always remember how you felt on your special day. Always remember you are special, you can be anything you want to be and you get to choose to be happy!! I hope you always remember how beautiful you are and never let anyone tell you any different! Congratulations!