My dear brother Ben married his partner Harley in the Russian River Valley last weekend, followed by the most wonderful party at El Rio in San Francisco. This photo of Ben and Harley salsa dancing sums it up for me. A weekend full of celebration of two amazing people and their relationship. I can still hear the music.
My cousin Ashley fell in love shortly after she moved to South Africa several years ago and met George. Our extended family met George only a few times, over Christmas Eve dinners a few years. But we really liked him. And we knew that someday, this may mean that Ashley would get married and build roots all the way across the Atlantic. George surprised Ashley by proposing right after landing in the US, and having each passenger on the plane hand Ash a flower. The story got lots of buzz and actually made national news, which is funny because they don’t even like that kind of attention. When I talked to Ashley about taking some pictures for the two of them, she used the word “simple” to describe them. I love that. And they are that.
As I was shooting I felt like Steve Martin in Father of the Bride, picturing his grown up daughter as a little girl. I saw Ashley look at George, and saw the way he made her laugh and the way her easy laugh disarmed him. And I saw her beautiful face and I remembered that same pretty face as a little girl. Then I thought of her parents. Then I started crying. No just kidding. But I am very sentimental about my cousin finding love.
I look forward to getting to know you two as a couple over many more holidays. with love, becca.
The honest truth is that I have always wanted a pony party for my birthday. Like as a grown up. So I slyly suggested ponies and native american crafts to Charlotte as a theme for her 5th birthday party, and she thought it sounded great! Lucky me!
I kept busy keeping 17 5 year olds entertained so I wasn’t able to shoot much, but here is a little peek into my sweetie’s 5th birthday party.
When my parents invited us to tag along on their week in Cabo San Lucas, we jumped at it, not knowing that we would be 2 months away from another baby. But the timing of the trip was the biggest gift. Last week I got to saturate myself in my little family as it is right now. I set aside work and dinner and laundry and instead had the luxury of looking my girls in the eye, playing with them , and taking them in all day every day for a week.
A friend asked me my favorite part of vacation, and the hallmark of this week for me was noticing the growing bond between my girls. I noticed this week a transformation from two separate little ones to a unit of sisters. They did it on their own. They adore each other. And seeing that happen is indescribably good. So that’s what this little video is about for me. My gratitude for my family just as it is right here in this moment. In anticipation of a new wonderful season to come.
I didn’t shoot many pictures, but there are a handful of still frames after the video.
It’s with glee that I share this post. Many of you know Jewel, my 5-year shooting partner on wedding days, and a dear friend. This year, Jewel and her husband Greg welcomed a surprise gift into their life; a baby boy! It has been a deep joy to be on this journey of pregnancy and parenthood with her this last year, and spending time with them at home recently, all I can say is that it is a happy and blessed home. Full of love and light and sure enough, honest struggles, but after meeting this little beautiful human, I cannot imagine life without Elijah in the picture, and I am so happy for my friends and their beautiful little family.
Tonight as Charlotte was running in the dark from house to house, she exclaimed, out of breath, “I love this! Halloween is my favorite season!” As she ran to the next house she exclaimed “I’m so exciteeedd!” She seriously exclaimed something running up to every door. And sweet little Fiona was just sitting in her warm peacock costume in the stroller, sucking her thumb, and laughing every time she heard another kid laugh. Too fascinated to go to sleep.
Here are my Cleopatra and Peacock girls.
On Sunday we were blessed with a sunny 70- degree October day, so we ate cake outside with family to celebrate Fiona’s first year of life. We love our little smiling, funny blue-eyed Fiona and can’t imagine our family without her.
The Zender kids hired me to take a family photo for their mom Patty’s birthday. I was lucky enough to get invited to stay for one of the famous weekly Sunday dinners. I want to try to figure out how to become an honorary member of this family. This is a really extraordinary family. They have collectively and individually had some big heartbreak in the last several years. I only bring it up because sharing a night with them, I was tremendously moved by the love around that table, and how a life this rich can still continue to grow in the midst of pain.
“Rejoicing is no less rich when there is a splinter of sadness…Sweet is nice enough but bittersweet is beautiful, nuanced, full of depth and complexity.”
– Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet
Here’s to you Zenders. Thank you for inviting me in.