The Tomlins have no shortage of people that love them. Their 50 year marriage has cultivated a robustly loving family, and a whole party’s worth of friends and colleagues that would do anything for them. I loved seeing the reunion of the cousins that once played together as kids. I loved hearing the stories that several of Mike and Jayme’s dearest friends told, and watching them react in their own distinct ways, and sometimes exactly in sync.
It was also touching to see our good friend TJ and his sister Shari cry as they toasted their mom and dad for what a solid job they had done as a couple. Cheers to you Mike and Jayme!
One of my best friends connected me with this delightful family. She said that they are some of her very favorite people, and after spending a few hours with them, they are some of my new favorite people. Here are Shelby, Bo, Pierce, and Merritt.
The Guthrey family has always embodied such a warm but sophisticated hospitality. They are easily gorgeous and equally kind, and it was such a pleasure to meet each of their parents and some cousins and the whole gang as they all gathered to celebrate Louis turning one!
His young and older cousins all gathered around to watch him open gifts and eat pie. I got to talk with Amy’s grandmother and grandfather about farming. It was delightful. Here is a peek into the afternoon celebrating Louis.
I love this Davig family. Erin originally bought a sitting from me at a school auction when I was in the early years of my business. They immediately won me over with their warmth, and humor, and dedication to their family. We did another shoot or two, and then we were both in the thick of having kids and moving, etc, and we didn’t see each other for several years. But I was so happy to have the opportunity to photograph them again as a sort of closing marker on their season raising their family in Brookside, Kansas City. They recently relocated to DC, and as I sorted through pictures of them sitting in front of the house where their kids did so much growing up, and they had lots of things pass in relationships with neighbors and co-workers, and family, I got teary. In a good way. This is a little homage to life for the Davigs in that Brookside season, and I am sending all of my biggest love for the season to come.
I have to say, one of my favorite dynamics in this family is the laughs that Erin and Troy share. They cracked each other up constantly. Here are some favorites…
You can see it in the way their friends look at them, and in the expressions on people’s faces when they hug them. Ali and Barclay are just two of the kindest souls I have ever known. They are a delightful, perfect fit. Their love for travel, music, and new experiences, the way they share themselves vulnerably and freely with everyone they meet, the way they listen to people with their full attention and interest. Their huge expressive smiles, the way they don’t take themselves too seriously. Their gorgeousness. These are just a few reasons that it is easy to love these two.
Originally, Ali and Barclay wanted a very small intimate wedding, but as their dream to move to Barcelona in the fall became a reality, they decided to have a huge party with all of the people they love most as a wedding celebration and also an early sendoff. After a moving ceremony officiated by Barclay’s dad, one of my favorite parts of the day was the recessional. Barclay’s friends followed them with drums and cymbals and there was so much energy of celebration in the air that I teared up as I photographed Ali and Barclay dance out of the room after just getting married. The reception was decorated with lots of handmade things to signify the two cities where their life together would begin: paper airplanes and postcards from both Kansas City and Barcelona.
There were yard games, and a vintage VW bus for a Photo Booth. A Gourmet Popsicle peddler cycled his way through the tables, and there were references throughout the day to Ali’s amazing food blog (Gimme Some Oven), like napkins printed with “Gimme Some Tacos.” Best of all, their amazing amount of talented musical friends were the entertainment for the whole night. Every single song for the first hour and a half of the reception was performed by one of their best friends. At one point, my shooting partner David and I laughed when we realized that we were so entertained by the music that we were standing in the middle of the dance floor just watching the show instead of shooting!
To open this post of my favorites, I’ll start with one at the very end of the night. Barclay and Ali riding the railcar back to their River Market home. Their honeymoon to Mexico had been postponed last minute- like on their wedding day kinda last minute. But they never let themselves show sadness or sulk. Instead they laughed as they talked about what Kansas City food they would eat the next day instead. Love you two!!
I just can’t get enough of this cute baby Gabby and her smiles. Here are some favorites from our time at the park last month…
One of my favorite things to photograph is what I call Family Dinner sessions. It started a few years ago when a family I loved asked me to do an extended family photo, and I agreed, with the condition that they would let me hang out with them and photograph them when they all prepared and ate dinner together afterward. I felt like I was collecting treasures as I saw little moments of this family doing what they do when they get together. Every family is different. Some sit down for a formal meal with china, others graze and use paper plates. I love seeing the unique culture of each gathering, and in every case, though families do things differently, I always get to witness love play out in the small gestures between the generations.
So in June I got to be with one of my very favorite families that I got to know when I photographed their daughter Abbie’s wedding. The occasion for the get together was to celebrate Abbie’s mom and dad’s 37th wedding Anniversary. We took a few posed shots, played at the park, and then went to Don and Kim Chi’s house (known as Chi Chi and Grampy to the kids). The kids ran around Chi Chi’s magical patio garden and explored all of the fancy antiques around the house. Grampy and Chi Chi have all four grandkids a few days a week, so the story of the kids exploring the house, and laying on the floor together, and eating and getting chased and cuddled, is actually a snapshot of what daily life looks like for them in this stage.
Kim Chi made her famous traditional Vietnamese food and the family sat at the dinner table. The kids had their own kids table in the kitchen and peeked in or ran into the formal dining room every once in awhile to get on a lap or make funny faces at the parents. Kim Chi insisted on watching the babies while everyone else ate, and she finally sat down at the end after everyone else had finished. I loved how Abbie and Justin know Casey and Kristin’s kids so well, and all four kids will sit on any parents’ lap because they spend so much time together. I told Abbie and her parents as I was leaving that they have something so special. And Kim Chi sent me home with vegetables from her garden and a plate full of her famous egg rolls.
With love for this Booth family, here is a peek at some favorites
Frances Mae- a baby we all prayed for, just couldn’t be more cute and expressive. This little one year old took her first steps this week. Here are some favorites of my friends the Zenders from earlier this month. Starting with Franny waking from nap and slowly waking up while eating lunch.
One of my very favorite families, the Hartleys. I’ve been photographing them since they got married, and now they have two boys, Henry (3), and Griffin (2 months). Time with them is so easy and fun. Here are a few favorites of this happy family. I loved this moment of them cracking up while Griffin was falling asleep…
When I was pregnant with Fiona, a couple our age moved into the midcentury house two houses from ours. We found out pretty quickly that they were expecting too, and I remember seeing her walk by day to day, as both of our bellies grew. A year and a half later, we both had another baby. Both Boys. While Jill and Gene were having two babies over the course of a year and a half, Gene was practicing as a high risk OB, and Jill was working on completing medical school. Both of our families were in the most intense and challenging season of our lives, and it was a true blessing to see them pull up at the end of the day, or walk by with strollers and bikes. Those little conversations and laughs day by day added up to a friendship. I really grew to love them and their kids.
The bitter part of the story is that we are losing them as neighbors, but the sweet part of the story is that Jill and Gene both got placed at the same hospital in Seattle, and I have already seen their back deck view and it is just glorious. This family belongs in a place where they can raise their kids adventuring in nature. I am so happy for them.
About a week before they moved, we took some photos at their house at the end of the cul- de- sac, at the top of the hill (so it gets the most gorgeous evening light). We will all miss you guys. We do already. Here are my friends Jill, Gene, Esme, and Ellis.