The cute outfits, the color, the HAPPINESS, the reason I did this– all GOOD things. I want you to read in Misty’s own words below what this session meant for them and why I am posting a family session when I don’t typically shoot them or blog them at all.
From me to you Misty, you are a WONDERFUL incredible smart and hard working woman. I have never seen someone pour so much of their heart into what they do and into the people in their lives. I am so proud to have a friend like you and so happy you let me do this for you! We LOVE you guys!!!! You’ve been through so much, what an inspiration and brave friend!!!!! 🙂
From Misty: Let me just preface this blog by saying this- Amanda Hedgepeth does not do family photos, or rather; she CHOOSES not to do family photos. There’s a pretty huge reason for that, and I’ll get to it by the end.
My mother passed away in August. Most people know about it, and most people know that means that my now 18-year-old sister, Haley is living with my husband, Chris, our two-year-old daughter, Piper and me. One of the first things she said to me when we moved in was, “You’ve got a lot of pretty pictures of you guys. I wish I had a pretty picture like that.” She also mentioned (more than once) that she wasn’t in any of the photos.
She wasn’t wrong. She wasn’t. Chris & I make a point to do family photos together at least once a year. People say that we take too many, but I don’t believe in too many. Piper grows so fast, and the look of our family changes so much that it’s always been important to me to have that documented beyond just iPhone selfies and trips to the zoo with just two members of our family in the photo (someone else has to be holding the camera, guys).
The biggest regret that I have is not getting a family photo with my mom before she died. We had the great fortune of having a send-off dinner for my brother, who recently joined the Army, exactly a week before she died. Prior to that, I hadn’t seen my mom in almost a year. We had a tough relationship. I said to my husband that night, “If she was always the way she was tonight, I think we could have a great relationship.” I also told him that night that I wish we had gotten real family photos with my brother, my sister, Chris, Piper, Haley, my mom, and me prior to my brother being shipped off to Fort Drum. I vowed to schedule them for when he came home for the holidays.
A week later we got the phone call that she died. It was sudden, it was unexpected, and she was young. There was no doubt in our minds that Haley belonged with us. We wanted to take care of her and make her part of our family. We wanted her to know the love that we give our daughter, and we certainly wanted her to be with family.
I asked Amanda (who is one of my dearest friends) to take these photos for us. We do a family photo every year around the holidays, but I didn’t want these to feel like holiday photos. I wanted them to feel like a different kind of family photo: natural, real, and happy. Because even in the darkest of situations, we wanted Haley to feel included in our family traditions, and to have photos that we could put in our house as a representation of what we’ve become: a family of four.
She did a great job, guys. I haven’t even seen the edited images yet, just excited texts of screen shots from her computer, and they’re more than I could’ve asked for. They capture all of us perfectly. I’m so grateful.
But don’t ask her to do your family photos because you see these. These were a great favor between friends. Amanda is a stellar photographer, and she’d be working every single day if she took all her inquiries for family sessions, maternity sessions, newborn sessions, etc. The beautiful thing about Amanda is that she understands the importance of family. She’s chosen to only work in wedding photography, so that she can actually take a day off every once in a while. Because she owns her own business, she makes hard choices to turn business away to love on those amazing little girls. After all, family is the MOST important thing. I’m so grateful that Amanda understands that and that she was willing to take time away from her beautiful family to do this for me and mine. I’m so lucky to have an amazing friend in her, and you’d be lucky to have her shoot your wedding day.
She is my vendor soulmate, she loves what she does and her brides and she cares. I am SO honored to be in her life! LOVE YOU GUYS!!! ALL FOUR OF YOU! 🙂