I'm probably going to fail in adequately expressing how near and dear this family is to me but I'm going to try nonetheless. They started out as my very first "real" clients nearly a decade ago. The first paying client who was NOT a friend or refered to me by a friend. Total and Complete Strangers. I instantly fell in love with all three of them and wondered if you're supposed to like your clients that much, whether or not this was "normal" or even... healthy?! Ha! Over the years, we've become close friends and our children also happen to adore hanging out with each other too which is just, quite frankly, the icing on the cake. Tara and I even went paddeboarding for our very first time together two years ago and had a blast. I could list a million reasons why I love them so much but in the interest of time I will simply state that their family dynamic is just awe-inspiring. Tara and Bryan are a GREAT team. They have weathered an INSANE amount of intense stress and incredible challenges over the years with pure grace and ease, even though I know it hasn't been remotely easy. All three kids have this undeniable tenderness and affection for each other. Quinn and Reilly are so deeply emotionally invested in looking our for their baby sister, who has Angelman's syndrome, and it warms my heart to no end each time I get to hang out with them and observe that dynamic. Tara and I have had many discussions about how they've all managed Tyler's medical challenges over the years and it's always been in the framework of how Tyler has been a "value-added" to the family, how her condition has brought them all closer than they ever imagined possible, how Quinn and Reilly's impressing patience and tenderness was no doubt aided along by her unique needs. Tyler is quite possibly the most affectionate and smiley child I have ever met. Throughout the shoot she kept making the rounds kissing all her beloved family members and laughing, dancing and playing with them resulting that characteristic smile of hers that could light up the entire universe. She is their sunshine and they all joyfully orbit around her, delighting in making her smile, and in turn, her happiness makes them all happy. It's the most precious, authentic and pure symbiotic relationship I have ever encountered. This family is all about love, affection, dancing/music, patience, games, a can-do attitude and tons of teamwork. They are a well oiled machine and they never cease to amaze me. They don't coddle Tyler and the result of their approach is a little girl who is living life to her fullest potential and delighting in the world around her. They are both extraordinary and completely ordinary, in the best ways possible. So, yeah, I kinda love them to bits.
We decided to do the shoot in the morning this time, not my usual choice, but ideal for the location as we wanted to hit the Boardwalk before anyone else got there. We ended up having a blast and the kids were AMAZING. You'll quickly notice that Reilly is my muse. She has been since the day she was born and I intend to photograph her incessantly until the day I die, any chance I get, because she just makes my camera ridiculously happy.
Tara and Bryan, thank you for a super fun session and I can't wait for our kiddos to be crazy and wild together again soon! Much love!!!