Two mission buddies (who ended up marrying) sent their oldest son to the Missionary Training Center today. Wow! It's just blowing my mind that I met them both when we weren't much older than our oldest children are now.
They have a beautiful family. It's so fun to see where life has taken them in the past number of years. I got to looking at the photos they recently had taken before their son left for the MTC and got to thinking about how before #1 leaves, we HAVE to have some family pictures taken, which is the cause for today's shout out.
When I think of family pictures, I automatically think of my friend Julia. She does AMAZING work. She's creative and fun. She takes the simple things and turns them into works of art. I have to share a couple of our experiences with Julia....
The first time she ever photographed our family, #7 had just been born. Julia called me and asked if she could come take photos of #7 for her portfolio (she was just starting her business). When she came, things were easy and relaxed. She used items we had around the house--baby blankets, a drawer, wooden blocks, etc. It was clear that Julia wasn't just a photographer. She was an artist. Her approach was beyond creative.
In 2011, after receiving my nomination as Oregon's Young Mother of the Year, which later turned into a Mother of the Year nomination (long story having everything to do with the age of my oldest child and nothing to do with my expertness of being a mother--as if I even had to explain that to you), I was informed that one thing I would have to do is turn in some family photos and photos of myself. I immediately thought of Julia, but going from one child to photograph, who pretty much slept the entire time, to a big ol' family of nine? Ugh! How would that go? Would she even be able to get one click with all of us behaving ourselves?....Yah, good luck on that one.
Here are some of the images from that session.....
|I love this spontaneous, unstaged catch.|
|One child climbed on and Julia told everyone else to gather 'round. This was the result.|
This was my absolute favorite:
Julia asked me if I'd brought any kinds of snacks. I told her that I had a bag of Cheerios in a bag in my purse. She asked if I would get them. I did. Next thing I knew, she had us all standing shoulder to shoulder in a random, however we placed ourselves, order and sat #7 in front of us on the ground. You can't see them, but there are Cheerios all around her. That's why her hand is to her mouth--she's eating a Cheerio.
In the meantime, there's Julia laying on the ground across from us snapping pictures of our legs and little Cheerio-munching #7. Love it!
Next, it came time for #1's senior portraits. For this one, we went out to Julia's property. Again, easy, relaxed. Here are some of my favorites:
I'm looking forward to #2 having this experience this coming year.
I decided that with #1 leaving for college, we needed to have a family session to capture us all as we were before our first flew the nest.
I have often posted the photo on the right, but I haven't shared how that photo came to be. It actually started out with the experience on the left. I was just sitting there. Actually, I think Julia was taking my photo. I was sitting alone. Along came two children. They started hugging on me and then Julia, observing this, called the whole crew over. Thus, the photo on the right.
I love that Julia can take a random event and turn it into something worth keeping and cherishing. I love that she can take a squirrely family like ours and find those moments when we all look just a little bit sane....
but then, there are those moments when we don't all get that memo.....
Thank you, Julia! I simply ADORE you!!!