Can I share with you how deep my love for this family goes? No, I can't. I just can't. It's because there are simply no words I have that describe how blessed I feel to be able to watch this family grow, and to photograph life's sweetest moments for them.
They have remained loyal and supportive of me over the last few years, and for that, I am forever grateful to them. I feel that each session that I shoot for this family is better than the last, and that's not because of anything I do. It's the years we've known each other, growing all the more comfortable, talkative, and knowledgable about who they are, what they do, how they love. It's the gradual release of vulnerability which comes from time and age. It's just them, because they are such a beautiful, loving, joy-filled family. They have light, and they have life.
I mentioned at the session that something had shifted. Mikael has always been reserved, and incredibly soft spoken. Over the last month, he and I have been working together to photograph Liberty Baptist Church's campuses in both Hampton and Suffolk, so we've had more time to really chat, and get to know each other outside of a photoshoot. (He is, essentially, my employer). I think that this time together, and his belief and support for me, has allowed for us to move past that "photographer-client" level, and onto a real friendship and working partnership. (Mikael is a talented photographer and video guru himself!) It also helped me to be able to capture Mikael in a new way.
Ashley and I have always been able to go a little deeper--to chat about what's going on in our lives, and how we're handling things. Ashley constantly marvels me. She's so very lovely, but her heart is WHERE. IT'S. AT. She is so genuine, so herself, that it makes it such a pleasure to be around her.
Together, with Jaxon, (he has a Jaxon-sized piece of my heart) they are a family that I look up to. Their values, work ethic, and heart for Christ are evident in all that they do. They are unwavering in their faith, and in their daily walk. Admittedly, I am someone who struggles with faith--constantly questioning and challenging God and His plans--and for someone like me, this family brings me comfort, hope, and inspiration.
My joy for their growing family is beyond what I can write here. In just a few weeks, another baby boy will be added to their brood, and I am anxiously waiting for his arrival! Baby Reece. (My son Gibson's middle name is Reece!) What a blessed child he will be!
You Ritters have my heart.
All of my love,