Recently, I had the pleasure of photographing the Hartness family. But in order to tell you about their session, we need to go back to the beginning...way back to our time in East Tennessee.
This family was one of my very first clients. So new in fact, I would call Meggie to bring herself and her little girl over when I needed to practice some new skills. She even helped me out taking pictures of my middle guy when he was just a little baby!
We became fast friends and kept in touch throughout the years and through 2 PCS's ( for you non-military affiliated folks, that means that our family moved due to military orders).
Fast forward to a few weeks ago...
Her husband contacted me and said he was putting together a little surprise for Meggie and wanted me in on it. He said that he wanted to surprise her with a quick family vacation and as a double surprise- have me photograph it! Of course I was on board. How could I not be? Do you know how hard it was for me not to send Meggie a message and just SCREAM at her that I would see her again soon? And that we would get to meet each other's 3rd babies that we had only seen via social media? And that our big kids that were toddler playmates would get to reunite?
It was hard. You get the point. It was like word vomit. I needed to tell her and talk to her about it. But I kept quiet and patiently waited until about a week before their session and finally her husband caved and told her the whole plan. After all, they were about to drive approximately 530 miles with their 3 kids.
And so he told her (he received much fanfare for being the best ever and giving their family an awesome gift! **hint, hint husbands of the world-- here's a surefire way to make her swoon!**) and they began their journey to Norfolk, Virginia where we met early in the morning for delicious coffee and hot cocoa. I followed them around for the morning and captured fun memories of them exploring a new city. We ended our day with a visit to our favorite park to explore our favorite marsh and play at our favorite playground.
I think the session served a few purposes:
1. It was a fantastic excuse to see each other, hug her neck, and catch up with an old friend.
2. It gave them updated family portraits.
3. It allowed them a spur of the moment getaway where they were able to spend quality time together as a family.
4. Beyond updated family portraits, it gave them the opportunity to have a physical representation of their love and connection with each other. The images serve as a reminder to them, each and every day, of how much they love each other.
5. They now have the best souvenir ever of their time in Norfolk.
Jess is a photographer serving families located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She specializes in documentary and storytelling photography.