As I packed up my camera, doled out goodbye hugs, and climbed into my car, I realized my heart was overheating. I had finished one of the brightest sessions of my photography career. These girls. This family. Sigh… I don’t have the words to express how I feel about this day, but I do have the photos. And there are a lot of them, so I apologize in advance. But they’re extraordinary.
With that “hard to live up to” intro, I give you an incredibly gracious and sublimely free Berkeley family.
There is a natural, candid way about them. All of them. They are unassuming and disarming. They glide around each other as they move from one part of the day to the next.
They’re connected and individual. Crazy and calm. Sometimes all at once.
And this. This photo above tells the complete story. The beauty in the chaos. The days are filled with sisters who are nonstop wild. Natural entertainers. Mom and dad bring their own energy to the family with their quick yet subtle humor and warm hearts. Together they create a perfection that only they can own. It’s all here. Bliss in the ordinary.
Like many of us, we divide to conquer. Some look it as a way to survive, but I like to think it’s an opportunity to connect. Dad with one daughter and mom with the other. It’s their time and, later in the day, they will trade, creating another chance to bond. Lather, rinse, repeat.
The above set of pictures is another reason I’m enamored with this family. They show the innocence and truth of dressing babies. It can be stress-filled one minute and laughter-filled the next. A microcosm of parenthood.
In the pictures above, she refused to play the guitar for me until her dad started to sing Let It Go. And he did so unabashedly.
A little girl who roughhouses with her dad, climbs trees in dresses, and wears her cowboy boots on the wrong feet is a gift to be treasured. Especially one who takes a moment to show how her hand fits neatly into the handprint her dad made in cement back in 1977.
Mom and Dad walked these trails and hills in Berkeley as teenagers, making their family’s hike down to Pete’s more than just an average weekend ritual.
There was no fussing or posing. No bustling about trying to create a family portrait. Everything unfolded with ease. Naturally. One photo flowed effortlessly into the next.
They didn’t force a single picture or moment. They showed me how they live in a genuine and unconstrained way. No wonder I continue to be drawn to this session and have the same warmth of heart that I did on the day I photographed them. They’re a quiet exhale.