Three years ago I met Julie Ligon through The Dailey Method in downtown Danville. Since then I’ve gone to countless classes of hers and photographed her family 5 or 6 times. As you can imagine, we’ve become good friends and I feel like I know her pretty well. And yet each time I’m around her, I learn something new.
Whether it’s about parenting, owning a business, or just being a good person, Julie always seems to teach me something. I can’t really put it into words because these lessons are ongoing and I’ve been slowly soaking it in over the past few years. But suffice it to say she’s one of those people you just aspire to be. She has an unwavering kindness and when you are in her presence, she wraps you up in it. Unbeknownst to her, she is a big influence on me (well it’s no longer unbeknownst now, is it? cat.out.of.bag.)
She makes motherhood look graceful… even when she thinks she doesn’t. When her kids don’t listen or are having their 15th spat of the day, she manages it with grace… and if for some reason she doesn’t feel that she’s doing it quite right, her honesty and desire to handle things differently the next time makes her graceful. And I admire that on so many levels.
Julie’s family is an extension of her, and I look forward to photographing them each year… I can count on it being beautiful, goofy, and laid back. For our session last week, Julie simply tossed a quilt onto the grass, her husband made fresh mojitos, and they let the kids run wild.
Welcome to summertime perfection, Julie style.
The Ligons have a wonderful way of making me feel welcome… from the moment I walk through the front gate, I am treated like family.
With two redheaded girls and a bubbly blonde boy, the crazy level can get pretty high… I don’t think they would have it any other way.
Above are the many faces of the youngest daughter. I go into each session never quite knowing what she’s going to show me. It’s like Christmas morning. Everything is a fantastic surprise.
Even though photos don’t have sound, I can hear the eldest’s squeals of laugher and feel the pride she has in her little brother. Some people were just meant to be big sisters.
I envy her hair! And her ability to make silly faces. She has several. If you see her, just ask for a demo.
The Ligon’s smartly have a summer bucket list. Notice the last item on the list: ”Sanke Dads Buodum” She proudly read the list to me and informed me that they have indeed spanked dad’s bottom. Many times. (I’m laughing as I type this because it’s just so awesome how much joy a child can get from such a simple little thing!)
Speaking of simple things… jumprope, tug of war, and hangin’ out with mom…Sigh. (I love the on-lookers… they all wanted in on the action and slowly, each of them started inching closer!)
So many of my families have dance parties… but they’re all different. The Ligons crank up the Country music and twirl around the living room. Ahhh… they make me smile.
Having older sisters can be fun… and then there are the times when it isn’t.
This last image makes my heart skip a beat… this is what their dad sees everyday when he comes home from work. I imagine that no matter how stressful your day has been, this would wipe it all away.
Want to see some outtakes from this shoot?
Click on over to my Facebook page… it’s sorta fun to see some of the chaos that happens at one of my sessions. :)