Iva & Leon’s family session at their family farm was a fun first for me. I tend to shoot in nature locations a lot but I’m loving this new aspect of shooting at a family’s home. It’s not about perfection. It’s about capturing the intimate reflection of who you are as a family.

I shot Leon & Iva’s family session on a Sunday afternoon. They’ve been through a lot as a family. Their son, Carter, has been in and out of the hospital over the past few years. He’s currently in recovery. When I arrived, the boys were outside, jumping on the trampoline. I walked over and introduced myself. If I hadn’t known, I would never have guessed what this little boy’s been through. He was the picture of young boyhood with a quick smile and youthful energy.

I’ve learned through personal experience how hardships like this take a toll on a family. Watching your child suffer in ways they should never have to. Trying to reach around to the rest of the family. Working to keep your marriage intact, let alone thriving. The financial stress of hospital bills. It’s a heart wrenching, confusing squeeze. A family, an individual, is defined in moments like this. We’re shaped and molded into something. The question is, “what?”

Will we allow the pain to draw us together as a family, as a couple? To draw us to a Father who’s still good in spite of everything we can’t understand? Will we allow our rough edges to be softened and become more compassionate graceful people? I’ve come to believe that’s the purpose of hardship. That somehow in our brokenness and pain, we’d let go of the need to figure it all out. To let go of the need to control our lives and be held by our Father, to trust in the process. 

Leon and Iva, thank you for allowing me to capture your family in this season. I know you’re on a journey. I pray that you would experience God’s grace and compassion as you walk it out. You’re a strong family and I know He’s doing great things within you and through you. All my love.

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