I met up with Loretta and Rod late one evening. It felt sort of like a blind date. I had not met Loretta nor talked with her. And this was very different for me who loves forming a connection prior to shooting. But deep down I just knew that I’d find a kinship to these two just from the words of their oldest daughter, Hannah. Honestly, she intrigued me the moment she said Loretta was the mother of nine children and she and Rod will each be celebrating their 60th birthday this year. Hannah’s heart for them too touched a special place in me. Here’s the words she shared with me about her parents…..
If you were to visit my parent’s house, look through their treasures, and talk with them about what they love, you are certain to see photo after photo and hear story after story of their children, of which I am one. They would recount stories and memories of family vacations, camping trips, lovable baby moments, and silly girl squeals. They would then begin listing all the accomplishments, endeavors, adventures, and hobbies of their 9 children, this may take a while, so I hope you picked a comfortable seat when you entered their house.
A birthday gift for my parents has always been a challenge. What do you get for someone who constantly is looking for ways to give to others? What do you give someone who sacrifices their life, hobbies, free time, and resources to pour into others?
Pictures have always been a favorite treasure and gift for my parents. A snapshot/reflection of the life they love – people and memories over things.
Capturing the start of this next chapter in their life seemed like a perfect gift. Something they would never do for themselves. They are both slightly camera shy and would rather the spotlight be on someone else.
They love all things simple and relaxed. They are welcoming and hospitable. They are quiet and kind. While no relationship is perfect, they have found the only relationship that is – their faith in God. That peace and confidence of who they are in Him extends to their relationship with each other, allowing them to learn, grow, and find peace with every stage, trial, hardship, heartbreak, joy, celebration, failure, and victory that life brings them.
The more I thought about the idea of a photo session just for them, the more excited I got. My parents are beautiful. Neither would admit to it and I’m fairly certain my mom is staying tight lipped about the whereabouts of the fountain of youth, she becomes more and more beautiful every year. The inner beauty of a life well lived is now supremely evident in both of their faces. To be able to capture the simple, pure beauty of their relationship would be something they could treasure for the rest of their lives and something all of us kids would treasure even longer. They are starting a new chapter, one that brings them back to where all the craziness started – just the two of them. It seemed liked the perfect way to help them celebrate.
I stumbled upon PeaceFotos on Facebook when a friend of mine “liked” one of her pictures. I was mesmerized by the quiet beauty she was able to capture. I loved the way she captured moments between people, and not poses. The pictures were alive with something that flitted just below the surface. The essence of the pictures reminded me of my parents. Unassuming, quiet but welcoming. The vivid soft beauty of life — peace.
Memories like these make life sacred and holy.