“Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
The jazz concert provided the soundtrack for our afternoon together while the mosquitos were the quintessential welcoming committee for a North Carolina summer photo session. Dressed to perfection within their navy-and-gray-and-pink color scheme (so much variety, and yet so unified! my favorite!), this family of thirteen (plus spouses and grandkids!) was so. much. fun. Not just the happy smiles and cooperation, not just the adorable curls or the wide-eyed smiles, not just the tulle lined dresses.
Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.
Michael J. Fox
When I was a bright-eyed bushy-tailed fifteen-year-old, my family moved to “the big city” of Winston-Salem, NC and lived in the Kernersville ‘burbs. Wrestling to find my place in that new world, I distinctly remember sitting in the Kernersville watching these girls carry their almost-as-big-as-mine stacks of books to librarian Ms. Lisa while I shelved children’s books as a card-toting volunteer of the Forsyth County Library. I wanted to be friends with those voracious readers; I just knew they were kindred spirits and I needed to befriend them.
Shyness won, though, until after I graduated college and moved back home and started attending a new church and became friends with one of those kindred spirits. Full circle, you know?
Last time I photographed Connie’s sisters, we were having a tea party and playing dress up. This time, we were celebrating family.
And boy-oh-boy what a family! In case you’re counting: there’s eleven siblings in that photo. That’s a whole lotta love, a whole lotta pretty, a whole lotta schedules to coordinate, a whole lotta cars to bring ’em all across town. 😉 But with Connie’s initiative and perhaps a little bribery, we did it!
Full disclosure: it was insanely intimidating to walk into our Bethabara family portrait session knowing I would be directing, posing, and photographing nineteen unique personalities including two newborns, one toddler, and a baby. But MAN [pats self on back, high-fives Connie] We NAILED IT!