Family of Five | Beach Photography

It’s my third year photographing this sweet family.

I LOVE getting to know my clients over time. Knowing their personalities and even just a little about their lives gives me a much clearer view through the lens, a connection to the actual person and a genuine memory captured even if I told them how to sit or where to put their hands. I’ve never wanted just pretty pictures, not that I haven’t taken some, but there’s no excitement in that for me at all to be honest. The thing that keeps me pressing into photography has never been the latest location or prop or shooting method or editing style or the success of my business (which matters in a much more practical way) or even whether people like my work or not (although that can be an easy distraction.) My passion will always be to capture something real and preserve that moment for my clients. Real takes time and space to unfold. It takes deep breaths. And real isn’t perfect, but it’s what we’re made for. Authenticity is what we crave in relationships right? Isn’t it why all the most popular mommy blogs right now are the ones that tell the truth? Maybe it’s wrapped up in a funny or charming style but it’s honest and we eat it up because we simply don’t get enough of it – we’re hungry. I love that the tide has turned in that direction for women especially.  We’re realizing that we need each other which does not equate to weakness but strength. We need relationships that are honest, where it’s okay and maybe even not such a big deal to talk about the ups and the downs outside the pretty picture. And where we can receive grace and help along the way, the fleshed out in person kind, not just a pep talk from our favorite author or some thumbs up on Facebook. I could go on about this way too long and already have, but my guess is that living in a mostly prosperous country for a few generations (which of course is a blessing) has come with a cost and we’re starting to notice (at least I am?) that our lives are missing out on some of the substance that people who are brought together in harder times experience whether they like it or not.  So while it might be easy enough to present pretty pictures, it is much more hearty to share the real ones.

This is just stuff that’s been on my mind. I’ve definitely headed down a road here that veers off from photography but it’s the road that helps me when I’m shooting to focus on my passion, to shut out the rest and remember what I’m doing this for. I hope we remember the real stuff when we look back on our lives. It’s those memories that will actually produce joy when the framed photograph is passed by in the hallway, maybe even tell a story to generations after us.

Like I said, I’ve known Derek and Lisa for a few years but actually it’s more than that. We have a shared history with Young Life, lots of common friends and we both have three children which means we share the universal language of being utterly overwhelmed with love for your family and simultaneously wondering how to survive it. It’s a beautiful thing.


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Thank you so much Derek and Lisa for choosing Angel Gray Photography and for being so loyal and encouraging. And for putting up with my ramblings on your blog post!