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I had the pleasure of shooting a Tybee Island family photo session for Gwen and Brent with their children, Sophia, Haley and Tristan (T-rex to his peeps) last year along with their extended family. They were amazing with the amount of energy and connection they had for each other right away. It’s apparent this sort of play is a part of their normal lives and not just something for the camera.

This year I feel the images were even stronger because not only did these guys repeat the long road trip all the way from Indiana and ask me to chase them all over again, but they arrived as old friends. I was greeted with hugs in the parking lot at 6:45 in the morning of there session which just happened to be the 4th of July. There was never a moment where we weren’t all joking and laughing as dear friends do.

It’s easy and comfortable for most families to stay in that playful emotional zone where every action is light hearted and full of laughter, but to move to the level where you’re comfortable going deeper and expressing a wider range of emotion and your individual personalities with each other is as much a gift for me as it is for them.

Before this endearing family left the island they invited me out to coffee. I mean inviting your photographer to meet up for coffee during you vacation?! My work specializes in visually capturing the relationships within families and so much of that is based on the relationships I build with clients when the camera is not in front of my face.

Gwen wanted to make a photo of me with her children. I mean come on, are you trying to make a guy get choked up?! So we made plans for me to stop by their rental right before they left the island. I was sad to see these guys go, but before they did I made a family portrait of them in from of the rental they had been making memories in all week. The place was just like them.  It was unquestionably cool in its uniqueness and beautifully hidden yet obvious to those that seek it out, as good people so often are.

That photo reminds me of vacations from my childhood when a new scene and experience called for a photograph. This last photo is the most meaningful photo I’ve made this summer simply because it’s a photo of my friends. I predict their Tybee Island family photo session will be even better next year.

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Tybee Island Beach Photographers – Morning Mini Session

Little Conner brought his momma and grandma to chase him around during our morning mini session. Grandma was quite content to laugh and watch as Kelsey and I tried to keep up running in and out of the ocean and through tide pools. Don’t let this little dude fool you. He is fast and definitely made us earn our breakfast. I always love the intimacy of two for a photo session and these two certainly gave me the honor of documenting many priceless moments during our brief time together. Thank you guys!

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I love collaborating with people to make sure they get the best experience and everything they are hoping for in a session. Jon didn’t want to just surprise Alex by proposing to her on the beach with a professional photographer to provide Tybee Island engagement photography. He also wanted to include their parents so they could share in the moment as well.

Jon and I discussed all the details which included telling a white lie to Alex earlier in the day that their parents were leaving. The plan  was to then have both sets of parents arrive early and sit on a swing out of eyesight from the crossover that Alex and Jon would walk out on just before he proposed. Jon would text them and me as well when they were walking out.

It all went really well considering we had so many moving parts to this proposal. Alex would later say that she thought she saw a man in the distance that looked like her father, but then thought that couldn’t be since he had left. The best part is the raw emotion after a proposal. I don’t like to waste too much time introducing myself and like to get straight back to the couple playing and celebrating while it still feels surreal for them.

Jon and Alex have very visual personalities and were such a pleasure to work with. They were not only comfortable enough to play fight and be who they are in front of the camera, they even teased and joked with me as you’ll see. Thank you both for being yourselves and having fun.

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