This is a very special family portrait session for me. I have known this family since their very beginnings, and I have known the mom since middle school. They are working their way through a very tough time right now and when she asked me to do their pictures, I was more than honored. The day of the shoot (which sooooooo luckily did NOT rain) she started to tell me a bit about why this family portrait session meant so much to her. I stopped her, probably mid-sentence because that's how I roll, and asked her if she wouldn't mind writing the blog post for her pictures for me. She very graciously agreed. Here's what she had to say:
Our family has been living a roller coaster of tumult for several years. With four children, two of which are teenagers, life is bound to get bumpy. We had sent our oldest daughter off to college last fall and we knew that our job of "raising her" was relatively over but our 16 year old son was another story. His life was so horrible, depressed, suicidal, dark, and unmanageable we struggled with knowing what to do or how to help him. Avoiding him became the only method of coping. Each night I would go to bed wondering if he would be alive the next morning and who might be the one to find him if he wasn't. I lived with this fear for almost 4 years. January came and our family hit rock bottom as we were forced to put our son in a psychiatric hospital and then moved to a long-term residential facility. The days were cold, long, and dark both emotionally and physically. Life was truly at it's lowest. The younger girls longed for a happy fun brother. Our daughter at college was angry at her brother for the burden and stress he had created for the rest of the family all while preparing to serve an LDS mission to Hong Kong, China. As the months of treatment passed, we saw our son improve and our daughter's anger subside. A very small sliver of opportunity presented itself to get our family photos taken. Aimee is a very old friend and I knew she was the only person I trusted with the monumental task of preserving this one perfect moment in time for my family. The weeks of rain were relentless but with lots of prayers, we managed to have the most incredible perfect evening for photos (with an ADHD dog included). I know that Aimee was concerned about capturing those "picture perfect" moments but it was those less than perfect moments I was hoping to capture even more. As the photos came back to me and Aimee expressed concern that the dog didn't always look the right way or my 8 year old had a goofy face, I was so filled with amazement and awe as I was able to see joy, true joy, on the faces of every member of my family. I knew I needed to see every single candid photo she took because they showed pure love and happiness on all 6 of our faces at the same time for the very first time in 4+ years. For one small moment, we were all genuinely happy. How thankful I am for those wonderful photos Aimee took, both the beautifully posed ones but more importantly, the candids of read happiness and laughter. When your family has lived in such sadness and turmoil for so long, it is truly such a priceless treasure. I know everyone wants that one "perfect" frame-able photo to post on social media and hang in their home but I look at my photos and my most "perfect" frame-able photos are not what the photographer would consider as perfect. The perfect photos are the ones that show true happiness. These photos are all over my home and are a constant reminder of where we have been and where we are now. I am so thankful for each and every single photo as they are tender sweet reminders of what heaven will be like with my family someday.
Enjoy this Family Portrait session photographed by Aimee Campbell Photography. I am a Utah Photographer based in Logan, UT specializing in custom Senior Portrait Photography and Family Portraits. I am available for Family and Senior photography sessions in Salt Lake City, Ogden, Logan, Northern Utah and Southeast Idaho.