Updated: Nov 29, 2020
I pulled up to their beautiful home on several acres and there they stood, welcoming postures, social distanced open arms and there I climbed the steps to their farmhouse porch. I literally, "pulled up a chair and sat for a spell."
Ya know, those ole farmhouse signs that one often wonders..."what does that even mean?"... I was living it.
Let me back up a bit, to give a good foundation for this session....
The Lord has been placing a new direction on my photography heart.
Inasmuch as I LOVE lifestyle sessions covering," from Maternity to Beyond, " I am feeling a void in the photography world and feel the prodding to start filling it. That is telling stories. Not just those of the young and spry, those in love and saturating our pages with gorgeous photos. What I'm looking at is people like you and I, people like Jane and Al.
Where the ups and downs of life have been walked in quite well and lines on our face and in our hearts, have an incredible story to tell. So, whether you're 30+ and maybe newly married or new parents or 40+ and have walked through a bit and haven't connected to tell your story...pull up a chair and invite me in.
Why Jane and Al? Well, I had met Jane on a few occasions, through mutual friends. I honestly felt such a strong pull for her to be my, "springboard session." Meeting she and Al and hearing their story, I now know why.
The first thing they did was give me a 50 cent tour of the inside of their "dream home" they designed themselves and boy is it gorgeous! Al did all the design work and Jane just said, "how bout this, how bout that." Al was happy to oblige. Ladies, their master closet....(envision princess diaries closet scene) ...something we all would covet, even though we're not supposed to, lol!
We then made ourselves comfy on their beautiful front porch, hardwood under our feet, complete with the swing built for two. They sat in that very swing together and told me their story. You would have thought we've known each other for years.
Both Jane and Al have been married before. They each lost their first spouses. Randy Hotchkiss to autoimmune disease and Beverly Tedesco to lung cancer. These losses left Jane and Al absolutely devastated and grieving their first loves.
God had a plan that brought them both JOY in the morning and beauty for ashes... Each other. They took things very slow and Jane shared that her first husband released her to marry again. She honored his wish, though it was very hard at first and unfortunately, many had much to say about it, on both sides.
There was zero awkwardness as they shared. Jane has been in ministry for years and Al was a salesman. They too, felt this was a divine appointment. They laughed, shed a few tears and through it all, shared such vulnerability and complete realness of their lives and how they came together and get to where they're at now. Hands were held and you could just palpate the regard they had for one another as they each spoke.
Jane and Al have Jane's mom residing with them, Jane's daughter and brother are also just across the acreage from them. The 65 plus acres have been in Jane's family for decades.
As they shared, you could see that family has been and always will be, number one to them! Blending their families was top priority and being grandparents brings them complete JOY.
As they spoke and shared their hearts, they were both a pillar of strength and perseverance
and blessed me! As I listened, I simultaneously captured gestures, grins, pensive moments,
emotions and their unequivocal, shared bond. I felt I was on Holy ground as they shared and I clicked my shutter.
We then headed into the front enclosed porch and continued with talking about life with blended families and some of their favorite memories since they've been married.
I proceeded to ask them to appease me and face one another to share an "appreciation dialogue." Anyone who has ever done any marriage retreat knows full well how these dialogues go and that they are not always easy. They immediately faced one another and began "appreciating one another." To say I didn't have tears in my eyes, would be a lie.
This part of our time together ended in their hugs with one another and much laughter.
The last part of our session was an outside tour of their property. Immediately I knew this was their element. Their hearts are ignited outdoors. They crossed their mini bridge that led to the other residents on their properties, leaned in and giggled like school kids!
I loved their fun loving spirit with one another and tender love after many wounds and
brokenness in their lives.
In closing, I'd like to say thank you to Jane and Al for opening their home and their hearts
I walked away from their session changed and as you can see, with amazing photos capturing their true story of JOY in the morning and BEAUTY for ashes.
Telling others stories has been placed on my heart. Thank you for taking the time to read
and share in the beauty of brokenness being redeemed, for such a time as this.
...Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30:5
"I may have not been your first love, but I'm glad to be your last."
~frame in Jane and Al's dressing room.