When Rachel asked me to take her senior portraits I was instantly so excited. She is such a caring, fun, bubbly, compassionate, truly selfless, outgoing young lady. I knew we’d have such a blast taking photos. Rachel lives up in Washington so when she flew down a month ago to visit friends and family we slipped away for a few hours to take some photos in the back wine country in Temecula. With the first snap of my camera I knew this would probably be one of my favorite (and easiest) photo shoots to date. She was completely down for traipsing through the wilderness, lying on old tree trunks, making our way through eucalyptus plants, this girl didn’t hesitate at anything I asked her to do, all while wearing some killer outfits (hello maxi skirt and flower headband!). But her beauty definitely didn’t depend on her outward appearance, this girl’s light shines super bright from her servant minded attitude in everything she does.
I love how each and every photo shoot I do with a family is completely different from the previous one. Each family has their own personalities, their own way of showing love, their own way of laughing, their own giggles, their own love.
The Rottner’s are no different. Dave and Lena are one of the most giving couples I’ve ever met. I’ve known them for almost a decade, years before little Sammy and Noah came along. They poured out all of their energy and love into their “adopted” kids at our church (and by kids, I mean teens and college aged adults. they still count as kids, right? :p). They were always finding new ways to give back, to show God’s love to those around them. When we got news a couple years ago that their real adoption of Sammy and his brother Noah went through we knew these two boys were being blessed with a family that would love them unconditionally. God is so good, that’s for sure.
Things I loved about this shoot?
-Noah’s truly pure and loving heart. I’ve never before been interrupted in the middle of taking pictures only to look down to see a sweet child hugging my legs. For no reason other than to show the love he’s been given to others. Melts my heart.
-Sammy’s rambunctious little personality. We pretty much took photos wherever Sammy was running off to next. When he was done sitting we would know because two seconds later he’d be running off to another spot, chasing the wind, admiring the trees, quoting toy story as he played with his buzz lightyear action figure.
-How Noah and Sammy showed the same love their parents give so freely to one another. Sammy would gladly tell me how much he loved his brother. Noah would invite Sammy to ride on his most favorite bike with him.
-Lastly, watching how much Dave and Lena pour into their kids. The patience they have with them, the giggle fights and sweet hugs.
Such a dear sweet photo shoot. But enough of my babbling, and onto the photos
A huge part of why I photograph people is to give back, to show them what their love looks like through my lens, to give them a way to remember the important things in life that pass on too quickly.