Candice prides herself on "imposing" her friendship on others... and I thank her for it. She and her son Lukas were the first fast friends Braxton and I made in North Carolina.
Now Candice, her husband Brandon, and their kids just made the move to a brand-new house. I was thrilled to be the one they asked to shoot some photos at their new place.
A big part of their move involves the word they chose to represent their 2017: Joy. I love the tradition they've been following prompted by Elevation Church to pick a new word as a sort of theme at the beginning of each year. This year will be a joyful one as they remember to slow down and enjoy their many blessings.
Do you have a positive word you can focus on at the start of this new year?
Six years ago on a St. Thomas resort in the Virgin Islands, my husband and I were kicking back on our honeymoon. We met this Virginia couple also staying at the resort. We saw them often during our stay but I mostly remember taking a very choppy jet ski ride on the Atlantic Ocean with them (behind a "tour guide" who left us all far behind in his wake). So we chatted the few times we bumped into each other. We seemed to hit it off. We went home and found them on Facebook and became "official" friends. Besides the occasional basketball smacktalk, we really didn't communicate for years.
We couldn't have known that six years and three + a half kids later, they would invite us into their home and it would be time spent in great conversation, in a home exemplifying love + hospitality, plus the bonus of constant mischievous laughing between the kiddos.
So, it isn't only that they live in this house that I find incredibly beautiful outwardly–lovingly put together with their own hands, reclaiming and salvaging the perfect pieces over time–but it's that they are beautiful people who have made it into an authentic home. They love people with reckless abandon and take risks, like on us, not only inviting us into their home but exemplying love, hospitality, and generosity far beyond our wildest imagination.
Thank you, Trey + Rachelle. I look forward to our next visit.
We built our home to have others in it with us. That was the whole point.
This sweet family of five quickly won me over with their authenticity and sense of simple joy. Elizabeth said she wants to remember the innocence of her boys in this season of life. So, on a hidden gem of property in Mount Pleasant, North Carolina we took a couple hours to explore with their three little adventurers and shoot some family photos.
When friends open their already-full home to your husband and his carload of stuff for two weeks before having an apartment available, you gift them some joy. Joe + Megan are the only people we knew before leaving Ohio a couple months ago to move to Charlotte, North Carolina. We love their sweet little family and feel grateful to have such caring friends in this new place. ...Plus, I could take photos of their little ones all day!
Michael and my husband, Brian, went to high school together so I have crossed paths with Mike and Melissa many times throughout the years. It was such a pleasure to spend some time with them and their little ones, dodging rain clouds on a chilly September evening.
Melissa suggested Acacia Metropark in Lyndhurst, Ohio to spend some time together and capture some family photographs. It is an ex-country club/golf course taken over by the Cleveland Metroparks. I used to pass this place all the time when I worked on the east side, but never knew what it was. My camera and I were immediately drooling at all the exotic grasses and unique trees along the almost 2 mile path. We walked around, exploring the park and snapping photos along the way, found a pond, a couple gazebos, and grand weeping willow trees (love!); a most welcome retreat in a highly congested area on the Lyndhurst/Beachwood border.
The crispness of fall was definitely in the air during our shoot -- and by air I mean wind! It was very windy, but, talk about a photogenic family! These guys were pros at dealing with the gusts of wind and simultaneously looking great. I couldn't take my camera off Philip's charming face, his captivating eyes locked in focus on my camera lens. Juliana had been working on her sweet smile, concentrating on no nose-scrunching and as you can see, she did a beautiful job!
So, the idea for this shoot was to go grab some ice cream cones and go for a walk along Tinker's Creek to have some fun while photographing Torrie, Megan, Sam + Asher. Unfortunately, the ice cream shop we chose was closed for the season (crazy Northeast Ohio)! We opted for just a walk around Tinker's Creek. The four of them love taking walks on summer evenings so we had a great time enjoying a beautiful Friday night outside. Rock-skipping contests ensued in the creek, Sam practiced her summersaults and other cheerleading moves in the open field, and everyone pitched in to help tired little Asher make it through the shoot like a champ!
Heather and Dave tied the knot 5 years ago and have been a strong couple loving our sometimes under-loved City of Cleveland ever since. I spent a Golden Hour with their adorable family of four walking along the Cuyahoga River in The Flats last week. They have two of the cutest, most laid-back kids you'll ever meet. Baby Fiona's captivating blue eyes drilled through every photograph, a natural little beauty, who quietly took everything in. Her big brother Leonardo "zoom-zoomed" (in his own words) along the sidewalk, stopping for every plane and train he heard; what a very typical little boy.
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Hi. I'm Suzanna.
I like running outside, eating real food and crafting beautiful images. I am captivated by authenticity, adventurers and life-lovers. I call myself a biohacker-wannabe pursuing the unconventional.
Society6 by Suzanna West
Fine Art America by Suzanna West