Hot summer nights, hanging on a soccer field past dusk, driving home with the windows down and feeling like I just had a life-changing shoot. That's what this night was for me.
This year, I've made it a point to donate five family shoots per year. To me, photography is an understanding of reality, a teacher, and a way to connect with myself and the world around me. I feel indulgent taking money for portraiture, because I'm also taking the portrait. While shooting, I asked their mom what her favorite thing about her kids was. She said, "How they come together." I feel like that sentiment resonates in these photos.
We laughed and shot until the sun set behind the trees, then I did some individual portraits. I love doing individuals because I can really connect with each person on a different level. Each person in this family was intelligent, thoughtful, and driven to the core - and the oldest daughter had just received a full academic scholarship from Mizzou, so these photos were also celebratory!
I'll end with these images. The eldest son's 1yr old was sick the day we shot, so all the photos I have of her are in relation to the family nurturing her. I was worried about her health before I arrived, and kept telling myself I would shoot as quickly as possible. It all worked out in the end, and I was grateful to witness the closeness and care this family has for one another.
I wanted to post so many more, but I've instead hidden them all over my website - to go see more of the Hemphill family, dig through the different pages and see who else you connect to in the process!