This is the family of my friend Cyntia, who I met in New Orleans… she is a family photographer in San Jose, and one of those people for whom the sun seems to shine. She’s bright & fun, and light just emanates from her. I knew I loved her, but I especially loved meeting her & seeing her as a mom to her three rambunctious boys. I walked into their home after what I remember to be a very long week, and was instantly greeted with hugs, a whole lot of silly, and plenty of mischief.These family photos are from an epic road trip that I took to California this last year, by my self! I had had a family hire me for family photos in San Francisco, and I had the bright idea to see if I could schedule a few more family sessions while I was down there… and before you know it, my one simple family session turned into an insane roadtrip with an itinerary to photograph families in what ended up being the whole of Central California. Who knew the Bay Area could be so big?! Well, it turns out that it’s big, but I’m pretty sure that my definition of the “Bay Area” ended up being pretty generous. Anyway, I know I travel a lot via airplane by myself & I also travel via the road with my family a lot, but I’m pretty sure this was the first time that I’ve gone on a road trip like this by myself. Ever. And I turned 36 this year. I pretty much blazed through the trip, and ended up making stops in Sacramento, Fresno, San Jose, San Anselmo, San Fransisco & Sonoma… I relished the time that I had to myself on the road, listened to an audio book that I would NEVER listen to with my family & blasted some music all along the way that I would also probably never listen to with my family around. The book I won’t tell you because I was so ashamed (let’s just leave it as a very badly written book with tons of sex), but the music I will… I listed to lots & lots of hip-hop, and I listed to lots & lots of Pearl Jam. I mean I had Pearl Jam pulsing through my pores by the time I finally arrived home. This may seem obvious given my age (90’s kid) & my location (Seattle), but seriously my family is just not into that band, so revisiting their music every so often has ended up being a very guilty pleasure of mine. And quite honestly, probably the most nostalgic guilty pleasure I could ever hope for, save for if I plucked all of my eyebrows off, smoked a bunch of menthol cigarettes & sat on the corner drinking MadDog 20/20… aaaaaw, the 90’s!!!
I will say that every single time I walk into someone’s home to document their family, I have a rush of mixed emotions that include feeling downright thankful to know that love abounds in homes everywhere & that I’m so lucky to bear witness to it in such a diverse range of environments. But I can tell you that there is something extra special when it comes to walking into someone’s home after dozens of hours & thousands of miles of driving, parking my dirty car in the driveway, walking in & dropping my bags, and being welcomed with hugs by a bunch of people just as stoked as I am that I’m there.
Thanks to Cyntia for welcoming me into her beautiful home & for insisting I stay for a much needed home-cooked meal & for sending me off on the road again with a fresh cup of coffee… and to all the families on this trip who also treated me with such kindness. I can’t wait to share everyone’s photos with you, and I also can’t wait to hopefully revisit these families again via another epic roadtrip. Next up, the whole of California…?!