There are a few things I know for sure:
1. Salt air and ocean waves are some of the most healing things for one’s spirits;
2. Getting in photos with my own family is a rare but important treasure;
3. Amanda Hedgepeth is not only a talented photographer but a most incredible human just brimming with compassion, love, kindness and heart.
This August, all of these things came together in one beautiful moment on a beach in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, one of my favorite places in this big ole world.
Amanda and I have followed each other, messaged each other and loved on each other for many years now but have never met in person. (Although while talking long after our session had ended and the rest of my family had returned to the beach house we were renting, she and I remarked so many times that it felt like we had definitely met in person at least once at some point -- but nope, definitely just felt that way.)
Amanda’s realness and vulnerability with what she shares to her followers and supporters is incredibly powerful. She’s talked about her health, family, anxiety, non-profit organization and so much more and it all resonates with me.
I knew that I had to see if we could make a photo session work during our family vacation this summer and when the stars aligned and Amanda was willing to travel to our beach house in Hatteras, my heart was just bursting with excitement and gratitude.
As a photographer myself, it’s so hard to be in front of the camera. I tend to overthink everything and aim for way too much perfection. By the end of our session with Amanda, however, I realized that perfection lies in messy, sandy faces and allowing snow angels on the beach and hugs that end in collapses in front of a sand dune. Perfection is capturing us -- each of us -- in our most “real” state -- whether that’s Addie’s excitement over crashing waves or Zach jumping up and down excitedly (before proclaiming, “I’m out!” with all of us laughing) or just the way Scott holds hands with the kiddos in front of the ocean.
Amanda immediately related to all of us, made us all so comfortable and, by the end, was chatting to ZMan all about scorpions and complimenting Addie on her recently-curled hair. Offering me a few new headshots at the end of our session was the icing on the cake.
I’m so grateful for these memories from one of our happy little places and can’t wait until I see Amanda again -- in real life, with big hugs and late-night chats about Enneagrams and parenting.
Enjoy this peek into my family!