Hi and welcome to my online home! I am a photographer located in Phoenix, Arizona. I'm married to my wonderful hubby, Jon, and we have 7 fur babies: Kitty Amazing, Baby Kitty, Petunia, and China, our cats, Hank and Seymour, our dogs, and Junichiro, our hedgehog. Admittedly, Junichiro is more of a spiky baby than a fur baby. I love travel, nutella, donuts, cupcakes, (okay just bring me all the carbs alright?), reading, green tea, soccer, dancing, and soft pillow cases. I love having you, I hope you stay awhile.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
This post is very close to my heart. It wasn’t a fancy smancy styled session at the beach or in the gardens. It was just me capturing my friends after their long workdays in their home. The reason I did this is because this family has persevered through unimaginable things. Things that make me wonder if I’d have the strength to do the same thing in their situation. I wanted them to have some real moments to remember their time as a family by. Because they fight daily to keep that family together.
I came alongside this family over two years ago; not as a photographer, but in a much different role. Michaela was fighting to formalize custody of her darling 3 year old niece (who is now 6!). And how does Brian fit into all this you ask? Well, Brian and Michaela had been best friends for decades when he, Michaela, and Telea began this journey together. Brian was supporting Michaela through her legal journey the best way he knew how. And that blossomed into not only a real love for Michaela, but an even more amazing and different love for Telea. As Michaela and Brian decided to start dating, they didn’t just get to have casual romantic nights out together. They got to learn new strategies for helping Telea deal with issues she was going through, ideas for pushing through the battles ahead, and how to make Telea the most loved, well adjusted child out there. Most men would have run for the hills. I mean, hell, I probably would have run for the hills. But despite all the stress, the sleepless nights, the numerous long and hard conversations we had about their future, and the very real resources they spent to continue this fight, their love grew stronger. And it grew stronger as a family.
So you can imagine that I was absolutely thrilled to get to capture them in their most real state, doing the things they love doing. Things like Michaela and Telea cooking together. And can I mention that Telea made legit aioli without a recipe, just by memory, and it tasted awesome. Then there is the endless projects that Telea and Brian complete in his wood working studio where they make things like pumpkins, Christmas trees, and other fun projects. Telea also loves vacuuming with the giant shop vac. And since safety is extremely important, before starting anything, Telea puts on her ear muff things (that’s about as technical as I can get LOL), and her eye glasses, but she also makes sure she puts on her “shop cat ears,” because you gotta stay fly, am I right people??
The thing that melts my heart right down to its core is when Telea calls Brian dad. And Telea knows that Brian is not her biological Father, but she asked him if she could call him dad. And of course, Brian said yes, because a dad is the one who stays up with you when your sick, takes you to school, works in the wood shop with you, helps with your school work, teaches you about life, and who raises you. And that is definitely what Brian is for Telea. Telea knows this mom and dad chose her, and continue to choose her every day.
This home is filled with love, because they know how special each moment truly is, and that at any moment, life could change completely. So we just have to thank God for every minute. Because I know that Michaela and Brian never thought this would be where life took them. But despite everything, they would not change a thing. And they are an inspiration to me for that.