I first met Kristin nearly two years ago on a Saturday morning. She was helping me to pack up and sort through an entire walk in closet full of women’s clothes, shoes and purses. Kristin, an adoptions case manager, set aside clothing and accessories that would be donated to teenage girls up for adoption. It was perhaps one of the few positives in what was a difficult time for my family. Kristin was a coworker and good friend of Garet White – my husband’s ex wife, mother of my stepson and surprisingly to both Garet and myself, a very dear friend. For those of you who don’t know me personally, Garet passed away in her sleep unexpectedly in May 2014. It was her clothes and belongings that we were sorting through that morning. Garet had been renting a house and since her family was in Jacksonville and San Francisco, my husband and I assumed the enormous task of packing up the house. I was glad to have Kristin with me in Garet’s bedroom because even though it had been almost a month since she passed away, being in her house was a painful reminder of the night my husband and I found her. There were a couple of times when our emotions got the better of us as we went through her things but we stayed on task and finished in a couple of hours. When the lease was about to expire, it was Kristin and her family who came to the rescue when we needed more hands on deck to completely empty the house. And for that, I will forever be thankful to her.
When Kristin reached out to me about a family shoot with her two boys, I was thrilled because it isn’t every day that I get to photograph someone I know. When I asked for background information on her boys, she told me that she had adopted Mike, 22, when he was 16 years old. Her younger son Jacob, 19, who was home for Spring Break, is a Freshman Tight End at Bethany College in West Virginia. She described them both as “having good hearts” and being both “goofy” and “playful”. It was a windy and somewhat chilly morning at BayFront Park on Anna Maria Island for this Sunday’s morning shoot but as the winds died down, it turned out to be a beautiful day. Here are some pictures from the shoot.