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this is one of my very favorites: welcome, Isaiah.

This is one of my favorites.
and I don’t just say that for drama’s sake.
I say it because it is true.

I am a firm believer that things happen at exactly the time they are supposed to.
and the timing of our relationship with the Luecks has always been divine.

We met Jessi and Dave when they were newly engaged.
All four of us knew we were meant to share some life together.
but we had no idea how much.
I had no idea that we would photograph
their engagement
their wedding day
their first anniversary
the birth of their daughter hazel
and the birth of their first son, Isaiah.

and that we would share
birthday parties
summer gardening tips
road trips
Thanksgiving dinners
Christmas mornings
and evenings crying on the couch about life.

I love this family so very much. They are a part of the fiber of who we are, and so this is one of my favorites. And not just because Dave was smiling like a goof the whole time (his M.O. during Jessi’s labors), and not just because Jessi is one of my dearest kindreds, and not just because I love the process of birth. But because the timing is perfect.

As I said before, I am a firm believer that things happen at exactly the time they are supposed to. And for whatever the many reasons were, I didn’t have time to finish this story until this week. Little did I know, this week would also turn out to be the week the Lueck family lost another one of their good men – Dave’s last living grandfather. They lost a good man as I was creating a commemoration of their family gaining a son.

So to my dear friends, I hope this is a touch of hope and joy and healing as you experience loss. I hope you, like me, can celebrate God’s mysterious timing and ponder the questions, the meaning of it all.

this is one of my favorites because you are.
enjoy, with love.


baby isaiah was born from WE ARE THE PARSONS on Vimeo.

by the parsons

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Elizabeth Koehler - so. many. tears. beautiful family, beautiful tribute.

dev - I've been waiting all week to watch this when I had enough time to sit down with my computer, full screen, sound up. So much beauty and love. Jessi, I'm so happy for you and your family! Ash, very well done, once again :) love you both!

Samantha - I'm in tears. This is so beautiful! well done!

hannah nicole - there is a piece of a poem by wendell berry that I love, "There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places." You see the sacredness in these places. thin places. holy spaces.

Jamie Young - I've never met Jessi and Dave, but I sure feel like I know them through all of the beautiful images you've shared of them over the years. Wishing them the best with their handsome son. Another beautiful job, Ashley! You're amazing!

brad - beautiful ash. perfect tracks too.

Jeremy Brown - Wonderful. That did my heart good. Congratulations Jessi and David and Hazel!

Tanya Colclough - Beautiful Ashley from start to finish. What a precious precious gift.

The new Don’t Give Up project site and HOORAY! Registration for the next Don’t Give Up project is now open!!!

Good morning, friends!
It’s a really good morning around here. The music is playing, the candle is lit, and tiny green buds are starting to appear on the old tree across the street from our house. It’s time for spring, for new life and for new things!

With this lovely season of renewal and rebirth of energy and creativity, we are thrilled and over the moon excited to share with you what we have been working on.

The Don’t Give Up project has had a pretty pathetic virtual home for the past couple of years, and we have longed to share more, to engage more, to invite more, and to hope more to see this movement, this tribe, grow and grow into what it is supposed to be. With that said, we are happy to share the new online home of the Don’t Give Up project. To go there, simply click the image below, and happy browsing! We will be adding posts regularly to this space and we hope that all of you will frequent this space, interact with us on it, and share any feedback or questions you have along the way.

You will notice the top post is also announcing our next don’t give up project is now open for registration!!! you will find all the details there on the Don’t Give Up blog, so go there now!!

wp blog join the tribe

Breadwinners: a transformative experience for image-making couples

First, watch this. . .

bread winners 2014 from WE ARE THE PARSONS on Vimeo.

Being a couple in this industry can be so much freaking fun. You start out, and every day almost feels like a holiday with your best friend at your side. You both are on a mission together, growing together, and discovering how wonderful it is to tell stories together. And yet, the honeymoon phase can’t last forever. At some point, you actually have to learn how to experience deep joy, meaning, satisfaction, purpose, focus, and drive together as you wade through the dailyness of daily life. It is no picnic, y’all. Well, sometimes it is. And those days are really fun. But there are other days where the bills are due, the wedding files are past due and the stress of being partners in life is just a bit too much . . and the gloves come off. We have experienced the wide range of highest highs and lowest lows that this “job” can offer. And we know you are in the midst of going through your own highs and perhaps on the bring of some lows. What is breadwinners about? It’s about locking arms with other couples, becoming a small tribe of friends and allies who share, grow, learn, tell the truth and walk away saying “we did it. we did it real and we did it up close and we embraced the mess and the chaos and the beauty and we are on a really good journey together.”

If you are a couple holding cameras, part time or full, hopeful or successful, you are welcome here and you will not leave the same. join us.

in the words of brad and jen, one of our past breadwinners attendee couples, and now a part of our tribe:
“imagine your closest friends sitting in a living room together, addressing the things in life and business you’ve always wanted to talk about but never had the courage to ask. ashley and jeremy’s living room quickly becomes sacred ground, and the people around you become more than just other photographers. you leave hugging one another feeling like you’re parting ways with family. because you are.

in our three years of marriage, breadwinners has been one the best things that has ever happened to us as a couple and us as a business. ashley and jeremy broke down barriers we didn’t even know existed and we are forever grateful.

take a chance. dig deeper. invest in an experience that will last a lifetime. and our advice…if you want to best out of this experience, come with humble hearts and nothing to prove.”

What is it and what are the details?
we are thrilled to invite any and all image-making couples (photographers / videographers) to join us in our home for this transformative experience. Knowing first hand just how challenging it can be to exist as both business partners, lovers, friends, parents and a creative team, we are excited to talk openly with other couples about our lives, relationship, mistakes, making images, work, and balance. this is for those seeking to be honest, looking to be pushed, encouraged, kicked in the ass, and lifted up, all while locking arms with other couples who “get it”.

we will talk in-depth about the inner workings of what it takes to look our mistakes in the eyes, live intentional lives and go into the bones of creating meaningful stories, purging our lives of the meaningless, and forming a small community of like-minded couples who encourage and push one another toward the hope of more.

When is it?
May 5-7, 2014
couples should arrive around or before noon on monday, and depart late afternoon/early evening on wednesday.

Where is it?
our 114 year old home in the Hyde Park neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri.

How much does it cost?
$1600 per couple
Includes all meals, transportation in town (to/from airport), and lodging
A 50% non-refundable deposit will reserve your spot, remainder due two weeks prior to the event.

How long is registration open?
we have decided to keep bread winners small and intimate, in order to have a closer community/family feel and adequate time to devote to investing in each of the 4 couples who come, so registration will be first come, first serve. If there are not enough spots available, we will gladly add you to the mailing list for future bread winners experiences.
How do we join you?
send an email to with the subject line of “breadwinners”.
tell us about yourselves, and tell us why you hope to come be a part of this family.
we will contact you asap with a link to register.

We came to a previous Don’t Give Up project, will this be the same curriculum?
No, bread winners is specifically tailored to couples, and although we will discuss some similar themes, the experience will be completely unique to anything we have ever done before.

this experience is the heartbeat of who we are, of what we have learned and what we continue to grow in along the way. we are so so so excited to share with those of you who are meant to be here with us.

We can’t wait!!!

by the parsons

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Monika - You two are truly remarkable. Thank you for your hard work and diligent efforts to make changes in others' lives, and especially in their marriages. This work is so worthwhile! Immensely grateful for your honesty and vision.

damian burcher - Hey congrats on the top wedding photographer award, think I found at about you guys few months ago and have been a fan since.

Heidi + Kevin - It's the best thing you could do for yourself, your marriage and your love of making images that matter. You will not regret it. We don't. :)

Dee - Dave and I had to sit down when we read this, what a great idea! we would love nothing more than to break bread with others that are going through the same experiences as us, love, love love the idea. It is a times like this we regret not having a teletransporter or our own private jet! :-) such a shame Ireland is so far away and our own wedding is in May, otherwise we would be there in two seconds flat, we will be at the next one for sure! :-)

Julia - You two are so special.. Adore and love you both and your sweet boys. Big hugs.