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Category Archives: don’t give up stories

this is the story of how the welsteads became a family : a don’t give up story

it’s difficult to know how to fill this blank blog page space with words that adequately describe the welsteads. we have had the privilege of photographing ben and renee before, sharing the don’t give up project with them, and sharing life with them. so it made it all the more powerful and humbling when they […]

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by the parsons

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Monica Calderin - I was introduced to your work by a fellow photographer. I am officially a fan:) You're storytelling and the way you capture it just beyond words...literally. You make me want to be better. Thank you.

Neale James - Okay, I have officially become a fan. This is beautiful. "They're staying. The end." It sums this piece up. Masterfully emotive.

Holly - wow - amazing. congrats to this beautiful family!

Foster Mamalion - Love it! What a beautiful way to show this story! Love it felt all the way though it.

Christina - To hear the words from her beautiful voice "i'm so excited!" grabs my heart and stops the world around me. What a gift that has been captured and can be replayed again, and again. I'm so grateful to have come across this story today. So incredibly touching.

elsa - This is so incredibly moving.

amy - this is why we go on after darkness, this is why we try harder, believe in each other...people like this. the purity of this love is astounding and palpable. their story was captured with such care and grace, as to do it justice. huge respect and thanks for being who you are and for sharing it with the world.

Kirsty NI - I never thought at the age of 22 and a few months away from getting married that I would be told that I won't be able to have the family I always wanted, and to have babies with the love of my life, to me their was no point, a failure to everyone including myself, the phrase 'everything happens for a reason' truly is a religion of its own, ur video has ignited a light of hope deep within my heart, I will be a mother one day, my baby could be out their now, we just have to find each other, Thank you for your story

Jessica - That piece left me breathless and speechless but full of hope! Thanks!

dustin - whenever I feel I have lost the reason for story telling you bring me back, thank you

Philip Westfall - Of course I would watch this in the college computer lab trying not to go into a full cry. that is such a wonderful, powerful story.

Amanda - Ah-ma-zing! Inspirational! Blessed!

Nicole Hill - I am bawling. You guys are really lovely story tellers and I aspire to be able to capture life the way you do.

serena - your stories move and inspire me. thank you for sharing your gift with so many others who aspire to be great storytellers too :)

Danielle - such a beautiful story.

Faren - I'm speechless...the beauty you both capture is PRICELESS.

nate - i can't even take it guys, your talent and passion for storytelling is inspiring beyond words.

becca spears - Welsteads, you are another example of people living a life that gives hints of a redeemed world. Your life and the story of your family is *such* an inspiration to me. And Parsons, you have an incredible gift for storytelling that is so much more than information. By your intuition with how you arrange all of the elements that you use, you pull us into such a deep experience of feeling. Wow, what an inspiration you are to me as artists, communicators, and human beings. :) love, becca

erin h. - I'm crying happy tears. You told a simple love story in such a powerful way. Thank you.

Lisa Guerra - this is so beautifully captured, it's almost indescribable... you have to see it to feel it's greatness. parsons, thank you. thank you for that. welsteads, thank you for having open hearts. your lives are an open door pouring out God's love.

shannon leith - thank you for doing work that matters. work that is meaningful. work that lights up the world in a way that makes it more lovely and more deep and more liveable and more alive.

sami dowd - parsons, i'm constantly inspired by your talent and love..not only the beautiful images/memories you capture but the incredible way you tell stories through your work.

Hannah Nicole - chills. I can't stop crying. this is something beautiful. you are doing something good, Parsons. God is blessing you both (and your whole family) like crazy.

Renee Welstead - We're proud of you as artists, thank you for what you have done for us.

Elizabeth Chaffee - brave. beautiful. joyful.

michelle - Beautiful family, beautiful story, beautiful Parsons photography! This is your amazing gift, Parsons. Thanks for sharing this story... made me want to be an adoption judge! Tears and joy! All the best to the amazing Welsteads!

Anna - Oh. My. Goodness. I can't even find the words to describe how much I love this. And you both. What a beautiful family, inside and out. Tears, tears, tears...

Rebecca - Absolutely gorgeous and so moving. Congrats, Welsteads, on your beautiful family. We are so happy for all four of you.

Lyndzee Ellsworth - So inspiring. Love you guys.

Jayme - So beautiful! I captured an adoption one time and it was the most amazing thing I have witnessed. You did a beautiful job documenting this for them. Thank you for sharing!

Sarah Robertson - Welsteads, that IS what your story is supposed to be! Parsons, I love love love what you are doing for adoption. it *needs* to be a DGU story! no matter what.

krystal - this is gorgeous.

sally - these stories that you document and share inspire me daily. thank you.

Taylor (Da Intern) - holy crap. hoooollly crap you guys are beautiful storytellers. thank you God for this family and your talent to tell their story.

Keaton - I can't get over how much I love this video. :) Gaaah, such a beautiful story. Thank you.

Kelly - Beautiful story. There is so much power in reality. Thanks for proving that, once again.

Michelle - So beautiful. Thank you for capturing their story and thank you to the Welsteads for sharing it.

rah rah - "it happened because that's the way it was supposed to be." powerful and moving and SO MANY TEARS IN MY EYES RIGHT NOW. what a road.

Rosina - crying. to ben, renee, cora & ruby: this is a beautiful story. wishing you joy, peace, happiness...above all, love. x's

Heather - So beautiful and so beautifully captured.

Ruth - so blessed by you all. Yah for a beautiful story.

Jenae - Seriously!!! So Amazing! Love this journey. What a beautiful capture. Powerful.

Josh - "They're happy tears." wow. Powerful & beautiful.

…”now you’ll see how much I love you..” The story of steve + michelle, a vow renewal

I have to be honest. whatever I type here into this bank white space will not do justice to steve and michelle reutschle, and the journey they have been on the past year. It won’t do justice to who they are, and what it felt like to meet them, know them, stay with them, and […]

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by the parsons

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oli - Special stuff guys.

lizzie metcalf - God is so good.

amanda - I happened to visit a church in Seattle this summer the day that Steve preached. I think I bawled through the entire opening video and through his entire sermon. Such a powerful story, a fierce marriage, and a wonderful testiment of love and Glory. Thank for you this "second" look into their lives.

Valerie Lemieux - I am one of thousands .. but i can't help but comment and say that this was beyond beautiful. Your strength and love is inspiring.

Debbie - What an amazing story about love and faith.. Thank you for sharing and may we always remember what really is important in our lives, and that isn't anything that can be bought.. but something that is felt with the heart.

Gwen - Steve it is not how you finish the race but the fact that you took the initiative to continue the race and cross the line. The chapters in our lives unfold by the second. We have only a certain amount of control in how we go from moment to moment. Faith and positive attitude attribute to our successes. Make every second count! The clock is ticking. :)

Sachin Khona - Incredible. Thank you for sharing!

Chantal Andrea - Thank you so much for sharing, this is beautiful.

Shyann - Wow.. what an amazing story!

Ulmer Studios-Indie Nashville Wedding Photographers - Such a beautiful story. Our God is wonderful & amazing!!! Thanks for this reminder tonight! -J+A

Kelly Stonelake - Intense, beautiful, with gorgeous photography. Wow. Thank you for sharing this.

Zach Anderson - I love that their are people like this in the world. Awesome.

Kara - This is unbelieveable. Thank you for your work. God is good!

Jenna - I feel like this video changes me in a really fundamental way. Thank you.

Tyler Branch - this is what it's all about. god is so good.

Ruth Abel - "Now you will see how much I love you." I want to be that kind of wife! Absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story. God is so good.

katie day - oh. my heart. praise god. praise jesus. thank you lord for marriage and miracles. thank you parsons for capturing it.

Sarah Kate - Holy tears. That was amazing. What an awesome testament of love and devotion and a TRUE miracle that he's walking again. Truly amazing.

Arita - Steve & Michelle~Thank You for sharing your Miraculous LOVE Story! A Blessing! Amazing story! Thank You & May God continue to Bless you & your Beautiful Family! Truly Beautiful & Breathtaking! =) Love, Arita PS~Thank You Molly for sending this to our group. =)

molly - i think about this video every day. all the time. thank you for being awesome. i love you guys. ps. i just forwarded this to all the ladies from my bible study/marriage class :)

eric - glorious. just absolutely stunning.

Laura Robinson - Thank you.... Nate told me how blown away he was by your work, and I see he tells the truth. Wonderful and inspiring.

Mary Ellen - I follow your blog but never comment. :) I learned about you through your friend Sarah that lives in Chihuahua. I worked at an orphange there close by to the one she worked with. Small world, eh? Anyway. I love this post. Such a beautiful testimony of God's grace and mercy in the lives of His people. Thank you for sharing!

Anna - (Somehow I thought I had shared this with you earlier, but nope! So here it is!) Thank you for waking up each day, bringing your very best, being grateful for being alive and telling these stories that are SO IMPORTANT to tell. I sobbed. I felt lifted. I rejoiced and I got down on my knees again. We don't always understand why we have to be broken in order to find ourselves again... I wrestle with this personally every day. And then I remember you, Ash, and your bright smile and your enthusiastic cheer about BEING ALIVE. Every morning. You all live in my heart. And I just am so thankful for the truths you share. The Reutschle family will be forever in my heart and prayers, too.

Steve - This is mindblowingly awesome! Thank you so much for sharing this. My wife and I were completely inspired by both the story and the creativity that went into capturing this. It was the most moving presentation of photography we'd seen in a long time.

Rebecca - My husband and I were crabbing at each other... the summer heat, the lack of sleep, the overwhelming responsibilities... a million small reasons but really no reason at all. And then I watched this beautiful video and wept on his shoulder in apology and love. Thank you all, Ruetschles and Parsons, for reminding us, "Don't Give Up."

Jeannie Wooten Rhodes - THANK YOU, FIRST OF ALL, FOR SHARING A PART OF YOUR LIVES. I AM NEARLY 61yrs. old and married to a Christian man who is experiencing life with cancer - not once but twice. I, too, have a chronic illness which dictated very early retirement. And so, I have SOME empathy. But I want you to know your faith in HIM and in each other was made known to me today that I might remember "DON'T GIVE UP'. God continues to use the skills He gave me even while I am ill. It is so amazing! My husband, however, is having some degree of trouble seeing that he, too, will be of service. God Bless you and your children always. And, again, THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU ARE AND WILL BE. Jeannie Rhodes, servant of Christ (and my husband's helpmate)

amanda - I'm without words. This is such an incredible story! Thank you for sharing.

Jewel - So, I just feel like a teeny tiny comment on a blog is by no means any way to respond to such a beautiful story. Bah, if only we could all have our own galleries, show our work on walls, and on big screens, and converse, together, about the work we all create. But, since that's not reality (well for some of us anyways), I'll say this: Although this story lends itself to be one spectacular story, no matter who photographs it, I just think you two did a phenomenal job telling their story. From an emotional and technically sound perspective. The interview, the placement of the audio, conveying the intimacy of the family through your photographs, and the pairing of the music. Dang. This is a bold statement, but this is your best piece of work. Period. Great job, you two.

Krista - P.s. I think Bon Iver should just release this as the official video for Perth.

sydnee - so incredible. I'm speechless! You both are truly amazing storytellers and I can't wait to see and hear more stories to come :) breathtaking. Thank you for sharing.

Meredith - Woweee! What a beautiful bitterSWEET...make that SWEETbitter...LOVE STORY!

Megan - Cannot believe how incredible this couple's story is. And you two are the perfect people to capture it! Thank you for sharing this!

becca - ash and jer, I keep retyping my words here, because none of them express how important this work is. You have taken your work to a new level here. And only in the circle of your love and friendship would a story be revealed with such trust and intimacy. Definitely moved me to tears, and also made me better. To Steve and Michelle, thank you for teaching me and being an example of life well lived. And I am with Tyler, that frame with Steve pulling the kids in the wagon is my favorite frame. And then the stop motion letting us see him walking in the background- freaking great! So good!

Lauren Methia - this is truly beautiful! thank you thank you for sharing!

Rico - what a beautiful beautiful story! So inspiring in so many ways.

Shane - That is a truly, truly beautiful story. Thanks for sharing.

i'm kristen - oh my wow. wow wow wow.

sally - so incredibly inspiring and touching. i sit here in my office in a bit of a life slump and realize how blessed i am. this renewed my spirit. thank you.

Krista - I have never been more touched by a story. We all have our trials, but being able to see each other through them with such love and devotion is what makes a marriage a union. may God continue to bless you Steve & Michelle

jac - you, my dear friends, are incredible. what an amazing amazing amazing story and there is not a single person on earth that could've captured it more beautifully than you two. hugs all around :)

K.C. Yatsko - You two are so gifted at revealing the Giver of all good gifts...thank you, not only for your work but also to Michelle and Steve, for sharing their story. So incredibly powerful.

em - crying happy tears. what an awesome God. thank you for telling this story.

fran chelico - what an incredibly beautiful love story...what an amazing family ... you captured it perfectly.

Tyler Wirken - WOW! I am seriously blown away by this, and quite honestly I do not say that very often. You should be very proud of the job you did on this guys...I know I am proud of you for it. What a great great story and so wonderfully told. That image of him towing his kids in the wagon was superbly executed. Thank you for introducing us all to them. They are an inspiration. Good work.

davina + daniel (daniel) - what a beautiful love story. i'm going to go kiss my wife now....

Elle Ticula - A story worth telling! What a beautiful love story.

Rog - Good glory you guys. This is such magic. Magic in and for life. I love love this. Soo good. ps. Rog was here.

maria - wow, i can see why God changed your hearts through them. this is just incredible.

casia - honestly I'm not a very religious person but I do believe that EVERYTHING happens for a reason. and this story of their bond, trust and love in each other just proves how people are meant to be together. thank you so much for sharing this!

monique simone weston - The world is such a dark place with so much sadness. Thank you for sharing this gem, their love and their faith and their hope.

jenn - wow. wow. wow. thank-you for sharing. God is so good.

kelly - Oh my goodness - this had me in tears. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story with us.

Jamie - Unreal. God works in such mysterious ways. Totally not cool you guys making me want to cry over here. Holy cow.

tina florance - so moving. what a testament to the power of the human spirit. amazing.

Caroline Fontenot - I didn't want this to end. Beautiful!!!!!!

Grace - Oh. My. Gosh. THAT is beauty.

Stephanie Lyell - Beautiful. Just beautiful. I posted this on face book and twitter...it had to be shared! Wonderful job :)

Rosina - i.am.completely.speechless. i feel like no matter what i write here will not do justice for what i feel inside. i am sobbing. you guys, thank you for what you do.

Heather - Wowzers. Absolutely incredible. LOVE LOVE LOVE this.

Nick - This is why photographers do what they do. Document truth and beauty. Such an incredible story about what love looks like. Thank you for sharing this with us. And our prayers are with Steve, that God would restore the use of all of his body, and his family that they would see God's goodness in this time.

anna - aaand. i'm watching it/crying for the 4th time. what an incredible story. beautifully shot. beautifully told.

Tim - Beautiful

jessica sands - amazing. truly amazing. you have rawly portrayed the meaning of love! ... and now i must find a kleenex to wipe my tears!

Emily Steffen - HOLY MOLY! This is so beautiful! SO SO SO beautiful! :)

erin h. - wow- crying and thankful that this family had you to there to create this for them to have forever. thanks for sharing with all of us.

Megan Clouse - That is utterly amazing and inspiring!!!! (!!!!!)

Micah - Wow. You guys. Just wow. Such an incredible story and so beautifully told. Who better to tell it than the Parsons. Love your hearts. M&M

Ravyn - Such an amazing story of strength & love. Seriously, so touching. Great work, guys!

rachel - BEAUTIFUL FRIENDS. you did such an amazing job of capturing steve and michelle's story. i hope i don't wake london up right now with my crying. :) truly lovely.

Graham - Wow... That was so beautiful. I feel like crying here in my office. Thank you for sharing this amazing story.

carly - probably the most powerful story i've come upon in a long, long while. thank you to the Reutschle's for sharing it and the Parsons for showing it so beautifully.

bethany - Ooooooh Lordy. That made me cry. It's so important for the world to know this story, thank you Parsons, Michelle, and Steve!

kami van slyke - How incredible. To God be the GLORY!

tim tab - what an amazing story!!!!! I got shivers during the whole thing... what amazing love!

Friday Random Awesomeness | The Proper Binge - [...] Get a tissue. “Now you will see how much I love you.” [...]