Category Archives: about our life

the lake house and the 20/20 hindsight of photographs .

You know those times in life where something really tough was waiting just around the corner but you didn’t know it? And maybe you see photographs from just a few days or hours before that rough patch, and think, “my gosh, what beautiful ignorance to not know what was ahead..”?

A couple of months ago we went to the lake house. This is a place that has become so dear to our family and each year its owners extend a gracious invitation for us to go make it our own retreat place for a few days.

I share these photographs here on our WATP blog for a couple of reasons . first, I am aware that, since we vacated social media almost sixteen months ago, people are seeing way less of our lives and I want to find ways to continue to share openly and authentically here, not just on the family blog. but mostly I share because of what came after these photographs. Just a day after this trip to the lake house, our youngest son Zion would have a health crisis that would land him in the ICU, and in the children’s hospital for a week (more about that here), only to go home with a very tricky diagnosis of epilepsy, and on anti-seizure meds. If you haven’t ever heard about Zion’s story, you can read about that on our family blog but our little boy has fought for his life many times in the past five years and this was no exception. Ever four days or so now he has some kind of incident that has the potential to turn into an emergency. Life is not the same as it was  at the end of May.

So I guess I share these images here with you mostly because of all that . because photographs matter. These were days we can’t ever get back. This was a pace and style of life we can no longer take for granted. These were the last moments of “normal” before we entered into a new normal as a family and I’m so thankful we’ve got them in our pockets now. I’m so thankful photographs have the power to honor the normalcy we had no idea we were about to lose. It makes us all the more resolute to do exactly what we believe in most for our people and our couples each time they invite us to tell their stories . to tell the truth.

WATP lakehouse 001WATP lakehouse 002WATP lakehouse 003WATP lakehouse 004WATP lakehouse 005WATP lakehouse 006WATP lakehouse 007WATP lakehouse 008WATP lakehouse 009WATP lakehouse 010WATP lakehouse 011WATP lakehouse 012WATP lakehouse 013WATP lakehouse 014WATP lakehouse 015WATP lakehouse 016WATP lakehouse 017WATP lakehouse 018WATP lakehouse 019WATP lakehouse 020WATP lakehouse 021WATP lakehouse 022WATP lakehouse 023WATP lakehouse 024WATP lakehouse 025WATP lakehouse 026WATP lakehouse 027WATP lakehouse 028WATP lakehouse 029WATP lakehouse 030WATP lakehouse 031WATP lakehouse 032WATP lakehouse 033WATP lakehouse 034WATP lakehouse 035WATP lakehouse 036WATP lakehouse 037WATP lakehouse 038WATP lakehouse 039WATP lakehouse 040WATP lakehouse 041WATP lakehouse 042WATP lakehouse 043WATP lakehouse 044WATP lakehouse 045WATP lakehouse 046WATP lakehouse 047WATP lakehouse 048WATP lakehouse 049WATP lakehouse 050WATP lakehouse 051WATP lakehouse 052WATP lakehouse 053WATP lakehouse 054WATP lakehouse 055WATP lakehouse 056WATP lakehouse 057


Why photographs matter.

99% of this blog has been dedicated to telling photo stories of people around the world.  But today, I wanted to share some thoughts I had recently about photographs and why they matter.  And it started with a birthday present! FullSizeRenderB

On my last birthday this photo was sent to me by my sister, Annie.  I don’t think she knew just how much it would mean to me when she sent it, but I was pretty much taken aback when I opened her package to me and saw this picture.  I stared at it.  And stared some more… in that moment, I felt a myriad of emotions.

It’s me and her.  Ages 3 and 2.  We didn’t know our two younger sisters yet, and I have no idea where we are sitting or what we had been doing, nor who the photographer is.  We were kids: innocent.  We hadn’t tasted the best that life had to offer yet.  Nor did we know what it really meant to worry; or what taxes are; or what first kiss was like (or a breakup); or what our parents divorcing would feel like; or what it would be like to experience death firsthand.  I saw the photo and felt all of these things jumbled together in an instant: a million reminders that I have lived a good story and (God willing) have more stories to live for many years. Beneath it all: I love my sister.   Someone snapped this simple photograph, and as a result gave me this photo as a reminder 33 years later.

This is the power of a photograph: they remind us that we are alive. Photographs matter because the people in them matter; at the center of the images we make are real people living real stories.  They will grow, love, win, lose, move, stay, laugh and cry.  All we have to do is tell the truth, and they will matter infinitely to the folks we have the privilege of photographing.


We are honored that this is our profession.

Taylor - 05/23/2016 - 8:43 am

So very true.

hootenannie - 05/13/2016 - 11:08 am

I love this picture. I’m glad you loved it, too. :) So thankful to have you as my brother.