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adventure is in the peak district on the day before georgia and ali got married

We would like to introduce you to two of the best people on the planet. And they just happen to live in one of the most stunningly beautiful places on the planet: the peak district in Derbyshire – north of London by a few hours. Far more will be said about these two when it is time to blog their images, but for now, let these serve as a small glimpse into who they are, and the setting in which they live.

Standing on the edge of the cliffs at Monsal Dale – deep rich green grass bordered by stone fences, farms lying in the valley hundreds of feet below beside a snaking river, smoke rising from their chimneys, birds grazing in their fields – it was easy to thank God for the gift of sight as well as the 80 miles per hour wind in your face. And what a gift to have gotten to know Georgia and Ali.

We cannot wait to share their wedding with you.

by the parsons

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keri Bryant - oh parsons, How i love you so. Amazingly beautiful, as always!!

pen - These are beautiful images, as are the words you wrote above them. I love how you shoot from the heart, and connect with your couples the way you do. It shines through the images and will be treasured for generations.

samara - beautiful... I lived in the peak district ... and you just dragged my heart back there. xx

Lauren - Such a tease! Can't wait for the wedding photos!

sharon - what an incredible place and such beautiful photos you made there friends! I can feel what a lovely and fun couple they are :)

adventure is in the story of how lenora mae got here.

I had a random conversation recently with a random gentleman.

him: what do you do for a living?

me: I make photos.

him: like a photographer?  .. cool.  what kind of photos do you make?

me: um..mostly weddings..and births.

him: I’m sorry…births?

me: yeah, I make photos for people while they are becoming a family, I make photos of labor and birth.

him: …..(awkward silence..) huh. so isn’t that pretty…

me: raw? gory? messy?

him: yeah.

me: actually, yeah. it is pretty raw.    and it’s the most beautiful thing I have ever witnessed.     and it’s the most beautiful thing those families will ever witness. so I really love being a part of it.

him: huh..interesting.. well, nice to meet you.

 

nice to meet you, too.

 

I struggle here. I struggle to tell you, yonder blog reader/friend/confidant how sacred this ground is I am about to walk on with you. I struggle because the act of a woman working harder than she will ever work to do the most miraculous act she could ever perform and then being willing to share it with you is a holy and sacred thing. Its not to be taken lightly and not to be trifled with. birth is real. it’s happening to someone right now. it happened to you once and if you are one of the lucky and the brave, you may give it to someone else someday. and it’s never a predictable, easy story to tell, either. you won’t find these images on a stylized blog giving women tips on how to be glamorous for their next baby. but long after stylized blogs have gone out of style, these images will live on and change lenora’s life.

don miller says, ” we get robbed of the glory of life because we aren’t capable of remembering how we got here.” well, I am as much a historian on this day as I am a photographer, because someday, lenora may is going to see these images and remember how she got here. her mom and dad, leslie and jesse will see them, too, and the struggle, the pain, the fear that she wouldn’t cry and get the fluid out of her lungs, the joy that she survived a natural birth, all of it will come flooding back.

so maybe you , as you stare at a phone screen or computer screen turning slowly into a dazed passer-by with a full bladder, will hear the new cry and the glory of being alive will rush back into you.

at least, I hope so.

but for now, leslie and jesse and lenora (and big brother, shepherd, too), I love you dearly and this is for you. xo

lenora mae from WE ARE THE PARSONS on Vimeo.

(song used is leslie’s favorite wilco song, a muzzle of bees)

by the parsons

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liz - Oh wow, I've only photographed two births but it was an incredible experience and now you've brought it all back to me - the feelings again. This is a beautiful documentary. Smiling and sending love to this dear family :-)

jessica sands - so perfect and wonderful, as always!

sharon - absolutely beautiful. thank you for making and sharing this xo

lecinda - just...wow. beautiful xo

Ruth - Beautiful, incredible, miraculous, indescribable. For this, I love my job!

Kate - That was absolutely beautiful! The tears and chills and wonder and excitement for them I had/have! Truly beautiful!

Adventure is in Belfast, Northern Ireland: Gillian and Tim. (part of the DON’T GIVE UP project)

The DON’T GIVE UP project has existed now for nearly 4 years.  We have had the opportunity to speak to hundreds of people from 5 continents which gives us goosebumps to even think about.  What is this crazy life we have been able to live?  So, find us in snowy Kansas City today, pinching ourselves after the whirlwind of the past month, going from Christmas, to a workshop and wedding overseas, and returning to move to a new home.  In early January, we had the incredible privilege and opportunity to take the DON’T GIVE UP project to Belfast, Northern Ireland and meet a group of european photographers who absolutely floored us with how graciously kind and open they were with us.

 

Ireland is an unsettlingly beautiful country.  Rugged, wild, inviting – it beckons you to dream and to live adventurously.  The scenery does this at every turn.  But we experienced this more deeply within the people that we met during the workshop.  At the DON’T GIVE UP project, a group of photographers from many countries came together as strangers, and left as dear friends.  Here are some of those people.

belfastdgu

Two of those people are Gillian and Tim.

 

What we are growing to realize more deeply every day is that making photographs of real people is an unbelievable privilege.  The fact is that we have the opportunity to step in front of people that are living real lives – real stories – experiencing real victories, fears, joys, pain, and we get to see and experience who they are at this present moment.  And we get to document that for them.

 

Real, we continue to find, beats fabrication – every time.

 

Every time.

 

These photographs have the chance to live on the walls of their home.  They can tell an honest story of who they were on this blustery day in Belfast, not a posed, directed, and fabricated version of what we wanted them to be.  Someday, their kids will have this glimpse of their mom and dad – young and full of life.  Someday, they will be able to look back and remember who they were at this stage – parents, business owners, partners.  And someday, when they are gone from this earth, these photographs can speak volumes about the real couple who really loved each other.
Photographs matter.  The lives of our subjects matter.  And that’s why we continue to believe more deeply in the little workshop that turns 4 years old this year.
Friends, meet Gillian and Tim.  

by the parsons

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Dee - I feel so utterly priviledged to have been a part of the Belfast workshop. I was there at this photoshoot with this couple and it was so real, and so genuine and both Jeremy and Ash had a way of really connecting with Gillian and Tim and the pictures speak for themselves. They are honest and real and a beautiful documentary of a very special and unique moment in time. They will cherish these forever. xxx

Laura Babb - Beautiful. I am heading to Ireland soon and I can't wait to see it.

Stephanie Lyell - Really beautiful. Just thought of their kids someday saying, "Daddy, why is Mommy crying?" and him getting to tell them about how much he loves her.

Fraser Stewart - Ahhhh Tim and Gillian you both look great! Lovely photos :)