Harvest Session: The Robbins Family

i wrote this post in december titled ‘Harvesting Hope: A life worth remembering’.  if you didn’t have a chance to read it then, i’d love for you to take a few minutes when things are quiet, with a cup of something good in your palm, and read it.  and if you did read it, thank you deeply.  thank you for your love, i felt it and i do feel it.  vulnerability is a fragile, delicate thing… like taking a great big leap into something unknown, with the hope of beauty below.  a sea of beauty.  i am swimming in it.  sometimes it is isolating but that is when i am just keeping my eyes on myself.  it is in the looking up, being expectant for the warmth from the sun, and the racing after gratitude that reminds me of all the grace.

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thank you for your comments, your support, and for those of you that expressed interest in having me into your homes to document your family for a full 24 hours.  i have begun traveling for these harvest sessions.  i am so very giddy to share this one with you.  i took many MANY photographs.  i ended up with 800 final color images (actually 1600, since there is a duplicate set in black & white).  and in this little slideshow that i made to share with you there are 200 of my favorites.  i just couldn’t narrow them down any further.  these sessions are so different than my normal portrait sessions because the goal is not for a smiley happy all together posed photograph.  i am just beside you, doing your normal routine, on a normal day of your life.  i tread lightly, i try to stay back but not too much, and we become friends in the in-between, i talk to you about your heart and share mine and we are forever bonded by this special and sacred shared pursuit of hope through photographs.

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the robbins family invited me into their home to document their current season of life for 24 hours and bethany, the mama, sent this to me about her family to share here,

“These people in my little family are so dear to me-Daniel, my husband, and I both are constantly in awe of our children and each other, but we truly do not deserve such a safe and beautiful life. We’ve seen death and disease and extreme poverty-not just seen it, but we’ve held it and tasted it and seen hopelessness. We also truly have felt and witnessed healing and we have a great hope that all will be made new!  For our children, we long to help them understand their faith, to hold onto the promises given to them by God and homeschooling gives me the opportunity to gently show them who they are, who they are meant to worship and how they are meant to do that. Of course, I long for them to be geniuses and to love learning, but most of all, I want them to have a deep knowledge and love of the Lord.  I also don’t want their days spent memorizing things and learning to please their peers. We hope to give them a strong foundation so they are confident in God’s love and don’t feel the need to seek that from anyone else in unhealthy ways. I’ve been so inspired and encouraged to actually lead my children through their education rather than teach them to be performers. I’ve always loved DOING things with my children-what better way to learn than by discovering God’s own artwork through the eyes of my children.  We live in a beautiful place for such learning and I’m determined not to take it for granted!  Honestly, this photo shoot is so timely for us as we prepare our hearts for foster care-putting ourselves in the midst of someone’s mess-opening our hearts and helping to carry the burden of broken families.  But we’re being led by our loving father and that’s where we get our strength, it’s been so sweet enjoying this time with just the five of us and a new chapter is about to begin. Daniel and I should not be alive, let alone happily married with 3 healthy children. It’s all such a gift!”

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and below you will find the little movie/slideshow of my favorite 200.  photographing from the wee hours of the morning until late in the evening with the moon big and bright.  it was a normal day for them so dad went to work in the morning as usual and it was a true gift for me to watch bethany homeschool, seeing a full day in her schoolhouse start to finish.  i am surely a better mother, wife and teacher because of my time beside her, seeing her knead bread for dinner, make baby laugh and thoughtfully guide her boys with  intentional learning.  she made the everyday magical.  and when daddy came home at the end of the workday, well, that’s my favorite part.  make sure to make it full screen.  enjoy.  :)

HARVEST SESSION – Robbins Family from joy prouty on Vimeo.

Posted in * Family Sessions, Harvest Sessions | Tagged , | 35 Comments

The George Family: a Motherhood Session.

“To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow.”   -Maya Angelou

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the beautiful mother you see in these photographs, helen joy, wrote me this email months back when she asked me to photograph her family:

 

“I feel that no one has ever captured that certain beauty I feel wash over me when I am with my babies.  Maybe it’s because I never trust the photographer fully to get it or maybe it’s because my kids are crazy and I feel like I spend photo sessions trying to get everyone to get into place and just so for the very non flexible photographer.  I would love one “imperfect” shot of me with them.  I know and trust that you will be able to capture it.  I told my mother the other day that I hate looking into the mirror because I FEEL so much more beautiful than I see in a photograph or in a mirror.  So I prefer to live my days just feeling the beauty.  This is not to say I want to look thinner or more beautiful.  It’s just that no one has ever caught that still, small moment of a piece of heaven that I feel scattered through our chaotic days.  I believe after all my searching that you are the one who can find the beauty in me that I feel when I’m with my babies.”

 

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what a gift those words were to me.   i kept that secret hope for the documentation of her motherhood tucked deep into my heart as i took these photographs.  when i look at them i can almost hear her loud, deep, contagious laugh, her head thrown back in bliss, standing on the sand nursing her baby girl, her hair blowing wild in the island wind.

so, to you, helen joy, i say this:  YOU are a masterpiece.  not only because you are a mother, but because you are the most alive human being i think i have ever met, full of a million feelings and convictions and dreams.  you have shown me that beauty shines from within, and that intoxicating light just pours out of you, drenching everyone in your presence with tenderness.  you are a gift.  thank you for choosing me.  i hope that when you look at these images you see truth and depth and all of the beauty i witnessed.  it was almost too much for my eyes to hold.

 

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these photographs were taken on the tiny island of north captiva on the southern tip of florida.  the george family drove 13 hours each way to meet me for the session all the way from asheville, north carolina!  they rented a little beach house for a few days where they knew it would be as close to their happy place as they could imagine.

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Posted in * Family Sessions | 31 Comments

wildflower. mother. wife. believer. artist. farmer. writer. dreamer.

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