DeAnna McCasland lives hundreds of miles away, yet happens to be from a small town just down the road from me. Several months ago, she contacted me about taking some pictures of her family while she was visiting the South Carolina Upstate on vacation. We were having a hard time coming up with a location and as the date drew closer I became more and more uneasy about her session.
You see, a couple of years ago I stopped booking traditional meet-at-the-park sessions. These days all of my family sessions take place in homes or other meaningful spots. Meeting at a random park, shaking hands and getting down to business feels so impersonal to me. So, it felt wrong for me to do a session for Deanna that my heart wouldn’t be in. I know, it’s crazy. Shouldn’t I just suck it up and take the park pictures? It’s only a couple of hours of my life. No big deal. The thing is…
I am only on this earth for a short time and I only have so much time I can devote to photography.
I want to make each experience count.
I want to know your life.
To see your things, your space.
To see how you really relate to your family
To see how your home supports those relationships that are the most valuable to you.
I want to help you celebrate your life.
Not the perfectly dressed, perfectly combed, random-park life.
The real one.
Your home is where your real life happens.
Your home is who you are.
It is your sanctuary.
I can’t really explain the depths of my crazy obsession with people’s homes. I just have to do it. I know this is what I am meant to do, and I love it. I wanted to give my best to Deanna and not settle for park-pictures. After talking it over with my husband, I decided to take a leap and ask Deanna if she thought it would be ridiculous if I just came to her house instead. To my delighted surprise, I found out she had been thinking the very same thing. We made plans and last weekend I packed my overnight bag and hopped on a plane to Washington DC.
I am so glad I was able to invest this time into really getting to know Deanna and her family. I counted it an honor and tremendous responsibility to enter Deanna’s home and experience her life…
To feel the warmth of an afternoon cup of coffee whose jolt of caffeine is so desperately needed to keep spirits high till bedtime.
To hear the sounds of a mother comforting a son deep in the throws of the terrible-twos.
To taste the love poured into smiley face chocolate chip pancakes.
To see the affection of a father that commutes two hours each way for work and plays hard with his little ones even though he is exhausted from a week of bread-winning.
These are the stories I cannot tell at the random-park.
Experiencing these things as an outsider is humbling.
I’m entering a sanctuary not meant for me… something so fragile and beautiful… yet with a foundation built with unshakable strength.
I’m becoming acquainted with the heart of a home.
Some may see a typical American couple in a typical American house with typical American kids living a typical American Saturday morning. But I see something so beautifully complex and rich and magical… there are no words I can speak to adequately describe it.
Meet the McCaslands…
For more information about travel rates for a Story Session of your own, email me at mollyflanaganphotogarphy(at)gmail(dot)com or send me a message through the contact tab.