I love photographing families and relationships. The most fun I have as a photographer is when I have the opportunity to photograph a huge family with many intersecting relationships that span multi-generations. This past Thanksgiving I was invited to photograph the Lucas family, 27 members spanning four generations, and capture the spirit of their parents who have been married over 70 years.
The final quarter of the year is usually the busiest; when you are traveling across the country to make sure you can share a meal and celebrate your family one last time before ringing in the New Year. As families grow, time seems to rush by like a white water rapid and it gets more and more challenging to come together and connect. You never know the next time you can get a group of people together because of conflicting schedules and miles of distance keeping you apart.
As a photographer, I use my artist's eye to capture the essence of my subject, the person and the relationships. In this family photoshoot, I created many vignettes of different relationships that are carved out of this family: Grandma with her grandkids, with her great grandkids, mother daughter and granddaughter; father and son, brothers and sisters, aunts and nieces and nephews. One of my favorite moments was when I captured the matriarch and patriarch of this family, who have been married 61 years. They were embracing and looking as youthful as they did when they were a couple of college school sweethearts.
Coming together to celebrate and honor family and spending special time together becomes an event that is worthy of documenting with the camera. Gathering a big group of people creates all kinds of emotions: drama, excitement, laughter and tears; through all of that I was able to capture the moments of fun and frustration. Being photographed allows you to capture a moment in time and I captured the joy of four generations in one photograph that will be cherished for generations to come.