The Chard Family.

Erin and I have been friends for close to 8 years now, and it’s been an eight years that has brought us from our early twenties, which were full of parties and going out and sneaking cigarettes, to our decidedly more calm early thirties. Over that time, Erin has also started a family, one that I find to be most charming. Erin is a stay-at-home Supermom to Jacob, who just started kindergarten and celebrated his fifth birthday this month, and Cooper who is a year and a half. She and her husband Chris are two of the most engaging, involved parents I’ve met, and it shows in the happiness of their boys. So when they asked me to photograph their family, I was super excited.
It goes without saying that young children can be difficult to photograph, and honestly, I understand. How boring that must be for small children. Add to that a blazing sun and warm weather, and well, you’ve got a very short window of opportunity. But luckily for me, I tend to be more comfortable shooting the candid moments, the things that give you a glimpse into who people are, and their personalities. And I think it worked out perfectly, because we got some fantastic shots of them! And, an activity involving children wouldn’t be the same without the proverbial bribe-with-sugar, so the boys got to end their day with some awesome Cookie Monster cupcakes, courtesy of my sister Kate. Here are a few shots of our time together-enjoy!

Josh & ReBecca.

“What do you think the biggest surprise has been about having a child?” I asked. They looked at each other, and seemed to silently have the same thing in mind. “I think it’s the love, the instant love you feel,” ReBecca said. Josh agreed, “People tell you all the time that when you have a kid, you feel this instant love, that you can’t imagine feeling. I always thought I could imagine it, like, I understood what they were saying, but I really don’t think I did, until she was here.”
I was at their house, taking family photographs, and we were taking a break, so that their three month old daughter, JaeCia, could eat. In that moment, looking at Josh sitting next to ReBecca while she fed the baby, I felt overwhelmed by the joy I had for him, for them. I lifted my camera, and took a picture. That’s what I’m comfortable with-capturing moments in life, those little things that are fleeting, and that you miss once they’re over.
Josh is like a little brother to me. He’s been a lifetime close friend of my younger brothers, and has just always been around. His older brother Jimmy was very dear to my heart, and was also very brotherly, in that “Ill hurt anyone that hurts you” sort of way. Someone who would tease you, then get away with it because he’d smile at you, his blue eyes flashing. He was my very first friend in kindergarten, sitting silently next to me, putting together those five piece puzzles. When he passed away suddenly at Christmas time in 2002, it left a huge hole in our hearts. It killed me to watch Josh and the rest of his family struggle with this huge, huge loss. I worried about Josh frequently, wondered if he was okay. Sometimes it didn’t seem like it.
Then ReBecca came into his life, who is this warm, fun, happy girl, and it was like his world brightened. A home was purchased, an engagement took place, and now, beautiful JaeCia is here, a perfect combination of her two equally beautiful parents. Like her namesake uncle, she has icy blue eyes that draw you in. He would’ve loved her. I thought about that while I was with them, and it brought me close to tears. Life is funny like that-so lovely, yet sad at the same time. But I see real happiness in their home, and that makes me happy. And knowing that they will start a new chapter in their lives in a few short weeks, as husband and wife, makes me that much happier. It’s been a long road it seems, but I think it was worth their wait.

Congratulations, Josh and ReBecca-I wish you a world of happiness.