A lot can go into that word. That word can mean so much.
Love. Together. Laughter. Life. Comfort. Safety. Encouragement. Rivalry. Strength. Inspiration. Pain. Unity.
Such a spectrum of words and descriptions, just as family has such a spectrum of meaning and no two families are exactly the same. Not only that, there are more than one origin of families. Blood family is of course the most common reference of the word, but family can show itself in so many other ways as well.
Even Family of the same devastation
To me it is not necessarily WHAT draws family together, nor is it the perfection of that specific family (Which lets be honest, theres no such thing as a perfect family)
But the most valuable thing about family is not the definition, but the strength you draw from being surrounded by those you call family.
Whether blood, marriage, church, work or choice draws you together as family, STRENGTH gained from each other is what holds you together as family.
I have had the privilege of photographing many families in my hears as a photographer but never have a met two that are exactly the same. Not all however, are as close as this family. I am sure just like everyone, they have their quirks and differences but it was obvious that everyone wanted to be there with each other (maybe not having to take pictures haha…but they were enjoying each others company).
Their smiles reached their eyes, their laughter was contagious, kids were passed from member to member without hesitation, and hopefully a good time was had by all.
It is always apparent when I work with a family like this that love is not something that can be taught, but it is instead something that is learned by experience, observation, even osmosis in some ways. The love this family shared makes it apparent that not only do they all love each other but it started with Mom and Dad knowing, sharing, and showing the true meaning of love to each other and their kids, then of course their spouses and grandkids.
Someone wise once said “The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” I thank God we still have dads like the ones in these photos who know how to not only love their children but love the mothers of those children.
Barnes Family – It was truly such an honor to spend the evening with you all capturing your smiles your laughs and your love for each other. I pray that as time goes on and the next generation grows up, that they too will see the love between their parents, their aunts and uncles, and their grandparents and know what true love is and what family really means. Keep up the good work! Y’all are awesome!!