Jolene and I are old friends—she’s a phenomenal woman and an amazing mother, and I’m so lucky to have such a sister-in-Christ in my life. She and her husband Chris live in the charming city of Cambridge, and when she called and asked if I could take their photos, she wanted to know how I felt about doing something a bit more documentary and a little less formal. I thought it was a great idea—I love the capturing the unguarded, candid expressions of a family at ease with themselves and each other. The children got dressed in their regular play clothes, and we all walked over to a local park with Roxie, the family pup in tow. 

This was an especially poignant shoot for me, as Jolene and Chris had prayed fervently for children and endured much heartache in their journey to parenthood. My heart was full as I watched their two eldest croon over their baby brother, shriek as they sprinted to the play structure, and tackle their father’s knees as they demanded that he play with them. They’re so outgoing and lovable that I thanked God for his never-ending mercies and kindness in granting Jolene and Chris’ prayer. Being a mother (and a father!) certainly brings its challenges, but on that day, as I watched them laugh and play with their little ones, I thought only of the blessings. I hope that when Jolene and Chris look at these photos, they do too.