One Shoot At A Time. . .

A package is arriving tomorrow, but don’t open it.  Chad told me.
What kind of package? I asked him.
It doesn’t matter, just don’t open it.
I persisted, What is it?  Will I get to know what’s in it?
he told me.  Just don’t open it right now.  I must have been tired, because I didn’t persist.  In fact, I forgot about the package until the following evening when Chad carried a box in from the front porch.  He handed me the brown cardboard box and I didn’t waste a moment before opening it.  As I pulled the contents out and peered through the bubble wrap, tears immediately sprung into my eyes. 

She decided to start living the life she imagined.

The simple statement, written on a beautiful plaque to be hung on the wall, perfectly summed up what I’d been feeling for several months.  I looked at Chad, surprised by his perfect gift.

It’s not from me, he told me.  I can’t tell you who it’s from. 
This time I did persist and learned that the gift was sent by a dear friend, Kylee, who somehow knew. . .

. . . that this was happening.

I can’t explain it and really, I have no idea where, if anywhere, this will lead.  What I know is that I consider it an incredible privilege to capture the special moments of very special people. 

Recently, I was able to spend an evening with this beautiful family. 

One of the things I love most about being behind the camera is the opportunity to observe.  This family was full of energy and honestly, getting the kids to slow down long enough to capture a photo was most of the battle.  There is much I could say about this family and how much I enjoyed standing back and watching them together.  Watching Dad pick little ones up and swing them around or watching Mom and Dad stand back and enjoy the unbridled energy of their children. . . this is the gift I am given during these times together. 

I think for a time people can fake fun or fake joy or fake the enjoyment of each others company.  One thing you can’t fake, however, is love.  The love this family shares came across loud and clear. 

I saw it in the way they looked at each other.  I heard it in the way they spoke to one another.  I saw it in the way they interacted with each other.  More than anything, though, I saw it when they didn’t know I was seeing it. 

And somehow, their stories and my story intersect.  I see their love and the passion in my heart grows. A passion to capture their love and hand it to them to preserve. 

This photography thing?  I love it. 

 And day by day I am taking baby steps toward living the life that I imagined. . .
It’s never too late, right?

Thank you, Miller Family, for a wonderful evening. . .

  • lisa - October 16, 2012 - 2:04 pm

    Summer, it's been too long since I've stopped by your lovely corner of the world…Much has happened in my world- we've moved to Nashville for starters! But how I've missed you!! It's amazing to watch with awe at how you've grown and INSPIRED me with your beautiful talent! Truly, it has been such a privilege that you've shared and allowed us to see into your heart and world…

    again and always- THANK YOU! You are very special…and I feel so privileged that you stopped by my long ago blog and commented and introduced yourself to me….I think of you and your bravery everyday! This plaque is something that is etched on my heart…I've been trying to find a way to live it. Baby steps…

    So proud of you!! 🙂


    • Summer - October 17, 2012 - 2:17 am

      Lisa, what a surprise to hear from you again! I had no idea you moved. I hope you are well and I will admit, I do miss your blog. I understand, though, that life happens. . .

      Your words here mean so much. Thank you for taking the time to cheer me on in the midst of your crazy, busy life. You have always been such an encourager to me and I appreciate it so much.

      You are right. . . baby steps. I'm so proud of you, too!!ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - October 16, 2012 - 6:30 pm

    whoa – this family and these pictures are absolutely stunning! seriously. s-t-u-n-n-i-n-g! also, i have been faithfully reading and rarely commenting, so forgive me. also, i love that plaque from Ky. she's a real keeper, and so are you.
    love, miss ReplyCancel

  • Sassytimes - October 17, 2012 - 1:10 am

    Good for you!!!! <—yes, all those exclamation points are warranted. 😉

    Do you make trips to Toledo? ReplyCancel

  • kate • one more thing - October 17, 2012 - 6:27 pm


    You are truly an inspiration. Your writing and photos are amazing. I admire your dedication to make the time to focus on what you love. It's not an easy thing to do and you do it with grace. Every single time I visit your blog I think… I need to write, I need to pick up my camera. Hopefully one of these times, I will. But until then, I live vicariously through you and enjoy every minute.

    And if you find yourself near Toledo, I would love to have you take some of your beautiful photos of my family… or we can meet you somewhere in between as well. We are always back and forth between here and Cleveland. I'm serious… let's please do this sometime??


    • Summer - October 18, 2012 - 1:22 am


      My sister lives in Toledo. . . that could absolutely happen.



    • kate • one more thing - October 23, 2012 - 1:58 pm

      Yay!!! Let me know when you are planning another trip this way. I am in. Your photos are beautiful! I will send you a message with my contact information 🙂

      So excited!ReplyCancel

  • Ky • - October 18, 2012 - 4:58 am

    Gorgeous photos. You? You have a gift. An eye. Craig and I were just remarking about it tonight while looking at one of your instagram pics.

    Love you. You're inspiring, little lady.ReplyCancel

  • Wrestling Kitties - October 23, 2012 - 5:03 pm

    Gorgeous photos and congrats on starting this journey!!

    If you do ever come to Toledo for anyone else or to do photo shoots, let me know….the H. family is in need of some professional photos!!


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