Dear Linda and Olyn,

Our favorite picture is one that taught me a lesson about motherhood. Our session was on a humid afternoon in June of 2008. I was looking forward to hanging the “perfect” family portrait on our living room wall and dressed the family in matching white polos and khaki shorts. Little did I know that the “perfect” picture would not be what I had anticipated.

My eight year old son, Hunter, had been woken from a catnap on the way to Southwood and I knew right away he was not in the mood to be photographed. He does not like to have his picture taken much anyway, but after being woken he was in a particularly bad mood. Oh great, I thought. Here we go…money down the drain. Hunter chose a very stoic pose in almost all of the family pictures you took. I kept saying, “Hunter, please smile!” Linda kindly told me that it was okay because that was his personality and we wanted to capture that in the pictures. Within minutes of meeting our family you were able to gain insight into Hunter’s demeanor. He isn’t prone to showing off in front of others, especially when there is a camera around.

Once you began to take pictures of the boys together, Hunter cheered up and began to giggle and smile. His younger brother, Tyler was able to get him to loosen up a bit and laugh during the rest of the shoot. Yes, they were being silly but you took two beautiful pictures of our boys that day. In one, both boys are lying on the ground but only Tyler is facing the camera with a precious little grin on his face. His head is leaning on his brother’s head. Hunter is resting his head on his arm and chuckling about something funny that Tyler said. Although you cannot see Hunter’s face, I remember the smiling and giggling that they were doing at that moment.

That day I learned that photography is meant to capture the true essence of the subjects. It is not to create an artificial feeling or moment. You gave us a wonderful family photo that hangs in our living room today as well as two other pictures that capture the loving relationship of our sons. Nothing is more precious to a mother that the sound of her children giggling with one another and I can hear the boys’ laughter each day when I walk past those photos in our home. Thank you for capturing the true essence of our children.


Lisa D. Blackburn