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I recently had the privilege of photographing the Riesland family at Fearrington Village, and let me tell you, it was a breath of fresh air.

One thing that stuck out to me about Zack and Stephanie was how intentionally invested in each other they were. Because I’m a sucker for good old-fashioned chivalry, I notice it when a husband opens the door for his wife. I notice when he offers to carry things (or kids) so that his wife can walk empty handed. I notice the way she treats him in return, the way they look at each other, even while surrounded by complete chaos. In the short time I spent with this sweet couple, I admired them for the way they loved and served each other, and the way they treated each other with respect and consideration above all else.

And their kids… seriously adorable! Each Riesland child is completely full of life and personality. Sometimes, moms and dads have a tendency to be overly restricting during sessions, perhaps at the expense of little Billy Bob’s already limited composure. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a time to reel them in; but at the end of the day, 2 year olds will be 2 year olds. I’m all about letting kids be themselves, and Stephanie and Zack did that. They gave a stern “Sit still” every now and again, and that would buy a few minutes of “perfectly posed”, but they also didn’t hinder real life. Caris twirled around, Josiah smiled sweetly and made funny faces, Ansley laughed and stared at her mom and dad often, and Ben… sweet little Ben. He was pretty much a party on the go. He was hard to catch, that Ben, but full of joy and laughter whenever we did. Just goes to show that real life is way more fun than perfectly posed.

All in all – an unbelievably beautiful family who I am so happy to have met!

Film Processing: Indie Film Lab

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