The Kelly’s & us Dolan’s go way back. Jim was a bandmate with my hubs. They smoked stogies together on my porch in Ocean Grove the day I brought my newborn son home. We’ve all attended the weddings of friends over the years. Exchanged Christmas cards. Run into each other’s families when we hit the diner for brunch after church on Sundays. See each other almost every year at my in-law’s legendary 4th of July BBQ. This summer, over a plastic blue table cloth sprinkled with patriotic confetti, Jim and I discussed rockstars, photography and family life, in no particular order.
A family shoot came up.
Google calendars were whipped out and plans made.
Arrangements were rearranged.
And by the time I came over to their house on a warm day in August, game faces were ON.
Its fun to shoot a family in their element: home.
We made full use of the back yard where they just finished the biggest fire pit I’ve seen outside of Pennsylvania, apparently specially designed to accommodate the giant marshmallows passed around a few nights before. And I was happy to include the dogs, Memphis & Cookie. In between romps and wrestling they pulled off sneak attacks of grinning dog-love much to the delight of the women in the family (see below). The youngest Kelly’s showed me how attuned to one another they are with their smiles like mirrors. And I make it my mission to get at least one rocking shot of Mom & Dad together in every family session I shoot because every kid needs to see their parents as a loving couple. These two leaned into each other in beautiful solidarity.
In their portraits I see a family bonded by affection, loved by the armful, and grateful for one another.
I also see ….romantic …gracious ….and whole hearts.
Thank you Kelly’s for your friendship and faith.
Happy to be so, Nicole Dolan