There’s nothing better than roaming around your backyard at dusk in the summer as kid. When you don’t have school the next day, every night is the weekend. And if you’re lucky, you have lightning bugs, s’mores, lemonade, two dogs, enormous trees, a giant river, and some friends who join you for a game of Ghost in the Graveyard. I could not have been happier to capture such an evening up in Roanoke Rapids with this beautiful family! It was the perfect night and I went home happily smelling of campfires and deet. I went up to photograph Sasha and Brandon, who have the most beautiful property overlooking a huge and beautiful river where Brandon likes to fish. Sometimes he’s joined by Cooper, who alternates between fishing and swinging in a hammock and goofing around with his younger sister Everly. Cooper and Everly are super great kids. They were a total joy to photograph – both camera hams, both friendly and fun, both SO sweet to me and welcoming. Everly loves doing cartwheels and running around. Both older kids love taking care of Isla, the youngest, who follows both of them like a hawk (well, maybe a little bit slower than a hawk because she likes to wear her older brother’s Crocs and then kind of carefully teeter through the yard). All three kids love hanging out at the river enjoying s’mores and time with their parents and dogs. While we didn’t catch any fish, we did catch some lightning bugs and some great memories on camera (okay that was kind of cheesy but it was a fun night).

THESE GUYS! We have become fast friends with this family through our mutual love of horror movies and rock music and cats and fun clothes and cheese and skeletons and 28 Days Later. We love them very much. Their children are A TOTAL BALL OF ENERGETIC FUN that could probably power a small country if someone could figure out a way to plug them into the power grid. They’re fast. They’re wild. They like Andrew WK dance parties and they’re obsessed with the movie Labyrinth. There has never been anyone in my entire life that’s ever been more excited to see me than Oz. Spoiler alert to my own self-esteem: I think maybe Oz is excited to see everyone, but I’m going to keep pretending that he likes me the most.

Both Vera and Oz launch straight into 10 minute overlapping monologues when I see them, and then once I’ve been whirlwind updated and usually assigned a pair of sunglasses or a specific spot that they’d like me to sit, they will usually take turns sitting with me and telling me about Pokemon or Peppa the Pig until they go to bed. They are absolute sweethearts and totally wild and I hope they never change. The entire family, like myself, loves what Christie calls “aggressively patterned” colorful clothes, and I think this is the best description ever. There are also 2 cats: Eggroll, who is my best friend forever orange boy, and Jayne, who is a beautiful white cat who also likes me but really also loves her sleeping spot in the closet. There are also 2 dogs: Butters and Klaus, both Corgis, both love eating hot dogs that Vera accidentally drops on the floor. I love them all and want to scoop up this entire family and give them a giant hug or live with them forever in a bounce house.

So happy to meet baby Phifer, the latest and greatest addition to Liz and David’s family! We photographed Liz and David’s Duke Chapel wedding back in 2018 and it was so wonderful to reunite with them to photograph this new stage in their life. Phifer is an incredibly beautiful and sweet little baby, and she has the best parents to back her up. She also has two older doggo sisters, Murphy and Shepard, who will be there to help her along her way! I spent the morning hanging around Liz and David’s amazing home and garden taking pictures of their sweet little family together. They have the BEST magnolia blanket and also the BEST giant painting of the sea and I want to move in. It was wonderful to see them again and welcome Phifer into the family!