it was a rainy few days in wisconsin when we drove through hudson earlier this summer to visit the kealy family. darcy, the mama, is my studio manager, but more specifically she is my organizer/scheduler/encourager/therapist/superhero. she is also a designer, a photographer and a children's book author (yup, you need her book). but more than any of those amazing on-paper things, she is refreshingly real. she is genuine and gritty honest and fiercely loyal a little bit crazy and a wee bit inappropriate - which i find wonderful. and her husband and kids are great. the kind of people you want to have a bbq with every saturday (and sunday and monday too). here's the thing about photo sessions. you feel like they have to be perfect - i mean, there is just so much to think about and it's such an investment. you want the day to be best case scenario/non crying kids/happy day with the spouse/joyful dancing in a cloud and dandelions kinda experience. let's just say that darcy wasn't too psyched about the stress of it all. i so get that and it's pretty much the way i feel about getting on the other side of the lens too. but she knew i was coming into town and it was her one shot. she told me that her husband made her do it, that if she didn't that she would regret not doing the photos. so we decided to keep it low key... we planned for biking to get ice cream downtown as they like to do as a family. but then it rained (all day). but we went for it anyway. there were some tears. and there aren't any perfect everyone-smiling-this-is-a-perfect-family kinda photos. but you know what i see? i see a real family. a family that loves each other. a family that fights hard for hope. that yells loud but laughs louder and holds on tight instead of giving up. days are hard and the rain comes. but when you get out and chase happiness, sometimes a great big double rainbow appears. i love these pictures. they make me smile, they make me remember how much laughter our families shared over those few days in wisconsin and they remind me that perhaps the most lovely things in life are the ones we just can't plan for.
p.s. these photos are shown in backward order. the ones on the bikes are my favorites so i started there. you're welcome. ;)