We can all be free

I use to be incredibly fond of sharp photography, defined silhouette-pops of life, refined subjects…yet lately I’ve become smitten with old film editing. This style allows me to reflect on raw moments…a blurred hug, a look. Natural. Simple. Real. the way we remember others.

Two weeks ago I spent a short weekend away with a very important bunch. Picture a crisp fall day with hot cider, plaid and plenty of pumpkins. There was, of course, a camera involved and I’ll say that editing the last bit of these was a tad emotional with a side of “omg Kaleigh and Robyn have Mr. Glaza’s smile!” type of thing. They made me feel warm and I hope that whomever is reading this right now will feel warm too.

Our weekend started by a train and ended on a back porch alongside Mr. G with his beautiful wife and daughters (there was a pumpkin patch and lots of snapshots captured in between). Out of all the things I’ve ever shot I’ll be locking this in my Gringotts Vault (look Kaleigh I made a Harry Potter reference) as a constant reminder that family is the greatest currency.

“You must remember, family is often born of blood, but it doesn’t depend on blood. Nor is it exclusive of friendship. Family members can be your best friends, you know. And best friends, whether or not they are related to you, can be your family.” – Trenton Lee Stewart

we-can-allKaleigh and I met at The Buckle where we were surrounded by a sea of white-stitched denim. Even though we had many mutual friends in college, it wasn’t until our paths crossed over a jean purchase that we first spoke. Fast forward a few years down the road to where we both ended up in Chicago! Naturally we became roommates and transitioned quickly from good friends to great ones. For the next 365 days we lived above a small gelato shop on Broadway with a group of girls and shared our lives with each other…. amidst plenty of cheap wine and late night candy runs like adults do.

Time has passed and it’s been a solid two years since we shared a forwarding address, but our friendship has only grown stronger. She’s still my Kales, one of those people that simply put, makes you feel light as feather. I’ve come to learn, as we all have, that there is a small number of people you can truly depend on throughout life. The kind that will just be there no questions asked, no hidden agenda-no nothing. No mountain is too high for the Kaleigh’s of the world. They’d record their favorite show (this is big for us) to just sit and do nothing with you. Hold your hand and happy cry, sad cry-email you funny dog videos or give solid advice on which pair of jean shorts to order for summer…months in advance. Somewhere along the road there was a definite shift-Kaleigh wasn’t just a friend anymore, she was family.

Sadly there are times in life when we can’t prevent our family from hurting. We can, however, just be there. Kaleigh you have shown me this and it is my hope that these photos will show you in return. I would go to the moon and back, even if it means buying giant shoulder pads, to be a friend for you.

Remember we’re all just caterpillars until we’re butterflies.

Love you more than St.Bernards