How do you tell the story of a family?
I mean, really tell it. How do you contain and explain all the memories, moments, and magic that comes with a group of people who are connected in such an intricate way?
You can try to write down all you remember, you can do your best to pass on the stories, but does that really capture it?
That’s a difficult question with a challenging answer. But there’s one thing I do know- photos definitely help fill in the gaps to the story.
Which is especially true when it comes to a family with as strong of a legacy as the Van Hofwegens have. Theirs is a family consisting of two parents and their four boys who began visiting Mission Beach in San Diego each summer when the kids were younger.
They continue that tradition to this day with the addition of the boys’ own new family members whom they have brought into the picture (both figuratively and literally!).
So they decided they needed some photos to help tell the story of their family and their many shared memories on Mission Beach. So Scottie and I took on the difficult task of spending a couple of hours with them in an attempt to tell the story of a couple of decades!
After spending even a tiny bit of time with them, there are a few things we saw that seem to be consistent parts in this family’s story from year to year. For one, I’m guessing that every year there are some epic cousin playtimes that happen.
I think you could also say that there will be some inevitable cuddly moments.
Of course, there are plenty of memories made when the grown ups get in on the action as well!
Then there’s the beach…
…and bike time…
… and playground time!
It’s these small pieces, combined with what happens when 18 people share a house, that leads to some intense, joyful, momentous, and wonderful moments that build on each other over the years.
If you had talked to Scottie and myself before the shoot, you would have found that we were a little nervous about not only capturing such an incredible family legacy, but also about working with that many people at once… including 8 kids who are under the age of 8!
However, it wasn’t long before we fully forgot our fears and enjoyed our playtime!
I can’t even begin to tell you how fun it was to run around the playground and do whatever we could to push the kids to have as much fun as was humanly possible!
(The photo above is a picture of “as much fun as is humanly possible”).
Having so much fun with kids that their smiles turn to belly laughs, is what I’d call a good day at the office!
So thanks to the Van Hofwegen family for trusting us with such an important job as capturing your family memories and telling your story. I hope you had as much fun doing it as we did!
Click to see more of the Van Hofwegen family legacy photo session.