“Priscilla is awesome. She’s great with kids and gives clear direction for posing. I’m very awkward in front of the camera and she made us feel at ease. She’s such a sweet person. Her eye for detail is impeccable.”

Nikon F100 + Pentax 645N | Kodak Portra 400 | Scanned by Richard Film Lab

I don't typically like writing in my blogs because the photos often speak for themselves, but this photoshoot was a little different and special to me, that I felt compelled to just write a few words. I've known this family for a while now, before we moved to Austin, and I know how much this family has been through in the mere past few years. I truly respect the perseverance and strength they have in spite of the many tragedies, craziness, adversities, and hardships that have come their way.

When they approached me for family portraits, they had a few ideas for the photoshoot which I was happy to do. But when they told me the meanings behind the ideas, that really got me and I just loved how much this photoshoot meant to them. James' dad passed away a little over year ago, which was one of the many things that happened in their lives, along with Ana's grandfather passing away about a half a year later, and then their first dog together, Bugsy the pug, passed away just a couple weeks before this photoshoot. Needless to say, it has been a very tough year for the Just family, but they still arrived at the shoot with smiles on their faces and braved through their emotions. James chose to wear his dad's shirt, and lost weight to fit into it perfectly, while the rest of the family matched the shirt for the photoshoot. Bugsy's favorite holiday was Christmas and he loved curling up under the Christmas tree, and this would've been the first Christmas without him. So they got a Christmas ornament in remembrance of Bugsy and brought that to the photoshoot as well, and he will always be remembered on their Christmas tree wherever they go. I loved the little ways they chose to honor their loved ones and this photoshoot will always be so special to me.

*Also both James and Ana are in the military and on behalf of America, I'd like to thank them for their service.