Pensacola Beach // Family Vacation Photography // Part 1

So anyone keeping track can see that I have been to the beach an amazing number of times this year. I really should have spaced things out better – I know…

But our Pensacola Beach trip was extra special. This was a trip we actually took back in April – a massive family reunion to celebrate my grandfather’s 90th birthday – which is a pretty amazing thing. He’s an amazing man – and so healthy – so it was a great time to get all of our extended family together – whom we rarely see since we live in Ak – and everyone else is basically in Alabama. It’s long day of travel for sure…

Anyway – I made a deal with my mom that I would photograph, basically, the entire week, in exchange for her keeping my kids for a week while Chris and I went to Maui for our anniversary…

And to be honest, I’m really not sure that I would have been shooting as much if I hadn’t made that deal – but I’m actually REALLY glad that I did. The images that I captured during that week are SO much fun to look back on. We rented this enormous beach house (thanks VRBO…) and it was the perfect home base for everyone. Everyone being a total of 23 adults and 7 children under the age of 5. It was crazy. But we also had the beach basically to ourselves, since it was the off season. The first couple days the weather was overcast – although still warm – but I loved the light. And the breeze. I die for an ocean breeze…DSYPhotography-5658 DSYPhotography-5490 DSYPhotography-5514 DSYPhotography-5544

This was Harper’s first trip to the beach and she was NOT having the sand. Luckily Torah was the same way when she was little, so I came prepared with some water shoes. After a couple days she got over it, thankfully! Because who wants to be on the beach with shoes?!DSYPhotography-5570 DSYPhotography-5591 DSYPhotography-5682 DSYPhotography-5700 DSYPhotography-5724

This guy – the reason for all of us being there. Yes – he’s a photographer as well. And yes, he still shoots film. Love his style! DSYPhotography-6742

I think this is the only picture of him smiling from the week. He’s a tough customer – but I did get one…DSYPhotography-5797

So obviously, a beautiful beach, great soft light – easy. But what I actually find to be my favorites, and the images I shot in the house while we were all together. Yes, the light was beautiful – but equally were the shadows. I just sort of kept my camera on my shoulder or in a quick and convenient place and kept my eyes opened. And the magic of every day life just unfolded around me. Everyone was so happy to be together, that it was just natural and perfect.

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But OBVIOUSLY we had to do everyone’s family portraits on the beach, which was loads of fun, and we had some epic sunsets so I got some delicious golden light. Stay tuned for part 2 to see some of those…

It was such a wonderful and memorable trip – but already faded in my memory – until I look through these images and am transported back – to the smell of the salt water – the sound of the waves crashing on the shore – the delicious humidity on my skin – and of course – the warmth of being with the people I love most in the world. These images are priceless for that alone.

So… have camera. Will travel 😉