i spent a sunday in april at the home of the ashworth family. the same week of the shoot, i got a text from caitlin saying, "my son just asked who i was texting so i showed him your picture, he gasped and said, oh momma! she looks like ariel, i will be her friend." a willing subject he was.

when i pulled up, i saw worth staring out the window at me. he let me in and said "hi, i'm worth." with nobody else around, i got to know him immediately - he told me his age, he told me about his birthday party themes and showed me his room. this is always one of my favorite parts about photographing families - getting to know them. the real them.

caitlin and bj had shakey graves playing on the record player as i walked into their home to get a tour and i was immediately thinking, this is gonna be good.

we had so many moments together that made me smile and laugh and love my job. they have a lovely home with little touches of who they are and a cozy backyard with a handmade wooden table where they share meals, string lights, a hammock and a trampoline - all of which we utilized, just as they would if i weren't there. 

i won't ever forget pulling out of their driveway and mills and worth both yelling "bye!" and "see you later, alligator" over and over again, waiting for me to say "after awhile, crocodile." 

a memorable one, for sure. already looking forward to the next time i can photograph them.

after showing caitlin the photographs last night, she came back with "they're just so lovely and bright and we look like ourselves." that right there is the feeling i want all of my families to have after they see what they are like in my eyes.

i asked caitlin her favorite part about motherhood. "my favorite part of motherhood is the laughter. someone is saying crazy things, or their pants are falling down or they're making ridiculous faces. there is such a sweetness in the struggle of these early years. it's equal parts joy and sanctification, but the laughter is a constant soundtrack."

music is a huge part of how caitlin and bj fell in love and how this family came to be. the lyrics to a grady spencer song is part of their every day mantra - 

people are goin' crazy. slippin' and slidin' away, these days are lookin' so hazy and i gotta say today. i've never been so very happy. i've never been so glad. i never mean to sound sappy, but there ain't nothin that's bad.

meet the ashworth's.