the gift

some days the story is more important than the photos. today is one of those days.

a few months back, my phone rang and it was a little gal that i had recently shot with. ashliegh. her pure voice sang praises and words that i do not deserve, but that was not the reason behind her call. see, she told me how she had shared her photos with a good friend of hers. her manager and a woman she had a liking to. she reported that when she had shown this woman her and her brothers’ session with me, that the woman had cried. when she had told her of the blessing and expereince they had together and now the memories they had behind these photos, that the woman said she wished her and her family could do the same. now, i was not there and it may have been said in passing, but this kind-hearted girl ashleigh decided that she wanted to run with this woman’s words. this is where the call came in.

ashleigh told me she wanted to buy this woman a session with me. as a surprise. and as a gift. that if she could bless someone in allowing them to have an experience like she had, and if she had the means, than she should. she was able, so there we were. we talked logistics and how this would work and within a few minutes, it was all planned out and she said a check would be in the mail. we hung up and soon i had tears in my eyes. this is exactly why i have joy leaping out of every part of me. this is why i feel so undeservedly blessed. i am a tool and the fact that i can be a part of a gift like this, blows me away. ashleigh, thank you for your heart and your gift. i have a feeling that this story will bless far more than just me or this family.

so today i get to bring to you a family. one that is full of life and energy. one that seems to function more of friends than of family. we spent a few hours together last week and had a lot of fun. i let these kids run wild and let loose. got them all riled up, you could say. we could hear their parents instructing from a distance, “hey knock that off, come on guys!” when really i wanted them to have fun and be themselves. this is – after all – what a family is. it’s being able to rough house, tell each other’s secrets and still care and protect each other. we are nothing without our family. i know ya’ll have seen family photos….so I’m just including the fun ones. the ones that show just how much fun and laughter was there on the shoot. enjoy.





so last thing. because of how blessed i was through this story and someone’s pure kindness, i really wanted to offer up a little challenge. an open mic if you will. if you’ve ever been blessed with something like this, been surprised with total kindness of another, would you take a minute to share it? it can be big, it can be small. it an be a gift or just a kind word. you don’t have to give names or all the details, but please do tell.  i know people are all too nervous to comment on here, but a joy is to be shared not kept. i think it would be a nice way to start the week and blot out the yucky monday blues. so that’s the challenge. you may bless another by sharing.


* i’ll start: the other day, because of worry and care of a mother. mine took my car in to good ol’ Les Schwab. found out it needed a good amount of work done (due to an accident while on my way to a shoot, a while back) and without batting her little eye, she set up an appt. for me and gave them her card. now, i’m a big girl and i support myself, but she did what she did because she could and wanted to. so because of that, i got to use that $$$ to invest in the new blog i have up my sleeve. so when you see that baby roll out here soon, you can know why and send a little thanks to my mama. and know that i’m safely driving down the street. *

~ by Andria on July 19, 2010.

9 Responses to “the gift”

  1. These pictures turned out amazing, Andi! Some of my favorites & may be my favorite family photos you’ve done! What an amazing gift you’ve blessed this family with!

  2. 20 years ago when the company I worked for cut my hours in half and I had to ask for vacation pay to be included so I would have enough to live on my aunt and uncle had me house sit. They paid me a little per day and my aunt would leave a blank check for the grocery store. Every little bit helps.

  3. One day I was stewing about finances and the medical bills that were pouring in due to my husbands cancer treatments. This particular day I recieved a bill in the mail for over $100,000 (insurance hadnt paid yet) and I flat out panicked. But as I sifted through the mail there was a small card addressed to me. I opened it and in it was $50.00 and a note that said “I went to get a massage today, I was telling my therapist about you guys and the therapist asked me to please give the money that I would have paid- to you. I just want you to know that God is in everything.” At that moment I knew that the other gargantuan bill was not for me to worry about. God had it handled.

  4. How incredibly kind of Ashleigh. And as always, your work is stunning. You just have a way of taking people to the moment. I love the magic that little 50mm of yours can do. 🙂

    I have a lot of friends who are having babies. When I say a lot, I mean 15 have been born since December and 7 more women are expecting. Needless to say, I’ve been to a lot of baby showers this year. My husband and I are having to stockpile our own cash for a business endeavor and well, I may not have gifts for my friends but I have time and my camera. I’ve done two photoshoots so far and the reactions were much more than I had expected. The best part? Watching my friend turn into parents through the viewfinder.

  5. Andi- These are flipping GORGEOUS!
    Sterling and I were out to dinner for our anniversary. Instead of a bill at the end, we got a message that Uncle Mike had come in earlier that day and gave them his card # and said to charge it for whatever we ordered as his gift to us.
    That was the most unexpected gift that had been given to us in years, not counting them buying us a fence for our yard so Malachi would be safe. They are SO selfless!

  6. Andi.. these are AMAZING! obsessed with them all. way to be girl, these are so awesome. you should be more than proud 🙂

  7. You did such a AMAZING job! To say that I LOVE THEM is not enough. I really did cry when I saw them. I am so grateful for Ashleigh’s blessing on my family & equally blessed to be touched by your gifted talent. We all had such a great time with you that day. I will cherish these always, you’ve captured our family perfectly. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Quite a few years ago, we were headed on vacation when the transmission on our Suburban gave out about 10 miles south of the Tri-Cities. My hubby hitched a ride back to town to get a tow truck (no cel phone then) to tow our rig and travel trailer back for repairs. Of course it would take almost a week to fix, and we could not rent a vehicle big enough to tow our trailer to finish our vacation (Oregon Coast bound)! This kind young man approached us and said he saw us in tow and wanted to help! He loaned us his truck, totally not knowing us but seeing our despair. (He lived right by the Transmission shop!) We were back on the road by the afternoon and had a great vacation! What a random act of kindness that I still appreciate and try to “pay forward” whenever I can. Thanks Andi, for sharing your story, and your photos. They are amazing!

  9. oh my gosh….thank you everyone for those incredible stories and for sharing how others/God has blessed you when you really needed it. I am so glad i opened that up to share…i was so blessed to read all those and im sure others were as well. thank you for sharing!!!

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