Class of 2019 Senior Portrait Session at Marblehead Lighthouse, Cedar Point Marina & Cedar Point Beach in Sandusky, Ohio

Wow...what an amazing day we had with these two young men a couple weeks back! It was a gorgeous (if a tad too hot for us working photogs), sun-filled day on Lake Erie...great start right there! But what truly made this shoot spectacular and a #lifegoal is that I (Amber) have known these two since birth!

Their mother and I are friends going back to our high school days. We had nearly the exact same class schedule, so we spent most of our academic (and social) lives together at that time! In a lot of ways, our lives were similar...on the same path. We graduated. We went off to college. But when she became a parent, her path diverged from mine in the most beautiful way. I still vividly remember seeing this older senior (the boys are a couple years apart) for the first time after he was born. This was my first friend to have a baby and it was MIND-BLOWING! To see and hold his tiny little body was such a gift. It was the first real moment that I thought about being of an age to bring new humans into this world. And here my dear friend was going through it, experiencing motherhood in all its beauty and uncertainty. Becoming a mother myself three (seemingly all too short) years ago, I know now that I had no real conception of what she was feeling at the time. In some ways, I never will. But at the time, I sure had an intense sensation of awe for what she had done, how her life had changed, and how obvious it was that this little person was now vital to her happiness. When his younger brother came along, I still felt that sense of awe for all the same reasons, but there was also this deep appreciation for her strength as well. She was a parent to these two boys, and I wouldn't experience that until nearly 15 years later!

Now that I am a parent, taking senior portraits feels more personal. The time will come when my little ones are at this stage of life, and I wonder what I'll be thinking and feeling. I could guess what those emotions will be (pride, heartbreak, intense love, fear, hope) but something I've found to be true for myself along this parenting journey, is that I can never fully grasp the depth and intensity of experiencing my children grow until it's actually happening. It often takes my breath away.

From one Momma to another, I sure hope my friend is feeling proud of herself, as well as of her boys. There is no doubt after spending the day with them, that she has a lot to be proud of...they are amazing!

And, lucky us! We'll be doing a second session with these two in the spring, so you'll be seeing them again!

Here's to kicking off the Class of 2019 Wiley Photography style! Congrats, Grads!

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