2012 – moments that stick

December 31, 2012

“Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling.” – Don McCullin

We love reflecting on our year and have a tradition of going through these questions with each other every New Year’s Eve and these questions on New Year’s Day. We re-live moments in our minds, laugh and cry about the past, and then plan with high hopes for the future.

We have seen a lot this year, been invited into some wonderfully amazing and hard moments, and have created a few even within our own family. Moments that we can vividly remember — ones that we would love to re-live and others that we would rather not.

But we did not just see or witness these moments, we felt them, right along with our subjects. It’s all pretty amazing to us.

Here are 10 moments from the past year that stick:


We had the honor of photographing the funeral of our dear friends’ son.  This was one of the most difficult and heart-wrenching – yet – most powerful, and hope-filled stories we have ever photographed and compiled. More of their story can be found here.


We drove down to Kansas City for the Breadwinners workshop with Ashley + Jeremy and spent a few days experiencing some life- and business-changing moments, along with three other amazing couples.


On their wedding day, we had the privilege of telling Stef + Khalid “Don’t Give Up” — they took it all in and this is their grip, promising each other that they will not.


Travis and Jamie have seen storms. The biggest one in their lives is when Jamie fell 20 feet onto concrete, and Travis, along with family and friends, weren’t sure if she would make it through the night. Here they are, dancing before a storm. Quite an amazing moment for us to document.


Our children are really wonderful, amazing little creatures that bless us every day. I was in tears after witnessing this moment — the reaching out of a big brother’s hand to a very scared and wary little sister.


This is the first milestone in our children’s lives where I (Kelly) really cried. He is so big. And we were so proud.


Ray went camping with all of his brothers on a sandbar island and a storm came in the night, pouring down rain, flooding their tents with water and flattening them to the ground, and honestly — scaring them all, quite a bit. Here is a photo from dawn, the morning after the heavy rains.


Ariel + Jonathan have melted our hearts on more than one occasion. We love this sweet moment, shortly after they were pronounced husband and wife.


I was once asked if I could name the best meal I’ve ever eaten. This was it.


Though, this experience comes in a very close second. Shortly after our brother-in-law built us a table for our backyard, we enjoyed a feast, along with many of Ray’s siblings (and spouses).

“Photographs open doors into the past, but they also allow a look into the future.” –Sally Mann

Happy New Year!



Awesome and very moving images! Thanks for sharing.

this is such an amazing amazing post. i love it.

Goodness gracious. Beauty. This brought tears to my eyes! Your sweet children. The big brother helping. Oh how I wished I had a big brother. What an incredible year you’ve had. Here’s to a great 2013, and hopefully our paths will cross at some amazing meal in the Driftless. 🙂 Cheers!