The Carson Family – 2011

“One Joy scatters a hundred griefs.” – A Chinese Proverb

I’m not sure what birthday parties look like in heaven.  I’m guessing they involve an unlimited supply of cupcakes, pink balloons, and lots of love and laughter.  So, I’m sure little Joy was smiling down on her beautiful family as they celebrated her with all of those things on what would have been her ninth birthday.

What’s amazing to me is how many lives Joy has touched (if you don’t know Joy’s story you must go read it here).  And it’s not the tragedy of her too short life that touches people.  It’s the way her family chooses to remember her and celebrate that life.  It’s inspiring and uplifting.  It makes you a better person to know their Joy.

I’m lucky that this is the third year I’ve gotten to celebrate Joy’s birthday with the Carsons.  It was a beautiful and unseasonably warm January day on the beach.  This year was so much fun because this is the first time that Janey, who just turned 2, could walk and talk on our shoot.  I love her little voice!  It’s crazy to have first shot her when she was just a few weeks old and now she’s a full fledged toddler!  And of course it was so much fun hanging out with Haley and Lulu.  I love that I’m their Auntie Drew and they are as excited to see me as I am to see them!

I don’t know what I would do without the Carsons friendship and support.  Julie always seems to know the exact right time to text me to check in or send a word of encouragement.  She’s like the big sister I never had.  Her support means the world to me and I’m so happy that Joy brought us together.  Because I really do think it’s Joy that brought us together.

Happy birthday, Joy!  Here’s your slideshow!

19 copy

20 copy

21 copy

04 copy

05 copy

06 copy

07 copy

11 copy

14 copy

16 copy

25 copy

28 copy

26 copy

29 copy

30 copy

31 copy

33 copy

34 copy

35 copy

36 copy

38 copy

40 copy

42 copy

43 copy

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32 Responses to The Carson Family – 2011

  1. Lydia says:

    Their sessions are always a favorite! Julie’s styling is impeccable!

  2. jamie says:

    oh my gosh. they are getting so big! i just love seeing them and can’t believe joy would have been 9.
    this is the most beautiful family ever and to have met them was an honor! great great job drew!

  3. Kristen says:

    You guys are the dream team! These are beautiful.

  4. Heather L. says:

    One of the most beautiful and inspiring phtoshoots I have EVER seen. I love Julie and have been a follower of her for some time. Her story is amazing, her family is amazing, her sense of style is amazing, and your photography is amazing. I would feel like the luckiest lady in the world to ever have such a phenomenal family shoot as this one. Capturing memories like these- truly priceless!

  5. I love the family one where everyone is looking and its from slightly above!! and the one where mom and dad are holding hands and the kids are in the background. SO MUCH fun and love in this family!

  6. AmyC says:

    WOW WOW!! I wasn’t sure it could get any better than the last session, but this is amazing!!! :)

  7. Megan Plenge says:

    What an amazingly colorful and perfect session!! I LOVE these photos…so beautiful and represents a truly joyful family. So sweet! Do you know where the rainbow quilt came from??

  8. OHMYGOODNESS…could this be ANY cuter? I think not! So perfect Drew!

  9. andrea says:

    I love this family. Drew, you do such a great job every year of capturing the essence and love of this family. I love all the vibrant colors, Julie’s styling is awesome! Fantastic! I can feel the JOY oooozing from my computer!! Great JOB DREW!!!

  10. Holly Olsen says:

    Beautiful! What a wonderful story and a gorgeous family.

  11. Christy says:

    Awesome pictures! Love the bright outfits!!

  12. Jasmine* says:

    So, so, so beautiful!!

  13. Jason Carson says:

    OK… I just got home from our big Winter Camp retreat (planning for the last 6 months and totally exhausted), and I come home to this… DREW- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!!!! You are the most talented special lady EVER!!! These photos are unbelievable and amazing. I showed the girls and they were screaming “Yeah for Auntie Drew!” Little Janey was SO excited every time I changed the picture and she screamed out each persons name in the photo as she pointed to them. I called Julie across the country in Kansas and we looked at them again together before we both went to bed and just about cried together. Thank you dear sister- we love you!

  14. Misty says:

    I absolutely love it when you photograph this family! I follow Julie’s blog and her whole family is inspirational and their shoots are always so much fun! Thank you for sharing these with us!

  15. Jenny C says:

    I absolutely adore these pictures! Drew, I’m a good friend of the Carson Family & they always speak SO HIGHLY of you :) You did a marvelous job of honoring Joy’s birthday this year.

    Praise God!!

  16. Amy B. says:

    I admire people who lean towards joy rather than embrace grief. Your friend moves me.

  17. I adore this shoot, Drew. Joy’s story is an amazing one…and it’s lovely to see them celebrate each year in such creative ways.

  18. Katie says:

    Beautiful pictures. So much vibrant color. And such a lovely story behind it all. You’ve captured it all wonderfully.

  19. Jen says:

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE # 18 – the full pier & family shot. They are all such special photos. What GREAT colour.

  20. Amy C says:

    Amazing!

  21. Mirys says:

    Drew:

    What a wonderful work!!!!!

    Congratulations to the team!!!

    I just loved the picture of the holding hands… so peaceful… so meaningful…

    Congrats! Congrats!

    Mirys – from Brazil
    http://www.diariodos3mosqueteiros.blogspot.com

  22. terri says:

    one word: BEAUTIFUL.
    thanks so much for sharing!
    xo

  23. So very very beautiful.
    This shoot takes my breath away. I’ve been following Julie for less than a year but am familiar with their whole story. It is truly an example of how God takes such sadness and heartbreak and “gives beauty for ashes”.
    I LOVE how in the long shot with the whole fam there’s a single bird soaring overhead. Just a touch of Heaven smiling down.
    Wonderful, outstanding work.

  24. Love it!! Makes me want to start planning my family photo!!
    Nic

  25. very colorful family…i think they enjoy their life:)

  26. Madam says:

    SUPERTONES STRIKE BACK!

  27. Cv Love says:

    Amazing! I love this photos! =)

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  30. Kimberly says:

    WOW this is so beautiful. Words can’t express how special and perfect I think this is! I hope one day I can make an impact on a family as you did. You inspired me to celebrate my fathers birthday at the beach in his memory. He passed away when I was just 7. He loved a nearby beach! I was wondering if you could share where that blanket is from? I think the bright cheerful colors would make the gathering have more of a happy feeling. I would love to get one! Please share if you know where it’s from!!! It would mean so much! And don’t worry I’m not a fancy photographer so I won’t be posting your idea as mine lol. Although I must say, I alway have loved photography and you have most definitely inspired me to finally look into photography classes! However, I need to start saving for a camera!!!! :) amazing work! You truly are an inspiring person!

  31. Sofia Anaya Rojas says:

    I just can’t stop looking at how you got the essence of this BEAUTIFUL FAMILY!!!! Their story is so amazingly beautiful!!! It just keeps me going on no matter what thanking God everyday because of all the blessings in my life! I also thank God for putting in my life people like you and the Carson’s. Blessings and LOVE to all of you!!!!
    FROM MEXICO CON AMOR

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