My three year old Olivia and her six year old cousin Julia had just finished their ballet recital and I was the proud mama trying to take some shots of the excited girls and their “oh so cool” Jackson, my nine year old son. (That “oh so cool” nine year old boy had actually kept whispering to me throughout the performance, “Oh my goodness — that is just the cutest thing ever!” So don’t be fooled by his “cool” act!)
When I caught this moment of the girls hugging Jackson and the look of love between Jackson and Olivia, I was overwhelmed.
It may look like just a sweet shot of a hug, but, to me, this image tells me almost the whole story — about all the years of waiting and praying by a litte boy, begging for a sibling, about the final arrival of a baby sister, about the adoration of brother and sister, and about the profound gift my son has to love so deeply.
The love my two children share is the most precious thing to me. Sure they may bicker and jockey for attention some times. They are siblings of course! But, the connection they have to each other, and the love and gentleness Jackson has for her and for his two precious cousins, Julia and Sophia, is remarkable. His tender heart adores them.
When I checked my image after I shot it, I was worried. I was in manual and had quickly shot their impulsive hug, so I hadn’t had a chance to adjust my settings and the light had just changed. It was a bit overexposed. But when I uploaded it to Lightroom, it wasn’t off as much as I had feared, and because I had shot it in RAW, I was able to “bring it back.”
It isn’t a perfect image — just a snapshot of a moment captured. But capturing that moment of joy is all that matters to me.
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