If you would like to set up a photography session, or have any questions, contact me via email: betsy@betsyjophotography.com. Thank you!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Clarity: n) clearness or lucidity as to perception or understanding; freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity.

I can't look at these pictures without crying. Okay, I couldn't even take these pictures without crying. Yes, I'm sentimental, and easily moved by the small moments. I realize that I often say how things give me a lump in my throat. But this session went far beyond emotion or sentimentality. It involved clarity and perception, joy and compassion. I knew when I was at the session that it would be something that would stay with me. Like a marker in my photography journey. An opportunity that I would not soon forget or downplay. And even though the trip was busy, and my husband and boys were home, I knew that I had done the right thing by traveling out to IL. In that moment, it was so clear: I am privileged to be able to document moments of blessing in people's lives.

Annie looked wonderful- she had her hair done, all long and beautifully healthy. Courtney and Anitra and Bekah had her ready to go when I got to Timber Ridge. Well, she looked ready. People sometimes wonder how much Annie can understand or perceive. I can say this: she knows what makes her happy. We were out in the sun and she was calm and placid, happy to feel the warmth of its rays on her back. Wanting good light, I asked Bekah to wheel Annie to the shade. Let's just say that Annie did not think I had a good idea. She let her bottom lip express her displeasure, and her furrowed brow did plenty of talking for her. :) It was like I had interrupted her plans, and she wanted me to know that this was an inconvenient occurrence. It was so cute and heartwarming.

So, ignoring the light and deciding to just capture the moments, we took her back to the sun, and then she was ready to let me in her world. How glad I am that she did. My sister and I were Annie and Rebekah's babysitters growing up, and one thing that I remember well is Annie's love for music. Her mom used to turn on all sorts of tapes and CDs for her to listen to before bed, and she loved to have my sister sing "You are my Sunshine" when Katie was taking care of her. So, in IL during her session, after getting some images outside, we went into Annie's home and Rebekah played the piano for her big sister. Played beautiful, lilting melodies that made the heart ache. And Annie loved it. People wonder how much she can understand, but I can tell you this: Annie knows she is loved, and showed a warmth and pride for Rebekah that amazed me. She would watch Bekah play, and as soon as the song was over, Annie would look at Courtney and I with an expression that seemed to say, "That's my little sister! Isn't she great?" The connection the 2 sisters had while Rebekah played the piano made my viewfinder cloud up and become rather moist. It's the first time I had tears running down my face while photographing. Way beyond a lump in the throat.

I'm so glad Rebekah was able to travel from CT to IL with me for this session with her sister. It's a surprise for their Dad, just in time for Father's Day. I'm so thankful I was able to be there to see their relationship and love for each other. Dorothy, thank you so much for contacting me for a session. It really was a privilege like no other.

My favorite:

Someone was rather miffed at me for asking to go in the shade...

...And then she was thrilled with the sun:

'Love the connection in these:

See what I mean?

Beautiful eyes:

"Is solace anywhere more comforting than in the arms of a sister?"

~Alice Walker


  1. AnonymousJune 11, 2009

    Wow... that's all i can say!! Great job to all 3! The connection is definitely there and creates quite a lump in the throat... beautiful sisters ; )

  2. AnonymousJune 11, 2009

    WOW!! Betsy, a fantastic job!!!! I'm so very impressed with your work. It's incredibly awesome to see the connection between Bekah and Annie and you captured it wonderfully!! You have such a God-given talent . . . . and you're in nurses training????? Just kiddin' ~~ I know you'll excel there as well!!! God bless! Sandy

    Dorothy, what a great idea to have Bets do this ~~ Steve will be so proud!!

  3. AnonymousJune 11, 2009

    Beautiful!!! It is so good to see Annie and her smile. Dorothy & Steve,you must be thrilled with these tresures of your beautiful daughters. Great job Betsy!

  4. AnonymousJune 11, 2009

    You are my sunshine
    My only sunshine
    You make me happy when skies are grey.
    You'll never know, dear,
    how much I love you.
    Please don't take my sunshine away...

  5. AnonymousJune 12, 2009

    Very very nice Betsy! These pictures make me really miss Annie. Brings back alot of emotions. What a great Fathers Day gift!

  6. AnonymousJune 12, 2009

    What a blessing...Steve will love this! Wonderful job, Betsy!

  7. AnonymousJune 12, 2009

    The camera in the photographers hands, through the view finder brings it to its focal point ; a point at which rays of light converge and diverge that perfect spot!
    The camera and lenses in the hands of the true artist is the focal point of imagery which is not only in focus but reveals the heart, the soul and sprit of the subject matter. Which later on in time brings to life in the hearts and minds of all those who look upon these images; beauty, grace, full of emotion preserved for the ages.
    - Well done

  8. AnonymousJune 12, 2009

    Bets: Hope you know how happy we are with the photos. And as I told you, you know how to make a grown man cry!! You captured her just how we want everyone to see her: happy, well-adjusted and sweet-as-can-be!! Thanks again.