BEESON-KHALSA FAMILY || Solana Beach, CA || In anticipation of my 20 years out of high school this summer and that my reunion coincided with a two-week trip to my hometown where most of my teenage memories were made, I thought it would be fun to reengage with former classmates still living in the area by meeting up and photographing their families. {This was my second reunion session; you can find the first one HERE}. Getting together with old friends absolutely justified my decision to not attend my organized reunion; it was much more like me to have created "mini reunions" of my own.

I was over the moon when Jennifer reached out to book this session. She'd been one of my very best friends. I remember sleepovers, sunrise swim practice, her passion for playing tennis and how she idolized her favorite player. I remember the day she and her sister got their first car, and the life-sized rendition of mirror-image twins in red dresses with high-necked, lace collars hanging over the fireplace in their childhood home. After high school, I left for Santa Cruz, Jen for Berkeley, and—apart from a coffee date ten years ago now—we kept in touch online. After hugs and introductions and exclamations that neither of us has changed, I meandered with her family through my new favorite place, determined to translate the overwhelming sense of connection I was feeling into images that would mean something to these people: connection to family, to a new baby, to nature, connection to a part of our past . . .

I carry many regrets over my decision to move away after high school, and one is that it didn't allow me to stay close with most of my high school friends, know their spouses, watch their families grow, and do my part to foster a second generation of friendships between our kids. Jen and I left our time together with a pledge to see about changing all that, making loose plans to get our families together on my next trip down. In the meantime, just seeing her . . . seeing that smile, meeting Akal, noting the familiar expressions and mannerisms of their girls, and all against a backdrop of such supreme beauty left me full and thankful and i n s p i r e d . . . All my thanks to the Beeson-Khalsas for such a tremendous opportunity.