GRAY FAMILY || Goleta, CA || After months of corresponding online in anticipation of this shoot, the Grays traveled to Santa Barbara from their home in L.A. to meet an unknown photographer in an unknown place. Yet on greeting each other at the bottom of the bluffs, I knew quickly we'd be fine. They had a friendly coolness that made it seem they'd seen this spot a thousand times before, and that they'd known me as well as I hope these images will suggest I knew each of them.

I loved making these pictures with this family. Isabelle really gets me, understands what I'm driven to create in a way that feels unmatched by maybe anyone else I've ever photographed. If that unprecedented thing wasn't enough, she, Trevor and I discovered a handful of shared histories and experiences that kept our faces smiling and the conversation flowing as we walked along the bluffs and caught the last light on the beach below. At some point in passing, they mentioned having considered Santa Barbara when deciding where to lay their roots. Selfishly, I wish they had; it's not every day you make fast friends . . .