SMALLWOOD FAMILY || Escondido, 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 old classmates still living in the area by meeting up and photographing their families. I think it also partly justified my decision to not attend my organized reunion; it'd be much more comfortable for me to create "mini reunions" of my own.
When I posted a call for sessions on my Facebook page, the mama of this family, Patty, replied right away. She and I had played on the tennis team together and were in many of the same classes. Although she'd been in the hallways and in my life for four years, we'd been mostly friendly acquaintances. Which, in a big way, made the privilege of photographing her family extra special. I got to see someone whose presence had dotted my formative years, but who I didn't really know-know, open up and trust me on a super personal level.
I still carry many regrets over my decision to leave town permanently right after high school, and one is that I never had the chance to stay close with lots of my high school pals, know their spouses, watch their families grow, and do my part to foster a second generation of friendships between our kids. So seeing Patty, meeting Drew and their girls, and—most of all—observing the teenager I once knew in her new role is something I'd literally never experienced before. Many thanks to the Smallwoods for providing such a memorable experience and allowing me to preserve a few moments in the here-and-now of your family.