Long Lost Family in Washington

April is officially the month of engagement sessions for me. We started out flying to Seattle for a double header. I am shooting 2 weddings back to back in July and wanted to come up for some hang time and the chance to capture the couples in their everyday wear with gorgeous Washington backdrops.

The amazing part of it all is that one of the couples, Marty and Sarah, are actually related to me! I know for most people this wouldnt be an amazing thing, to hang out with relatives in another state. But this was HUGE for me and I will tell you why. When I was little my parents got a divorce and my father died when I was 7 years old. My dads parents passed away early on as well and he only has one remaining sister who has a family that I have only seen a handful of times in my life because they are in Army. This has left me with the feeling that I dont have much of a family. I always thought it bizarre when friends would talk about their cousins and family reunions. It has even been a bit difficult of an adjustment marrying into a bigger family; and yet a wonderful adjustment.

About a year ago Marty (my long lost 3rd cousin) emailed me to tell me that we are related and that he found me through my website. I thought it was awesome, but didnt really understand the relation because all my life I have known nothing of my Ingalls heritage. Then Marty calls up one day and says he is getting married and wants me to shoot his wedding this summer. I was encouraged that not only did they want me there because I am family, but because they really see me as an amazing photographer. I am humbled and honored to be their photographer.

So Anna and I packed our bags and made the journey to Seattle. We rented a car at the airport, drove onto the ferry and cruised a couple of hours through the most amazing forests to Port Angeles where my long lost family lives.

I guess you could say it was like a {family union} because we have never met. Immediately we felt welcomed and at home. Martys mother Carol (my fathers direct cousin) made me a scrapbook of the Ingalls history. I learned that my Grandfather was raised in Regina, Canada. His best friend, Clarence, sat behind him in grade school and grew up to marry his sister Florence. Clarence and Florence had Carol, who had Marty, who is responsible for bringing us all together. This is my great Uncle Clarence. He was so excited to meet me that he was beaming! He just kept telling me how great a man my grandpa Cam was; the man I was named after. I heard stories and caught glimpses of a family history I never knew existed! It was truly a moving and significant trip for both of us. I feel like I met my family for the first time; probably because I did.