My first preservation session was with a friend/client that I have had the joy of watching through my camera lens for years now. I have photographed the events from Jade's engagement all the way to the birth of her son, Kemp last year. It's been a pleasure watching her family grow and when I'm with the Kempers/Sadlers, I always feel like family too.
Jade contacted me after her dad had some health issues that have caused him to lose movement of his left arm and other nerve issues in other parts of his body. Unfortunately, doctors do not know what's causing the problem, which means they are unable to treat his condition without knowing the source of the issue. Kemper is the kind of man that doesn't just stop because he's in pain. He doesn't give up when he feels bad, and the farm work doesn't stop just because his arm no longer works like it used to. Jade wanted me to capture quality time with her parents, husband and brother- as well as passing the love and traditions on to her one year old son, Kemp.
The day started with breaking beans. We sat outside in the shade, while every member of the family pitched in to help get the job done.
"He is the hardest working, most honest man I know." -Jade
Jade and her husband Boomer just built a house on their family farm. They plan to carry on the traditions of farming, raising a garden, and canning.
After the beans are picked, the canning process starts. Jade fixed me a ham sandwich and sweet tea while her mother, Beany, told me about how she learned to can. Every canner has different rituals and superstitions, but the process is basically the same. Beany uses a special spoon that "Mamaw always said it has to be that kind. Oh, and you must wipe the top of the jars to make sure there isn't one speck of salt on top- it'll prevent it from sealing."
I enjoyed listening to Kemper tell stories about his family and how he and Beany met. They've been together for 40 years, have two beautiful children and one grandchild. They've weathered storms together, and seen the good and bad in each other I'm sure. They've stuck together no matter what life has thrown at them, and they're still leaning on each other today.
"I got my first kiss from Kemper on December 23, 1976. Technically we couldn't date until I was 16 (I was 14 at the time) so we spent a lot of time doing things with the whole family... when we went out Aunt Rose or Uncle Martin chaperoned us." -Beany
"This summer has made us all recognize and cherish the time on the farm with him." -Jade
All of these things took place in this house in Upton, KY where Kemper has lived since he was 6.
"God made dirt, and dirt don't hurt.""That was something I heard often from my parents. Throughout my childhood, the memories that stand out the most in my mind are the times that were spent with my family on the farm and in the garden." -Jade
Thank you so much, Kemper family, for allowing me to peer into your everyday lives. I'm always honored when people share a piece of themselves with me, and it's a joy to photograph memories with my camera. These are photos I hope you cherish forever. Jade and Will I hope you look at them years from now and have sweet, sweet memories of working on the farm with your mother and father. Now is the time to capture everyday beauty and preserve these memories.
If you are interested in booking a preservation session, the details are here.