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Safe Harbor

There is no doubt that lighthouses are enchanting and full of charm. Several of the lighthouses that we see today are relics of the past. Who knew that Michigan has more lighthouses than any other place in the U.S?! True mitten fact (You're welcome ). South Beach in South Haven Michigan has a beautiful red lighthouse, the South Pier Light, that was built in 1800's and it still stands today, luring tourists down the pier. The purpose of the South Pier Light is to indicate safe harbor for the passengers on Lake Michigan.

Last Friday, I traveled to South Haven to meet three families (14 people) for a group photo shoot at South Beach, where the South Pier Light still stands. One of the family members, Kat, has been an integral part of my kid's lives and I was excited to meet her family and capture their story. We met at South Beach and worked our way from the bluff to the pier, always trying to keep the lighthouse in my frame. We eventually made it to the end of the pier and got this picture (without any photo bombing from tourists, which was a miracle in and of itself).


I wasn't sure how I felt about this image when I first pulled it into my editing program. As I began to edit it, reflect on the setting and the family interactions that I was capturing, I started to fall in love with how all of this fits together. Allow me to explain...

Lighthouses serve as navigation aids, warn ships of dangerous areas and ultimately aim to provide safe passage for people. Don't families do the same? When I need a sounding board, who do I call? My mom or dad. My mom's warnings of dangerous passages are now the same warnings that I repeat to my children, as I try to guide them down a safe path in life. When lost, I want my children to know that I will be here for them, as my family is for me. Just as lighthouses can indicate safe entry into a harbor (as it does in South Haven) - supportive families do the same.

As I watched these families interact, lend a hand, tell a joke, dance and belt out the Itsy Bitsy Spider at the top of their lungs (in front of the tourists that were attempting to photo bomb their pic!), I knew that they truly have a deep and secure bond that guides them through life's waters and leads them to safe harbor, like the South Pier Light.

Take a look at our walk down the pier...

We took our time for a little people watching....


Did a little dancing...


Felt kicks from a new baby sister, we have yet to meet...


Took some sibling shots


Individual family shots...


And ended with some special moments between these four beautiful women (who could all be sisters).


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