The perfect birthday gift | Sea Island Family Photographer | Shannon Griffin

What if you could come up with the perfect birthday gift for the most important people in your life? 

Memories are what we cherish the most, but they tend to fade over the years. Stories get altered when passed down through generations. Older family members might start to have a hard time remembering certain occasions. As we get older, we start to lose the ones that mean the most to us. There are so many beautiful celebrations in life that are worth remembering. 

A perfect example: My mother asks for the same thing every year, which is, "I just want some photographs of you and your sister." I decided to surprise her two years ago and she came home to a gallery wall of framed photos from a secret session we did. She was beside herself and many tears were shed. She said that she loves looking up every day and seeing her precious family on her wall. I honestly can't remember many gifts that I've given her over the years, but this one has stuck out the most because of her reaction on that day and every day since then. 

Jennifer contacted me on a Saturday and I was photographing her husband, Landon's, 40th birthday a week later. We chatted on the phone and she explained to me how important this celebration was in their lives. They live in Colorado, but travel to Sea Island every year for vacation. They decided that this year that they would incorporate Landon's birthday into their yearly vacation. We talked about how Jennifer wanted the actual party photographed, but then we discussed the possibility of incorporating a family session into her coverage. I'm so glad that we did. These photographs and moments are so dear to my heart because they are the only tangible thing that is left from this celebration. Jennifer and Landon's girls will only be this age once and they are growing so fast. These are photos that they can share with their future families. These are stories they will be able to look through for lifetimes.  

What I love the most about this entire day was the fact that I got to see a small window into their lives. I was there while they were getting ready for the party, all the way through to the toasts and tears, during. To be able to tell a complete story of the day is something that resinates with the very intention I have when photographing people. I'm honored they let me in, to encapsulate some of their memories. 

Planning by the incredible (and gorgeous blonde you see pictured bellow): By Sutton