this session is really special to me. ash, bree, and their little one, affie, have the sweetest, most loving family bond. when bree and I were planning the session she told me:
"I have a dream of highlighting queer family making. So much of it is so heavy and so hard. It’s such a loaded question when a straight person asks a queer person if they want to have kids someday and while it’s so innocent, it’s received with such a heavy weight. I’d love to incorporate Ryan (our donor) and his wife (auntie Dara) into some photos someday. I think getting to add in bio+chosen family members and finding more people that love your kid is one of the special and awesome ways queer families get made. We all have different ways of creating family and a lot of us have strained relationships with bio parents and therefore family building holds a bigger and heavier importance based on our loved experiences and our chosen family."
working with this sweet family I found myself learning more and being reminded of some of the difficulties lgbtq+ families experience unintentionally from straight people, from our curiosity to our word choices. ash went through gender affirming top surgery in 2022 and together ash and bree chose to not assign a gender to affie and use they/them pronouns for now- allowing the space for affie to let them know how they identify when they’re ready. I found myself, without thinking saying "him/he" a couple of times when referring to affie. I don't think ash or bree ever corrected me, but it was an experience that made me realize I need to do better. I want every person to feel accepted and loved, exactly as they are.
their family dynamic is really special because affie's donor and ash/bree's friend is a big part of their life, their chosen family. he and his partner were included in our time together and honestly it felt like we were all just hanging out, letting affie run wild. as you look through these images I hope you see all of the love this kid has, how beautiful non-traditional family dynamics are (sometimes much better than traditional ones), and are reminded of the fact that everyone deserves unconditional love exactly as they are...because everyone is already whole and complete.
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