A 70th Birthday Celebration at Great Waters – The Bell Family

Mr. John reached out to me a couple months ago in regards to doing some photos of his family. Its pretty common for me visitors to the Lake area to reach out for family photos, but this was not just family photos. Mr. John explained to me that it was going to be a birthday celebration for his wife, Beverly. It was to be here 70th birthday and he wanted to go big! He wanted to give everything. He found an amazing estate in Great Waters to rent for a long weekend. It was plenty large enough to house him and Mrs. Beverly, their three daughters and their husbands, plus all of the grandkids! Thats 13 people! With room to spare.

Not only did he find this amazing house for them, he also hired an amazing caterer and friend of mine, Deborah Johnson, also known as Chef Deborah. And let me tell y’all, she is one of the most amazing cooks I have ever met! Not only that but she is incredibly sweet and fun to work with. Also, her macarons are unlike anything you’ve ever had! SO GOOD!

Mr. John told me that he wanted Mrs. Beverly to have everything she wanted for her birthday (insert all the heart emojis!!), and it showed! He told me he not only wanted me to grab formal photos of the whole family, but that it would mean the world for Beverly to have candid shots of the grandkids and everyone just enjoying their time together. How sweet is that! I was super excited after talking over the phone with John, and could tell this was going to be a very sweet and unique family session.

The Day of The Session

Skyler and I showed up on the evening of the session, and as we pulled up to the house we both grew excited as we looked at the beautiful pond, the lantern lined driveway, the horse field and adorable green barn, the southern styled home, the azaleas, and so much more!! I knew this session was going to be gorgeous!

After meeting up with Mr. John on the front porch, and just so know he is as nice a man as you will ever meet, we walked around the property for scenic spots to shoot.

Love Felt Message For Beverly

Now one thing that I had talked to Mr. John about a few days before our session was the possibility of including a little surprise section of this blog for Beverly. So, before I go any further, I want to take a moment to share what John and the girls love about Beverly!

From Emily:
  • She will ALWAYS be there for you – or anyone in need. Her willingness to drop what she’s doing or something that is important to her in order to help out is one without batting an eye.
  • She is herself and not afraid to be that wonderful self to anyone, in any situation. She stands up for what is right and her beliefs, protects her family and is the life of the party
  • God did not just bless us with a mom who has impeccable motherly instincts and loving, caretaking skills, he blessed us with the best example of what that is and something to strive to be. She is not just a mother; she is more…a teacher thoughtfully planted in each of our lives. She is a best friend, trusted and loyal.
  • She keeps our families close.
  • She always has an answer and gives the best advice.
From Jamie:

Mom, I love…

  • Your sense of humor.
  • The way I can talk to you about anything.
  • The way you love your grandbabies.
  • You’re a jack of all trades.
  • You’ve got a heck of Green thumb: your floral arrangements are beautiful. 
From Lauren:
  • She is the best cook ever. Chicken casserole. Spaghetti.
  • She decorates the world’s prettiest Christmas tree.
  • She is a thoughtful gift-giver.
  • She makes people feel comfortable in new or unknown situations.
  • She loves to take care of babies. And is really good at it.
From John:

I love her…

  • Unconditional love
  • Grit
  • Attention to detail
  • Smile

With her I am home.

The Session Continued

If your heart hasn’t melted by now, I just can’t even help you! I can only pray for the same love and admiration from my own husband and children when I turn 70.

As we continued through our session there were lots of laughs, smiles, jokes (mainly from Mr. John!), and so much fun! After the formal family photos everyone went back to the house and Skyler and I walked around grabbing photos of the goings on inside. The real moments. The grandkids watching their favorite tv show, snuggled on the couch with parents, coloring picture, playing with toys. A delicious aroma filled the house from the beautiful dinner Chef Deborah was preparing. Everyone was enjoy their timing relaxing and just being together. Mr. John even found his amazing swing on the from porch to do some leisurely reading.

We concluded our time with this sweet family as the enjoyed their dinner and watched Mrs. Beverly open her birthday gifts. Such a sweet time. It was such a pleasure to be there with this family and capture such sweet memories!

Thank you so much to Mr. John, and the rest of the Bell family, for trusting me with your photos. It was a pleasure serving you all!

Xoxo – Sarah B.

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