Ahh I have another very special session on the blog today! This year has brought back many old friends and family members, and I couldn’t be more thankful. Today, we are celebrating Leilah’s 40th birthday at Lake Runnymede! Her sisters gifted her a 40th birthday and family photo session for her birthday and I was absolutely HONORED to be chosen for it. Keep reading to find out why!
I first met Leilah’s husband, Derek, when I was working at the local theater back in 2009! He had just started as a lighting and general technician at the theater, two things I was highly interested in. Derek caught on to my interest and took me under his wing. He taught me the fundamentals of what I know, ranging from lighting to even photography! Leilah began volunteering at the theater for a variety of shows, and we all became very close. They were basically second parents to me!
When Derek and Leilah left the theater years later, I was devastated. We had spent so much time together over the years, from shows and dinners to Rock Band parties in their home. A piece of me left with them and the fun of the theater started fleeting too. I began focusing more on school and drifted away from that world. Unfortunately, due to crazy schedules on both ends, I hadn’t been able to see Derek and Leilah since 2017, when we had our last fun photoshoot at Lake Runnymede (they always let me practice with them!!). So, when Leilah texted me in November about her sisters’ gift, I couldn’t say yes quick enough.
I met Derek and Leilah out at Lake Runnymede for a sunset birthday and family session last week. It felt like no time had passed when we both got out of our cars and it was SO hard not to hug them. Their kids were in tow (two little Yorkie pups) and they were absolutely adorable. I couldn’t wait to get started. As we walked to each location, we caught up on life and how we were handling this crazy pandemic. Derek has been working at Give Kids the World since leaving the theater and Leilah has been in Human Resources. Being in the arts and entertainment world has been scary this year and you never know what the future will hold. Thankfully, we were all doing okay!
Derek and Leilah have always trusted my crazy thoughts, and laugh at my jokes no matter how bad they are. Literally my perfect couple. I had so much fun just being myself and capturing these special moments for Derek and Leilah. These two have supported me and me work over the past 11 years, even as I was learning and didn’t know what I was doing. I am forever grateful for their friendship and love over all these years. Derek and Leilah, I cannot say enough amazing things about you two, and I cannot wait until we can have our dinner date. I missed you both so much.
Take a peek at their Lake Runnymede 40th birthday and family photo session below and make sure to leave them some love!
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