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alan & joan’s family // seattle family photographer

I had the pleasure to be invited to photograph a family as they shared one of their favorite traditions together… sunday family dinner.

You know I can be a little wordy, but Joan–the mom who organized this shoot & welcomed me into her home & cooked all this amazingness–described it so perfectly that I thought I would just share with you what she had to say:

“We’re just your typical family, a little blended, his and mine became ours on a beach in Jamaica eighteen years ago, and the rest is history. Our kids are no longer children, two are married, Courtney to James Hampton and Andrew to Tiffany. Andrew and Tiffany have a little boy, our grandson Austin & Allyssa. Lauren lives and works in Seattle and Ben is going to college, majoring in computer science.

“Alan and I have been living in Gig Harbor, WA since 2001. We absolutely love it here, even during those ‘hard to love’ rainy winter months that drag on till May. Alan and I have always shared a bad case of wander-lust. in 2006 we decided it was time to do something about it and bought a sailboat, and like the Owl and the Pussycat in Edward Lear’s poem we sailed away. But not just for a year and a day, more like three and a half years and a day! Our lovely sailboat, Moonstruck took us to the warm waters of the Caribbean and across the vast Atlantic Ocean to Europe, where we enjoyed a leisurely two and a half tour of the Mediterranean. We returned via the Canary Islands, with our daughter Lauren on board as crew and ended our journey on Dec. 14th, 2009 on the Island of St. Lucia after an eighteen day, non-stop transatlantic voyage. Our blog which chronicles the entire story can be found at

“Like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz we did go looking for our hearts desire, but what we found was so much more, we found ourselves, we found each other and ultimately in the end we found that there is no place like home.”

Well said… I love her. I will say that Joan is like the mother I’ve always wanted, and everything about them as a family is warm & inviting… and I also have to mention that she is a working artist, and you can check out her work at several galleries as well as on her website here.

Also! (i feel like this is the post that just keeps on giving!) Their story was featured on Valley & Co’s lifestyle blog today, where you can actually snag all of the recipes from this family dinner… straight from Joan’s own well-worn cookbooks… and hopefully make them your own, with your own family traditions. And hopefully invite me over!

Ali M - Oh my, Catherine, this is so wonderful. What a lovely home, beautiful family and gorgeous post! Love, love, love. -Ali

Kirill Bordon - Wonderful!

mike - Exquisite, Catherine : D Love the film look, of course…

Karen - I love that you write a lot- there’s always such a great story behind your images and I’m happy you choose to share it because I always read what you write! :) So much love and warmth in these images! I wish I was there eating with them!

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