Personal Vacation Photographer Dollywood - Beechler Family

 www.erinleeallender.com

Once upon a time, 50 years ago (last year), a man and a woman were married. They went on to have three children and later 7 grandchildren. One of their daughters, Tami, decided that since they all lived in different cities and states and haven't all been in the same place in years, they should have a family reunion and vacation together to celebrate their parents' 50 year wedding anniversary. They rented a cabin right outside of Dollywood Theme Park, purchased weekend passes for the park, and planned for a weekend of spending time together and honoring their parents. 

One thing that Tami wanted was for everyone to be able to enjoy each other and be present. She didn't want anyone to have to worry about taking photos with their cameras or cellphones so she hired me to be their personal vacation photographer! This seriously was one of the best projects I have ever had. I spent two days following the Beechler clan around photographing them praying, eating, playing, singing (a lot of singing) and laughing together. One of my favorite moments was when the old family photos were brought out. The younger Beechler's found their parents', aunts', and uncles' teenage fashion hilarious. Most of what I did was photojournalism but one afternoon we spent a little bit of time doing portraits of everyone at Chimney Rock Picnic Area.

I loved all the time I got to spend with these people. They welcomed me into their family, told me multiple times to put my camera down and join them for meals, and shared their lives with me. It was such a blessing to get to work with them and I feel really honored to be able to capture their time together knowing that they will be able to relive that time through these photographs.