Cook Family – Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL Family/Senior Photographer

BLESSED.

That’s how I feel each time I pick up my camera and do what I love. March 31st – just another day, right? Well not really. I was lucky enough to be referred on an email circulating between several photographers in the area. The email was from Lisette Gonzalez of BCD Travel (she plans and organizes meetings, special events and annual conferences for Darden Restaurants Inc. She explained that one of their employees, who had retired, had been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). And because of  his dedication to his job, LongHorn Steakhouse (one of Darden’s restaurant chains) wanted to send he and his family on a special fishing trip to Florida ( how awesome is this…lots of love to LongHorn Steakhouse !!). The company wanted a photographer on hand to document their trip. I was on cloud 9! To spend time with a family, capturing their time together?! I was in for sure!!

Lisette and I exchanged several emails and the day finally came when I met the Cook family. JOY.

Meet Todd, Nadine, Sarah and Bailey. Todd was diagnosed with ALS in the winter of 2009. The disease affects the muscles of the body, usually starting with the limbs then spreading. And although Todd is affected physically, his unbelievable attitude, sarcastic personality and loving nature overshadow his physical handicap. I’ve never met someone with such a positive way about them. He was joking and laughing and just being who he is. A great dad and husband. LOVE.

The day started in Clearwater Beach where I joined the family on a chartered fishing boat.  I have to say the family was more concerned with me getting sea sick than anything!! (yes, I was a bit queasy!!). Later that day I grabbed Sarah for a few “senior photo” shots. She’s entering into her final year of high school!! Nice! Afterwards I was able to get some great shots of the family.

I can’t begin to explain what this day did for me. Not having my family around is tough, so spending the day with the Cooks was a blessing and honor. How did I get so lucky?

I sincerely love this family so much. From Sarah’s gorgeous smile to Bailey’s funky style. And Nadine – you are a rock. Your love doesn’t go unnoticed.

Thank you all for allowing me into your lives…even if it was just for a day 🙂

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one of my favorite shots of the day 🙂 undefinedP I N this to pinterest

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This shot made me laugh!! I’m not quite sure how happy Bailey was with her catch!!

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Sarah’s gorgeous smile…

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pit stop – ICRE CREAM 🙂

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Love 🙂

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I love the way Todd looks at Nadine 🙂

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A shot at the top of the hotel on Clearwater Beach.

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  • Jan

    Rana,thank you for sharing this wonderful family’s photos and story. The love they have for each other shines from each photo. They will be in my thoughts and prayers.ReplyCancel

  • Laura

    Thanks so much for posting this! Sarah is one of my best friends and I love her and her family so much! These are amazing! You can definitely see the love in their family! Much love to the Cooks! Mwahhhh!

    xo LauraReplyCancel

  • nan turner

    What a great collection of pictures! They are so beautifully done. And yes, you are right they are a wonderful family and our town loves them very much!ReplyCancel

  • what a beautiful family and the pictures capture how close they are.ReplyCancel

  • These will be pictures they treasure forever, capturing the essence of family love:)!ReplyCancel

  • Karen

    As Todd’s mom, I was thrilled to get these pictures. And as you experienced,,,,they are full of LOVE for one another. Thank You.ReplyCancel