March 23, 2021

The Gerlach Family

Family Photography

90 years old and still hitting the beach


Elizabeth contacted me last minute (2 days before) via email asking me if I was available to photograph her and her husband, her two girls and her mother and father beachside. I am ALWAYS excited to get a new inquiry so I was happy to talk details right away. Elizabeth and her mother Erin (90) and father ray (86), first visited Holmes Beach, FL 10 years ago. She stated honestly that she never guessed 10 years later they would all be back here together with 3 new family members in tow. You have to admit at the ages of 90 and 86, traveling from Memphis to Bradenton, FL during a pandemic can probably be a little nerve wracking.


Walking up to the Gerlach's condo, my husband (my trusty assistant) and I looked out upon the white sand and the turquois water. We observe this scene almost daily and we know how lucky we are to do so. But this evening in particular the sky was a bit more orange and the water a bit more green than the average day.


We first met Ray. He came out onto the wooden bridge that connected the beach to the pool area. With a great big smile and an animated wave he let us know who he was. His wife Erin of 50 years walked up behind him and introduced herself. She jokingly asked if we where going to make her get into the water. I told her not just yet! Shortly after meeting Erin and Ray a bouncy little blonde and a red headed pre teen skip out onto the sand and immediately take off their shoes. Elizabeth and her husband followed and we where ready to get started. They where surprised and a little embarrassed when I had them posed and confidently directed them to look at each other and LAUGH. I belted out a big "HAHAHA" which always get 'em going. I continued to direct and pose (as I do. I am a bit of a control freak.) the family, making them slightly uncomfortable as I yell " now kiss!" or "touch your noses together!" My favorite is "pretend like you like each other." By the end of the session I had a Erin and Ray slow dancing on the beach at sunset, and the two little ones splashing each other with the COLD 69 degree water.


The last 10 minutes of a photo session is really where you get to capture each subject for who they are. Everyone starts to open up and feel comfortable with the little blonde tyrant who has been bossing them around for an hour. This session was really special to my husband (Peter) and I because we just celebrated his grandmothers 90th birthday 2 days earlier!


I have posted the photos below of the Gerlach Session, I hope you enjoy watching them enjoy their last night in Florida.