Reflections || Kaitlyn at Panama City Beach

Beach Photography

The ocean asks for nothing but those who stand by her shores gradually attune themselves to her rhythm.
— Charles Dickens || David Copperfield

20 years.

That's how long I've known this beautiful woman. 

As a photographer, there is nothing more fulfilling than photographing your dearest friends. When Kaitlyn came to visit me a few weeks ago, I knew I wanted to go to one of our favorite places: the Gulf shores. 

The Gulf is a magical place. Maybe it's the white sand, or the constantly clear water. Maybe it's the incredible sunsets. Regardless, it is by far one of my favorite locations to shoot. And it's our happy place. Kaitlyn and I have that infections disease called Blue Mind. Being by the water automatically makes us adults who just want to dash around and splash in the waves like children. 

Sharing this experience with Kaitlyn brought me back to our younger years. We have grown alongside each other, living separately for the past seven years, yet together through the bond of friendship that is stronger than a twenty ply rope. There are fond memories that have shaped us. Playing our own theatrical acts of Robin Hood and Maid Marion in our younger years, imagining our distant futures and dreaming of faraway lands. Reading and rereading the same classic literature, traveling through the pages of Dickens, Austen, Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis.  

Those were the dreaming years.

We are both avid writers, and I believe this is something that has tied our friendship together. When we started our fictitious endeavors, it was everything from fan fiction to fantasy. I believe our first writings were around age 12, but it's been so long, I can't remember clearly. It's simple become part of the fabric of our relationship. We would exchange stories where we had written each other as main characters, living vicariously through endeavors of our fictional selves. We wrote about fashion writers, photographers, singers, athletes and models. We dreamt of romance and adventure, inspired by fiction and fact. I was regularly wrote about uniformed characters: soldiers, police officers, pilots. Kaitlyn loved the fantastical, and penned strange and wonderful worlds filled with queens and kings, trolls and fairies. 

Then, college happened. And the grown-up life. I married my soldier, and Kaitlyn pursued her passion for voice. She matured, she developed her talents in performance, and started living the adventure that we had once only dreamed about. She sings like a queen now, and has travelled internationally for choral performances. She's the choral director for a high school in Raleigh, and she's never stopped living life to the fullest. Her theater performances range from Fiddler on the Roof to the Little Mermaid. She completely embodies her colorful, flamboyant, creative self. 

And still, the dream continues. We still write, though we have often lamented about not being able to do it as frequently as we used to. Kaitlyn has published fiction, I have published fact. She writes short stories and I write documentaries. It's our mutual dream to publish books some day. I have no doubt that she will. Mine is still sitting at chapter three. 

This blog is for the dreamers. The lives that shape who we are. The childhood fantasies that become reality. 

And most importantly, the forever friends. 

 

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