When I named this photography business, I wanted to honor the things about "flyover country" that I love most. From our gorgeous landscapes and the changeable weather, to the hardworking and friendly people that call this country's middle ground home - this land and its people are my canvas.
The Long family personify everything that is great about flyover country. They are kind, hard-working, down-to-earth, and real. I have know Cassandra since high school - and she is one of the sweetest and most considerate people I have ever met. Her mother Janelle and grandparents Jesse and Terri opened up their home to me for our shoot, and even invited me to stay for dinner. As we sat around around a long farm table, with plenty of room for guests, the kitchen was filled with laughter, stories, and an abundance of delicious food.
Cassandra told me that her grandparents had dreamed of retiring on Table Rock lake their entire working lives, and sacrificed and labored to save enough money to buy a piece of land to build their dream home on the bluffs overlooking the water. Jesse had grown up poor, and only had an 8th grade education, but he knew he could do anything he set his mind to. By 1974, they had finished the house and their dream was born. Their grandchildren grew up swimming, fishing, and spending summer vacations there, and now their great-grandchildren do the same. There are deep roots here, and Cassandra told me it's where she's always felt the most grounded, safe, and loved.
Janelle moved in with her parents ten years ago to help Jesse care for Terri, so they would not have to leave their home when everyday tasks began to be a challenge. They love to sit in their favorite recliners, and take in the view from the picture window in their living room. You can see that this home is more than just walls, mortar, and glass. It's a part of them. For Jesse,Terri and their progeny, the lake house represents what accomplishment and determination can achieve, but most of all - it represents family memories and love. It's home.