I am the fifth of seven children.
Don't worry, I'm seeing someone about it. No no no, just kidding. My siblings are, without a doubt, one of the greatest gifts that have been given to me. While there were aspects of childhood that involved using your elbows to stake out some real estate at the countertop during breakfast (cereal, bought in bulk at Big Bear), and answering to any one of your siblings' names at any given time ("Ben! No. Elizabeth! No. Anna! No. Rebekah! Wait, who are you?!"), there were also aspects that very gracefully helped to form me into who I am.
There were things like sharing a room with sisters that provided late night hours of talk [giggle] time. There were older brothers who guided me through adventures in horseback riding. There were younger siblings who forced you to understand that you simply can't have the limelight all the time. I got to go to five weddings, where I was so joyful they almost felt like my own.
Everyone who shares in these sorts of memories knows that we all have different experiences of large families, but what I loved about photographing the family in these photos was that some of this same joy and soul-filling nourishment that I've experienced in my big family, came out as I was photographing their big family.
I have known the Madrid's for a long time, thanks to weaving in and out of the same pews and church halls on donut Sundays for many, many years. Between the siblings and the parents, the little cousins, and the grandparents, there was a unique and irreplaceable sincerity that was beautiful to witness.
Fun side note: Judith, a friend of mine and a member of this beautiful bunch, also has a photography business! Check her out here: Judith Madrid Photography