This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write.
As a Panama City photographer, I wanted to document the hurricane.
We had no clue that it was going to be what it was.
The officials didn’t have us under an evacuation order.
Our friends Kenny and Kaitlyn evacuated to our house from Panama City Beach.
They brought their three dogs and it was quite the full house.
Autumn adores Kenny and had the best time getting piggy back rides and playing with him.
Kaitlyn got her hair done by Autumn.
Bella did her makeup.
The night before the storm rolled in, we took all the dogs for a little walk around the neighborhood.
We settled in for the night and waited for the storm to come.
The sky had the most gorgeous sunset.
It was eerie how beautiful the susnet was.
I grabbed our wedding album, our family pictures and my three hard drives and put them in my pelican on the highest shelves.
I treat all my clients portraits just like my family portraits.
Hell no are they ever getting lost.
The morning of the storm, Dameon, Kenny and Bella made more sand bags for the front door.
Super ghetto but they helped.
Kaityln had the cutest bottle of wine she brought over.
We all enjoyed the halloween oreos.
A little ironic that they named the hurricane Michael and it hit in October.
By the time officials realized how bad the storm was going to be, it was too late to evacuate.
It would’ve been far more dangerous to try to drive and outrun it.
Which is impossible, haha.
The girls and I sat in my closet with blankies and a big big bean bag, cuddled up and watched Jumanji as the storm blew through our neighborhood.
It was the scariest feeling.
I didn’t let the girls know how scared I was feeling.
I held and cuddled them as we watched the movie.
When it was over, we assessed the damage.
Thank goodness our home is still standing.
There are repairs that need to be made obviously.
Our best friend Andrew had his trailer parked next to our driveway.
It flipped 5 houses down and into a truck.
The sheer damage of the storm was unlike anything I have ever seen.
We helped clean the debris from our yard and our elderly neighbor’s home.
Exactly two days after the hurricane hit, I hopped on the first plane to leave Panama City and headed to my clients wedding in Chicago, Illinois.
After I made sure my family was situated and okay, I shifted to my clients.
I made a promise to shoot their wedding, and I sure as hell intend on upholding that.
Dameon and the girls headed to Alabama to a hotel.
We are set to not have power for at least 6 weeks.
Hug your family a little tighter today.
We will come back stronger.
This is just another chapter in my family’s life.