Family of seven, one older woman, one older man, four younger women, and one younger man all squeeze together and smile at the camera.

Lifestyle Session at Parents Home | Youngstown OH | The Dobstaff Family

One of the things I think we grow to appreciate more as we grow older, is the comfort of our parents’ home. Even as we grow up and begin our own families and career and life of our own, there is something so comforting about going back home. Several months back I got an email from my high school friend Megan, who now lives in New York City. She explained that all her siblings and their significant others would be back in Youngstown to celebrate Thanksgiving with her family this year, and they really wanted to plan to do a family photoshoot with their parents. Well I was immediately on board, and was so excited for this day to arrive. I think when parents are in the early years of raising littles, family photoshoots are a more frequent tradition as children grow and change so quickly. After kids grow into adults, coordinating schedules to make a family photoshoot happen just doesn’t feel as pressing, and lives get busy with so many obligations. That Megan, Melissa, and Chris made this shoot happen is a feat all on its own! We started in the front yard, with the “blue house with the red door” behind them. You won’t have to scroll far to see the genuine smiles on their faces and laughter in their eyes! Beth and Dave are the proudest parents, and the Dobstaff family has so much love woven throughout. Not only do they love their three kids, but Megan’s partner Mneera and Chris’ partner Kristen just as much as their own. This November day was a chilly one, but everyone smiled and laughed through chattering teeth before we headed indoors to get warm. The basement of the Dobstaff home has been transformed into the “man cave,” home to Dave’s extensive record collection, Chicago mementos, and where he and Beth spend their evenings relaxing. Dave put a record on and danced with Beth while their kids chattered and laughed on the couch behind them, and as I watched the scene unfold I just thought how amazing that this is such a “typical” moment for them all to experience but it holds such a specialness to it. We ended our evening together with a bottle of wine and a cheeseboard, and I am now convinced that every session needs to end like this!

Dobstaff family, what an honor to spend this time with you and hear your stories and enjoy your laughter! You all filled my cup. You guys have something special, and I hope that no matter where your paths take you as the years go by, that you can always come back to “home” and pick back up right where you left off.

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