On my 30th birthday last year Benni and his family of five came along to celebrate with me. As I was living in Helgoland on an island far far away in the North Sea, Benni packed their tents, stoves, sleeping bags, games and camped on my island for a week. The kids, when they first came and put their tiny feet on the beach watching the seals from far away asked him: can we stay here for a long long time daddy? The holiday was just beginning. I know Benni and Christina, now his wife, since their first flirts and their first attic studio apartment. Many things happened since - their first pregnancy test, moving to their second, third, fourth, fifth apartment, second baby boy arriving, then their third baby girl. I was the one trusted to look after the two older babes when the third was in the hospital on its way to see the daylight for the first time. And then in the morning in the hospital - I was invited to be introduced to their new baby on her very birthday.
It's the closest and most intense connection I have had to a family apart from my own. And the most intense connection I've had to growing humans - knowing someone from his first foetus cells up to when his cells have multiplied so many times that a conversations about 'where do babies come from' with him eight years later is possible. And then you tell him about the foetus he's once been, telling something about starting out in mamas belly.. I can't believe how time passes - best way to see it is to watch a little person grow.
All this experience makes me realise how thankful I am to each one of Bennis family. How much more prepared, shaped and better educated I feel when approaching any other little (or big) human being on this world just because Benni let me be so close to him.
As that close friend I know what Benni and Christina had been through in their relationship. Warm and cold, sometimes ice cold times. But following their story, or rather being trusted with their story, I could learn much about human relations, husband and wife relations and whats the glue keeping people together for the lasting.
And that is only because Benni has let me so close to him, talking openly about his joys and worried concerning his family; and at times maybe taking my opinion, my experience as an advice or just some words or a piece of music I'd show to him. Only through honesty and complete openness we could bound this strong trustful friendship, and most of all - learn to be a better humans from each other. We exchange, therefore we grow ourselves and grow values between us.
Now he is like my third brother, with whom I occasionally share Christmas, Easter or even Thanksgiving festivities (as of his American mother). And if it's needed - he'll be the one bringing me to the hospital on a Christmas Eve with a tonsillitis - true story, really happened.
And so here's a few days of our week together - with summer sun, beach, campsite and burger brunches.
Shot with Nikon D7000 + Sigma Art 35mm f1,4
Hint me a message for a family portrait sessions - legere, playful, natural, pure. I'm currently in Spain, but will be travelling to Germany and Lithuania this summer.