Pepper and Family / by Rebecca Tillett

All too often I see babies being born to people who have no business raising children. Unfortunately, I think the majority of my generation (and all those younger) come from unstable and/or broken homes. It was sometime during my growing-up years that "dysfunctional" finally surpassed "functional" as the family norm. Now that the products of those rocky situations are producing their own offspring, the dysfunctional family trend is showing no signs of slowing down which, to me, is altogether heartbreaking.

The Hawkins family is the rare exception to this rule. I met Carrie Hawkins in college around 2001. It wasn't too long afterwards that I met her older sister, Amanda. They come from a happy, loving family whose parents are still together and better yet - still happily in love. The pictures above are of Amanda, her husband Sam Greene and their 9 month-old daughter, Pepper. I shot Amanda and Sam's wedding back in 2008 and so when Amanda asked if I'd take pictures of her new little family during a trip to Phoenix a few weeks ago, I was more than happy to do so. I was a little nervous since I don't take many family photos but I'm pleasantly satisfied with the results. They were so much fun to shoot and even more fun to hang out with. Since it seems to occur so rarely anymore, I'm always overjoyed when I see children born to together, happy, in love parents. This little girl is loved so much by so many people, I can't help but feel a little envious of her good fortune.

I predict Pepper will have a full and happy life and in 20 years when she stumbles across these images she'll see how beautiful and in-love her parents were and realize why. She already has the head-start that most of us can only dream of.

To learn more about Pepper, please visit Amanda's wonderful blog:

"The most compatible, silly and in love couple of beans there ever has been. No arguing, please – we are! Now we have a baby, a squishy little girl. This blog is to document our new lives together, the three of us.

And to check out more of Amanda's lovely pursuits (she designed this website!), please go here: