April 16, 2012

Meet: Sharon Elizabeth

I’ve been known to come undone when the internet wasn’t working.

Have had complete meltdowns over a to-do list that’s not to-done yet and an inbox that is getting a little too full. When the laundry and the paperwork pile up or the hair is having a bad day, I have a tendency of going to pieces.

In short, it is a very easy life I lead.

Because see… it would have to be an easy life, for me to be afforded the luxury of worrying about such small, small things born out of the inconsequential. I go along like this, caught up in the Monday minutiae….wallowing in the mini tragedies of grown up life, things like plugged up shower drains and cars that need oil changes. Until something comes along that slaps me in the face. It lands hard, square across the cheek bone. A dizzying blow, that is at once sobering and unsettling. It snaps me back to reality. Holds the world up in front of my face. Like a magic mirror with the ability to reveal great acts of ingratitude.

It is a very easy life I lead. And it’s one that I take for granted.

A little over a year ago, I met the absolutely beautiful Sharon (not quite yet) Hundley at a Spread the Love and Walk Through a Wedding down in Charlotte, NC. And I instantly adored everything about her. She was all things bright and happy, a heart overflowing with joy. And she does ninja kicks during casual conversation, because she just has more energy than one body can hold. She’s the kind of person who shines from the inside out, and you just love being around her. Because you feel yourself start to shine a little more too. So I decided right then and there… I was going to make her a friend for life.

Shortly after that weekend, Sharon hired us to do headshots for the new brand she had started dreaming up during Spread the Love. And we got her all squared away on the calendar. But as the date was approaching, she reached out again to say she was going to have to postpone because her mom had gotten sick, that the doctors had just discovered it was breast cancer, and she just really needed to be by her side. This of course was not a problem, and we decided to just stay in touch on rescheduling the shoot at some point in the future. As the months went by and the shoot got pushed back further, Sharon (now Hundley) was dealt another blow when it turned out that her brand new husband, Chase, had to go in for what turned out to be not one, not two, but three open heart surgeries. Each one more harrowing- more next to nothing chances-than the next. She of course tells this story way better than I ever could, so I definitely recommend you head over HERE to read it. But just be warned, it’s a tear jerker for sure.

Right around the beginning of March this year, Sharon wrote to say that her mom was just finishing up her last rounds of radiation and Chase was finally home from the ICU. So she was ready to get this shoot on the road! :) After talking about it, we decided to make the shoot span over two days. One day just for the headshots, but the other devoted to documenting her and her family, and of course her and Chase. Just as they are together, right in this moment of time. With, yes, not every question answered, but so so grateful that they still all have each other to hold on to.

So about a week ago, nearly a year to the day when I first met Sharon not yet Hundley, Justin & I drove down to Virginia. Where I met the same bright and happy, heart overflowing with joy, faith-filled girl I’ve always known. The one who still does ninja kicks in casual conversation. Because she has more energy than one body can handle. Who after all this, it has not changed her. Except that she’s just become even more grateful, more joyful for all that she has.

And here, I have meltdowns when the internet goes down.

Sometimes these things come along and slap you in the face. They land hard and snap you back to reality. Remind you of all that you have to be thankful for.

And today of all days, I’m especially thankful for that. And thankful for a friend for life named Sharon Elizabeth Hundley.

Meet: Sharon Elizabeth

  1. ashley barnettt

    SHARON! Give me your hair, and your eyes, and maybe just your face okkkay? You’re gorgeous! So glad J&M could celebrate not only your new brand but your entire family :) These are perfect! And your momma and hubby are looking gooood!

  2. Lauren

    Just beautiful!!

  3. Gail

    These are BEAUTIFUL. Love the light in these!

  4. Emilia Jane

    So beautiful!!!

  5. Lindsi Luffman

    LOVE these! And I want that lace skirt! Stunning woman and family!

  6. Nancy Mitchell

    These are gorgeous! Sharon is beautiful! Glad you were able to capture her and her family! See ya next week J&M!

  7. Bethany Ann

    Love love love! This is a gorgeous tribute to how far Sharon & her family have come. Congratulations and continued prayers for an even healthier future. :)

  8. Beth Benoit

    These are GORGEOUS!!! Just love them and I have to know where’d you get that amazing skirt?? I’d love it if you’d share a link or something . . . pretty please!!

  9. Jennifer Warthan

    I love every one of these. <3 I just love Sharon to pieces!

  10. Elizabeth and Ryan | Elizabeth Ryan Photography

    Sharon- you are BEAUTIFUL!!! These photos are gorgeous and your family… even more gorgeous!! Mary- I just have to say… your words are beautiful. Thank you for this today!!!

  11. Kimberly Walker


  12. Christy

    Absolutely heartwarming and a gut check to those of us that take our health for granted! Beautiful images too – that light is to die for!

  13. Graham

    BEAUTIFUL! Great shots you guys. So nice to see this lovely gal on your site!

  14. molly

    AHHHHHH i squealed when i saw sharon on here! her story is amazing – and her post about Chase’s story gets me every time. what a beautiful woman, family, life, and photos! amazing job!

  15. Kristin Nicole


  16. Maddie

    I’m so glad that you guys are such prominent figures in this industry. Thank you for teaching us what’s important about the work that we do. Also, these photos are beautiful, and I hope Sharon’s mom knows how gorgeous she looks, because that was the FIRST thing that caught my eye in these photos.

  17. sharon elizabeth

    i am legit crying…. mascara running down my face crying! my mom looks STUNNING – and you captured chase and i perfectly… i love you both. HUGS!!!

  18. Lauren Wakefield

    These are gorgeous! I love that although there is so much that could bring this family down…yet all you see is happiness. It’s very inspiring…

  19. Abby Grace

    She is so so beautiful!! I LOVE the image of the back of her head as they’re kissing- such a precious photo. GREAT job, J&M. Sharon, you’re so lovely!

  20. Karla Cobb

    Sharon is a friend of mine also that I absolutely adore!!! She is a one of a kind and you hit the nail on the head when you said beautiful from the inside out!!!! I love her so much. She always makes me smile.
    The pictures are beautiful!!!!

  21. Mallory Helms

    squeaaaallllll! I met Sharon at that same STL in Charlotte, loved her, and I ADORE every single image!

  22. Girish

    Brilliant photographs those. And kudos to a courageous & beautiful person.

  23. Isaac Stott

    What an absolutely incredible story of love, faith, and courage! You can truly see there hearts come through in the pictures!

  24. Jessica Frey

    This is what life is about – how wonderful that you two could document their life and smiles together! Thanks for sharing :)

  25. Shefali Lindsey

    Reading this post and looking through the photos brought tears to my eyes, and I do not even know her or her family! Beautiful beautiful work and what a gorgeous soul! xoxo

  26. Lydia

    Absolutely beautiful!! Sharon Elizabeth, her mom, she and her husband–love love!

  27. Sabrina

    Oh my heavens… she is amazing. And these pictures are just stunningly beautiful. We started a series on Ruth yesterday and chpt 1 had me bawling – because I just got married 5 months ago. And what if something happens to him or to me or our life changes and doesn’t look anything like we’d planned? What if? But that’s all it is… a question. A question that we can’t answer because we don’t know. So, with my hand in his, my husband reassured me that no matter what, we’ll have eternity together and God will take care of us.
    THANK YOU for this post and for Sharon’s willingness to be so open… I wish I had enough energy to do ninja kicks in mid-conversation ;-)

  28. Elizabeth

    aww very nice shots J&M…love the fact she can enjoy her loved ones in her life for many, many more years to come. Wish I could hug my mom and dad just one more day in my life…enjoy every moment with them. And yes, her mother is stunningly beautiful…god bless them all.

  29. spring


  30. Melissa Thibodo

    Oh. My. Gosh. I love love love love love love love these!!!! :) They are absolutely incredible. When I saw the first close-up portrait with the light in her hair, I literally gasped out loud. She is stunning and the light in these pictures is just amazing! And I love the pictures with her family too. So sweet. :)

  31. Susan Evans

    Beautiful photos and beautiful people!

  32. Dominique

    Beautiful through and through. Love the last shot especially.

  33. Stephanie Stewart

    Gorgeous, gorgeous light, gorgeous eyes, gorgeous love, gorgeous family, LOVE!

  34. Kari Jeanne

    Beautiful. Simply, wonderfully, amazingly beautiful.

  35. Ashley

    OMW! Absolutely gorge!

  36. Connie Pond

    These pictures are fantastic, I sure can’t wait to see the rest of them. Thanks so much in doing this for us, you guys were great. I especially love the group picture. It sure is a great looking group, lol.

  37. Heather Wood

    So absolutely gorgeous!

  38. Meredith Sledge

    Oh my word. I die. These are AMAZING. And Sharon is just beautiful. Look at her eyes!!!!

  39. katie s

    chills!!! so good, so wonderful, what a great story!

  40. Leslie

    What beautiful pictures of an amazing family!

  41. Sophie

    Stunning. Simply stunning. So many generations of love, and so beautifully capture. Wow.

  42. Lisa Cour

    Love! The one of her parents is my very favorite. God is good, all the time

  43. Candace

    These are so beautiful Justin, Mary, and Sharon!! I love all the LOVE that you can just feel through the screen. A lifetime of memories had. <3

  44. Allison

    beautiful story & pictures. If you look closely at the picture of parents facing each other, the outline of where their heads & where their shoulders touch make a heart :)

  45. Cindy Habel

    Amazing story…and images…and light. Just beautiful.

  46. heidi

    amazing story, and her family is so beautiful. thanks for sharing.

  47. sharon elizabeth

    i keep coming back to look at these!!! =) is that lame?!?!

  48. the ninja kicker

    i love you mary… reading through this again… and i’m crying.. so thankful for ya’ll!

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