Sandee celebrates turning 70!

This weekend I photographed the Backus family in Peachtree City, Georgia. I’ve known Ben and Sandee’s daughter Jennifer since I was in college. We have become the closest of friends over the years and ours is a special bond. About a month ago Jennifer asked if I would drive to Peachtree City to surprise her mom, Sandee, with a photo session of all the family for her 70th birthday. Everyone was driving in from all over to surprise her! I was so excited she asked me because I love this family and have lots of fond memories with them.

I had gotten word on my way to the session Saturday afternoon, that everyone wanted to stay at the house for the session and not move to a location, and one child was overdue for a nap! So, it was game time and I had to work quickly! As soon as I arrived I began scouting for a shady spot with enough room for 19 people in the picture! Yes, I did say 19! If any of you have ever been to Peachtree City, you know it has golf cart paths everywhere. I had gone for runs on the golf cart path behind the Backus’ house in years past, so that’s where I headed because the front and back yards were way too sunny! I discovered that the path would work and had some beautiful indirect light streaming in through the trees. The only kink in my plan was golf cart traffic, but we managed to not get run over!

After our session, Jennifer and I went shopping at this fabulous boutique around the corner! If you are ever in Peachtree City you MUST check out Lizard Thicket!! They have THE best clothes (think SOCA) and THE best prices (think Francesca’s)! Let’s just say if there was a store here in Birmingham I would be in some serious trouble.

When Jennifer and I returned from our long shopping trip, we found all of the grandkids doing what the Backus family refers to as “Georgia sleddin” in the front yard. In the Backus’ front yard there is a steep hill with lots of juniper, so the kids grab cardboard boxes and go down it for a ride! They were having the best time, so I grabbed my camera and snapped a few more shots. You’ll see those at the end, along with a few of the teary “goodbyes” as Susan’s family had to head back to Birmingham to catch a flight back to Utah.

Okay, enough of my rambling. I can’t help it. Like I said, I love this family! Here are the photos…

The gang's all here!
The grandkids
Jeff's family
Susan's family
Matt's family
Another one of Matt's family
Jennifer's family
Mandy and Jordan
Madison and Caroline
Madison and Caroline
Franklin and Mary Patton
Jordan is a Senior so we wanted to get a special shot of just her.
liked it in black & white too!
Sandee and Ben's children and their spouses


Ben and Sandee's "kids"
Ben, Sandee, Susan, Jeff, Matt and Jennifer
Jennifer with her sister Susan and Susan's daughters
The fab Backus women!
Ben and the birthday girl!
Jeff and Dominique

Crazy Matt and his wife Laura

Matt…being Matt…
J. Frank and Jennifer
Craig and Susan
Jeff…who's looking a bit J. Crew in this photo…the agencies may be calling…he's going to be so mad at me for posting this one…
Matt grabbed my camera and snapped a shot of Jennifer and me at the end. We always have pictures of our kids together, but none of us. So glad to now have one for the mudroom board of fame!
Georgia sleddin…Mary Patton looks a little worried about her drivers
Connelly was doing some good sleddin!
Tandem sleddin
They are going to be so itchy!
Miller preferred the grass over the juniper
Needing another little push
Then he decided to ditch the cardboard and just freestyle it
Saying goodbye

5 responses to “Sandee celebrates turning 70!”

  1. Laura Black Avatar
    Laura Black

    Seriously… Is it even legal for there to be that many beautiful people in one family???

    Great pics, Heather!

    1. Heather Durham Photography Avatar

      Thanks Laura! You’re always my biggest fan. Love you!

  2. Sandee Avatar

    Heather, I am going to wear out my computer just “re-looking” at your beautiful photos of my family! I know I am always astounded at your photography but, honestly, your talent is way beyond amazing and awesome!

    We all loved seeing Olivia too… such a wonderful young girl… please thank Brad and Luke for sharing you this weekend… we appreciate that too.

    Thank you again for everything! God bless you always.

    Much love,

  3. Sandee Avatar


    Ben just got home and he looked at the photos. He kept quietly saying, “Oh my God” as he looked at each one! He is singing “Heather praises” big time… he’s looked at them twice, so far… in awe.

    Thanks again!
    Ben (via Sandee)

  4. Heather Durham Photography Avatar

    Thanks Ben and Sandee! The pleasure was all mine. You have a beautiful family! You are so very blessed!

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