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Ocracoke Lighthouse Tattoo, Outer Banks Family Photographer

Ocracoke Island is a special place to so many people from all over the world. It has been a trying month for the residents, homeowners and business owners of Ocracoke Island with Hurricane Dorian catastrophically flooding the entire island. The school was destroyed, displacing the children and having to bring in trailers for the children to go back to school. FEMA finally marked Ocracoke as a disaster area after a couple weeks of limbo. Hopefully providing much needed relief to the island and their people. Devastated is an understatement as to what the folks of this quaint island are going through. There are piles of heartbreak; debris and personal items so high it is unbelievable. So many people and business’ have donated a helping hand, items and money to aid in the rebuilding of the lives of the islanders. The island is still not open to visitors and still has a long way to go.

This summer prior to Hurricane Dorian hitting Ocracoke Island, I met up with one of my favorite clients, the McInvale family during their Ocracoke vacation. To finally see in person the tattoo of an image I had taken, years prior during their vacation. Katie, Patrick and their sons Parker and Brady!

The McInvales have made Ocracoke a family vacation destination. Patrick’s paternal side of the family is from Georgia and they vacationed here as kids.  In 2015, Patrick’s dad and his 4 surviving siblings decided to recreate a childhood trip with their children and grandchildren. They hired me to document the 40+ family members.

Patrick said he chose this tattoo from the summer of 2015, his boys were in peak best friends mode and my photo captured the love. Brady being a sweet big brother and Parker listening and following along attentively.  The hand hold was purely organic not posed. Prior to the tattoo, that was a resounding family favorite picture and has been printed and hung in multiple houses in Missouri. Brady is now 8 years old, then 4; Parker is 6 and was 2.

Now, they are a little more competitive and everything ends in one “winning” and the other swearing his brother is the worst. Typical boys stuff, so it is really great to have that moment captured. While the lighthouse itself is beautiful, Patrick and the tattoo artist took some creative liberty of adding the sea and moving around the boardwalk, but the overall esthetic and emotion is still captured. He gets stopped pretty frequently by tattoo enthusiasts inquiring about the work and the picture.

Patrick has always had a creative side.  He minored in art in college and mostly would paint or draw for creative expression. Katie and Patrick were in college prior to the big digital camera boom, once he bought his first digital camera, he was always snapping pictures.  Katie said, “He was always in charge of documenting family moments and such on this little camera, then we met you.  You were great with our huge family and everyone had such a good time.  Then we got the pictures back and our trip was captured beautifully and accurately – including my favorite of Parker picking his nose – at that time he wouldn’t keep his finger out of it.  So when we got home, we invested in a “better” camera.  Just a little DSLR.  Then Patrick started taking more and more pictures and would do free sessions with friends and family.  He realized photography was a great way for his creative expression and does both family, event and landscape photography now in the Kansas City Area for the last 2 years under McInvale Photography!”

It is the greatest honor and compliment to have my work forever imprinted on a client as a work of art, and even more so to have inspired Patrick to move forward with his own passion of photography.

Prayers to the folks of Ocracoke as they continue to push through their recovery process and I hope to encourage more families to vacation to this special little island when they re-open so they can come back with a bang and for generations to come to make memories and enjoy such a special place.

2 thoughts on “Ocracoke Lighthouse Tattoo, Outer Banks Family Photographer

  1. Jenni, Thank you for your wonderful post and pictures! We have many happy family memories from our times spent visiting this magical island. Wishing the residents of Ocracoke well as they begin to rebuild their lives. We look forward to future Ocracoke visits.

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