Legacy Session with the Zupas and the D'Avellas (Grandpa & Grandma and Nana & Papa)

My Legacy Session in Essex Fells, NJ with the D’Avella family included both sets of their incredible parents and was far more like being invited to a laughter filled family dinner than a job! They made me laugh, they fed me homemade pizza and I got to learn so much about this beautiful family.

Upon my arrival, I had the pleasure of meeting Laura’s parents, Frank and Loretta Zupa, as well as BJ’s parents Bud and Elaine D’Avella. Within minutes I was sitting with them in the living room listening to them tell the stories of how they knew one another and how they came to become such great friends.  They were all so welcoming, loving and funny just like their offspring Laura and BJ and though I wasn’t shocked by their musical abilities, it always amazes me to see so much talent under one roof.

We began our session with the D’Avella’s playing UNO with Ben and Liliana. I loved watching them play one of my personal favorite games and was impressed by Lili’s ability to remain focused and play!  After UNO, we headed into the music room where Laura’s mother, Loretta,  played us all some tunes with Bud D’Avella as the children sang and danced. It was abundantly clear to me that this is just another Sunday in the D’Avella home where music, singing, dancing and performing in general are an every day occurrence.

With umbrellas in hand, the kids belted out Mary Poppins hits while dancing with their nana. Grandma Zupa impressed me with her piano talent and I tried to capture the feeling in the room as best I could with my lens. Ben is quite good at the guitar and was happy to serenade us with some impressive tunes as well as the intro to seven nation army! Grandma and Nana both watched adoringly happy to shower him with love and kisses when he finished. Even Lili couldn’t get enough of her big brothers musical ability.

While BJ got to work making homemade pizza’s in the kitchen, Grandpa Zupa and Ben paused for a friendly game of Tic, Tac, Toe. They filled a full piece of paper with their games, laughing, strategizing and just being together. I loved being a fly on the wall for this part.

Shortly after it was time for a pizza break but not before the entire family gathered around the kitchen island to sing “That’s Amore” as BJ spun the pizza dough in the air and Grandpa Zupa cut the pies that were ready! My cheeks hurt from smiling so hard by this point. The family sat, toasted, ate and the conversation never ceased as the Zupa’s and the D’Avella’s did what they always do…. enjoy one another.

I am truly blessed to have spent a Sunday evening with them and to have gotten to know them all a little better. It helps me to understand more fully why I adore Laura, BJ and their children so much and why I know we will all be great friends for years to come.

Grandparents and their grandchildren playing, laughing and enjoying sunday dinner

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audrey blake PHOTOGRAPHY Sessions make great gifts!

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