Today I would like to introduce you to the family of one of my best and closest friends on the planet: Tracy. And when I say close I mean close. Close as in, I’ve known her since third grade (Mrs. Gauler’s class, represent!) Close as in, I lived with them for a few months during my family’s transition from Oklahoma to Denver. Close as in, I take her family photos and she cuts my hair (please don’t judge her hair-cutting abilities on the state of my hair on a daily basis). Close as in I named her cat.

The following is merely the most recent of all of the millions of times I’ve documented her family. I have to say, though, that this batch is my favorite.

We’ll start with the youngest member first:

This is Miles.

Give him a sword (or an even vaguely sword-like object) and he will attack with vigor. My 9-year-old son is genuinely terrified of him. It is hysterical. Don’t mess with Miles.

Double-fisting weapons, guys. Save yourselves!

This is Luka. She, just like her dear Aunty Sam, is what I like to call “hella extra”. She has a flair for the dramatic and bull-headed determination that are going to make her into one incredible woman who I cannot wait to meet. She is an absolute force to be reckoned with. Definitely do not mess with Luka.

Little girl wearing a halloween costume stands on the top of a small slide in her play room and points a nerf gun directly at the camera

This is Luke. Luke and Tracy have been together for about 82 years so I’ve also known him forever. He is grouchy and lovable and enjoys shooting his children with Nerf guns.

He’s also a chemist and super smart, so when science experiment time rolls around at school, he’s the dad you want (pictured below: Luke and Luka making homemade crystals. I have no idea how this works but apparently it totally does. For more information, ask Luke.)


This is Tyson, named by yours truly. I named him while living with Tracy and Luke (before I named him they’d simply been calling him “Cat”.) I was trying to pet him and he bit me, so Tyson seemed like a fitting name. Tyson is sweet and fluffy and, like most cats, kind of an A-hole sometimes.

Finally, I’ve saved the very best for last: the indefatigable Tracy Ennis. This woman is a machine. I’ve never met anyone more selfless in my entire life. She is an exceptional mother and has endless patience (even for me). I can’t count the number of times I’ve thought to myself, “I don’t deserve her.” She is truly a model human being and I strive every day to follow her example.

Little boy wearing a cape tries to steal his mom’s cowboy hat
Close up photo of a mother hugging and kissing her little boy

They are absolutely one of my favorite families on the planet. Even more: they ARE family.

Love you, Ennis Clan. <3

Family dances together in their living room

Samantha Hines is a documentary family photographer serving the Denver Metro Area. She is also available to travel any ol’ where your little heart desires. She documents families, events, and weddings. She also hates speaking in the third person and is therefore gonna cut it out now. Holler!