Empty-Nester Photo Shoots Are Becoming More Common And, You Know What, Parents Have Earned Them

    "They are walking around the house butt naked right now."

    This cheeky pair is Randy and Amy English, a mum and dad from Mississippi. The couple recently went viral after their empty-nest photo shoot hit the internet.

    Haley Marie Photog

    Amy, a registered nurse who now shucks oysters for a living, told BuzzFeed News the idea came about because she wanted a redo on some pictures she wasn't happy with.

    She said: "In March when our daughter signed her lease, she wanted to take my picture in front of the apartment complex. I was just not feeling it, but she snapped my picture anyway, and it did me no favours at all. I looked sad and miserable! And that just kind of set off an idea in my mind to do an empty-nest shoot closer to the time she was moving out. It just snowballed from there."

    Their photos have been shared thousands and thousands of times across Twitter and Instagram. Amy is beyond surprised.

    This couple did an “Empty Nesters” photoshoot to celebrate all their kids finally leaving home and I just 😂

    "It is so strange to see our faces in the news. We posted the pictures for our friends and family on Facebook to see, and it just spiralled from there," said Amy.

    "We are extremely grateful to everyone who has shared our pictures. It has opened opportunities for Haley in her photography business, and for that we will always be very proud and thankful."

    That's right — the woman behind the lens is none other than one of the kids who has flown the nest.

    Blake McCollum Photography

    Haley, 22, who has her own photography business, told BuzzFeed News: "I chose to leave home because I work in Oxford, which is a 35-minute drive from my parents' house. I would say I miss always having the ability to walk downstairs and tell them about my day or show them something funny I found online. Just small things like that. Now that I’m alone in my apartment I can’t do that. I miss being able to talk to them face to face whenever I got home from work."

    Speaking about the concept for the photo shoot, she continued: "We just thought it was fitting. We’re always goofing off and choosing to laugh and have fun with any situation life throws our way, and this was perfect. Especially the signs my mom came up with."

    The proud parents have happily ushered three children aged between 22 and 25 into the real world but say they haven't really been able to enjoy their newfound freedom.

    Haley Marie Photog

    Amy said: "Life has been slightly crazy here lately, so we've both been pulled in multiple directions to say the least. One day it will slow down and we will know what it's truly like to be empty-nesters.

    "They are all in their own homes and apartments, so there's no bringing laundry back home. We have most of our extended family gatherings in our home, occasional game nights, etc. We are about to get a pool, so that will make for some fun times with everyone here."

    And, of course, they have two dogs — who are their favourite kids to keep taking care of.

    Haley Marie Photog

    Reflecting on parenthood, Amy told BuzzFeed News that her biggest lessons over the years have largely been about the importance of creating memories.

    Haley Marie Photog

    She said: "Make every day count, especially when they are so young and crave that one-on-one attention. Never involve children in your adult problems. Children have enough on their plates in today's world without us as parents adding to that. Parenting is by far one of the most difficult 'jobs' one can ever have. There is no instruction book, and more importantly, there is no reset button."

    People are feeling truly inspired.

    @Colum3 @DarronDiesel @JosephineOCon19 I might do such a photo shoot with no other half, children or pets!

    @DarronDiesel @MatthewACherry They are walking around the house butt naked right now.

    This is peak parenting. https://t.co/ToGhu2mSJJ

    Other parents can totally relate.

    @DarronDiesel @haley_kenner Can totally relate! Except I took the picture.. and guess where I still live. Yes at home

    But some are a little bit more sentimental about the experience.

    @DarronDiesel Funny as heck but we never felt this way when @dearmothica moved. It’s been 5 years & we even set up her room in our new downsized house -even though she’s never lived here!

    And some children know exactly what happens as soon as they fly the nest.

    @DarronDiesel @JamilahLemieux My mom painted my bedroom and turned it into a sewing room withing 2 weeks of me moving out. She sold get house 1 month after my sister moved out and got a condo so that we wouldn't move back home.

    But how long will the nest stay empty?

    @DarronDiesel Little do they know that their grandkids will be right around the corner

    Until then, let's let people enjoy things, shall we?

    @DarronDiesel @denapouchie The gag is that they gonna want to move on with you when they older so that you can take care of them 🤣🤣🤣🤣 #rememberthis

    A "fuck them kids" sign would have been fantastic here https://t.co/2PmyJ88zjG

    Yes, we do stan.

    The "just kidding" photo. Omg. Do i.....do I stan? https://t.co/v7sivOO002

    TO FREEDOM!

    Giphy / Via giphy.com

    Ade Onibada is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Ade Onibada at ade.onibada@buzzfeed.com.

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