This family was one of my last that I photographed before the pandemic in 2020 and it was a total joy to reunite with them after all these years! This is a large, chosen family (and therefore a longer than normal blog post, bear with me!) who spends a ton of time together, so why not combine their photos? :) The first small group is Paula and Aaron and their high school senior Sydney. The main focus of these pictures was to capture Sydney’s senior portraits. It’s been a while since I had the opportunity to do senior portraits and it was so nice to work those photography muscles again! Especially because I absolutely love working with seniors – they’re a ton of fun. Sydney, especially, is such a kind person but she’s also incredibly creative. She’s an extremely talented artist who’s able to sketch amazing portraits in mere minutes. She has a passion for creating characters and has plans to go into the creative writing field, where I know she’ll excel! I’m also a huge fan of her pink hair and her Doc Martens. Paula and Aaron are awesome parents and people too, and I loved getting to spend more time with them!

The second small group is Jackie and Seth and their two little kids (and their amazing dog, Albus Dumbledog, who is an absolute sweetheart). These kids cracked me up. Their daughter immediately ran to her room to grab her digital camera, and she started taking pictures of me. She also showed me all of her past pictures on her digital camera, and then proceeded to document me documenting. She’s a little ham – loving to smile and pose for the camera, and smart as a whip. She’s very close with Sydney, and Syndey painted the super cool space mural in her room. Her little brother is an impressive cook. Is he a toddler? Yes. Does he take cooking extremely seriously? He honestly does. It’s like he was a master chef in a former life and has been reincarnated but remembers all of his chef things. It’s not a normal way for a toddler to cook – he is really, really into it and uses his utmost concentration. He likes to add things to pots, stir things in pots, supervise his sous-chefs, and he is extremely dedicated to his craft. Jackie enjoys spending a lot of time in the kitchen, and she says that he’s always loved to be in there cooking with her. It was adorable! We spent some time on the playground and at their home before they worked up an appetite and a toddler cooked for them (joking – kind of).

The third section is the time that these two chosen families got to spend together in the morning! Jackie and Paula met in 2002 in Las Vegas and have been best friends ever since. The two families have such sweet interactions and we had a great morning, having a ton of fun, talking about music and Dune, and spending time together. So nice to work with all of these folks again!

I got the chance to photograph this wonderful family several years ago when Braelyn was only 1, and now she’s pushing her mom on a swing, riding a big girl bike, and driving go karts around her living room (!!). She loves stickers and bubbles and choosing her shoes. She also is a great older sister to little brother Braedyn, and even let him choose multiple stickers out of her much valued sticker book. Braedyn himself is one of the sweetest little toddlers I’ve ever met. Super easy-going and very kind, he gave me several stickers from said sticker book, as well as offered me a bite of every single snack he ate. He is such a loving little kid and liked to grab my hand and run across the house to show me things. Together they had a great time putting together Legos and wrestling with Dad, and then riding go karts and bikes with Mom. And let me just say that the go karts are really something fantastic. The kids can steer and drive them themselves, or they can be remote controlled (!) by the parents so that your kids aren’t constantly running into your furniture or other people. They also light up and play carnival music and I definitely want one for myself and/or my cats. We had the first nice day of the summer for this shoot and it was worth all the rainy reschedules we had to photograph this great crew once again!

This family is near and dear to my heart because they are 100% ridiculous and remind me of my own family. They have never taken themselves seriously any time I’ve worked with them, and they keep me laughing the entire time without fail. I feel very at home with them… fake guns and all. Julie and Robert are the parents of Hannah and Ben. Ben is married to Jennifer, and together they have a son named Dalton. There are also three dogs involved… one of which hates when you hold anything in your hand, but thankfully was distracted from my camera by Julie’s assortment of sunflowers, which he promptly and aggressively destroyed. We took these in Julie and Robert’s beautiful backyard where they built large block buildings (that were immediately torn apart by Dalton and his “The Orange One” Ninja Turtle), played hide and go seek, and played a board game that involves robbing people and included fake guns (FAKE GUNS! No one gave a real gun to a child here, people, relax, they’re made of wood). Dalton did not want to be involved in the pictures whatsoever so we had to trick him by making him choose superhero poses for the rest of his family members and instruct them in the front. It worked but only for like 8 seconds. I love these guys.

dog jumping