Every year for the past few years I’ve had an extended family session on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and it’s quickly become one of my favorite things about the holiday. For many families (and mine, too) Thanksgiving and Christmas are the rare times that our whole family is together, and even at that, it’s not every Thanksgiving of Christmas. So when it’s been too long since the last family photo was taken (we’re talking new family members have been added or born since the last one), and everyone’s going to be in the same place at once, you just have to jump at the opportunity.
In this case, the ‘big’ kids planned it all out and surprised their parents (the grandparents!) with a lifestyle session just before people had to head back out to the airport and head back home. I met them at their home one a November day that felt like early October and we shot the best of everything – posed and candid family shots AND some lifestyle images. And can we all take a moment to appreciate and admire their wardrobe coordinating skills, knowing that two of these 4 families were flying in from cross-country!?
So much can change within a family in such a short period of time. Once inside their home, I immediately noticed the gorgeous wedding portrait framed and hung on the wall in their living area. Later, when Michelle and I were chatting, she explained that it was the last time they were all together for a photo – her brother and sister in law had just gotten married and some of the kids weren’t even born yet. For me, I love shooting these extended family sessions because there are so many sentimental groupings that are important to capture. As families grow and new members are born, it’s easy to focus on the kids when families are together, but before the grandkids, came the (now) adult kids. I love being able to shoot photos of parents and their kids, but cherish these shots even more when the kids are grown and have kids of their own. A few years back at Christmas we set up a tripod and remote in my folk’s backyard to try and capture some of our own versions of these shots for my parents. Let me tell you, it’s a lot easier if someone else just takes the photos. 😂
To the Hiatt/Wise/Moag families – thank you for inviting me to crash your post-holiday craziness and freeze a little bit of your family in time forever. I know these photos are near and dear to you all and will become such a treasure for the kids as they grow.