This year only marks my second year photographing this family, but I have to admit I have been looking forward to it since last year’s session with them. The funny thing is, at the end of our session last year Harrison excitedly told me about their new house they were going to be moving into. They were renovating the entire thing and it was a huge undertaking, but they were anticipating moving in soon and Harrison invited me to their house once they were moved in. It was the sweetest gesture, but at the time we all laughed it off and parted ways to head home.
And then Danielle and Jon booked their fall family photos at home for this year and Harrison’s invitation suddenly came to life. They ended up moving in later than anticipated and this will mark their first Christmas in their new (amazing) home, so we morphed the session from being fall family photos into a hybrid Christmas lifestyle session, too… and then some.
It’s always a shot in the dark using a new location, especially one that’s on private property, but when Danielle sent me photos of some spaces we could use I was sold. The leaves hung on late this year and shooting in November for this session turned out to be absolutely golden… pun intended. We started fairly early in the morning and it was a frigid (and frosty) morning, but the boys hung in there like champs (knowing full well there were cookies ready to go for them once we got inside). It was so cold that during their individual portraits I had to ask them (well, Pascal and Harrison anyway) to hold their breath so we could get a clear shot. I’m not sure Walker would’ve known how to hold his breath (or even hold still) for that.
Their Grandma joined us again this year, Walker left her sitting alone on the logs and I got the most adorable solo shot of her, Pascal did a repeat of his backflip from last year (but we were all prepared this time), Harrison made the most perfect ninja gingerbread man (which Walker then stuck his finger in), and Walker just ran around giggling and hiding most of the time.
Danielle and Jon calmly smiled through all of it and that’s exactly why I have SO MUCH to share from this session. Parents who are there in it with their kids through all of it are the easiest kind of parents to photograph and then you get images like these. It doesn’t matter if their feet are freezing, if they only want to sit on logs, if they’re hungry, have dripping noses, only want to hide, don’t want to sit next to the dogs, or even slip off of a stool while decorating Christmas cookies. If you can smile through it all and get them to smile through it, too, then this is the outcome. And this is only a snippet of my personal favorites from our morning together. It’s sessions like these that showcase why I love lifestyle sessions so much – the kids are more comfortable at home, there are personal touches and sentiment in every backdrop and background, but mostly because these are the days.
Nov 30, 2021