Would you be terribly surprised if I told you I don’t take too many photos of my kids? I think you probably wouldn’t. It’s one of those, “The cobbler’s children have no shoes” kind of things. It wasn’t always the case, of course. Lauren has about two million pictures of her first year of life. Then my business exploded and then a few years later we added her brother. That poor kid! Ben hardly has any photos from when he was a baby. I’m grateful I have so many photographer friends who took pictures with him. Otherwise, his babyhood would be all but lost. As the years have worn on and business ebbs and flows, I still sometimes find it hard to photograph my own kids. We usually do family photos toward the end of every year, but somehow it just didn’t happen this year. I had big plans to make it happen. Then, as they so often do, those plans seemed to just slip away. Between a hectic season, an unexpected surgery on my leg, and trying to get everything wrapped up for 2016 I found myself realizing I would have to let some things go. Family portraits was one of them. But then these things started happening that made portraits a must. Ben lost BOTH his front teeth! He was now a walking holiday song! Then my mom bought Ben this red plaid flannel and Lauren a holiday shirt.. They put them on and looked suddenly, it finally felt like Christmas. I found my Grinchy heart growing, and knew I had to get some photos of these two – even if it was just them and even if it was just me taking them. So we planned a photo shoot in front of our big tree. It was stormy afternoon, so I set up a ring light. I was just a week out of leg surgery, so I was limping around trying to get my tiny humans to look not so wacky. But then I just gave into their wacky. And when I did that – when I gave up trying to pose them and make them look a particular way – they just started doing it on their own. I would take a shot and my breath would be caught when I glanced down and saw how lovely these little people I made have turned out. Even if Dustin and I aren’t in them, even if I took them myself in my front room – these are the perfect family photos for us right now. Dustin and I wish you all a wonderful holiday season. Thank you for trusting me to photograph your families so I can provide for mine. I can’t wait for 2017 and all the love and happiness I will get to witness. This! This is what love looks like.