Cherishing The Moments, And The Photos

It’s about that time of year again, when I start stressing out about taking holiday photos with the family. I worry about where we’ll take them, who will take them, what I will wear and what the kids will wear. Once we get them back from the photographer, I spend hours and hours putting together cards online and having them printed, only to get too busy to ever actually send them. It’s true, we have two years of holiday cards and all of Evangeline’s birth announcements sitting in a storage bin in my garage.

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I will frame them one day, I say. I will be so happy I have them one day, I say. I can’t bring myself to throw them out, and I do love them so much that it almost makes the stress of the day worth it. I’m a photographer, mostly of my own children, so I always have many candid shots on hand at any given time, but there’s something about the actual, special ritual of gathering together, dressed for the occasion in special clothes to capture a moment in time together as a family. As a child, I only remember taking two family photos that we planned and dressed for: one in an Olin Mills studio, and one on the beach. I remember feeling like I was a part of something, and it made me feel comfortable and proud, feelings I remember to this day and yet I haven’t seen the actual photos in years. I’m not so sure if my own children will have many fond memories of holiday portrait taking, but I will certainly. I will fondly remember the painstaking details that went into each and every year of family photos; The clothing, the tantrums, the giggles, the completely mind numbing task of getting each child to look at the camera. I will remember each year that we added a new member and how wonderful that has felt, and I will cherish it all, including the holiday cards that I continuously waste money on and forget to send.BT4A4594 BT4A4795 BT4A4839

This year, I decided not to spend a ton on outfits, a photographer and 200 cards that I won’t send. I found some really nice, basic, comfortable sweaters at Gap Factory that we will wear all winter. Zoe’s already worn hers nearly every day for two weeks, I wear mine all of the time (I bought both colors) and even Beau won’t take his off. We took the photos in our back yard, and not all of us made it into the frame at once. It was a spectacular failure in so many ways, and then once I relaxed, they relaxed, and I got some of my favorite shots in a long while. Theo was such a good sport wearing a matching sweater, in the same size that Beau wears and the kids thought it was positively hilarious (it’s yet to be seen how Theo actually felt about it, I suppose). I tried to keep this as low stress as possible and it was probably my favorite experience taking family photos yet, and even though it certainly felt like less of a production, it was real and normal life and a scene that could be replicated any day, before or after school or even at our little hippy family church on Sundays.



There isn’t a whole lot more that I’ll want to remember or moments that I want to share with family members and friends that live far away that involves simple glances into our lives at home with our children and our pets. We live, we play, we move amongst the waves of chaos and calm and try to enjoy those days as they ebb and flow as much as possible. It’s incredibly important to me to create mementos that reflect those things, even for holiday photos. Gap Factory has a ton of options that we were happy choosing from, and my budget was even nicely satisfied. These sweaters are washable, wearable, functional and look really good most of the time (depending on the age of the toddler, in those cases). Make sure to sign up for Gap Factory emails at to get 15% off your purchase.

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  • Beautiful pictures. Will love to hear how Theo liked that sweater. :0)

  • These are such lovely moments captured for posterity. It will not be many years until you all will gather round these pictures and be SO thankful that you have them!

  • You should totally invest in a wireless remote for your DSLR, they are <$10 and great for DIY family portraits. Much better than trying to use a self timer and running to get back in the frame and of course the shot isn't going to look good…instead you can fire off shots every couple seconds and hopefully one of them came out Christmas card worthy. ?

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