I often tell people that I’ll photograph year round, but rarely get takers in the winter. It’s been fun over the last few years that families I’ve photographed many times have realized that I’ve photographed them in many nature-driven-seasons, so they reach out to make a complete set. Spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

Maybe it’s the sunscreen I’m smelling on my skin and the heat from the start of summer, but I’m thankful for all the chances to photograph year round. I have been able to photograph under spring blossoms, summer’s carnivals, in the crunch of fall leaves, and folks wrapped in blankets and sipping warm drinks and embracing for warmth.

I remember the hot sun glaring down on us during this family’s engagement session and the cold air on their New Year’s Eve wedding. And countless times with the additions of their sons in between. They reached out midwinter for snow photos to help round out their collection, and we hung in there, watching the weather and touching base every time there was a reasonable chance for snow.

It was so worth the wait and spur of the moment scheduling.

Family photographed in midwestern snow

child in father's arms in snow in saint louis

young child in wonder at first snow

son hugs his mom in the snow

young brothers embrace in the snow in Missouri

Young girl looking at the ground

I love following a couple’s story as they begin to form a family during their engagement and at their wedding. The chapters begin to unfold, and when their family grows through births and adoptions I love to continue to tell their stories and document these milestones. Seasons often change faster than we can contain their memories. I am so thankful for photographs to engage those memories and remind us of where we’ve been and spur us on to where we’re going.

Several years ago, while I was deep in the midst of our adoption and unsure with every commitment I made that I might have to break it for my own travel to be with our internationally-born kiddo spur of the moment, I had the privilege of photographing Andy and Allissa’s wedding. They recently had me photograph their growing family with two daughters. It was a joy to celebrate the birth of their youngest and watch them cherish their oldest.

A newborn baby looking up, held in her father's arms

As I looked through the lens of my camera there was an instant when I thought- I’ve been here before. And as so often we see in good story-telling, there are themes and strands woven throughout, perhaps not identical but similar enough to connect us to who we were before and who we still are, but yet somehow- different.

I had photographed Allissa in a mirror as she readied herself for the wedding ceremony. And here she was again, gazing not into her own eyes, but the eyes of her daughter.

Black and white photography of a bride looking into mirror while necklace is clasped

A mirror on a wall reflecting a mother holding her newborn

Also, just for fun, I was struck by how Allissa’s eyes also reminded me of one of my favorite childhood movies, Anastasia. Just look at those eyes.

Anastasia Movie Still
Copyright 20th Century Fox Film Corp.

Photo of a bride's eyes looking into a mirror while getting ready