The Aubrey Family | Family

I find so much joy in photographing families. 

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I think that sometimes we tend to lose our sense of how powerful the familial bond is. Whether we're distracted by the stress brought on by work, obsessing over our school studies, or thinking about drama we see on the news or social media, we can lose sight of what matters most at the end of the day. Are we grateful for those we share a roof with? Are we thankful to know that our relatives are healthy, happy, and thriving? Did we spend the day valuing the time we shared together? Whether bound by blood or friendship, we should always remind ourselves of the blessing that is called f a m i l y. 

Having the honor of photographing families is a reminder of this to me. My afternoon with the Aubrey family was no exception. 

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Cole and Kristen have recently started a beautiful family of their very own. Kendall, their spunky, hilarious, and endearing two year old daughter kept me laughing throughout our entire session, and her personality shines through the photographs you'll soon see. Their precious twin boys Holden and Morgan (who just turned one) highly impressed me with their cooperation from beginning to end. With young children, you never know how photos will turn out; but despite the late summer heat and having a camera pointed in their face for nearly two hours, they made it through with flying colors.

Basically, they were the d r e a m family portrait session.

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We were provided with absolutely stunning, soft, warm light underneath the canopy of trees beside the creek. Because of that, I wanted to capture as much as I could in that spot before we moved on to our next location. 

I don't think they had a problem with chilling there for a bit, either, because their playfulness with one another only continued to grow!

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Someday when the kids are grown, I hope they look back at these photos and feel thankful. Thankful for their parents who brought them into the world, who gave them the chance to pave their own path through life, and for the possibility to start a family of their very own. 

(Side note: Never underestimate the beauty that a road or driveway can provide in photographs--especially if said road or driveway is surrounded by lush greenery. The leading lines, mixed with the way the early evening sunlight filters through the trees, offers a magical compositional opportunity.)

The focus of our session then shifted to capturing some photos to commemorate Holden and Morgan's first birthday! (Check out their shirts--they say "Mr. ONEderful!")

Kendall walked over to help adjust the twins' basket...and be in some more photos, too. :) We weren't going to say no, were we?! She's a sweet big sister.

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Next up were some smash cake photos, which I was SO stoked for, because I had never taken smash cake photos before. (Kendall had to get a cupcake too, because, come on--that would've been totally unfair if she didn't get one, especially since she did such a good job taking pictures!)

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As you can see, it was a smashing success! (Haha, I try to be punny sometimes.)

Before we called it a day, Kristen requested a few more photos of her and Cole, and a few with Kendall as well. I was more than happy to do so, because it gave us a chance to get some shots by the weeping willow tree that we spotted earlier on in the day. 

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These very last shots are some of my favorites. Kristen wears three rings on her right hand, and these rings feature Kendall, Morgan, and Holden's names. Isn't this a precious idea? There's something therapeutic about knowing you can look down at your hand to see the love(s) of your life's names for encouragement in moments of doubt, stress, or sadness. Whatever life may bring, nothing can take away the unconditional love you carry for your children.

Thanks again to the Aubrey family for asking me to photograph this moment in time of their lives. As I said before, sessions like these remind me of what's really important at the end of the day: how much we cherish and enjoy our time with our loved ones. 

Skyler Smith