Our Family Pictures

Oh how I love taking our family pictures every year. I must admit though, that wasn't always the case. I don't always do the same things as everyone else and sometimes I feel like I'm doing things wrong. I vaguely remember the first time I realized that a lot of families, besides us, take pictures regularly. I thought maybe I had been living under a rock or if this was a new fad. I do remember my mom dressing us up and going down to the local mall to pose in front of the brown, blue and maroon marble type backdrops. It was always the same. The photographer would ask if my dad could take off his glasses because of the glare, or to at least tilt his head down. They tried to get my little brother to smile using whatever they had in the studio. It took maybe 20 min and we would be on our way. In a matter of weeks we would have the prints and they would be up on our wall. 

It wasn't necessarily a bad memory for me. I didn't hate going, or getting dressed up or actually taking the pictures. I just never really did it when we started our family. We took TONS of pictures, don't get me wrong but nothing formal. In hearing others say that they were getting ready for family pictures, or that they were finding a good photographer, or they were hoping for a good one for their Christmas cards that year, I was lost. Was I supposed to be doing this? Was I missing out on something? Would it just be "keeping up with the Jones'" (a mentally I abhor) if I started now? 

I decided to try it once. Picking out outfits alone was AWFUL!!!!! I love to coordinate, LOVE to pick out colors and textures and such but for some reason I hated it this time. It was so stressful to find a good photographer that was worth the money and time spent, so hard to figure out the colors. Especially when one was seeming to dominate. Yes, I could take that out, but then this wouldn't work, then this color would take over BLAH!!!!! This is the way my brain works with this kind of stuff. If you ask someone else to do this, they may not freak out, I do. We took two sessions that way and I decided it was a little much for me. I love them! They turned out great...but I was done.

Fast forward to me joining an AMAZING book club! A book club that does mini book parties, celebrations if you will. My first meeting, I was BLOWN away by the decor, the food, the costumes and that we SKYPED with the author!!!! Seriously, check out the Delicious Reads book club for amazing ideas on how to do the same where you live. Well, within a year of being there I felt brave enough to host. Everyone signs up to bring food so that's not what the hostess does. She makes the menu, sure, but it's the offering of her home, then the moderator decorates and leads the evening...I signed up for both so it could be a complete experience. I hand wrote a murder mystery and decided to kill off our author that night (it was Agatha Christie so it wasn't hard seeing as how she had already passed). The premise was that she had asked a bunch of her friends (old and new) and acquaintances to be beta readers for her book, Murder On the Orient Express. This gathering was to be her book launch party, held at a real haunted manor. I wanted the manor to have a story all it's own. That the family that used to live there had died mysteriously and as they were solving one case, they would get clues about the family. Well the family had to have a presence there right? What better way than to have a HUGE portrait of them in the living room??? The idea was born, the costumes procured and the date set to shoot in a nearby cemetery. We had a BLAST and I LOVE how the pictures turned out. I was kind of sad when it was over.

Look at that! They never had to smile, it didn't matter if they were squinting.....it was AWESOME!!!!!

The next year rolled around and I thought...why not? Let's do it again fam!!! I was down, they were down and we have been doing it ever since. I have SO much fun coming up with themes and costumes and I get giddy every single time I get pictures back from THE best photographer out there. Jordan Bree is a magician!!!! She has taken all the photos we've done aside from the cemetery ones. So enjoy! Here are our family pictures through the years...

I have always loved Peter Pan. It's been a magical part of my youth and I knew that it would be a dream come true to have it be the theme of our pictures. Ever since I was introduced to steam punk it had LIT UP my creativity!!!! I wanted to combine the two so badly. Luckily our local theater combined them and we got to go and see it! Hale Theater in Orem blew our minds!!! We were able to rent some of the same costumes they used via their costume department Archive Costumes (which is where we have gotten most of the pieces we wear for all of our shoots).

I took some swim goggles and painted them with fun metallic paints from Plaid. LOVE how they turned out so that they would match "Michael".

"John" I pieced together completely with an oversized shirt from my husband's closet and clothes he already had.

Sophie was hungry the WHOLE shoot so she wasn't the happiest. I chalked it up to her not liking that we kept taking her pixie dust lol. I mean, I fed her right before we got there, so I was confused. This is ONE of the pictures where she stopped and luckily Jordan was there!!!!

Peter trying to console his lil pixie. Be still my heart he is the best papa!!!

Promising never never never to grow up! You better believe I'll try to hold them to that. =)

Wendy's love for Peter has NOTHING on my love for this man. He puts up with my emotions, up and down, my ever changing mind and my dreams with such patience and understanding. I am so grateful for him!!!

This pose was an absolute must for me. Following the leader.

That same year Sophie and I were asked to be apart of a shoot and we needed to choose costumes wearing Shabby Apple dresses and Freshly Picked moccs. We decided on Jane and Mary Poppins. In retrospect, I wish I would have made her a mini kite =).

The next year I wanted to do a Parisian circus theme. This was four months before the film, the Greatest Showman, came out. I was excited to have been so on trend lol. The costumes all came from Archive Costumes except for Sophie's darling lion details. My neighbor had made them for her cute little boy and they fit her perfectly! I also went to Zurchers (a local party store here) to find Branson's muscle shirt and I made him his weights.

The next year we were supposed to do one theme and it didn't pan out. I was a little stressed because I didn't have a backup thought but then a friend told me about a super easy idea to throw together. This ended up being Kev's favorite year for family pictures. We just went to the local thrift store and went to town! If you follow me on Instagram then you may recognize my top having been used for Sleeping Beauty lol. And these pants are now my go to to sleep in!!! We borrowed the trailer and even our DOG! Neighbors were great to us this year lol. My fave is Sophie's face....DYING!!!!!!

My MAN!!!!!!!!

This is hilarious. I told the boys to act like the gator hunters in Princess and the Frog. Nailed it!


To further prove this was Kev's fave year and how comfortable he's become in front of the camera. There are now words....he's perfect lol!!!!!!

I cannot WAIT to show you our pictures from this year (2019). We used, of course, Jordan Bree photography and added an extra by having a videographer in the mix. It will be an "elegant" time to be sure *wink wink*.


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