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I love doing Christmas mini-sessions. A mini-session is basically a temporary studio where I set up in a pretty place and families/couples come to me. It’s cheaper for them, and it’s worth it for me. I love giving families and couples affordable photography, and this is one way to do it! This mini-session I set up with an amazing Idaho winery, Hell’s Canyon, last Christmas.

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I can’t claim to be an expert. But throughout my photography career I’ve amassed a bag of tricks I use to get kids to cooperate with photos. I grew up in a large family and my mom was also a very good photographer. So I learned some from her, some from hanging with my nieces and nephews, and some from just plain old remembering what it was like to be a kid. So here’s my top advice to parents and photographers.

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This little family is so gorgeous! I got to photograph them for Eagle Life, an Idaho lifestyle magazine. At first these three beautiful girls didn’t want to be photographed. But I take it as part of my job as a family photographer to try my best to get kids (both young and old) involved and happy. So they ended up participating and they are all SO CUTE!! This was the back porch of their family home. 

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This family was a hoot! They reminded me of why I love doing family photos in Los Angeles and Boise. Family photos are significant, because they take a sliver out of time and show us who we used to be. My mom is an amazing photographer and took a photo of us every year she could. It’s amazing to see the transformations and how we used to behave for photos. 

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After a heck of a time scheduling around busy wedding season, two busy teenagers, and hard-working parents, we finally had a chance to do family photos! That, in itself, is an accomplishment. Ever since I first saw this farmstead, I wanted to photograph there. THEY LIVE ON AN ISLAND. It’s a private little area you would never be able to find if you didn’t know it was there. Complete with wild fields of grass, various creatures, and a tight-knit family, this made for amazing farm family photos! 

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Everyone wants to wear cowgirl boots. Nobody wants to wake up at 6am to break the ice on the trough. I love capturing daily life in photography. In a way, it’s a form of unique family photos. More accurate photos. I love giving people memories that they can look back on later and see, “oh yeah! Life was like that!” It gives us perspective, and helps us remember how far we’ve come. That’s why it’s been on my list for awhile to go out and capture morning chores with my big sister, Faith. She and I have always been close. We were the teammates who conquered the outside chores. She was just a little over a year older than me, and we had similar interests in many ways. 

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So Frances and I met when she was looking for videography for her upcoming wedding. I had immediate love and respect for her because… well, she’s just awesome. And then Matt and I did the wedding, met her husband Nate, and their family and friends. We still talk about this couple. And they’ve come back to me year after year for family photos. They’re so cute together and this little human they made is just adorable. I did these Christmas pictures for them this Christmas in a cute little area in downtown. 

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I love this family. I’ve done family photography for them a couple of times before and I always love seeing them. And this Santa couple is absolutely AMAZING! I met them at a fund-raising event and they are so authentic, kind, and heartwarming. You can tell from the pictures that baby Troy loved his first visit with Santa. Afterwards, we did a family photo session with just him and his brother. They’re always so good together. So many things came together perfectly for this to happen. John and Janelle had a free night, The Ambrose School said it would be totally fine, and I was available. Thanks to all who made this possible, the results will be treasured for years to come. 

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This darling little family was so much fun! Matt and I met Brandon through some video work we did with his church, and when they wanted fall family photos in wine country, I was honored when they asked me to do it! 

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This newborn photography session was amazing and significant in so many ways. I loved seeing the love and adoration poured upon this little girl. I pray the years coming bless this little family and the devotion I see in their eyes, for each other and for this newborn girl. This was an in-home newborn photography session in Boise. I love doing in-home newborn sessions because it’s a lot less work for the parents and looking back on the photos reminds you of the entire world that surrounded the entrance of this new life. A lot of times, our memories are charged with tiny elements that aren’t just faces.

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