Every year I look forward to the end of the Summer for our annual family photo session with Sara. Our session together has become such a favourite tradition of mine that I can’t imagine a Summer without it.

The tradition started nine and a half years ago (which feels like a whole other lifetime!) when Sara brought me to a dirt road in farming country for my maternity photos. A maternity session had never been on my radar at the time until Sara suggested it but the laughter and fun we had and the gorgeous memories that she captured that day will always be one of my favourite memories from my son’s pregnancy. Little did I know at the time that that day would turn into the start of a yearly photo shoot with our family of five. It’s so hard for me to believe that this year already marks the ninth year in a row we have headed back to the road!

Our first shot every year is the same shot we took 9 years ago with the five of us in a line across the same dirt road I posed on during my maternity session. I love all of our photos but this is the shot that always brings tears to my eyes when I see it after our session. We’re a close family but we’re busy, like all other families, and it’s hard sometimes to step back from the daily routine (and maybe from a bit of chaos) to marvel at how far we’ve come and what wonderful little (and not so little!) people we’re raising. 

Seeing all of the photos from year after year together is a reminder of how quickly time passes and how much the children change every year. When I look at the photos from previous years the memories of my children from those ages flood back. I remember what my oldest’s voice used to sound like when she was just a little girl rather than towering over me or how my younger daughter’s hair would curl up into ringlets in the humid Summer air. I also remember how hard it was for my son to even stand still in the line for several years. He had a great time running back and forth to Sara, this shot would usually require a lot of takes! 

Our session has several constants to mark all of the changes from year to year but it’s also fun to see what has changed. Sara and my daughter convinced me that we also need a photo across the road in order of height so this year has me in the middle of the line for one photo. There are many jokes and guesses about how many years it will take before I’m at the end as the shortest member of my family! 

My role as fashion coordinator is evolving too. No longer can I pick everyone’s outfits with only colour as a consideration. The girls have their own sense of style now and I’ve learned that while they may humour me to a certain extent with clothing selection I definitely do not have the final say anymore. 

Our photos with the kids are also showing a changing relationship with them as they get older. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely miss baby snuggles and their toddler cuteness but we’re now really enjoying sharing interests together and we love that their wit and humour can match our own. 

Rather than seeing change though, when I look at the photos of my husband and I together I instead see something that’s more constant. We have over 20 years of shared history together, another big number that’s hard to believe at times! We might look a bit different (and maybe more tired) since we had our first child but the love and inseparableness that we share is what shines through in these photos. 

With the children getting older Sara braved a two in one session that evening so that we could include Sunsets and Silhouettes shots after our family session and I am so glad we stayed out late for it. Sara’s Sunsets and Silhouettes Sessions are a favourite of mine and I’m thrilled with the photos she captured of my family. We all had so much fun posing, dancing and leaping in front of the receding sun. All of the kids now have some really special and unique to them silhouettes to hang in their bedrooms and I have some really fun yet beautiful wall art to decorate our family room with. Thank you Sara for another year of gorgeous memories!

-By Brenda