ashley + brian | family


One of the best parts of my job is getting to watch my client’s and their families grow over the years. I have know Ashley since we were young and I have been photographing her family since her and Brian’s oldest son was born. Over the years, I’ve captured as they grew to a family of four and again to a family of a five as well as yearly milestones for Padraig, Seamus and Cabhan.  

For this year’s family session, we met at the Monocacy National Battlefield to capture Padraig and Seamus’s milestones as well as the family as a whole. While it was a little windy outside, the historic stone buildings at Monocacy provided the perfect amount of protection from the gusts.

With the photos we take each year, Ashley updates the family gallery wall in their home. She swaps out last year’s photos with this year’s as a quick and easy update to her home’s decor. Ashley also does an amazing job of perfectly coordinating, but not matching, the family’s outfits. She has such an eye for balancing colors and pattern and the family always looks picture ready.

When shooting with younger kids, you always have to be flexible and, as a parent, give yourself grace when things don’t go as planned. Remember that your kids sometimes have bad days and may not want to smile for every picture. Years of experience have taught me how to balance your kid’s desire to just be a kid with your desire for beautiful family photos. It’s one of my strong suits as a photographer and allows me to give you gallery wall ready photos after every session.

Even though I capture this family every year, Ashley + Brian’s youngest son Cabhan was having a day where he only wanted Ashley to hold him. While not planned, we adapted by focusing on Padraig and Seamus, popping Cabhan into shots when he would let us. We didn’t pressure him into sitting still or smiling and by letting him decide when he was ready to be in the photo with his big brothers, we were still able to capture some really beautiful moments.

One of my favorite shots from this year’s session happened on a whim. Towards the end of our time together I noticed the sun shining through a wood planked opening on of the old stone buildings and thought it would be an amazing place to capture a silhouette of the five of them lined up and holding hands. Shooting into the light is tricky but this shot turned out better than I could have imagined!

Ashley + Brian, I have so much fun with your family year after year. The boys are all growing so quickly and it’s hard to believe Cabhan is almost two now. Time really does fly! Thank you for trusting me to capture these special moments for you.