Our family moved to a new home in Alexandria in December. We've settled in nicely despite having a laundry list of things to be done. The move, especially coupled with the holidays, got me thinking a lot about family traditions and what makes a house home. It was clear amid the chaos and stress that what mattered most to the kids wasn't our things, but us. Making time to put the list aside and enjoy spending time together with no other agenda was sometimes hard, but it was all we really needed to feel at home. The holidays have passed and the list remains a mile long, but we have a ton of new memories and maybe a few new traditions as well.
I had a holiday session with this favorite family in Northern Virginia who were also celebrating their first holidays in a new home. I've documented pregnancy, newborn, and one year milestones with them and it was so nice to share in their latest, creating new traditions and celebrating old ones to mark their first holiday in their new home. That their extended family was there to share in the love was icing on the cake. Families come to life when little ones are involved and these little guys were the life of the party.
So, in honor of new homes and new traditions, here are a few tips for celebrating and documenting your family's holidays at home:
Let the kids take the lead.
Planning for a specific activity can be helpful, but being flexible about specific moments is key. As soon as your kids know you have something particular you want them to do, that's the very last thing they'll wasn't to do. The best images come from spontaneous interactions and activities they choose themselves. Like impromptu dance parties.
Invite their favorite people.
Intimate family sessions are amazing. But if you have the opportunity to involve extended family, like grandparents and aunts or uncles. Kids will be most likely to act like themselves around adults that they're comfortable with and it's a wonderful way to highlight those special relationships that will be meaningful to them throughout their lives.
Savor the small moments.
With a documentary session, there's no need to rush from one activity to another. Those in between moments when your little one comes in for a hug and a bit of rest are truly the sweetest.
Nicole Sanchez Photography works with busy parents in Northern Virginia, Washington, DC, and Maryland to create stress-free photo sessions that take all the loving, fun, and chaotic moments of family life to make beautiful photos and films that families will love looking at year after year. Contact me today to start planning a custom photography experience that's perfect for your family.