Tips for celebrating the holidays in a new home - Northern Virginia Family Photographer

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Savoring the sweet with a Christmas family film | Northern Virginia Family Photographer

Making family films is a joy. It's so sweet to see little moments in motion that aren't possible with still images. This is my own family's film from Christmas Day last year. It's amazing to watch and see how much my sons have grown and changed. I'm also grateful for the clips of the boys with my nephew who was visiting. And I'm especially happy for the glimpses of our dog who isn't with us this Christmas. :-(

This year brought many changes. Not least of which is Christmas in our new home. I'm excited to document the changes and excited for what the new year will bring. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

 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.

August Faves | Northern Virginia Family Photographer

I noticed the first leaves beginning to change color in our yard over the weekend and I can't believe that (official) fall is just around the corner. School has started here in Northern Virginia and this year we have a kindergartner. I was sad to leave the lazy (but not really lazy) days of summer behind, but I'm loving the structure school provides to our days. 

Before school started, we enjoyed lots of time with family on a trip to New Mexico. Traveling with two kids is no joke and there's not a lot of down time. I love documenting these visits with family and these adventures for my sons. I have at least one family film planned from this trip and I'm looking forward to pulling it together. Just as soon as I have time. ;-)

Here are a few favorites from the month. 

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.

A Christmas Family Film | Washington, DC Family Photographer

The holiday season is such a magical (okay, and sometimes hectic) time, especially with small children. And decorating with a toddler can be hilarious, as I found with this sweet Washington, DC family. Their little guy loved taking the ornaments off the tree while decorating. (May he always love cleaning up so much!) Sweet, fun, everyday moments like this at home with his mom, dad and newborn sister peacefully sleeping nearby, made making this film so much fun. An added bonus was their Chinese crested pup who made a game out of chasing light reflections that my camera made on the wall.

I spent a beautiful December morning with them, as they enjoyed getting accustomed to their newest member who was just under two weeks old. Video is such a special way to capture children. They change so fast. A family film becomes like a little time capsule that you open and remember little things already forgotten, like the adorable way your son pronounces his little sisters name or those crazy cute newborn yawns. I love to imagine these little ones watching this film every holiday season and marveling with their parents at how much they've been.

I'm now booking a limited number of family film sessions in 2018. Contact me today to learn more about planning a film session for your family this year. Still images are included in every family film session, so stay tuned for some beautiful images from this session that I can't wait to share!