The answer for fun and stress-free holiday photos that your family will treasure | Northern Virginia Family Photographer

Holiday photo sessions that capture some of the magic of Christmas and the winter season are a popular choice for families. But dragging your kids out, all dressed up, for a studio or outdoor session (especially with the unpredictable weather in Northern Virginia) doesn't exactly bring on the holiday cheer. Here are a few reasons why documentary family sessions are the best way to capture unique and stress-free photos of your family's favorite holiday traditions.

Mom showing Christmas ornament to toddler
  1. You don't have to leave your house (or your PJs).

    Wake up, roll out of bed, and prep however you like. Family documentary sessions are laid-back. There's no rush to get out the door or into the car. No need to cajole your kids (or your spouse) into getting dressed. You can snack when you need. Nap when you need. Take a break when you need. No worries if your kid has a meltdown or you need to stop

  2. Family connections is strongest at home.

    Home is where you are most comfortable. Most able to be yourselves. And most connected to each other. Without the stresses of worrying about public behavior or restrictive timelines, your whole family can relax and just enjoy being together and doing whatever you find yourselves interested in that day. For a holiday session, incorporating family rituals is a great way to celebrate what makes the season memorable. Whether it’s decorating the tree or baking a family favorite recipe, think about traditions you remember from your own childhood and what you most want your children to remember from theirs.

  3. Memories from home are the foundation our children draw from for the rest of their lives.

    Holiday memories have a particular way of standing out more strongly in our hearts. Preserving them in photos where everyone can be present (and not behind a camera) is a wonderful way to highlight those things that matter to your family and that are the best parts of the holiday season. Being together, sharing love and laughter, and honoring old traditions and creating new ones.


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.













How to preserve family traditions that your kids will remember forever | Northern Virginia Family Photographer

Holiday memories are steeped in family traditions.

We take pictures of experiences that are meaningful to us. Places and people we want to remember. Lots of people have the fondest and strongest childhood memories around holidays. They stand out in our memories as more poignant because our recurring family traditions and rituals strengthen the memories over time. And also because we take pictures and videos of them. 

Family decorating for Christmas

It’s so much more than Christmas morning.

Most often, our Christmas photos are from Christmas morning, unwrapping gifts, or playing with new toys surrounded by scraps of discarded wrapping paper, a colorfully lit tree in the background. If we're lucky, there are a few images of our parents too. But rarely do these photos tell more of the story than what happens on Christmas day. This post is my call to take pictures of your family that go beyond the main event.

Family decorating Christmas tree together in Washington, DC

Traditions don’t just happen. We make them happen.

Now that I have kids, I appreciate all the effort my parents, and my mom especially, put into making Christmas a special time for us as kids. Decorating was especially fun. Each year taking out the tiny ceramic village with it's fake snow and lit up houses. Carefully taking out the individually wrapped glass ornaments and the growing assortment of hand made ones from school. And, as we got older, having wrapping parties in the floor passing scissors and tape back and forth whole watching cheesy hold movies. 

I know now that these traditions didn’t just happen. My parents made them happen. And by doing so they shared with us what was meaningful to them and what was valuable to our family.

Father and toddler baking for Christmas

Family photos and videos highlight the best of the holiday spirit.

It's the memories that stand out most for us that we're most likely to pass down to our own children as tradition. And that's why it's important to document more than just the unwrapping of gifts. Documenting this time with your children with photos or a family film is a special way to highlight the best of the holiday spirit. As we all know, it's not about the gifts on Christmas morning. It's about the thrill of anticipation, the magic and mystery, and most of all the joy and love of family. 

Traditions are how we highlight what matters.

Whether that's driving to the local farm to pick out a tree or baking holiday cookies to share with friends and neighbors, traditions are how we highlight what matters.  So this holiday season, document those rituals that are important to your family and preserve those values for your children and for generations to come.

P.S. I’m booking 2019 films and photo sessions now! Happy Holidays!

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.