Watching someone, who is older than you, grow up is a unique experience. As you yourself are growing and changing, someone a step ahead of you is going through things in the next season of life. Kristen was my babysitter when I was younger, and being five years older than me, she experienced high-school, starting a photography business, dating, engagement, marriage, and having a baby, before my eyes. It is a beautiful thing. 

I remember one of the first times Caleb came along to a wedding with us. Kristen jokingly said to me, “No offense Ellie, but Caleb might be my favorite assistant.” Of course, I didn’t mind. ;) I remember the texts with the ring and “We’re engaged!” I remember the tears that flowed at their wedding, and the phone call saying that a little one was going to be joining their family in a few short months. I visited them in the hospital after Rowdy Roo’s birth, and I have seen what incredible parents Caleb and Kristen are. Having such a connection to this family makes my heart smile. 

I went along with them when they went to get their Christmas tree this year. Photographing them made me realize something: I really love capturing people in their natural element. Connecting with people on *their* level. Not coming in from a photo shoot standpoint, but a “let me photograph you being a family” standpoint. The photographs resulting from it are much more personal and open and emotional. I’m all about getting that picture for the Christmas card, but seeing real smiles and laughs and connections, that’s important. I want to be a people photographer, a real emotion-filled, driven, personal, people photographer. I hope you enjoy looking through these pictures. This family is so very special.