This is a public service announcement! Get in the pictures with your kiddos and often. Things happen, life happens. Your kids are changing every single day. Today, my 4-year-old unbuckled his own seat belt and got himself out of the truck and closed the door. He says, “that’s what big boys do.” WHAT? Wait a second! What happened to that kid that I had to lift into the car because his legs weren’t quite long enough to get in himself. Holy cow. And it’s happening right before my eyes. I don’t want to blink because I don’t want to miss anything.

I am constantly reminded that life happens and things change. Divorce, death, illness, struggles. They are all real things and they are happening all around us.

This was my third year photographing this sweet pair. I look forward to hearing from Lee every year to set up their session. We always do something a little different and it’s been awesome to capture the love between these two every year. Hadley is such a sweet girl and SO polite. Her curly blonde hair and blue eyes rock every single session. We’ve done bluebonnets and downtown and this year Lee wanted a country setting so Hadley could show off her favorite pink cowboy boots. We settled on Commons Ford Ranch. I loved this location because it had a lot of variety- sunflowers, a barn, and loads of greenery. It would have had an amazing sunrise had it not been super overcast and cloudy that morning.

It doesn’t matter what your family dynamic is- the important thing is to get in the pictures with your kids. This is something that even I struggle with and I’m a photographer! My husband… not so much. The last time we had family pictures taken my son was 2. He’s now 4 and a half. Every year I set out with great intentions of getting family photos done- it’ll be great! I’ll lose some weight and we’ll do it when the weather gets cooler. Then life happens and every year I look back and think to myself, DAMN. We didn’t do it again. I have all of these awesome pictures of Deacon but NONE of the two of us and certainly none of the three of us together. It’s ridiculous. I’m a photographer, it shouldn’t be this difficult. This is one thing that I love about these two. This session is just as much for Hadley as it is for her daddy. And it’s pretty clear how they feel about each other. Now, I’m going to start taking my own advice and set up a family session!

Did you want to sign up for one of my once a year, discounted mini sessions? Click here for details!

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Jen Bradford is a professional portrait photographer based in Austin, Texas.  She specializes in newborn, maternity, and family photography. Keep up with her on InstagramFacebook, or her website.