I always dread family photo time because it is a lot of work to coordinate outfits and take the photos. I tried to make it easier this year and used clothes we already had in our closets. I had planned on taking the photos nearby in a section that looked like the Painted Mines. However, when we got there, we realized we couldn’t quite get to that place due to a barbed wire fence I had not seen. So, we wandered along the trail until we found a suitable place. The sun was already going down fast, so I had to be quick. These photos were not my favorite at first but after a few tweaking I really love them. The reality is not every photo can be perfect and there are always a bunch of eye rolls from the kids and lots of silliness. I love that even though no one likes taking family photos each year, they do it willingly anyways. Each family photo marks another year of being together and for that I am grateful.
I spent a good deal of time trying to decide if I wanted to hire a photographer for our family photos this year. I even researched photographers in southern CA to do them on our upcoming trip but I never really found someone that was good enough for my standards and within a reasonable price. I decided to just bite the bullet and take our family photos myself. I wanted to go somewhere totally unique and remembered our adventure to the Painted Mines earlier this year. I knew that would be a perfect place where I could get even light and not have to fight big crowds. After procrastinating for several weeks in July I finally picked a day where the weather wasn't too stormy. We got extremely lucky because the afternoon thunderstorm that was projected never happened and when we got to the spot I had planned on doing our photos, another photographer was just finishing up a photo shoot. We had the small cavern to ourselves. The kids were well behaved and we got all the photos we wanted before the light started to fade. I was so relieved to find so many photos that I liked, especially because this family photo would be the one up on our walls for the next 3-4 years while the boys serve missions. I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to take our family photos and the best part was I didn't have to pay a dime to do it!
We had family photos taken during our Kelsch/Wilhelm Family Reunion. I found and hired a photographer to do a big family photo shoot with the entire clan. We first went to a grassy meadow backdrop but that didn’t last long because Brandon kind of freaked out. We got a few big group shots and then some smaller family shots before heading over to the lake. The little kids seemed to do much better by the lake. Madeline did have a small melt down moment but in the end, we were able to get some good family photos of the big group and some with our smaller family. It was really great to not have the pressure to pose everyone for a big group shot. In hindsight, I think I could have done just as good of a job if not better than the photographer. Sometimes it is just nice giving the reigns to someone else.