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!