Our Family Pictures {2011}

It has been two years since we have had family pictures taken. When FireCracker was a couple of months old, my friend Shannon had the task of capturing my clan with her camera. Since that session, I’ve just propped the camera on rocks, bags and every now and then a tripod. For our adoption we need 6 photographs of our family to be submitted with our dossier. Shortly after I began thinking about our pictures, I was contacted by The Tea Collection to possibly do a review of some items. Well, that was a no brainer. For those new to the blog, about a year ago I took pictures of FireCracker and her cousin in outfits by the Tea Collection. Those pictures ended up winning a contest they had….and Lesley and I got to do a little shopping as a prize. I’m not big into really frilly stuff and crazy colors, so it is a perfect fit. I asked if instead of doing a traditional review (because I already knew I loved the product) if I could outfit my kids for our family pictures. Yippee…they said ‘yes’!

I let the boys each pick out a shirt of their choice. Some families pull off matching outfits great, but my style is more ‘let’s just not clash’. The nice thing about the Tea Collection is every line is somewhat coordinating, so I could let the kids just pick what they liked and I knew it would all look good together. Boy’s clothes – done. Girl’s clothes – done.

Then I began thinking about what I wanted for our pictures. I was just going to use the ole’ tripod, but thankfully our friend Ryan intervened. Knowing someone talented would be behind the camera, I wanted to be a bit more creative with our pictures. The thing about props is they can be more of a distraction than asset. I wanted the pictures to be fun, personal, and not perfect posed smiles (like that would be possible anyway). I really hoped they would reflect this season of celebrating and waiting an addition to our family. When we were in Chicago I picked up a bunch of Chinese lanterns to use for parties down the road….then I thought it would be a colorful and subtle way to celebrate our little one waiting in China.

For the location I tried to think of something that was ‘us’. Turns out our field and our neighbor’s are pretty perfectly ‘us’. Thankfully, Ryan was up for jumping 2 fences, trekking through tall weeds, and a family of six. I will cherish these for as long as I have breath. He captured us as we are…not perfect, full of expressions, moody, fun, and crazy about eachother. Thank you doesn’t seem enough.


I am crazy about the pictures below. I can’t wait until that last empty chair has another little person filling it.

Our family. 5 kids in my heart. 4 in my arms.

Their end reward was to attack all the balloons. That and chocolate chips.

All photos by Ryan Arrowsmith Photography

If you are on the hunt for coordinating children’s clothing for your upcoming family pictures…check out The Tea Collection. The boy’s t-shirts are from The Tea Collection and FireCracker’s dress is from the Tea Collection…other layered items are from 3 dressers that need someone to come refold everything 🙂

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