Best of 2017 J&M Families

This may be a surprise to some of you since our website and social media focus mostly on our wedding photography, but we also have some wonderful family photography clients we photograph each year! 

When we set out to do a 2017 best of wrap up post for our wedding photography, we thought we'd do one for our family photography too! And let me tell you, what an amazing year 2017 was for our J&M Families arm of Jason & Melaina Photography! From baby dedications to bluebonnet portraits, to helping out some of our favorite people with the perfect Christmas card photo, we loved serving all these special people by providing them keepsake portraits to document this chapter in their family's story.

Keep scrolling to see what a great year 2017 was for all our J&M Families!

January to March

Jason & Melaina Photography - www.JasonAndMelaina.com

My dear friend from seminary had her first daughter in early 2016. And in January of 2017, the godmother put together a intimate celebration to dedicate this sweet little girl to God. My friend invited me to photograph the celebration, and I loved being able to document such an important moment in this little one's life.

To see a touching lifestyle session I did with this adorable family, go here.

Photo by Jason and Melaina Photography - www.JasonAndMelaina.com

This session in early spring was bittersweet for me, because it was my final session of the first year photography package I had been doing with her. I photographed her newborns, her 6 month, and 9 month portraits. But in March she turned 1, so we met for a little session at Cameron Park to take some fun portraits in her favorite little chair. Luckily, I got one more chance to photograph her before the year was over!

To see more of my year with Lucy, go here - newborn lifestyle, 6 month.

 A mom and dad hold their newborn daughter while little sister looks on in their living room during a lifestyle in-home portrait session in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com

When one door closes, another one opens. As I finished up my year of photographing Lucy, another sweet mama asked me to photograph the first year of her new little girl's life. So in March I began my next year-long project by doing an in-home lifestyle session with this beautiful new little girl and her family when she was only a week old.

These quarterly photography sessions are so special, because every few months I see first-hand how much a baby can change in his or her first year. This is why I love offering this child photography option for a limited number of our J&M Families, because it records the major milestone moments of their little one's life!

Twice a year we offer a limited number of mini sessions to our J&M Families. The first opportunity comes in springtime when the wildflowers in Texas remind me why this state is the best state. I had the amazing opportunity to photograph these 3 families in a field of bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes, and they're some of my favorite sessions we do all year!

Summer

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Summer is usually focused on weddings, and also it's a million degrees outside and everyone's on vacation. So we don't end up doing a lot of family photography in the summer months. But this past summer I was able to photograph this sweet family of redheads and provide them with something they had not had in a long time, family portraits. These 3 sisters were adorable and SO BEAUTIFUL, and it was a joy to meet them!

Photo by Jason & Melaina Photography - www.JasonAndMelaina.com

Also, 3 months had passed on the calendar and it was time for me to photograph this sweet little one again, this time for her 3 month session. Nap time had run long so we changed our location to her backyard, and we kept her and sister occupied as we waited for clouds to cover the bright sun...or asked Jason to hold a blanket up over her to shield her!

Fall

Photo by Jason & Melaina Photography - www.JasonAndMelaina.com

And then we all blinked and ANOTHER 3 months had passed, so it was time for her 6 month portraits. (Seriously, that first year goes so fast, mamas!) She and her big sister wore the cutest matching denim outfits, and we all pretended it was fall-like outside when, in actuality, we were all sweating from the humid heat. But she was a little trooper and at 6 months was finally able to focus well on the camera and even give a hint of a smile!

 A family poses in a large field with an expansive Texas sky behind them in Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com

Fall finally did make its way to Waco, and with it brought our second round of mini sessions we offer for our family photography. We were able to photograph 8 of our J&M Families for our Fall Mini Sessions this year! And here's a fun behind-the-scenes fact: I had my heart set on photographing all our fall minis at the location our first family had. But only a few days after taking our first family's fall mini portraits, the Army Corp of Engineers shut down this location for maintenance for 4 months! Luckily, the fall foliage at different parks in the Waco area provided great backgrounds for the remaining fall minis we did. But hopefully 2018 will allow us to photograph more J&M Families in this new spot!

Ps- see if you can spot the three families who I photographed earlier in the year. (2 from our Bluebonnet Minis in the spring, and one from a first year session). And look at how much their kiddos have grown in only 7 months!

Photo by Jason & Melaina Photography - www.JasonAndMelaina.com
Photo by Jason & Melaina Photography - www.JasonAndMelaina.com
Photo by Jason & Melaina Photography - www.JasonAndMelaina.com
Photo by Jason & Melaina Photography - www.JasonAndMelaina.com
 3 generations of a family pose together in the fall colors of Waco, Texas - Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com
Photo by Jason & Melaina Photography - www.JasonAndMelaina.com
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We finished up our fall season with this sweet family's session. This was our second year photographing them, and I realize I'm sounding like a broken record, but it's so neat to see how much all the kids had grown in a year. Our attempt at the grandkid picture last year was a little more interesting, since two of them were itty-bitty then. And while this year had its own set of challenges getting 4 small kids to look at the camera, I love the portraits we got showing how loving and fun this family is. And it's always helpful when you have numerous adults willing to stand behind you and yell silly things and jump around to get the shot! Stay tuned for next year's grandkid picture when these mamas add 3 more little boys to the mix!

Photo by Jason & Melaina Photography - www.jasonandmelaina.com

But before we closed out 2017 with our family photography, we had one little mini session to do. Two years ago these friends invited me into their home to photograph their firstborn son when he was only a few days old. So when little brother joined the family late this fall, we had to get some fun portraits with him too! 

Whew!

And that's a wrap for 2017 with our J&M Families! It was so much fun to look back through our hard drives and pick out my favorites from this year...and to realize how many families we had photographed! So if you are a J&M Family reading this, thank you so much for trusting us to capture this moment in time in your family's life. We realize they won't always be this little forever, and we are honored you allowed us into your family's life and sometimes home to document all those sweet faces!

And if you are not a J&M Family but would love to know more about our family photography, head over to our exclusive J&M Families group on Facebook to learn more about what we do!

Donohue Family | Lifestyle Family Photography | Waco Wedding & Family Photographer

baby boy in crib | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes some of our 2015 J&M Sweethearts asking us to take portraits of their new little one and us saying, "YES, PLEASE!!!"

mom feeding baby on couch | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

We had the privilege of photographing Mike & Rachel's gorgeous and so fun wedding at the Horseshoe Bay Resort in Horseshoe Bay, Texas in the summer of 2015. (See their seriously awesome wedding reception where they were the lead singers of the reception band here.) They were such a loving couple and we continued to keep in touch long after their wedding. Fast forward to 2016, and we found ourselves congratulating them on their first little one!

One day our phone rang and Rachel was on the other end. She asked if we'd be available and interested in photographing her and Mike and their new son, as well as Mike's daughters. Of course we were! We discussed some options for the family portrait session and decided an in-home lifestyle session would be perfect. And so last week, I (Melaina) drove out to their beautiful home in China Spring to photograph the new addition to their family.

Mom feeding baby while Dad drinks coffee | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

Photographing a family in their home, documenting what real life looks like in this particular chapter of your family's love story, is one of my favorite things to do. There's just something about having those moments recorded, to look back and see your home, to see the nursery your baby slept in, to see a photograph documenting the countless hours you spent feeding and rocking your baby on the couch or in the rocking chair. It tells the story of your family for years to come, and serves as a memorial to help you remember with clarity this time in life. 

I wish there was a better word than neat to describe it, but it just is so neat that we were there to photograph the day Mike & Rachel said, "I do," and now we were able to go into their home and photograph this next chapter in their Sweetheart Story. And what better way to document little KP's first Christmas than with images of his family decorating their Christmas tree?  

Mom, dad and baby snuggle on the couch | Lifestyle Family Session in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Family poses on couch | Lifestyle Family Session in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Family decorates Christmas tree | Lifestyle Family Session in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Family decorates Christmas tree | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Family decorating Christmas tree | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Dad holds new baby by Christmas tree | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
baby lays on homemade quilt | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Dad holds baby son | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Dad holds baby | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Dad holds 2 month old baby | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
baby son in crib | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Mom dresses crying baby | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Mom snuggles infant son | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography
Mom kisses baby son | lifestyle family photography in Waco, Texas | Jason & Melaina Photography

Thank you, Mike & Rachel, for the honor of being in your presence once again, documenting your love story!