Texas bluebonnets

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!

The Orris Family | Waco Family Photography

It's always a delight and honor to shoot a family portrait session. We don't take the charge lightly, because we know we are providing this family with an immortalized snapshot of this particular moment in this particular chapter of their family's story. 

It's especially a privilege when we're given the task of shooting multiple generations of a family together. There's something heart-warming when grandparents join in the family session. Seeing the relationship between the grandparents and their adult children, witnessing how the grandparents love on their grandchildren, it reminds me of the continual line of a family and how generations care for one another to preserve the family unit.

Shooting this family was no exception. The closeness between Jeri and her mother, Debbie, was obvious. You could tell they had a deep relationship. It was even more apparent the close relationship between these four little boys and their grandparents. You could see right away there was an ease and familiarity there built on ample time with grandma.

And those boys were such sweethearts. They played together so well while exploring our shooting location, making sure to watch out for their little brothers. While walking back from one location, the little blonde ran up beside me and requested to hold my hand. And the oldest picked some wildflowers for his girlfriend, but then at the end gave his Mama and me one each. Hand-holding and flowers all in one shoot? They sure made this photographer feel special. 

It was such an honor working with you, Orris family. Thank you for letting us tell your story.

The Brown Family | Woodway, TX

Not too long ago, a friend told me (Melaina), "I have this friend who just moved to Waco, and I think you two would really hit it off." So our mutual friend set up a play-date at the park for us to meet and for our kids to play.

And she was right.

It's been so fun to get to know this sweet family. Our daughters are becoming besties and it's always great to add another friend to your tribe. Because living life takes a tribe, y'all.

To celebrate their settlement in Waco, to celebrate making new friends, and because it's spring and central Texas comes alive in the spring, we decided to let this adorable family be themselves in a field of bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes while I snapped some pictures. 

There's something magical about springtime in central Texas. Wildflowers transform the landscape and turn one of our favorite places to play into a wildflower wonderland. The large field in the center of the walking trail at Whitehall Park in Woodway no longer is a non-descriptive grassy field, but rather a field vibrant with the deep blues and purples of bluebonnets and a sea of red from the Indian paintbrushes. Every time I find myself out there in March and April, I want to run through the field, touching all the flowers. So when for a portion of our shoot this sweet little one wanted to run through the flowers rather than sit still, I told her mama to let her.

You are living the dream, little girl. 

You know what else is magical? Being a fly-on-the-wall, watching a loving mom and dad dote on their little girl. Each family portrait session we do is an opportunity for us to be invited in to the love shared among a family, and it's always one of the most precious things to witness. Seeing how a parent interacts with a child naturally, and being able to capture that love shared in a recorded image to reflect on for years to come? That's beauty right there.

Thanks for being our friends, Brown family. We're so glad you moved to Waco.