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Family Photojournalism

Christmas Tree Farm Day in the Life | Family Photojournalism


There is never a bad time of year for a Day in the Life session, though I do think the holidays have a special allure. So when Alice mentioned that she and the family might like to get their Christmas tree during their session, I was all about it. So we made plans to meet at the tree farm, and I braced myself for the crowds of people who were sure to be there on a beautiful Saturday in mid-December.

When I arrived at the designated place, I was really confused. The parking lot was completely empty. The lone structure was a small shed where several saws were laid out on a table on the small porch.

It was an honor system tree farm.

Yep. I’ve never heard of this either.

But, I am a huge fan now!

When Alice and Brian arrived with their two kiddos, M and P, we snagged a saw and trekked out into the wilderness in search of the perfect Christmas tree.

M was tireless in helping her dad. She helped examine each tree closely to make sure it was up to snuff. When they finally settled on the winner – after a snack break for P – M and Brian worked together to cut the tree down.

As I observed and photographed them, I was struck by just how much Brian and Alice involve their children in what they’re doing. There was no, “wait over there while I do this”. Rather they invited them to participate and helped them to do so.

So M helped Brian cut down the tree, and valiantly carried it to the car with him. Mission accomplished.

Back at home

As P napped, the tree was set. Day in the Life sessions always make me chuckle to myself at some point. And this was no exception. Alice and Brian fought with the tree to get it to stand straight up, and after some persuading, success was theirs!

All that decorating and hiking and manual labor meant that everyone was super hungry. What better treat than to make your own pizza?

Again, I was struck by just how much Alice and Brian involved their kids in everything. M grabbed some dough and rolled it out with Brian’s help. P had her own piece to smush too! Soon everyone was covered in flour, but there was a delicious looking pizza in the oven.

As it baked, M and P broke out a bag of balls and turned the hallway into a dodgeball stadium.

Day in the Life sessions really highlight how different families cut loose and have fun. Throwing plastic balls at each other brought raucous laughter. The connection between them in that moment was palpable. Laughing together is one of the surest signs of love there is. And it’s good for your mental health to boot!

The unexpected benefit of Day in the Life sessions

Raise your hand if making friends as an adult is hard.

Something that has been a surprise to me as I’ve started photographing these Day in the Life sessions is making new friends. Since this session, our family has had the chance to have dinner and go exploring for newts together.

This session style celebrates authenticity. And when you are being who you are, you open yourself up for new friendships.

I can’t wait to see Alice, Brian, M, and P again soon!

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I'm Rachel

A whole-hearted believer in the incredible power of photographs.
Especially of family.

When I was in high school, I wanted to be a journalist. I relished the idea of telling the stories of people and places. As I neared graduation, my love for photography took over and I began my career as a photographer.

When I became a mom, I realized that the picture perfect Instagram families didn't map onto my own life. It seemed boring and inauthentic. I found that I craved authenticity and connection. I needed to know I wasn't the only one with wildness and chaos running around my house.

I picked up my camera and began to photograph it. Maybe someone else could relate.

It was then that I discovered my true passion: telling the stories of every day family experience through beautiful images. Also known as family photojournalism. A perfect blend of my journalism dreams in high school and my life as a professional photographer & mom.

Now I get to live out that passion by serving families like yours in San Jose and the Bay Area by creating artful yet authentic images you'll love forever!