Behind the Scenes: Family Christmas Photos 2019

We’re nearing the home stretch before the wonderful big day arrives; gift lists are all checked off, decorations adorn every corner of the house, exterior is illuminated, and Christmas greeting cards are all sent and received.

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!


Every year I take our family Christmas card photos and we usually end up with a few usable photos and a few absolute gems. I wanted to share what I did for our card this year and the backstory to why I ended up sending out two different photos.

Runner up.
Top 3.

It was a freezing and super windy day in early November when we went to Nate’s office to get these photos. At first I thought about going to the National Mall for our photos and getting an iconic DC landmark in the background, as this is our last winter here, but when it came time to get the photos I just didn’t have the energy. I then remembered the forest next to Nate’s office and thought that with the changing leaves it would make for a lovely backdrop. Everything was going perfectly to plan. The building shielded us from the constant blowing icy wind and both girls were beautifully well behaved, thoroughly enjoying having their picture taken in their cute little coordinating outfits.

Until Lilly toddled up to the camera for a peek at the photos. On her way back to her dad and sis, who were both glued to their spots as per my instructions awaiting the next command to “smile!” poor little pumpkin tripped and tore the knee of her tights. She was shaken up and didn’t feel much like smiling, naturally! After daddy dried the tears (and we situated her with her torn tights knee behind her dad) we snapped this:

Finalist #1

I loved how authentically toddler-ish Lilly looks with her tiny finger in her mouth, haha! And how Layla’s natural reaction was to snuggle up against her sister like this. I did not stage this shot – it just naturally came out perfectly imperfect.

Honestly, I love candid photos and feel they’re often times more special than photos where everyone’s perfectly smiling – not that those aren’t beautiful as well! Candids carry memories that stand out because you’re usually busy living and are lucky to capture that uninterrupted moment, rather than holding still and pausing for a photo. In the pursuit of that sense of authenticity, I always let the girls be themselves and never get upset if we’re not all smiling and looking at the same time. It’s just not worth it to stress and I love it when the girls’ personalities show through when they can be silly and play around on the set!

As for the second finalist, I loved this one from before Lilly’s accident. Out of 220 photos these two were my favorite. I couldn’t resist how cute Lilly is with her fidgety foot in the air!

Finalist #2

It was such a fun afternoon with my family, and hope my girls cherish these memories as much as I do!

Merry Christmas my friends, and a very happy start to the new decade ahead!

xo, Mia & Family


  1. Gorgeous photo’s. It can be so hard to get a great shot with toddlers. I usually find the candid pictures with the toddlers being toddlers my favourites too if I can manage to get one with them that’s not blurry or their not crying!!

    Deneale | Goldfields Girl

    1. It can be a challenge! I learned to let go and just love whatever they ended up doing when my baby basically laid down and tried to nap at her 1 year cake smash photoshoot, LOL. The pictures are adorable to look back on and laugh at that funny moment where she barely touched the cake!
      Thanks for reading!!

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