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Wherein I share a bunch of family and maternity photos

{All photos in this post were taken by Jenn of Bend the Light Photography.}

It wasn't until after Iris was born that I began to appreciate photography in the way I do today.  I think I gave my memory a lot more credit than I should have pre-Iris.  It turns out, it's pretty abysmal, at least in its ability to remember things photographically.

My interest in photography was ignited as I was determined to capture Iris' newborn (and baby) details.  Babies change so much, so quickly.  In my heart, I was trying to soak it all in, but I wanted to also have the photos to jog my memory later on.  I didn't want to forget the details this time.

I also wanted to capture the day-to-day of our family life. As I did so, I found it brought into sharper focus the good and the lovely and the fullness of heart that I experience with my kids.

I can say without hesitation that I much prefer to be behind the camera than in front of it.   But I also want to have documentation of our family together - all in one frame.

We had actually never really hired a professional photographer before.  (Though a friend of ours took family photos for us twice as she was building her portfolio.)

I had never had maternity photos taken, either.  Heck, I didn't even personally document my growing belly until this, my fourth pregnancy.   (I'm doing something like this 40 Weeks and a Mirror series but with more clothes on.  Don't worry, I won't be sharing those photos here.)  ;)

A year ago, I was searching for Ethiopian adoption groups and happened upon the blog of an adoptive mama of two.  She and her husband adopted a teenager from Rwanda and an infant girl from Ethiopia.  We exchanged emails and it turns out our daughters were born in the very same city in Ethiopia!

I also learned she was a photographer.  And that I really love her work.

What surprised us most was that we had hired her to take family photos with a few maternity photos thrown in the mix, but Dan and I particularly cherished the photos of us together.

I can't tell you the last time we had a photo taken, just the two of us.  We didn't even order any prints from our wedding day!  So these were really special.

I love this guy.  He's the rock our family is built on.

We are so thankful to finally have official family photos.  They mean so much to us.


  1. That's the problem with being the family photographer, right? You're never in any of the pictures! I'm so glad you got these done! They really are beautiful! And I love iris's face in that last photo! She's got spunk for days!
    Ben and I had some family photos done right before our second was born and I love 99% of the photos but we tried yo do a couple maternity ones with the two of us and they are awful. I felt like a total doofus the whole time and I look so uncomfortable in the pictures. Oh, if only I actually liked having my picture taken...

  2. love these photos! I would dream to have a family photo session like this! you look so good!!

  3. Lovely photos Rachel! You're positively glowing!

  4. Oh wow, these pics are wonderful. I think I like the last one best. What a beautiful family! You look gorgeous!

  5. These photos and your family are beautiful! Congratulations!

  6. Such lovely pictuers, I especially like the last one! Your family looks fantastic, you're one lucky lady! X

  7. AWWWWWW. You are positively glowing, Rachel, and I love the shots of you and Dan, and of the whole family ... I don't know, I can't choose a favorite! So sweet! I love that tank dress. That looks like the perfect maternity wear (I hate maternity clothes! all of those bands and things are so insanely uncomfortable!!!!). Sweet sweet sweet.

  8. Gorgeous family photos. Just beautiful. Love that you captured this pregnancy, esp. since you look so stunning:) I totally know what you mean about not having many photos of you and Dad - my husband and I experience the same problem. I'm trying to get better at fixing that though, as I think those photos will be important to us someday, as well as to our kids. The family photos are gorgeous. Especially love the one of you looking adoringly at Dan:)

  9. You have such a beautiful family Rachel! These photos are so precious. Thank you so much for sharing these with us!

  10. Beautiful shots of a beautiful family!

  11. Beautiful pictures of your beautiful family!

  12. Rachel: I'm just getting caught up on blogs (not mine--hee hee) after a couple of months away, and I'm blown away by these pictures. Y'all have a gorgeous family! I'm also loving Jude's piano awards (and his attitude toward the whole thing)--just made me smile. I'm going to try to keep reading and catch up...


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