Archive for 'Family Sessions'

Mom emailed me and her opening line was, “My girls need updated photos and I love your photos, lighting, and backgrounds‚Ķ.you took casual photos at AZ Goat Yoga and I knew you fit with my kids.” Highest compliment I can get is someone seeing me doing my thing and deciding to trust me with their family’s portraits. During our pre-session consult I learned that it had been a few years since the girls had photos together, so it was important to capture who they each are at this stage in life as well as who they are to each other. Mom wanted casual, fun, and true to them. We decided on the Riparian Preserve in Gilbert as the location, which as luck had it was full of desert wildflowers and the forecast called for beautiful weather. What I love most about the Riparian Preserve is that there is such a variety of backgrounds to choose from. It varies from full desert with cactus, rocks and dirt, to a beautiful overgrown path with a waterfall and mini river. Plus, the landscape changes seasonally creating a unique setting for each family we take there. We started at the ever-popular “climbing tree” and wandered the trails and paths from there. These girls truly love each other, and enjoy each other’s company. There were no arguments, attitude or snark despite the age difference, just lots of hugs, smiles, laughter and a few silly faces. It was an enjoyable afternoon and we all left with huge smiles! At our order appointment, they had a hard time narrowing down their favorites and ended up selecting some wall art, a couple books and an absolutely breath-taking leather bound album that the family will cherish for generations. Enjoy this peek into a Sister Session set at the Riparian Preserve (because I couldn’t narrow it down for the blog post either)

To schedule a consultation for a children’s, teen or family session, use the “Contact” tab above!


I’ve been photographing this beautiful mama since she was pregnant with her first baby, and she’s just as gorgeous now as she was back then! In fact, the Patels were one of my first clients when I moved to Arizona almost 7 years ago. When we met, we clicked as though we’d known each other for years, and now, they’ve adopted me into the family and vice versa. The first time I saw Sapna post a photo on social media all dressed up, I drooled over the colors & styles of her traditional wear. read more

Moving At Home Photo Session Chandler AZ_0003When Erin messaged to say that they sold their house and were moving, my heart sank. My mind was racing… I’ve been this family’s photographer for over 3 years, capturing their moments from their first family photos in AZ with an infant, watching him grow, walk, become a big brother, little sister’s first 48 hours at the hospital, her newborn, baptism, & first year and all of the family moments in between (as you can see from their amazing photo wall)! They can’t be moving!! read more

Kristen Carter Photography Desert Gilbert AZ Family Photos_0018The following conversation has played out at least twice a month for as long as I’ve been a professional family photographer. The personal details & setting changes, but the words are always very similar.

Fellow Mom at Park (FMP): “So, what do you do?”
Me: “I’m a professional photographer, specializing in family & children’s portraits.”
FMP: “How fun! We need new family photos. It’s been sooooo long since our last session. I think our youngest was 4 months old. He’s 5 now.” read more

Extended Family Photo in Power Ranch, Gilbert AZ

Its been years since these sisters and their mom have all been in the same place at the same time. So when they had an extended weekend together in Gilbert AZ, they took advantage of their precious time and scheduled a fun photo session! It was obvious during our session that despite the distance between them, the sisters are close. Lots of inside jokes, teasing and joking over who is “Moms favorite”. read more

Paint Fight Family Photos Gilbert AZ_0007

When sessions are a collaboration between the photographer and the subject, magic happens. And that’s exactly what this family paint photo session was- magic. Even though it was 3 years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday! Caitlin contacted me wanting to do something fun & crazy with her daughters. I suggested that they paint a canvas (and each other)! read more

Power Ranch Gilbert AZ Photographer Extended Family Kristen Carter_0024I photographed one side of this family in the desert as a surprise to Vanessa’s fiance (View that session here!). This time, it was Vanessa’s family’s turn to get the group together for a fun session with Tata and all of his kids! We photographed them at the Power Ranch lake on an overcast day, with tons of laughter and jokes. This family definitely knows how to have a good time, and always has smiles! At our reveal & order appointment, they all mentioned how much fun the photo session was and how they’ll always remember how easy it was. The best part for me as a photographer was knowing that each family selected favorite prints & canvases for their homes and will be able to see that day over and over again, even as the children grow and family members pass on. The moments are immortalized in prints forever. read more

One of the greatest parts of living in the Power Ranch community of Gilbert is working with my neighbors. Truly special to be able to create and capture memories where we live and play. So when this family contacted me for a session, I knew that taking them to the Barn would result in some fun photos full of personality and love, and we weren’t disappointed. Dad is a photographer and usually the one behind the camera instead of in front of it, so it was important to shoot some photos of him playing with his littles the way the always do. We ran, chased, tickled, jumped, blew bubbles, climbed on rocks (or tables), and just followed the kids’ lead. Little sister is at the age where she only stops running long enough to look back and make sure you’re still following, then she’s running headlong on to the next adventure. Big brother is a super smiley, very silly, and open kind of kid. He loved hamming it up for the camera and I actually reminded him a few times to ignore me and just play! Mom sent me the sweetest message after receiving her beautiful print order and it made my day: “Thank you again for these amazing photos! You definitely captured us all perfectly and I couldn’t be more happy with how they all came out.”

And you can’t laugh at my horrible iPhone photo, but I have to share a behind the scene of their package before I delivered it. (Also posted to my IG account @KCarterPhotog) An 11×14, some 8x10s, the matching digital images on USB, and some yummy goodies from me!Gilbert AZ Print Photographer Packaging iPhone Kristen Carter Photography

For information on schedule a photo session (or a consultation), use the “Contact” tab above or give Kristen a call at (209) 303-5318.

Hannah’s family hadn’t had photos taken in YEARS they said. So, with her Senior Photos needing to be done, it just made sense to include mom & dad as well for a classic portrait session at the amazingly beautiful Phoenix Botanical Gardens. We discussed style prior to the session, and decided that neutral clothing would complement the greenery and architecture while still showing off their beautiful family. I always say that I have the nicest clients, but really, it’s true. This family is genuinely happy, laughing, smiling and content to live in the moment. It was so easy to pose them and get a candid and beautiful response back in their photos. Once we completed the family photos, Hannah and I had some fun! This girl has personality for days so it was only fitting to be a little silly and sassy. The best part was that she was game for any crazy idea that I threw at her… “Jump with the umbrella? Okay!”

Fun family photos at the Falls! Say that 3 times fast! I’ve photographed this family LOTS throughout their kids’ lives, starting with big sister’s newborn session and continuing on when little man was born and watch me grow/family photos in between! When Erica first told me about her ideas for this family photo session, she wanted urban, fun, bright & colorful to fit with their newly redecorated family room. Industrial metal pipes create the framework for a bookcase, a victorian styled sofa sits on one wall, and the wall art so far is modern graffiti. Very urban meets vintage antique, sort of a steampunk feel without going overboard. We originally planned on Downtown Phoenix (specifically Roosevelt Row) for the amazing walls, but then she stumbled across this location on the Phoenix/Scottsdale border. (I’m always game for new locations that clients find!) Urban, cement, stairs, railings, and amazing industrial waterfalls with safety guards in place to keep the kids from taking a swim, perfection. We texted back and forth regarding the outfits and setttled on a red/aqua combo with coordinating textures and patterns to avoid being matchy-matchy.

The day of the session dawned with a super cloudy sky, but no rain falling, so out we went. The kids ran and played, and of course, as I am calling out to him, “Slow down before you….” the little one, Sebastian fell on the cement and covered his pants in dirt! Normally, I’d use photoshop after the session to clear up his pants, but mom is all for “capturing the moments as they happened” so the dirt is visible in some of the photos. That’s life. When the family goes out in public, they are always asked if these two are twins, but no, they are not. And yes, they are sure. A little over a year apart, and basically the same size, they are the best of friends and the worst of enemies wrapped up in one small package. And again, thats real life! Enjoy their fun, fabulous family photos!!

Growing families are always fun to work with, especially when I’ve photographed them before! We first met over a year ago when Alex’s extended family flew in from Kansas and we photographed everyone in the desert at Papago Park. Then, over the course of 6 weeks, we photographed Vanessa’s extended family¬† in 3 different sessions. Next year, I’ll be capturing their joyous wedding! Now that they’ve added a new baby boy, we marked the occasion with some new family photos and portraits of the kids together. That boy is already so loved. Big sister was overjoyed to assist me at the session, and was happy to share the spotlight with the baby. He was alert, and interested in everything we had going on, checking it all out instead of napping. There was no posing him like a froggy or taking naked baby photos, he was happiest with clothes on and awake! So, as always, we go with baby’s flow, and captured some great photos of him and his sweet family.

Themed sessions are a ton of fun! My husband and I built this Hot Cocoa Stand the day before Thanksgiving and welcomed a bunch of fun families to be photographed with it over the holiday weekend. I’d been collecting the little details for weeks, stocking up on marshmallows, props and decor to finish off the theme and it all came together perfectly. While I can’t share most of the sessions since they are surprises for cards & Christmas gifts, the D family gave me permission to post their cuties! They had SO much fun together too! Big brother was obsessed with picking up marshmallows and filling his snowman cup or shoving his face in the basket and coming up with a mouthful, little brother was happy to play and run in the sunshine (and get his first taste of marshmallow goodness); plus, mom & dad played in the “snow”. (Even if the only “snow” we see in the Phoenix Valley is mashed potato flakes!!) Overall, we got some great photos for their cards & walls! Thanks again D family, I LOVE photographing your babies!