The Carson Family

Julie and I have done some crazy things during our 5 years of friendship. But, this might be the craziest. And the funnest. And no rattle snakes were involved. Thank goodness.

Read below to get Julie’s take on our session and learn more about her family.

The Couple: Julie and Jason

The Story: Jason and I met in junior high I was on swim team with his sister, and I had a huge crush on him. We lived less than a mile apart, yet were in different school districts, so we didn’t cross paths that often. We met up again in college, had a class together, became lab partners, good friends, and then started dating. My junior high self would never believe that I would eventually marry Katrina’s cute brother.

I feel like it was just a few years ago when we were just two clueless kids in a dress and tux, with the In-n-Out truck at our wedding reception, yet it has been fifteen years. It’s insane.

The Kids:

Halley is nine. She has a freaky photographic memory, devours books, and is my twin in every single way.

Lucy is eight. She has this quirky love for squirrels, can run like a boss, and adores her baby brother.

Janey is five. She wakes up with a smile, charms all who meet her, and has a voice that can be heard from five streets over.

Shane is two. He loves Star Wars, is passionate and determined, and has figured out how to get his sisters to do whatever he wants.

The Session: I have been wanting to visit Salvation Mountain for years. After watching this piece ( I felt like it would be an epic location for our next session. The thing is, although Drew is used to my crazy ideas, I thought this one was way, way, way too crazy. When we were chatting about locations, I was almost too scared to even bring it up. I casually mentioned it, thinking that there is zero chance I could trick her into driving over three hours into the middle of nowhere for us. Without a second of hesitation, she excitedly said yes. I still cannot believe it. I have a feeling if she knew that she would have to pee in the bushes and walk on a stinky beach made of fish skeletons, the answer might have changed. But that is what I love about our adventures together. She has a way of making awful things awesome.

The Fine Print: Expect unexpected things to happen. Trust that even if your kids seem grumpy and crazy, if the outfit you picked didn’t fit, if it’s too hot or too cold, if your son throws up all over your face, in your mouth, on your dress, (wait that was just my son), Drew will find the beautiful, happy, real moments tucked in between the chaos. While you are worrying that one kid won’t smile, one kid won’t listen, one kid is running away, and maybe you should have done a 100 day juice fast before the shoot, know that it doesn’t matter. This is your family, this is the day to capture the gaps between their teeth, their perfect curls, the way they hug you tightly around the neck. Today is love and wild and loud and stressful and wonderful and everything magic that will help fill in the gaps when memories get fuzzy. Embrace the crazy.


  1. Andrea says

    Embrace the crazy! That’s such a good tip, and so true. Makes sessions worth it when you aren’t stressed out, I also think it probably helps to have a photog up for anything and truly understanding of families!
    Andrea´s last blog post ..Rainbow Party Details

  2. Holly Rook says

    Drew, I love this family for so many reasons! Julie has a way of just doing life beautifully! It was her blog that caused me to stumble upon mom*tog and once I got your UNmanual my photography changed. Thank you!