Capturing the Elusive Christmas Photo

Getting a good Christmas photo is one of those holiday tasks that can incite fear and dread into the heart of even the bravest of parents. I have spent countless hours in a portrait studio my children, puling my hair out and seriously biting my tongue so that I don't scream at the barely-15-year-old employee to TAKE THE FREAKING SHOT and WHO CARES IF HIS KNEES ARE NOT CROSSED, HE JUST SMILED. And then explaining, as they enter into their sale pitch, why I would not like a collage of my kids with a Diego frame, or a photoshopped version of Jafta's head gazing down at India as she plays on a snowy meadow. Some Sears highlights of my two not cooperating over the years are here. So for the last few years, I have sworn off the studios, and we get hire a photographer to take our shots. It is so much more peaceful, and the results so much more fruitful.

Anyway, for those of you in Orange County, I just wanted to share a resource in case any of you are needing to do some family photos this time of year. We have a friend who is a great photographer. His name is Kassel, and his email is He has done our family photos for the last three years and I have always been really pleased. He's great with kids because he understands he has to snap about 100 photos to get one of the whole family looking and smiling! He is very patient, very quick, and kid-friendly, and also very talented! He knows how to make everyone look great, and these are some of the shots he has taken for us over the years: He is doing a killer deal right now that for $140 (usually $240), he will do a family sitting at a location or in his studio, and then give you the CD and rights to pictures. He will even touch up a few of them. That way you can print them out yourself, make books on shutterfly, make christmas cards at Costco, etc. It's so much cheaper than doing those things through a portrait studio. Anyways, if you are interested, shoot him an email!

Here are some of the shots he's done for us over the years.


  1. don't even get me started... i plan on sending you a card and you will see how hard it was for us to get a shot and we don't even have young kids!

    just think, god willing next year you will have TWO more additions!

  2. btw... quite the evolution in mark's hair. :)

  3. look at India in that picture. she looks like she has been waiting for this very moment ALL YEAR

  4. tell me about it...we recently had a photo shoot and out of 350 pics only 2 (count em 2!!!) involved the 4 of us actually looking and smiling. (were doing a collage of all the kids crazy tweaked out big blow-up family pic THIS yr!)

  5. Kristen I immediately emailed your friend up on reading this post because Anthony and I have been searching high and low for a good photographer to get some pictures taken before it isn't just the two fo us anymore. We are trying to get pregnant and we thought it would be nice to have a professional photo done before that. We are both so picky about that but these photos are really good so I am hoping to set something up for January! Thanks for passing on the info and the pictures are great!

  6. Your family is truly beautiful. What great memories he has created with those pictures...beautiful!


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