The Color of Love | Arlington Family Photographer

It’s hard to pinpoint anything more colorful than the fall foliage in late October—that is, until you meet the Smith family.

I’ve been shooting Jessica and Chris Smith and their two daughters, Addison (5) and McKenzie (3), for three years now. I’ve seen them change like the DC seasons, and each stage I get to photograph is like celebrating a holiday.

Like the turning leaves, photographs are opportunities for us to mark the passage of time and discover how some things have changed and, at the same time, how some things—like the Smiths’ close bonds and sense of fun—never do.

Addison’s hauntingly beautiful sea-green eyes still stun me the same way they did when she was 2—but that toothless grin tells me she’s just that much wiser and sophisticated now that she has a few years under her belt.

And McKenzie, as shown by these adorable action shots, has literally leapt into her role as little sister, her thick flowing hair a sharp contrast to the wispy baby curls she sported a year ago.

This is a family that truly loves to play and grab life by… well, in these photographs, the leaves. So, it’s not surprising, then, that Chris can take a bunch of brown branches and make them light up a shot like a bouquet of roses.

I always like to stage my shoots in vibrant settings, but in the end, it really is the family dynamic that brings the color.