A (Baby) New Year | Bethesda Family Photographer

There’s so much promise to look forward to during the holidays: new clothes, new toys, and, come New Year’s, new beginnings. Everyone is familiar with the image of Baby New Year, but until you have a kid of your own, it’s hard to understand how everything literally starts anew with the arrival of a child. Take proud parents Laura Ashton and Travis Stevens, for example: They’ll tell you, first-hand, that despite all the holidays they’ve celebrated before, their lives and their holiday traditions really began this year with arrival of baby Lorelei—and that’s what I tried to capture in their holiday mini-shoot at the Christmas tree farm in Mount Airy, Maryland.

Everything about this shoot is fresh and new, just like Lorelei. From the vibrant green fir trees to the crisp newly bought sweaters and baby hats that pop in the early afternoon sun, each picture takes on a kind of youthfulness and excitement that has everything to do with Mom and Dad’s pride and joy—and the “Baby’s First Christmas” banner just adds that extra bit more of celebration to the scene.

Oftentimes, I’ll have my subjects look away from the camera. But with the Ashton-Stevens family, I had them look the camera square in the lens. As their first introduction as a family, the positioning seems to say, “Hello, world! We have a lot to look forward to.” No regrets. Only possibilities. Happy New Year!