A Breathe of Fresh Air | Washington D.C. Family Photographer

A good photograph is like a crisp, fall breeze. It has the ability to invigorate the senses and inspire the spirit with a playful energy as whimsical as the autumn wind. And if captured correctly, it harnesses the same spirit of fun that compels us to pick-up games of football or a romp through a pile of newly raked leaves.

Whatever it was, something was in the air the day the Ellison family arrived for their family photo shoot in Bishop’s Garden at the National Cathedral. Fueled by the promise of adventure on a cool, clear day, the Ellison’s four children—Owen (7), Parker (5), Cooper (4), and Beckett (1)—were as dead-set on capturing an outdoor playdate as I was on capturing a truly memorable family portrait. They were quick find diversions in the simplest of pleasures—and I had to be quick on my feet to capture each moment.

I’ve found in my time as a family photographer that kids don’t like to sit still—and portraits depicting them as such are just as unnatural. So from behind the lens, I make each shoot a game in which my child subjects are intricately involved. The silliness and improvisations make for wonderfully natural shots—and absolutely priceless memories.

The seasons change and so will the Ellison children. But no matter what, they’ll always have this treasured image marking that special time of childhood, when siblings whirled around in carefree bliss, much like the leaves that fall in the background.