The holidays and movies. The two are intertwined like silent and night…like Bing and Crosby…like egg and nog. And we all have our must-watch flicks this time of year:  Home Alone, White Christmas, Elf, Christmas Vacation, It’s a Wonderful Life, (insert yours here).

A few years back, I added another one to my list:  The Family Stone.

If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a nutshelled synopsis:   the movie takes place during Christmas in a small Connecticut town. Five siblings descend on their parent’s house for the holidays, and everyone’s meeting the oldest son’s girlfriend for the first time. And naturally, as any good movie dramady goes, she makes all the wrong first impressions and turns everyone off.


There’s also an underlying storyline playing out. The mother has breast cancer once again, and the prognosis isn’t great this time around. It’ll most likely be her last Christmas with the fam.

Which is where my favorite scene drops in.

It’s Christmas morning, and the girlfriend’s passing out gifts to everyone in the family. No one’s too fond of her at this point…until they open her gifts. Inside? A framed, black-and-white photograph of the mother, captured back when she was pregnant with the youngest child. (Look up to see the pic.) And, considering their mom’s health, everyone’s overwhelmed by the gift.

As the movie concludes (SPOILER ALERT!), it’s Christmastime…one year later. Everyone’s standing around and hanging ornaments on the tree. Almost everyone. The mother’s not there. Only her photo hangs behind the tree this year.


I know. That’s all a little sappy (no pun intended).

But those scenes reminded me of the amazing opportunity people grant me every year to capture them in photographs. Most of the time, I never get a chance to see the finished products in people’s homes, but I hope those images bring those who see them greater joy, encouragement, consolation and inspiration for a long time to come!

If it’s been a long while since you were last captured, I encourage you to book a session with photographer in your local area. Your family and friends will thank you for it.

Happy New Year!


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