2017 was one the most exciting years for me and my photography journey. I made the full time commitment to documentary family photography and I can confidently say that I am not looking back. 

In the 8 years that I have been a photographer, it has not been until this year that I have found where I am supposed to be in the world of photography. My journey has taken me from working for newspapers, freelancing for publications, photographing weddings, and finally to documenting families in their element. 

I had a huge "aha" moment at the beginning of 2017 and realized that this was what I was made to do. This was when I birthed the crazy, amazing idea to photograph 100 families for free and start doing what I wanted to do and doing it A LOT. 

I threw my idea out into the world asking families to submit their stories and was literally brought to tears by each and every one. 5 months ago, I began the journey of photographing these families, which led me to 3 timezones, 5 states, 28 cities, 56 homes, hundreds of children and parents, dozens of bath times, many, many family dance sessions, meal times, bedtime snuggles, struggle sessions of dressing toddlers, and at least a million smiles. 

Documentary family photography feels so much bigger than just creating photos with families. I can feel the meaning in each frame I make. I can feel the sacredness of capturing these fleeting moments of here and now and can hear the conversations each family will have years from now while looking back on these moments. This work is big to me. Bigger than I could have ever imagined photography to be to me. 

I am thankful for every family who allowed me into their homes to capture their lives honestly. I've made so many new friends, both with the little tykes and their parents, and am excited to go back to many of their homes in the future to continue photographing their family story. 

I cannot be more grateful for this past year and every image I was able to capture of real life families. And I am more excited than ever about all the families I will photograph in 2018. 

I moved to Arizona this year and will be continuing my family project here. I can't wait to start sharing the stories of families here, but until then, here are some of my favorites memories from 2017.