Two large, flat cardboard boxes appeared one day, hiding under our enormous Christmas tree, leaning suspiciously up against the wall. We have a tradition in our family called Acme Gift Disguise. It’s when you wrap something in a sneaky way so that the receiver doesn’t guess the contents ahead of the big reveal. I assumed that someone was pulling an Acme prank.
But on Christmas morning, with a dusting of snow outside, holiday music playing quietly in the background, we were in for a surprise. Inside the boxes were two framed 20×30 canvas gallery wraps, one of each of our kids – the location senior portraits I’d made of each of them. My husband had shown me test prints but had slyly led me to believe that they’d have to wait until after the insanity of the holiday rush. (I’m still in shock that he was able to get them done.)
Seeing them there in front of me was amazing. We hung them on the wall of our living room, replacing older portraits that were relocated. Standing together quietly, we each took a breath and let it out slowly. It’s hard to put into words how it felt. That wall art visually marked a poignant chapter in our family’s story. Soon, those portraits would be THE version of our kids that live in our home. My heart felt so full. Even with the kids temporarily home for the holidays, if made me infinitely happy to see their beautiful faces shining down from the walls. Not to mention, our living room decor got a huge upgrade!
“This is what our clients talk about,” my husband said. “This is how THEY feel.” When he said that, so many moments with clients flashed thought my mind. The all caps texts and emails, the teary eyes, the light in their faces as they share what their new art means to them, especially as their families go through changes. Some heartbreaking, some joyous, and everything in between. It’s about so much more than just “pictures.”
Now, we get to be on the other side of that, a wonderful reminder not only of our own precious family, but of the meaning behind what we make for our dear clients. It seriously was the BEST Christmas present.
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Flagstaff Family Portrait Photographer • Flagstaff Maternity Pregnancy Photographer • Flagstaff Newborn Photographer • Flagstaff Child Photographer • Flagstaff Senior Portrait Photographer • Flagstaff Couples Photography
Kristen Dacey Iwai of KDI Photography is a full-time professional portrait photographer based in Flagstaff, Arizona with decades of experience. Making portraits of families, pregnancy, newborns, babies, children, and high school seniors in her downtown studio and on location, she serves clients from Flagstaff, Sedona, Tuba City, Winslow, Payson, Page, Williams, Prescott, Mesa, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Arizona