Stephens Family | Family Portraits at White Sands, New Mexico

I can’t even.

This family portrait session at White Sands still makes me giddy! Be forewarned–I’m shamelessly oversharing, but it’s one of those #sorrynotsorry situations. You’ll be glad I did, once you’ve seen them all!

If you’ve followed me for a while, Mandy and Russell may look a little familiar to you! Last summer, I collaborated with Keeler Farms¬†and Flowers by Ashlee to do a styled shoot here in Deming. Our goal was to show that you can put on a beautiful wedding using local vendors, even in these rural little corners of New Mexico–and Mandy and Stephen were gracious enough to travel more than two hours from Alamogordo to be our model couple for the shoot!

A lot has changed for these two since then–they added another sweet little boy to their family, for starters, and then they recently moved to Idaho to start a new chapter in their lives! Before leaving New Mexico, though, we had to fit in a family session in the Land of Enchantment, to memorialize their time here.

Having lived in Alamogordo, White Sands was a definite favorite for this family, so when Mandy and I were discussing location options for their family session and the option to shoot there was brought up, it won out almost immediately! And honestly–I’m SO. GLAD. we shot here–I seriously cannot imagine this session having been any more beautiful at another location! The sky and evening light were absolutely dreamy, and the colors and outfits Mandy pulled together fit the setting perfectly!

Every so often I edit through a session and think to myself, “This is going to be THE iconic family picture that they always look back on with fond memories,” and I think it’s safe to say that there’s a good chance that’s the case with this session. Being a part of creating that is such a privilege and honor every. single. time it happens!

So now the pictures! We spent the first 45 minutes or so having a blast running barefoot around the dunes playing games, laughing, and capturing some absolutely beautiful memories for this sweet family.

And then, with the very last of the light, I pulled Mandy and Russell aside for some pictures of just the two of them. When we first met last year at the styled shoot, they told me they were celebrating their 10th anniversary! That means that this summer, they hit 11–so I think it’s safe to call these anniversary pictures!

(Ha! Love this one!)

I’m so glad our paths crossed, Mandy and Russell!

All My Best,



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photography by erin richins
 kind people are my kinda people