Keeler Family | Fresno, California Family Portrait Session

I’ve watched this little family grow from a couple of newlyweds to a sweet family of four, and I’ve had the privilege of capturing pretty much all their major milestones during that time–Lifestyle/newborn sessions for both of the boys and first birthday/family portraits for their oldest. When Cassel and Julianna moved from New Mexico to California last summer, a little piece of my heart went with them! They’re some of our dearest friends and for a while there, we didn’t know what we’d do without them. (Don’t worry, we’ve learned to survive!).

I don’t even remember where the idea originally stemmed from, but at one point at the end of last year, Jules lamented the fact that when her little guy turned one after the New Year they’d have to find a new photographer to take pictures, and that was hard to swallow. (Can I just say, it really means a ton to know it matters that it’s ME behind the camera, and not just anyone?! Way to make a girl feel appreciated!!).  We started talking about the possibility of meeting up halfway between us in Phoenix for a quick visit and a family/birthday session…And then they moved. Again, and further away haha.

Never one to let stuff like that get in the way, I suggested that I could just come all the way to them in Fresno, and I love Julianna to pieces for jumping on that idea–the next thing I knew our plans were set in stone!

If you follow along on Instagram, you’ll recall that the southwest was dealing with some pretty awful weather the day I flew out, so lucky me–I missed my connection in Phoenix. In case you missed that, you can see from the collage below that I literally spent half a day sitting in the American Airlines terminal at Sky Harbor, eating unsalted French fries (because the universe had to prove that things could be worse) and looking up random trivia like how to pronounce GIF. Hey, I may be an intelligent person, but make me sit in an airport for 7 hours and even I can’t avoid nonsensical internet searches.

ANYway–the POINT of all this is that eventually I finally got to Fresno! It was a whirlwind-even-more-abbreviated weekend, thanks to the weather–but oh, that visit filled my soul!

Now. On to the good stuff! Jules and I drove around Fresno checking out location possibilities, and just before heading back to get ready, we decided to peek into the Shenzhen Friendship garden as a wildcard option–and ohmyheck, it was perfect. What an incredible place! And right in the middle of the city–you’d never know it, it feels like the most private, peaceful spot. I could visit every day and not get tired of it!

We went back later that evening for the session and raced around chasing a three-year-old all over creation haha (literally!) and making all kinds of memories–my favorite. 🙂 If you’ve made it this far your reward is that you can now scroll through these lovely full-on-Spring-in-February photos of some of my favorite people in the world!

Cassel and Julianna, I’ve already thanked you a bajillion times, but thanks again for the chance to come see you and the boys, and to, one more time, capture a special time in your life. 🙂


Erin 🙂



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photography by erin richins
 kind people are my kinda people