Personal Archive

Our Four Faces

Every year since Bea was born I have photographed my kids in January together in exactly the same way. I always love going back and comparing their faces and seeing how much they have changed.  Teeth come and go, faces thin out, and smiles mature. This time we got it in just under the wire because Bea had to have stitches (well, glue actually) in her eyebrow right before Christmas and we’ve been waiting for it to heal.  We also made the joint decision this year to start photographing them sitting up together.  I had the kids lay down initially because Bea was so little but now it seems unnecessary as they are so grown up!

Asa is 12 now. The typical first born who is our high honor student and so responsible. He is also incredibly caring and empathetic to others. I am honestly most proud of that.  His kindness and sincerity are limitless.

Finley is 10.  He walks the line between the older child and the middle child, depending on the day. Finley has always been an extremely passionate child, no matter what he is doing. He puts his heart and soul into all that he does and I know this quality will take him far in life.  He is also my dance party partner.

Atticus continues to be the comic relief in our family.  This almost 8 year old is always busy; whether it be building forts, creating objects, experimenting with science projects….he never really stops.  He makes us all laugh and it’s hard to say no to that sweet little face.

Beatrix is 5 and becoming such a fine young lady! She is writing her numbers and letters and loves to draw and paint.  She is the ultimate observer and it’s impossible to get anything past her keen eye. She has a passion for animals and loves little things.

So here they are, getting so big!


And here are the previous year’s photos:






Farewell | My Nono

This week I lost the last of my living grandparents.  My grandfather, Nono, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Monday morning soon after we flew down there to see him, hold his hand, and say goodbye one last time.

My son, Asa, had been asking me to read “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint Exupery for a couple of months now.  I had been putting it off because I didn’t have the time and so I grabbed it when I was packing for this trip. As I read it while I sat next to my grandfather, slowly breathing, I realized that it was the ideal book for this visit. The perfect words for letting go of something that you love and for understanding what truly matters in life.  If you haven’t already, I highly recommend reading it.  I am going to include a few of my favorite quotes from that book as they just seem so poignant.

“Here is my secret. It is very simple: it is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”  The Little Prince




It is difficult to fully describe this man (as it is with any complex person) and the many qualities that made him so special.  He was funny, he was intelligent and highly educated, and he was extremely stubborn.  He spoke his mind but in a gentle way, and managed to gain the respect and adoration of everyone who knew him.  For all of his wisdom and authority he truly had a child’s spirit and loved to laugh and play jokes. He adored children and always took the time to hold them and play with them and teach them silly tricks.  I could easily list the established accomplishments of his life; he was a WWII Vet, and had a PHD in Nuclear Physics and much more.  But to me, he was Nono.  Always greeting us with open arms and yelling, “Heeeeyyyyy  Katie!!”  Grabbing us out of bed and throwing us in the pool, still in our pj’s.  Rounding up bikes from local junk shops so we could ride around the neighborhood during our visit. Taking us to the beach and letting us cover him in sand. And coming home from work and jumping in the pool with us, still fully clothed.

“All grown-ups were once children…but only few of them remember it.”  The Little Prince

He was an avid gardener, a beer lover (particularly the cheap kinds in cans), a woodworker and a scoutmaster. He loved camping and playing his homemade dulcimer.  He possessed a childlike wisdom that served him well and he never lost sight of the most important matters in life.  Love, God and family. He and my grandmother had 11 children and endured the loss of 4 of them.

He truly listened to you when you talked to him. He offered advice when he could but he was humble and mostly just gave you the strength or the guidance to figure out a solution to your problem. He believed in the power of prayer and in letting God help you solve your problems.

I’m pretty sure I got most of my German stubbornness from him.  But hopefully I also got his compassion too and maybe even a touch of his wisdom.

“In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night.”  The Little Prince




My grandmother and six of her children, including my mom.


Nono with me and my kids just last summer.

He will be sorely missed by the large and wonderful family that he left behind.  But I have no doubt that he is looking down on us all. Reminding us to be patient and to love each other and to laugh.

“It doesn’t matter that you are not here in person as long as you are here in my heart.” The Little Prince 


Summertime Update

If you are wondering where I’ve been…it’s here.  When I’m not off photographing amazing weddings (seriously, 2016 couples, I adore you!) I am soaking in the summer with my sweet four (plus puppy).  We are hiking, swimming, gardening, bike riding, frisbee throwing and trying to enjoy all the calm beauty that summer offers.  You can follow my instagram feed to see updates (@katepreftakes4) and I will update my blog in the fall.  I hope you are enjoying your summer too!


I am still booking portrait sessions for the summer and fall so let me know if you would like to schedule a session!



Atticus | Seven

And just like that, he is seven years old.  One missing tooth, still an impish grin, and forever making us smile.  Atticus has always brought the sunshine in to our family.  His enthusiasm for life is infectious and even when he’s mad he is adorable.  He loves birthdays more than any person I’ve ever met but he knows I’m not the biggest fan of seeing my kids get older, so he climbed into my lap this morning and said, “Mom, you can just pretend that I’m still six”.  Thanks, Bud.  Thanks for your laughter and free spirit. Thanks for dressing up in costumes and creating traps in the woods. Thanks for keeping life simple and fun, even though I’m still mad that you hide snakes on my pillow at night. I hope seven years old is the best age it can be for you.  I know you will find joy and laughter throughout the year because that is what you do.  But I still expect lots of snuggles too.  Love, Mom



Yearly Faces

I don’t know how many more years my children will let me photograph them like this but amazingly we have done it every January since Bea was born. It was never meant to be a project like this but it just happened that way and now I can’t let it go. I love comparing their faces from year to year and even though they grumble when I ask them to do it, I know they love looking at them too.

I always think the same things when I see these portraits. How much their faces have changed.  How Bea went from being a little newborn ‘shemiegel’ to a little blonde beauty.  How the boys’ teeth have come and gone over the years.  How they have all lost their round baby faces. And how close they are to each other. Not just physically but emotionally.  And that’s what I love most.  No matter what the new year has in store for us I know that they have each other.

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