LEHR Family || Carpinteria, CA || This is the third full circle I've come with this family. Two years ago, their middle daughter Katherine was preschool besties with Francesca. Shannon, the mom, and I met in the lobby at the Y one hectic night at Christmastime watching our girls sing carols under the giant tree with their classmates. We met for a handful of playdates from that point on, sort of getting to know each other while her three and my one more than filled the space around us. Sadly, last year these guys returned to Shannon's home state of Indiana, and Francesca and Katherine all but forgot each other, as you do with friends you rarely see when you're only four or five.

Fortunately, once or twice before they moved, Shannon and I got excited about the possibility of working together professionally. She and her husband Alex are the passionate force behind American Colors Clothing, a fabulous, classic All American-made brand. I was rapt instantly by Shannon's passion and vision for AC, and Alex's deep roots in the fashion industry. (His dad is the legendary Henry Lehr.) At that time though, they got caught up in their move, I got caught up elsewhere, too, and our plans to collaborate became just thoughts in the backs of our minds.

Fast forward to early this year when I got a call from Shannon in Indiana, inviting me to become the new photographer behind their brand! We've worked together now since January, making beautiful imagery for American Colors and becoming closer as friends. So when they came out last week on summer vacation, I was ecstatic at my first opportunity to shoot their family . . .  Shannon and Alex in front of my lens, as opposed to at my side, and of course their three adorable girls. Going through their images, putting together this post, it's been so clear—to me at least—that as much as I adore my commercial work, my heart still beats for family photography and preserving moments like these.