Sonoma County family photographythe Smith Family PortraitsParadise Ridge Winery, Santa Rosa

We did these family portraits for Jacqui and her kids (and their teen cousins) about a year ago, at Paradise Ridge Winery, in their amazing sculpture garden.  Little did we know that six months later, the Santa Rosa Firestorm ripping through our city would burn Paradise Ridge to the ground.  

(Side note: Jacqui is also my mama of the week on Instagram, where I’ve been doing a “Mama Mondays” series for almost a year.  Check it out if you haven’t been following it already!  I only have a few more weeks to go, but I know so many rad moms, I could probably keep it going infinitely…)

But while it’s heart breaking to know that a beautiful building that sheltered so many happy visitors (and weddings) was lost, it’s equally heart warming to know that they are dedicated to rebuilding!  And that their trademark LOVE sculpture is still there.  Check out their website for more information: Love Survives.  And while it’s devastating at how much was burned, most of Sonoma County was untouched, and is as healthy, hale and beautiful as ever – especially now that the winter rains and spring sunshine have done their work.  Everything is great, gorgeous, and blooming.

Back to this beautiful early spring day, and a loving, happy, silly, toddler-grumpy family portrait.  How cute are these boys in their matching outfits?!  Add in their girl cousins visiting from the East Coast, who clearly adore them, their sweet dog Mixx, and their parents – who went from nearly pulling their hair out trying to get the toddler to smile, to laughing along with me because, really, you can only do what you can do with a resistant toddler! – and you have fun, vibrant portraits that capture a moment in their family’s life, to give to the grandparents.  

I feel the love, and I can’t wait to revisit Paradise Ridge when it’s rebuilt.