my boys {yearly pictures ages 3, 5, 7}

All of my boys have spring birthdays. I usually try to get yearly pictures of them right around early April. Seeing how the hospital isn’t exactly what I had in mind for their birthday pictures we put it off a bit. I am always impressed with the moms that can come up with a cute concept (like pinwheels in a field or a cute tent outside) for birthday pictures. I feel like I am doing good just to actually take them each year…nonetheless attempt a theme or even new clothes!

We were headed over to my in-laws for dinner and a couple hours before we left my mother-in-law let me know they had a vintage firetruck at their house. Upon hearing that I figured it was a good as time as any to get the yearly pictures of the boys. We didn’t have time for shopping or coming up with great coordinated outfits, but I really don’t think all that matters. The whole point of yearly pictures is just to capture mainly what my boy’s look like with shirts on and clean faces.

On the way my oldest had this conversation with me:

Him: Why do we have to do this all the time?

Me: Do what?

Him: Dress up and smile at the camera.

Me: When was the last time we did this?

Him: When I turned 6.

Me: How long ago was that?

Him: A year.

Me: We don’t do this all the time.


85mm lens: 1/250, f/3.5, ISO 100 – both

85mm lens: 1/250, f/2.8, ISO 100; 1/200 f/4.0, ISO 160


trying to figure out how to get his hands in his pockets! 85mm: 1/250, f/2.5, ISO 100

85mm lens: 1/160, f/2.8, ISO 100 – both

85mm lens: 1/200, f/2.8, ISO 100; 1/160, f/2.8, ISO 100

85mm lens: 1/200, f/2.8, ISO 100 5.7.11-06

85mm lens: 1/200, f/2.8, ISO 100

85mm lens: 1/200, f/2.8, ISO 100 5.7.11-08

85mm lens: 1/200, f/4.0, ISO 160 – both5.7.11-09

85mm lens: 1/200, f/4.0, ISO 160; 24-70mm lens: 24mm, 1/200, f/4.0, ISO 160

2011 picture 85mm lens: 1/200, f/4.0, ISO 160; she is not too thrilled about her confined state5.7.11-12

85mm lens: 1/250, f/3.5, ISO 100 5.7.11-13

The last one is my favorite. It makes me wonder what they’ll be like in 10 years as 13, 15, & 17 year old boys. It took a lot of convincing, begging & pleading to get these. Tomorrow I’ll post more of the reality of attempting to get posed shots of my boys.

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  • Loren - Your kids are so cute and your photos are so nice. This shoot really looks great even if they don’t all ‘match’. :)

  • Kim - I am one that does family pictures every year with matching outfits as well… but after seeing these, I think those days are long gone. These are beautiful and shows their real personality!! I love how you posted the 2010 with this years… beautiful!! Oh and the totally charmin’ shirt is GREAT!

  • allison - amazing pictures – the one of your youngest trying to get his hands in his pockets made me laugh out loud – and I so needed that today! Can’t wait for tomorrows post!

  • Ranee - Great photos and love the commentary!

  • Karissa - They’re awesome! Your kids are so cute!

  • Molly - such handsome little men you have on your hands!!

  • Rosa @ flutterflutter - Such beautiful pics of your family. I need to upgrade to an SLR and take a photo class!!

  • caro - Que guapos que estan tus nenes!!!! But the oldest “nada” con la camera. ANd the youngest is really big. Bless you!

  • Amy - TOO CUTE. You make having 3 boys look so good. :)

  • Becca G - my oldest is the same way about pictures. last time she complained about the t-shirt i picked out. ugh. your boys are beautiful! their personalities really shine through these pics.

  • rachael - Great pics – such handsome boys!! My oldest is 5 and i have to barter for almost every picture i take of him :)

  • Susan - Love the pictures of the kids and thank you for including the photography “recipes” for us beginning photog’s . . . :)

  • Roxana - I love these!!! Such handsome little men. Good work!! (making handsome boys and taking great pics!!)

  • Stacy - Great pics! I wish my photos had the sense of emotion yours do, forget coordinated outfits! I think your boys are so handsome, but the middle one seems like he is going to be a heartbreaker!

  • Jenny - Next time they ask you can tell them these pictures are for the girls they are going to marry, because I can tell you now that those ladies are going to be so thankful you did this! Amazing photos, Ashley! You have such a gift.

  • Dana @ Bungalow'56 - Thank you for the reminder at the end of how hard this “natural” shots are to get. Even as a photographer I just look at your gorgeous photos and imagine it all going perfectly. I am wondering what time of day it is that you found such beautiful light.

  • Carissa Miller - I am cracking up! Love the pictures first of all. Second of all, my favorite is the b&w of littlest brother with his hands crossed on the fence. He looks SO thrilled to be there with his little pouty face. I get resistance every time I take my kids yearly pictures too if it makes you feel better.

  • Ruth Abel - Oh my goodness. You have the most beautiful family! I love love love these.

  • Kariane - geez lady; you’ve got cute kids! Begging and pleading, totally worth it!

  • Gevay - Could they be any cuter?

  • Jen @ RamblingRenovators - I only have one daughter, but these photos make me wish I so had a little boy too. Your boys are so handsome… you’ll definitely have your hands full in about 10 years!

  • Midwest Magnolia - Melissa Lewis - Gosh these are so good. I wish I had your talent!

  • Kim - I am blessed with one – and he’s three. These pics make me wish there were more! Question – where do you find the flip flops with the back strap for the boys? Mine is wearing a 12 and seems like they stop adding the strap after size 10.

  • heather - That conversation sounds exactly like the one I have with my husband each year at family photo time! :-) Love the pics of your gorgeous boys!

  • Katie - your family is beautiful!

  • Mindy Harris - gorgeous babies of yours. makes me want more.
    i have two. is 4 doable?

  • Michelle - You do such a great job, and their boyishness shines through these pictures. So nice of you to share them with us (and glad that the family is doing well after your challenging April…!)

  • RaD - Your youngest boy and little girl look so much alike! These are great photos. Makes me wanna do a photo shoot with mine but I can only imagine the “fight” I’d have on my hands :)

  • Mara - These are so so great. You should enter them in minted’s photo contest on FB.

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh, those are sooo good! I love the very first one. They are cutie patooties!

  • Crystal - They are perfect! Im having my third little boy so we will have 6,2 and newborn and this gets me excited!

  • tamara - Love love these!!!!

  • Jeannie Brown - OMGoodness … beautiful!

  • Heather - oh my goodness they are so handsome.. (i wanted to say cute but know boys hate that) the first one of your middle son is just precious!!!

  • Jeannette - Awesome pics! I can’t even get out with my older boys to get their yearly pics and I can’t ever figure out where to take them? I have plans to attempt it Friday evening.

  • Dawn Eshnaur - This post made me smile…..I make my three boys take their picture on the first day of school each year. The catch is they have to hold a sign that says what grade and the year. When they were little, they didn’t mind. As they got older, I found myself saying “shut your mouth and smile!!?” They obliged me every year through their Senior year. Priceless memories!!!!

  • Joan - Beautiful photos. Beautiful subjects.

  • Ashley A - SO cute!! What time of day did you take these? The lighting is perfect!

  • Randi - so great! your pics amaze me. they are beautiful. and those boys are adorable! can’t wait to hear how you were able to capture such great poses :)

  • Susie N. Patterson - Adorable! they are all cute and handsome, I’m sure they all get it from their dad. :) Mommy your one of a lucky person.

  • Ikik - lovely pictures…as always

  • cynthia - PRECIOUS!!! I need to start doing this for mine. I have lots of random pics of of mine, but yearly is a great idea. Love, love these!!! Are these SOOC? If not, did you do much post-processing? ~Thanks for sharing!!

  • audrielle - thank you for your blog! You inspired me to start my own, i loved yours so much. i recently started sewing so tutorials were a MUST and thats how i found your site….thank you so much for what you do! keep it up, your blog is soo cute and nice to look at…hope mine can eventually look half as good as yours, i mean it.

  • Amy Roys - Your pictures are so amazing and inspiring! I love that you are including the exif for all of us photo lovers out there trying to capture better images of our little ones running around. I was curious which 85mm lens this is specifically…. the 85mm 3.5, 1.8, or 1.4. I am about to purchase one of the above and trying to get the best lens for low light and child “portraits” but without breaking the bank. :)
    Thanks so much for your advice! Your blog is just wonderful!

  • Angela - Love your blog!! Your kids are adorable. I also like the shorts your boys are wearing. Do you mind me asking where you got them? Looking for some cute boy shorts for my little one.

  • able mabel - If you’re ever looking to get rid of any of them, I’ll be the first in line to take them! They are soooo adorable!

  • auntie bliss - They are so cute!
    I also have three boys :)
    and I’m the little sister to three!

  • Kenna S - That fire truck is awesome! Your boys are adorable!

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