Category Archives: personal

I took my husband Andy and our daughters Evie and Josie out for a mini session back in early May.   I was feeling a little rusty coming off the slow winter season and thought it would be fun and a good challenge to photograph my own family.  Fun???  YES!!!!!    Challenging????  Oh my goodness  YES!!!!  Luckily my girls are wonderful children….for other people LOL!  For their parents……well….I think they are pretty close to most kiddos at giving us a hard time and being crazy.  Add Andy who’s not a fan of photos (most guys I know don’t enjoy photo shoots) AND he was chewing gum the whole time.   Let’s just say I kept it under 25 minutes!   I LOVE how these turned out and I think I need to do a mini session of them once a year.

This first photo captures the three of them so well!  They are 4 and 7….they are loving but FULL of energy but push us to the limit and test us as parents ALL THE TIME!!!  This parenting gig is amazing and I wouldn’t trade it for the world….but I’ll be real here internet friends.  It’s hard!  REALLY HARD!   Having said that I wouldn’t want to be going through parenting with anyone else!   Andy I hope you have an amazing Father’s day!   Our girls are blessed to have you as their daddy!


  • Mom - I love all the photos. You capture there relationships so well. But I really like what you wrote above. Proud of you as always.June 21, 2017 – 6:27 pm

I have wanted to do a blog post about our family Christmas Cards for a few years now.  This year I’m finally getting it done 🙂

2009 was the first year I started doing a non traditional photo card.  I ran across the Harris Welles website years ago and his AMAZING Christmas Cards.   I was hooked!  1998, 2004 and 2006 are some of my favorites.  Our dog Maggie has always been trainable, provided we have treats for her.  (click here to see her biggest trick ever)  Speaking of treats…that is exactly what was on the cookie sheet and how we got her to pose for this card.  I then added the cookie shapes,  our faces and our cat tyler to the photo.  Photoshop is truly amazing!  Oh and I was pregnant with Evie here…so I had to make my belly look plump.  It’s all about the details 😉

2009 Front a favorite:
0012009 Back:002In 2010 Evie was standing by November and I had a feeling we could get her to pose with a microphone.  So the idea of a “rock band” type of card became.  What better way to say “we wish you a Merry Christmas” than with Wii!  So we made a our Mii’s and here you go!  Our cat Tyler is hiding on the back of the card.  See if you can find her. 🙂

2010 Front:

0032010 Back another favorite:004

I remember looking through the Chic Fila 2012 calendar that came out in the fall.  The image of the cow in the airplane along with my all time favorite Christmas song  “Snoopy vs. the Red Baron”  were the inspiration for this card.  I love the lyrics and how two rivals stop fighting for Christmas day.   Peace on Earth.  Evie LOVED air planes all of 2011, plus Andy had just started working for a company that makes small airplane propellers.  It seemed only fitting to make a “Maggie vs the Red Baron” Holiday card.

2011 Front:005Had to keep the Snoopy theme on the 2011 Back:0062012 has to be one of my all time favorite cards.   Andy and I usually brainstorm our card together during long drives to Norris Lake TN.  As we were brainstorming I think the original thought was to make it look like Santa’s workshop.  An assembly line of elves and toys.  The ideas were getting out of control.   Luckily at some point Andy came up with “Tickle Me Evie” and I rolled with it from there.  Evie loved Elmo the year before and we had a wonderful costume from Halloween my very talented mama had made.  It still fit!   An ad…..that’s it…..we will make the front of the card look like an ad!  Did you know there are SO many downloadable free fonts out there.   (snoopy as you saw from previous card, Toys R Us and there is a Disney font too…I’m saving that one for a card eventually)   We even had an original Tickle Me Elmo box our sister in law had given us. I blended Target, Toys R Us and Walmart into one store and there you have it.  Plus we were expecting our second baby girl and we were able to include that into the card.

2012 Front:  0072012 Inside:0082012 Back:009There was no way to top the 2012 card.  But I still had a fun idea for 2013.  This was the first year Josie would be on our card and she was a sweet and smiley baby.  Our Santa baby!   I’ve always loved silhouettes.   Brainstorming and I thought I could make us…an iTunes card.

2013 Front:010Do you remember the game show “Classic Concentration” ???  That’s sort of the theme/idea behind the inside of this one.  I’m afraid it confused a lot of people.   Here are the lyrics.

“Santa Baby just slip a sable under the tree for me

Been and awful (I’m holding orange juice and a tooth brush in my jammies) good girl Santa Baby so

hurry down the chimney tonight”

Do you get it???  oh and our silhouette heads are the music….like the actual melody to the song!  OBSESSED with details 😉

2013 Inside:

0112013 Back:012Onto 2014.  Another very favorite.  But quite possibly the most time consuming card we’ve ever done.   We got our elf in 2013.  Evie named him (with very little hesitation) “Toastie Flowers”  Our elf doesn’t do much besides move every evening.  But the girls love him and enjoy finding him every morning.   And it’s amazing how easily I can say to them “he’s watching you and going to talk to Santa tonight” and they quickly snap out of arguing or whining.  It was pretty easy to design like the front of the Elf book.  There are lots of fun details here if you look closely.  Andy likes to play pool, Evie LOVES to color, Josie loves candy, candy canes, candy corn and SYRUP!  😉   I love taking pictures of my little princesses…and selfies!

2014 Front:0132014 Inside:0142014 Back:015

After 2014…I needed to bring it down a notch.  I feel like we were busier than ever.  Our girls were 5.5 and 2.5.  Life was getting more hectic and we had less time on our hands.  I had all three of my weddings to photograph for 2015 in October and December, along with fall photo shoots, our annual Christmas party to host and I was co-hosting a very special baby shower.  I was out of ideas and time to dream up something amazing and we needed an easy card.   (as in…minimal photoshop and only one image to shoot)   Then it hit me.  What about one of those Somme cards that are on social media all the time?  BUT…we have to keep ours light and non offensive lol.  (some of those are so funny and some are SO offensive)  Bonus…being that our name is Sommer…it totally worked.  Andy about hurt his back picking up Maggie our 70 lb lab.  Don’t we all look hilarious!

2015 Front:0162015 Back:017Our you ready world?   For the release of our 2016 card?  It makes the favorite list for me for sure.   I guess I had to make up for taking it easy in 2015…because this card had lots of details and LOTS of design time.  I really need to learn Adobe Illustrator!   I still do EVERYTHING in Photoshop.  Crazy…..I know!  The inspiration for this card came when I was dreaming up ideas for a very special newborn session.  (I will be blogging that in January)  The new parents are big music buffs and have a HUGE vinyl record collection.  I was researching a way to make them a baby announcement that would look like a miniature vinyl record and album cover.   In the process I started thinking how we could make this a Christmas card…..and BOOM!   One of my favorite Christmas albums as a kid and the cartoons was The Chipmunks.  I went crazy with the details.  Like adding sideburns and a beard to “Dave” to make him look like Andy.  We thought about trying to add me to the front cover…but honestly I ran out of time.

2016 Front Cover of Jacket:18My favorite detail is the “Maggie Records” logo.   (inspired by the RCA victor logo I remember as a kid too)  Andy’s parents have an old phonograph plus Maggie and there you go.

2016 Back Jacket:192016 Front Inside Album:202016 Inside Back Album:21