Generational Portraits (Phoenix Family / Portrait Photography)

On my most recent trip to Phoenix, I had the honor of, for the second time, making generational portraits for long-time friends and clients, Ben and Sarah.

In Sarah’s family, they’ve maintained a meaningful tradition through five generations of women: each female family member is photographed around age 2 wearing the same dress and standing on a chair.

Here is Sarah’s portrait from over 3 years ago (photographer unknown). Sarah has similar portraits of her mom, grandma, and great-grandmother.


Sarah, circa 1980 (Photographer unknown), wearing the traditional family dress and standing on the same chair as her three daughters, below.

In 2010, Sarah asked me to make the official portrait of her eldest daughter (and her baby, not yet the “right” age or wearing “the” dress,  jumped in just for fun. Later, when the curly haired cutie turned 2 herself, I was living in OKC, and couldn’t make her official portrait, so another Phoenix photographer did hers). Now the baby from 2010 is the middle sister, and I just added the new baby sister’s official portrait to the lineup.

Indulge yourself in the nostalgia and cuteness:

Big, middle (in 2010), and little (in 2015) sisters: On left and right, wearing the same dress; all standing on the same chair.

Big, middle (in 2010), and little (in 2015) sisters. On left and right, wearing the same dress; all standing on the same chair.

Middle sister looked up to her big sister in 2010, and now in 2015, looks out for her baby sister:

Middle sister, looking up to big sister in 2010 and looking out for baby sister in 2015.

Middle sister, looking up to big sister in 2010 and looking out for baby sister in 2015.

Look how much big and little sisters look alike at age 2 (above, far left and far right)!

Here’s one more shot I love of the youngest during the most recent shoot:

Baby sister, 2015

Baby sister, 2015

I feel sentimental, knowing this will be my last generational portrait session for this family! The dress is literally starting to fall apart, so the family is planning to preserve it in a box frame for safekeeping.

As a photographer, it is really an honor to be invited to participate in, and be trusted with, these kinds of valued family traditions. Portrait collections like these will be cherished for generations, and being trusted with making them is a gift. If you’ve ever considered beginning or continuing this type of tradition in your family, do it! You will never regret contributing such a meaningful heirloom to your family.


About Mosaic Collective, LLC

I am Holly Baumann Ambuehl, founding member of Mosaic Collective, LLC, which was founded in early 2017 and is based in Central Illinois. I own and operate Mosaic Collective with my partner in business and life, my husband, Nathan. Mosaic Collective, LLC houses our rental property, my consulting contracts (with the nonprofit and public sectors on various work), and also my commercial and portrait photography business, which has been doing business as Holly Baumann Photography since 2008 long before the formation of our LLC. My blog posts feature client work, but I just love to write, so I also write about owning a business, food and drink, travel, and sometimes, my personal life! I am always honored when clients trust me to capture their vision, and equally so when my readers converse with me about what I've photographed or expressed here. I hope we'll have an opportunity to collaborate professionally and/or become friends. I'd love to hear what you think! - Holly
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