The Tabasa Family - Santa Cruz, Calif.

As a photographer, I feel so lucky that my first photo session of the year took place on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. As a family man, husband, and puppy-dad, I feel even luckier that my first photo session of the year was spent in the company of family — and, in particular, this family.

Almost four months ago, my cousin Chris and his wife Elaine welcomed their third son Liam into the world. When Elaine had approached me at our annual family Christmas party to take family portraits of their growing family, I, of course, was on board. Heck, when it's family, I'm ALWAYS on-board. 

Elaine's suggestion that we take these portraits in Santa Cruz was the icing on the cake for me: considering how busy I've been recently, a day full of sunshine, rides, games, and chocolate-covered bacon was exactly what the doctor ordered.

During my day with this family, I witnessed two things. One: this family just loves to laugh and have fun. And two: everyone is so ecstatic to welcome the newest member of the family. Combined, these two things make for great photos, but — more importantly — they make for even greater memories. 

So, here's to the Tabasa family; thanks for letting me tag along and starting my year with a bang. Thanks, Elijah, for your jiu-jitsu laser focus. Thanks, Jacob, for your too-cool-for-school style (and let's not forget your sharp-shooter arcade skills). Chris and Elaine, thanks for building such a beautiful and fun-loving family. And Liam, thanks for being you. We're all glad that you're a part of this world!