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A lot of things have been different this year. We’ve decided that’s a good thing. A little differentness… both physically, with our home renovation, and emotionally, with some important relationships growing & changing… differentness can be good. It can be cathartic. It can propel you forward. Our entire family is going to be able to look back on 2014 as a learning year… a building year… a growing year. Luckily, we’ve grown closer together, so we can look back on 2014 as a really fantastic year, as well.

You know what else 2014 is? It’s OVER. At least, professionally. We don’t have another blog post on the schedule until Monday, January 12th, and I’m REALLY excited about that. We’re going to hopefully finish up this phase of our house, spend a lot of time sitting & enjoying it, and then take the kids (and my parents) on an incredible Walt Disney World adventure after the first of the year.

Rest assured, when we come back, it’ll be with weddings & engagements and all sorts of other gorgeousness to share. We’ll definitely be hitting the ground running, and that makes this little holiday break all the more necessary.

If you need to get in touch with us, don’t worry… we’re not, like, going to Saturn or anything.;)I’ll still be answering emails regularly through the holidays, and we’re going to keep meeting with (and booking!!) amazing new 2015 brides. We’re about 2/3 full for the year, but that leaves plenty of room for some new McG couples to get on the schedule, so don’t be afraid to drop us a line and get something on the books.

Oh, and one more thing…

If you didn’t get a Christmas card from us this year, don’t be offended. No one did. That’s one of the things that got cut from the list. I already have ideas to make next year’s card pretty freakin’ epic… but this year, every time we thought about getting out & taking pictures and designing & ordering & addressing & mailing a card, all I heard in my head was garbled noise. Like, you know how the grownups sound, in “Peanuts”? That’s what we heard. Just couldn’t make it happen.

We took that… that indication of the special kind of crazy this season of our lives has been… and embraced it. This is Christmas 2014. I hope I’ll remember it for my entire life.


With kids that cute, you never just take the one photo…


Merry Christmas, all of you. Thank you for reading this blog, for leaving 5 years worth of encouraging comments, and most of all, for hiring us. Your support of our business is the reason we get to live the life of our dreams. It isn’t always easy, but it’s worth the work, and we hope what we provide for all of you keeps you coming back year after year.

Let’s hang out in 2015.:)


  • BreAnn - Merry Christmas, McG family. The kids are so adorable, and Chelsea you look amazing!

  • Aunt Ambo - Love it and all of you! Can’t wait to hear all about the Disney adventures! See you guys Sunday!

  • Kevin - Love the peanuts pic!!!!!

  • Christy D. - Love it! Those kids just keep getting better. Love them, and love you!

Another McG alumni couple expecting a Spring 2015 baby!! So exciting… I can’t wait to snuggle all these new nuggets in a few months. Baby Hank will make his debut in March, and Lauren & Trenton are so ready to meet him already. This little boy is coming into a life full of love & adventure, I can tell you that!

Oppressive clouds & surrounding rain made me worried this session wouldn’t happen on schedule, but everything was dry & safe in downtown Fort Worth, so we met up for a little bit last week to capture a few maternity portraits. Enjoy a couple favorites!


Lauren, you are GLOWING. Pregnancy suits you, dear. Can’t wait to snuggle your little man in just a couple months! Enjoy your last Christmas as a family of two!:)

  • Lauren - Oh yay! Thank you so much! I can’t wait to see the rest!!!! :)

Devon is a RIOT. She’s hilarious, has killer style, and is crazy talented… she’s one of my favorite senior photographers in our entire area of the country. She also happened to be friends with Mack when they were in high school. So, lots of connections there.:)We were so excited to finally get to meet her husband and adorable daughter after all these years, when we met up for the family’s Christmas pictures in downtown Fort Worth last week!

Here are just a couple favorites of the awesome-sauce Jones family:


Jenzen is completely gorgeous. Like, I hope her daddy is polishing his shotgun already, gorgeous.


We love you guys! Let’s hang out again soon, this time, without a camera in Justin’s face. He’ll like us more that way, I promise!;)

  • Devon J. - OHEMGEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, so SO in LOVE with these!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I seriously couldn’t love them more. Thank you so much.

  • Blair Ramon - What a beautiful family session! <3 Devon you look extra Fabulous! <3

  • Megan Stephenson - I love this family A LOT!! Great pictures!!!

  • janette stingl - gorgeous work

I love this session a lot. Like, a LOT A LOT. Almost an absurd amount.

It’s not because Alison & Sergej are so awesome… although they are. They are some of the most genuine, unaffected, open & honest people we’ve ever met, and hanging out with them was a breath of fresh air in our busy season.

It’s not because baby Nikolai is so gorgeous… although he is. Oh man, he’s positively scrumptious. Mack kept having to remind me, “Chelsea, we can’t take the baby home.”

It’s not because we got to Chicago… although that was fabulous. We were so honored when Alison & Sergej trusted our early work enough to bring us to their city in 2010 for their wedding. To be called back four years later to meet their son, and photograph family portraits at the same address where they said their marriage vows? That was phenomenal.

Nope, above all those things, I love this session because it’s REAL. It’s un-fussy. It’s at home, “this is life”, comfortable. It’s going to matter to this family in 50 years, in 100 years. Mack and I walked away from this session knowing that we’d just created a time capsule for the Henning family… a relic of what their lives were like in their first married home, with their first baby, right before his first Christmas. This was an honor & a privilege, and we’re so so proud of the images.

Enough emotional talking… just look at it, and you’ll see what I mean:


This spot is pretty much exactly where Alison & Sergej said “I Do” in August 2010… I couldn’t resist heading up to the roof again, even if it was a little blustery!


We didn’t have to bust out acrobatics or crazy noises to make Nikolai grin like this. He’s genuinely the happiest baby we’ve EVER photographed. Just FULL of joy all day long… no doubt his parents are doing something right.:)


These next few images tug on my heartstrings something fierce. I wish I had thought to have portraits like this taken when I was nursing my babies. Such an incredibly intimate moment. I’m so grateful Alison approved these images for the blog… it’s such a beautiful connection!


Want a quintessentially “Chicago” photo without braving the crowds at The Bean?? Just take your photographers with you to the top of Sears tower! If someday Nikolai tells his therapist about a fear of heights, we’ll know where it all started.;)


You guys… thank you! We have so enjoyed every second we’ve gotten to spend with y’all, then & now. We hope it won’t be the last time we get to explore your super-cool city and hang out with your super-fun selves.:)Merry first Christmas, Nikolai!

  • Alison - WOAH! Wow. wooooow. I have so many favorites! Thank you Chelsea & Mack! Thank you. Remember when we were stepping out onto the Sears Tower ledge and I said, “This was a stupid idea.” and you replied, “Might I remind you, it was your idea!” Well – I think it was all a great idea all over again. :) I’m SO glad you guys were willing to fly across the country to capture our little family so perfectly. You’re right – we will cherish these snapshots in time forever. Thank you!

If you’re friends with me (Chelsea) or Mack on Facebook, you will have seen lots of mention of the current home renovation we’re undergoing. I promise, when it’s done (somewhere in the wonderful, sweet, quite nebulous future), we’ll be sharing some fun “Before & After” photos of all the work we’re doing. But admittedly, right now, it’s hard to see past the hardcore bummer of not being able to decorate our home for Christmas. It’s no secret that we go HARD for holidays, and we’ve always done big Christmas. So this year, we’re getting it in other ways, trying to pump our lives full of that spirit of cheer even if we can’t have a living room tree.

So you can bet that when Katie said she wanted to fully embrace the Christmas season in her engagement session with James, I JUMPED for joy and started planning all sorts of seasonal wonderfulness. This session is so perfectly THEM, and made our hearts so happy to photograph. I’m in love with every single frame, and if their reactions to the sneak peeks are any indication, Katie & James will love them just as much.:)

Check out some of our favorites from this snuggly-wonderful Christmas engagement session!


Grrrrr… girlfriend, you’s a hottie.


Hot cocoa, gingerbread cookies, and classic records make for a perfect holiday picnic!


Sundance Square at Christmas is a special kind of magical!


You. GUYS. So much wonderful. What a great way to kick off 2015’s excitement! Pensacola will be here before you know it, and we’re so jazzed to get to go on your wedding adventure with you!

  • Katie - Chelsea and Mack, I am speechless and in tears! These pictures are better than I could’ve dreamed! Thank you for capturing our love for each other with your amazing talent! I loved every minute of the experience! And whoa…I really am a hottie!!!!

  • Lauren - Gah! So much pretty!! I have the warm Christmas fuzzies! These pictures are just so perfect! Chelsea & Mack, y’all do such an awesome job showcasing life’s special moments. It is such a treat to see your work on the blog everyday.

  • Emily Davis - To my lovely friend Katie – what glorious pictures of you both! Kudos to all involved and I am so happy for you!

  • Robin - Absolutely wonderful, gorgeous! You captured the true “glow” of Katie’s and James’ happiness! Chelsea and Mack – you create such incredible images. I’ve been smiling all morning!

  • Aaron - McG being McG, sharing their amazing gift, (insert British accent) well done mates! Katie, you are stunning! You two look and are absolutely perfect together. (P.S. Love the dress and boots!)

  • James - Thank you for these gifts. Each picture a present – captures our joy in the moment, and is wrapped with your talent, imagination, and humor. I look so forward to opening them all. Corny metaphors aside… Thanks.