I try to host a round of fall mini-sessions every year before the leaves completely disappear and the cooler weather hits for good. After an incredibly busy wedding season, I wasn’t sure if I’d have time for minis this year, but luckily, it worked out and the second weekend in November set the perfect stage. Although it was chilly – and by chilly, I mean the kind of cold that turns your ears and your nose red within minutes, and has your teeth chattering in no time – the sun was bright, the leaves were vibrant and God gave us lots of golden light just before sunset.

I photographed five beautiful families during my minis this year, each making me more grateful that I was able to host them after all. We laughed, we shivered, we talked about how excited we are for the holidays and the kids played in the leaves or watched the farm animals graze.

My last fall mini wrapped up just before the sun started to go down, and it was the perfect combination of playful and tenderhearted. I’ve known this little family of three for most of my life and love that I’ve gotten to document several of their sweet milestones over the years. Here are a few of my favorites from The Nickell family’s fall mini-session. I do feel like it’s necessary to point out that Miss Lydia (5) was the one running the show, and we had to move fast so she could go feed the horsey!