That time we had our best Christmas photo shoot ever, at Target.

I was determined to cut down a real tree this year. It’s been a dream of mine since getting married to take part in this classic tradition.

(I grew up Jewish so naturally I want ALL THE CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS that I missed during childhood)

I longed to fill our house with the aroma of pine and string lights across the tree’s perfectly imperfect branches.

Plus we have at least 10+ tree farms within a 15 mile radius of our home.

Easey peasey, right?


No one else in my family is even remotely interested in trekking through the woods, in the freezing cold, to care for a live tree all December long.

Even so, I thought I might have some pull this year — last year the lights on our fake tree died a painful death, we moved into a new house, and our kiddo loves nature!

Upon suggesting a real tree this year I was still left with eyerolls and blank stares.

Operation tree farm…no go.

Then it hit me while browsing the Black Friday deals after Thanksgiving. The thing we REALLY needed to do instead.

On a random Sunday morning in early December I called my BFF photographer friend, Alicia of Love Knot Photo, and mentioned this new grand plan. She giggled with delight, grabbed her husband, hopped in the car with our family an hour later, and over brunch that morning we planned an epic holiday family photo shoot.

At Target.

Yes yes. Target is amazing. We all know this.

But friends…Target holds a special weight in the Young household.

This was not just any Target. This was the exact Target store where the Mr. and I met while working there behind the Guest Service desk almost 20 years ago. (shout out to Sterling, VA Target store 1009!!!) 

We returned to OUR store to hunt for and select the perfect FAKE tree to erect in our new home this year.

Sooooooooooo much better than a live tree. I mean, a family photo shoot at the local tree farm is SO overdone, am I right?!

Without further ado, here’s our family setting what I’m sure will be the new trend in holiday family sessions next year. ?


P.S. Want to learn how to more confidently capture your family story using a DSLR camera in the months ahead? Our signature class Momtography™ Online is open for registration. In 6 weeks you’ll master our simple system for shooting in manual mode and learn to finally rock that big fancy camera. Check out all the details HERE.

We begin our adventure by settling in at the Sterling Target Greatland.

No trip to find the perfect tree is complete without first stopping off for the perfect cup of hot cocoa.

With our cups full and our bellies warm we’re off to select our favorite tree!

In the spirit of Christmas, we must ‘cut down’ our fake tree, right? This mallet will surely do the trick!

We found it!!!! Our tree!! First ‘little miss sunshine’ gives chopping down the tree a try.

Dad steps in to finish the job. Good work dad!

The perfect Christmas tree. Mission complete. Almost…

Next, it’s time to choose some fun and funky new decor and ornaments to add a bit of color and flair.

Our day of tree hunting is almost complete. With the tree acquired, it’s time for a few updated family portraits before heading home. Good thing Target has plenty of festive outfits to choose from.

Hello world. The Young Family is ready for the holidays!

Time to get this baby loaded up on the roof and get her home for many years of sparkling holiday magic.

Until next time, thanks for the happy memories once again Sterling Target Greatland!