Kate Farrell Photography

Family & Dog photographer
Burlington, stowe & Northern Vt




My Favorite Vermont Family and Dog Photo Session Images, 2023

There’s nothing like short December days to get me looking back on the year. Today, I’m sharing my favorite Vermont family and and dog photo session images from 2023 to highlight moments that really stood out.

I’m so over it with competition. Over the years I’ve become more of a “tide that raises all boats” or “know better, do better” girl. These aren’t the winners, just photos that warmed my heart or brought a big smile to my face. I’m pretty sure these favorites from my 2023 family photo sessions will do the same for you!

Mother-Son Moment

What is it about rocks and toddlers? My boys used to LOVE to jump off rocks at that age too!

As a mother of four, former teacher and now Vermont family and dog photographer, I am totally happy to roll at toddler (or baby or tween or teenager or puppy) pace during a family photo session. It’s a joy to see the world through the eyes of little people and I love photographing them at play and being supported by their parents.

I loved the way Mom encouraged T on these “big” rocks. I could tell she was excited for him and a little bit worried too. Gosh, that is such a relatable parenting feeling that repeats in new ways year after year with each child.

Mom encouraging her toddler son as he climbs on rocks during a fall Vermont family photo session.

Mother-Daughter Connection

I love to encourage moments of real connection during each photo session. At this family photo session, I asked Mom to whisper in her daughter’s ear something that recently made her proud. I was ready to capture her young teen daughter’s response. The two were genuinely laughing so happy in this moment — and it was their moment. I don’t know what she said.

Mom and teen daughter laughing at a late summer family photo session in Vermont.

Father-Daughter Moment

This teen is graduating high school in a few months. Her parents had told me they were both very proud of her and sad that she’ll be leaving the nest soon. Their family session was a chance to celebrate the beautiful family they’ve built.

This moment of laughter was so genuine and relaxed. I had just taken some more traditional father-daughter portraits. Then the family golden retriever started doing something silly behind me and l love the expressions on their faces with the soft Burlington, Vermont fall foliage in the background.

Dad and teen daughter share a laugh during a late fall Vermont family photo session.

Father-Son Moment

These guys were on a family vacation to the Champlain Islands. What a great place to spend the last full week of summer!

I had asked H to tell Dad what he was most looking forward to on their trip. I think it’s fair to say they were both very excited about the week away from the city!

Father and son hug on the shore of Lake Champlain during a summer Vermont family photo session.

Puppy Eyes

If you have a dog, you probably know the puppy eyes look. It can say, “I love you.” But, more likely it says, “Time to pay the cheese tax!” or “Let’s go for a walk.”

It’s a photo I try to take of most dogs because it is taken from a point of view their human often holds. Plus, it tends to be a super cute portrait.

Here’s one of my client favorites from 2023 taken in Williston, Vermont…

A dog seems to smile for the camera during a Williston Vermont family photo session.

And here’s one of my Willow! She’s director of Location Scouting here at KFP and uses her puppy eyes to be sure I get out to play most days!

Puppy eyes from a Labrador Retriever with Vermont fall foliage on the ground.

Sometimes, I get the chance to get lots of puppy eyes in one photo! Oh my goodness, this was good fun in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom!

Three dogs look at the camera during a North East Kingdom family photo session.

Playful Adult

Rarely have I seen an adult play and have more fun than the dogs. In part due to some health issues, D was a bit uneasy about the family photo session his wife scheduled. He even told her he was doing it because he knew how much it mattered to her. Talk about true love!

A man grins at the camera with his dog in Vermont's North East Kingdom.

As it turned out, he had tons of fun! Health challenges or not, his inner 8 year old boy just loved playing with the four family dogs. Meanwhile, I was in my element capturing genuine smiles, pure joy and some totally silly and playful moments.

Sibling Love

It was just a little toddler tumble, but I loved the way Big Sister helped Little Sister (who happened to be a newbie walker) get back on her feet at this family photo session. Not much fills my mama heart like siblings looking out for each other.

Two young girls walk in a field during a Williston Vermont family photo session.

Proud Kiddo

Speaking of newbie walkers, E had taken only a few steps before her family photo session this spring. It ceases to me how determined babies are when they learn to walk. They fall and get up so many times while learning to walk and when they finally get it, they are just too proud. It’s an exciting moment to document for a family.

A toddler takes tentative first steps in Jericho, Vermont.

Dog in Action

I love a good action photo! Shelly is getting on in years and so her physical activity is a bit limited these days. But, given the chance to jump, she sure showed us she’s still is a pup at heart!

A dog jumps over an agility jump.

Dog and Human

There are as many ways to show the dog-human connection in a photo as there are dog-human bonds. These two young Pomeranians were traveling to Vermont from Massachusetts. After getting some more traditional portraits at this family photo session, I decided to try something that would emphasize how tiny these guys are.

Two Pomerain puppies pose near their people's feet during a family photo session in Johnson, Vermont.

Silhouette: My Favorite way to end a Vermont photo session!

A silhouette is probably my favorite way to end a family photo session! However, not every location is amenable to a silhouette and even then we need a pretty evening sky. When I get the chance, I always try to grab a silhoutte as the sun is dropping below the horizon.

This one on the shore of Lake Champlain was taken at the end of a fun family session that had us exploring the family’s backyard as well as a nearby park. Mom and the family dog walk through this park most days so I was very excited to capture this image for her.

Silhouette of a family of four and their dog on the shore of Lake Champlain.

Interested in booking your own Vermont family and/or pet photo session?

I’d love to meet you! Please reach out through the contact button on my website so we can start planning your session!


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Kate Farrell is a professional lifestyle family and dog photographer based in Williston, Vermont, serving Burlington, Stowe and Northern Vermont. 

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