Erika Kao Photography  |  Bergen County Photographer  |  Wyckoff, New Jersey

As a photographer, the end of the year is a time when I think about the memories I've been entrusted to capture and my interpretation of the love that exists in the families I have been fortunate enough to photograph.

While reflecting on my work from this past year, it occurred to me that so often, books played a role in my sessions with families.  It was actually quite remarkable.  Sometimes a child volunteered to show me her favorite book, or sometimes I asked if there was a favorite book, but for each of these lucky little ones, books were always nearby, waiting.

It made me think of how prominent books are in my own home.  My daughters thumb through books on their own every day.  They ask to be read to every day, sometimes several times a day.  Every day ends with at least one story in bed, though it's usually more like two or three, despite that my husband and I are really quite tired!

Emilie Buchwald said "Children are made readers on the laps of their parents."  But it's so much more than that.  Set aside for a moment the obvious benefit of early exposure to words and language through reading aloud.  Reading books together is how parents and children express love to one another.  When a little girl asks you to read to her, she is saying she loves you.  And when you fulfill her request, you are saying you love her right back.

Thank you for letting me into your homes and your hearts.  It's been a beautiful year!