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

When I was little, my parents let me sit on the counter when they were cooking. Sometimes I helped, other times not. I always observed, though. Loved watching them "dance" around the kitchen turning individual ingredients into whole meals that provided my family with both nourishment and love. It was wonderful.

I still have some of my mother's favorite items in my kitchen. A cutting board, a wooden spoon, a wooden rolling pin with its own stand that I can still imagine her using.

So many memories happen in the kitchen. So much love lives in that room. There's a reason why the kitchen is usually the heart and soul of a home.

Same with this family. I've photographed them at home a few times now, and every time their kitchen is almost like another character in their story. It's a kitchen that is used and loved, and it's a place that's going to play a special role in the memories these children replay in their minds when they get older and can climb up on the counter all by themselves.

My special thanks to this family for allowing me a few moments of their time.