Growing Season with the Wilkens

How It Started

You know those people you meet and you just click? That’s what it was like meeting Kylee and her family of cowboys and little cowgirl.

I first met Kylee and her family during a multi-generational family session in the fall of 2020. You know how it is in rural America; we’re all connected. Turns out Kylee’s husband Matt’s sister is married to one of my husband Andy’s good friends! Did you follow that? (It’s okay if you didn’t.)


A few months later, I launched my first round of 4 Seasons and Growing Season packages. I had no idea what to expect upon launching, but it wasn’t long after that I had a message from Kylee wanting to book.

“We wanted a way to capture our “real” life moments and memories.”

Kylee and Matt raise cattle and Quarter Horses along with their 3 children in South Central Nebraska. They have a home bred and raised stud horse that they use. The Growing Season photo package is perfect for capturing their quickly growing kids and operation.

Spring 2021

We began in Spring of 2021, and right away I couldn’t believe how her kids took to the animals, both the calves they were pairing off that day and especially their horses. Even little Oaklee was in on the action.

baby with a cattle tag


The rest of 2021 was filled with rodeo practice in their at home arena, fencing corn stalks, and moving cattle.

Season 1: Branding

Fast forwarding to 2022, we started their Growing Season package with branding day. I’ve heard a lot of branding stories, but this was the first time I’d actually gotten to experience one!



It’s truly an “all hands on deck” day where everyone has a role so the process can operate quickly and efficiently.


Season 2: Summertime

Next, we spent a warm summer evening at home. The boys took me around to visit all their animals including….


Roping goats…

boy with goat


A bucket calf for the fair

boy with calf


A pony named Berni (occasionally known as Buckin’ Berni)

boys with pony

boys with pony

A few turns on the bucking barrel (that belonged to Matt as a kid!)


And of course some turns with their trusty Quarter Horse, Mack.


Season 3: Cattle Drive

Finally, we wrapped up the third session with a cattle drive.

In each session, I could tell how much the kids had grown and changed since the time before. Westin even got to ride solo in the cattle drive!

“I take pictures all the time, but those are only photos from my perspective. Having Hannah capture our family as a whole makes it so much better,” Kylee said.


Typically it’s moms that take the day-to-day pictures, the photos I like to call shoebox photos. But except for a few selfies here and there, Mom usually doesn’t get to be in the pictures. In each of my sessions, I make sure to capture moms and their roles on the operation.


Here are a few of my favorite photos of Kylee:

I’ll soon be delivering the photo book that ties together the year into a keepsake album.


“I also love the fact that the photos actually get made into books…something I don’t take time to do myself!”

Life moves quickly, and I am so grateful to be able to capture these everyday photos for Kylee and her family, with 2023 marking our third year of seasonal shoots!

2023 4 Seasons and Growing Season packages are open for booking! For more information, click here.


Leave a Comment.