I always love having sessions with one of “my families” as I call them….they are the clients that I meet for the first time for a newborn or maternity session and then together we begin the journey of documenting their family as it grows and changes. We plan photo sessions for all the important events…when the baby starts smiling, sitting up, or walking for the first time. We meet for birthday sessions and fall portrait sessions so they can make their holiday cards. I’ve been with them during those first few exciting and sleepless days of the newborn stage when their lives have just changed in the most amazing, yet overwhelming, way possible. I know all about how their pregnancies went, what their birth stories are, and how the postpartum roller coaster is affecting their lives. I have been there to document the toddler days with the wild mood swings ranging from laughter and smiles to tears and meltdowns. Then we start all over again when the next baby is born! And I look forward to the days when eventually I am shooting their child’s senior portraits and graduations as well.
There is a beauty to this type of relationship and I can think of very few professions in which you can develop something like this with your clients. It is one of the many things I love about what I do. I become really invested in getting to know the family and what they are all about. I get to know what makes for a successful shoot, what they expect, and what the children’s likes and dislikes are. With every session, I learn more and more about them and I find this to be a tremendous gift that enables me to capture the best photos possible. I think it is so important for people to seek out a professional photographer who is technically skilled, but I also think it is even more critical to find someone who you feel comfortable with as well. Someone who puts you at ease and reminds you regularly that even if it seems like your children are not cooperating (which most parents do feel, including myself when I shoot photos of my own little girl!), that the photos will be beautiful anyway and that sometimes the imperfection leads to an even more perfect photo than any of us could have planned or imagined.
So last weekend, I had the opportunity to shoot with one of “my families” at Elizabeth Park to capture some great family photos and document their little boy’s new skill of walking. As most shoots are with toddlers, it had everything from the most adorable of laughs to the saddest of tears. And though I am not including any crying shots in my top picks for this session, I will most certainly put them into their gallery. And I can tell you without hesitation that they will love those shots as well. Because these moments are so real and represent all of the beautiful sides of what parenting a toddler is all about. For today, I am just going to show you some of my favorite, tear-free shots from our session. Here are my top picks…
In the next photo, I was shooting some father son shots, but our little man was giving me all serious, no smiles at all. Until suddenly, he saw his mama walking back to us in the park after having run back to their car for a minute. The following shows his response to catching sight of her. Easily, one of my favorite moments in our session. A perfect example of how perfection is born from a completely imperfect moment. Love it!