I love photographing repeat clients because I love to see how their family is growing, how personalities are developing, and how much they still enjoy one another. This family is no exception! We had been postponing their family session since June – it was such a long hot summer; but landed on a great fall day at a location that still had really beautiful flowers. Ironically, this day was the first cold snap since the long hot summer, so I wasn’t sure how comfortable it was going to be. “Bring a warm blanket to wrap the baby in between shots,” I texted to the mom. “Should I bring hot chocolate to the session?” I asked my husband. We had moved to the Indianapolis area since I photographed this Fort Wayne family last, so I didn’t have my usual access to grabbing last minute things in my house. God was merciful and this one hour we spent together was the loveliest part of the day! And I did bring a surprise!!!
I’m always scouting for great locations to photograph families and seniors in. I thought I had found one in a neighbor’s abundant flower gardens, but she very humbly told me her gardens are nothing in comparison to the county extension office. It sounds so bureaucratic, doesn’t it? It’s actually a county-based service to study soil and agricultural techniques – so they always have their scientific experiments nearby that they are testing. For a photographer that translates to lush and abundant flower gardens to use as portrait settings. For the casual gardener that translates to happy help for all your home garden questions. If you didn’t know that little life tip already, you’re welcome!
When the family arrived – a family with five kids – it was squeals and laughter and energy tumbling out of their faithful mini van. I used that momentum to play with the kids a little bit before I started posing them so they could get comfortable with me. It didn’t take long, and we were soon moving about the gardens. One of my favorite spots in this garden is the potting shed. When you move behind it, it looks just like a storybook cottage. I’m quite sure the family didn’t know what I saw through my camera lens as I squatted down in the midst of dying flowers, but I was so glad I did (see the photos below)!
Every session needs to have a rhythm – especially with kids. Wind them up, give them a break. Play a game, let them rest. Give them something to do, engage them from behind the camera. My theory is that family photos should be a fun experience for them that turns into a fond memory. This family does a lot of play-time together, so I made sure to incorporate that in this short hour that we spent together. I piled them onto their parents lap for stories and snuggles. I let them explore the gardens around them. I played a racing game with them where they had to wait for me to say the right word before they could take off toward the camera. I let them tackle Daddy and snuggle in close with Mommy.
My favorite part was keeping the bubble guns a secret until it was time for me to take some special portraits of the parents. Here’s another pro tip: When working with multiple kids, bring someone along to help, like their favorite babysitter or aunt. This time it happened to be my husband, who had never been to a session with me before! Thanks to him, he played with the kids and the bubble guns while I got mom and dad to focus on each other for a few minutes. I like to call these moments “mini-dates”. It’s amazing how quickly parents can get relaxed and content when you give them permission to just focus on each other!
I have two favorite memories related to this particular family portrait session – the squeals of delight from the kids while I was photographing them, and the squeals of delight from mom when I reviewed the portraits with her a week later.
SEE MORE PHOTOS…
Putting a smile back in the world…
- Posted by hellobabs
- On October 29, 2021
- 0 Comment