Couldn’t have asked for a better model for this kids lifestyle shoot!
Photographing children and families with children is one of the best parts of what I do…and a great workout; trying to keep up with youngsters is no joke! Not long ago, I once again had the lovely experience of photographing Shannon, Rachelle, and their growing family — one of the sweetest you could ever meet. And just like all my returning family clients, I am truly honored to know them, watch their family grow, and capture their most important moments for them. I love these sessions because they feel like a reunion with old friends.
I first had the pleasure of photographing Shannon and Rachelle at their wedding in 2008. Then came pregnancy and newborn photos with darling boy Dylan and, recently, the same with darling girl Ellie. Ellie was still in mama’s belly at the time of this shoot, but she arrived happy and healthy soon afterwards and was absolutely precious in her recent newborn portraits. (Stay tuned for more on Ellie.)
So how did we get from that state of mind to these happy images? With a little patience and a lot of fun. Through years of experience, I have learned to quickly build a rapport with young kids and redirect if things start to go awry. For starters, I first spend time just connecting — without cameras and other equipment. I gauge whether a child is in a shy or outgoing mood in order to match their energy. I might even enlist them as “assistants”, asking them what we need to get done and how they think we should do it.
In Dylan’s case, something as simple as a silly face contest did the trick. Before you could say “stairway”, he was all ready to smile for the camera!
Parents often worry that their shoot won’t go well if their children aren’t perfect angels at all times. But no one’s are, and that’s okay. This is supposed to be fun! Kids don’t have to be perfect to have a perfect family portrait photo shoot. They just have to be themselves, have fun, and we get to make it great!
Time flies. I realize now that it’s been over three years since I met Kerry, when she reached out to me for new headshots. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of photographing her as she and Chris were expecting their first child, and we’ve captured each phase of their darling girl’s first year. Kerry has an amazing eye for design, and her clean aesthetic comes through in her home and wardrobe. It’s always calming and inspiring to be in her home. But, of course, the star of the show is this amazing little girl, whose smile lights up the room. Every time I get to photograph her she absolutely wins my heart.
We had our first session when Josephine was a mere three weeks old, and I was delighted to bear witness to just how much her charm had blossomed six months later. I love how the warm, neutral tones in their home help to accentuate Josephine’s beautiful blue eyes.
We met for our third session just last month, before Josephine’s first birthday, when she and Kerry joined me for a mother-daughter session. It’s always such a blessing to be invited along on a family’s journey to capture these landmark moments.
I am so excited to see what the future has in store for this winsome, young family.
Bon anniversaire, Josephine!
Meet Noemi. I have the great pleasure of photographing her every year. I always look forward to seeing the whole family and getting a glimpse into the current state of mind of this charming and quickly growing child. She’s been a real joy to work with and seeing her personality develop has been so much fun; I especially love this phase, when finding a stick is like finding a magic wand.
I had to dig around in my inbox to figure out when I first photographed her. Think it might be time for one of those brain training programs! Turns out it was November of 2012; she was around 6 months old. Her parents opted for a three session family portrait package to capture her at 6 months, close to a year, and again at a year and a half. I remember my favorite image from our last session, and ended up sharing it on the blog as well. Our latest images capture a strong-willed two and a half year old who now insists on dressing herself and has learned the word “No!” So, you get it, she’s on her way to running the show completely (if she isn’t already.)
We did our session at Mills College, which is one of my favorite locations…and my alma mater. Seriously, this place is the gift that keeps on giving, as I never run out of backgrounds to use here. Kids love to run around and explore, finding plenty of fascinating treasures. Watching Noemi interact with this landscape helps me reconnect with that sense of wonder we sometimes lose sight of. Always remember, leaves and sticks are amazing, people!!!
Besides the fact that she is adorable and generally a hoot to photograph, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the behind the scenes actors who help make our sessions such a great success. David and Joyce, the wonderful people who brought us Noemi, are AWESOME. I wish I could film some of the scenes that occur on our shoots and share them with you, but alas, that just wouldn’t be right. These two know how to get their kid to laugh, and believe me, they deserve a medal for the funny dances and general hilarity they produce. Move over Zumba, this could be the latest workout craze…they are definitely burning some serious calories. I am generally focused on getting the shot, which is a shame, because I miss actually seeing most of it. But I can hear their antics and see Noemi’s response; laughter that makes my face hurt from smiling so much.