One of the greatest compliments you can get as a photographer is a returning client.
Last year I had the opportunity to work with this sweet family for the first time. I love getting to see the growth over a year of time. For the little ones, there is such a difference in their developmental levels. It is always amazing to me when one year a little one will hardly say a few words to me and the next year they are talking my ear off and wanting to push every button on my camera and help me hold the reflector and telling me where they want their picture taken! Haha! It always makes me laugh the things these little ones will say and do! One of the best pieces of advice I ever received and one I share with my clients is “Just go with it!”. It is SO very true and VERY important. Photography sessions don’t always go according to plan with these little ones but remembering that this is a foreign experience for your small children and allowing them some amount of freedom to just be will be a blessing to your session and less stressful over all. An hour may not seem like a long time to an adult (or it might for pictures!) but for a small child, an hour can seem like eternity!! Planning little breakouts- time for each child to take a break and play for a moment- will help ease tension and stress for the child (and the parent).
A second family session tip- go in with an open mind. Often I have ffamilies sending me “poses” they want. In an effort to best serve my clients, I always try to take these desires into consideration as I am shooting. It always amazes me when Christmas cards come in the mail (yes, I often get client Christmas cards and I LOVE it!) and the images of their family they have chosen to share are the in-between moments that were captured. The ones in-between everyone looking perfectly at the camera. Little Raiden was just a few months old at the time and as far a babies go, there were NO smiles from him. He just stared at me. The whole time. Usually I can get some sort of emotion out of my little ones but oh man, not from Raiden. This year, he was FULL of emotion. But his emotion was very much on his own terms. There were no smiles on demand, no looking at the camera because I was trying to get his attention. But, we were still able to capture moments of Raiden. And some of his pictures are my favorite from the whole session even though they were on his terms. I seriously love the one-year mark! Their little personalities start to come out more and more. You see the attitude, the determination, and the adventure in these little ones! When you go into a session with an open mind, you might just be surprised at some of the images we are able to create together.
P.S. Can you find the creature that decided to join our session this year? Last year it was Magnus the pup. This year we had two little white-tailed bucks! So fun!