Cynthia emailed me to let me know she had picked her favorite pictures for their album, from their recent family photography session. She also mentioned that her print order was in her online cart. I looked at her cart and laughed out loud. I was so happy and pleasantly surprised by what I saw. She was ordering a larger print for her wall, of one of my favorite photos from their backyard family photography session. It was far from what most people consider the “perfect” family photo, and to me it was so perfect. 

When I looked in Cynthia’s cart and saw she picked a family photo where it looks like all hell is breaking loose, I was over the moon. Being parents of two toddler boys, this is a snapshot of real life. It is comical to see the chaos, and comforting to know you are surviving the toddler years. These are all stages. We go from one to the next, and no two are the same. Each year brings things you love and things you could do without. Even as a parent of an 18 and 19 year old, I still feel this rings true.

I have done both of the boys newborn sessions, as well as first year portrait sessions and yearly family photography. I have watched their family grow and love working with them. Grayson, the older boy is one of the sweetest little guys I know, and he has an awesome sense of humor. Bennett is following in his brother’s footsteps. So silly and fun. As we all know, the kids run the show and we have to follow their lead. Coming to that understanding makes the photo session so much more fun. It’s all about being spontaneous and going with the natural flow. Not forcing anything.

This shoot was no different. The boys set the mood and it was straight up silly. Both sets of grandparents were there, which was a great addition to the fun. There was a lot happening, so we kept the focus on playing and having fun, with some traditional pics of the whole extended family mixed in. The boys had lots of energy. We tried to keep up the best we could!

This fall I made a point to shoot more documentary lifestyle family photos. All of my family photo sessions this fall started in my clients’ homes. Read my blog on the Huffington Post, as to why your home is the best place for family photos. I feel like they are so much more meaningful in the long run. This generation will enjoy seeing their real life, not stuffy forced smiles. The “playdate” style family photography sessions were a huge hit this season. It’s amazing how fun your backyard can be! I had a blast, no tears from the kids and the parents seemed to be much more relaxed. I am so happy my clients are seeing the beauty in their everyday lives and in the photos of their families being 100% authentic. I have a new love of family photography sessions, and I think my clients do too.

silly toddler pulling shirt over his head during family photography lifestyle photo session

baby crawling away from family in backyard during family photos sessionbaby boy playing in backyard sand box during lifestyle photo shoot brothers playing in sandbox in backyard during family photo shoot dad holding his sons little one is holding his stuffed animal little boy playing in his room and smiling toddler playing hide and seek with his mom in his room

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