The start of my career as a family photographer dates back to 2010 when I went on a trip to Florida with my sister and my two nieces. I had a little point and shoot and two of the world’s cutest, most willing subjects, and there was a beach and golden light and reflections in the sand. That was it, I was hooked. My nieces, four and two at the time, ran around at the edge of the water, totally comfortable in their bright bathing suits, colorful sunglasses, hair a mess from the humidity and a day of playing in the sand. They were totally free and wild and uninhibited. They loved the attention; I loved the opportunity to photograph subjects who weren’t self conscious or worried about how they looked or if something I asked them to do seemed silly. Some of my favorite photographs that I’ve ever taken were captured in those moments. And my love for photographing families absolutely took root and started to grow at that time.
Flash forward to 2015, my second year being in business full time photographing new and growing families. Children are still my favorite subject and family photography is truly my passion. Not every kid trusts me right off the bat – in fact, most don’t. They get out of the car and give me a look and are a little apprehensive about the whole photo shoot idea. They don’t love standing still, they don’t react well when the adults start telling them where to stand and what to do, and there are usually some blank stares and timid glances in those first few photos I take. Or there’s outright defiance and refusal to give hugs or smiles or let loose. Regardless, I love it and find so much joy in documenting them as they are, happy and playful or moody and full of sauce.
But I don’t give up easily and I refuse to admit defeat. Slowly but surely, maybe after a few jokes or after I dance around with their favorite stuffed animal balanced on my head, eventually they start to warm up to me. This is the part of family photography that I really love. Getting a chance to win over a toddler. Having the opportunity to make a little one smile. Taking the time to ask questions and laugh and do more than just take pictures. I love that I am welcomed into these family’s lives and can find ways to connect to the little ones while getting to know the parents. I almost always leave a session with a smile on my face and wishing that it wouldn’t be weird if I texted Mom for a playdate or to meet up for a glass of wine. Mostly, I want to be friends with everyone, and being a family photographer gives me that chance for an hour or two during each session.
This family was no different, although the little guy was off and running with stories and telling me stuff and talking non stop from the minute they got out of the car. We were fast friends and he told me all about the things he saw as we walked along the trail, and he shared his excitement about the truck(s) his parents promised if he was good and smiled for the camera. The best part was getting a text from Mom later that evening saying he asked about me a bunch and talked about how funny I was on the drive home. 🙂