If you have kids, you’ve probably been there before yourself. You save and you prepare, and finally it’s family picture day. You dress up in your finest and do your hair and head out to a beautiful park to get some lifestyle pictures taken (the kind where everything’s pretty great, but it’s not too staged or posed).
And then your kid doesn’t want to get dressed, wants to go to a different park. One where there’s a festival happening and you know you’ll never find a parking space. Everyone’s finally ready to go and now it’s way later than you planned and the harsh sun is overhead. Your partner for life has been dreading this and you are trying to hold it together with one another, but it’s hard to be patient when everything’s falling apart on something you had hoped would turn out just right.
And so it went with this amazing family. We went to a park where they remembered there was a nice trail. But we parked by the playground, so of course that had to come first.
Eventually we all got to a spot where they could have a quick snuggle together to get that family picture they were wishing for.
But their little man wasn’t having it, and refused to come over for pictures. So they pretended this leaf was their son.
And sure enough, he did NOT want to be replaced by a leaf, so he came running over. And we got those pictures they were hoping for.
Then we headed down a trail, brushing away spider webs and dripping sweat. It turned out to be way warmer than we planned. And way steeper than we thought. And way more overgrown than they remembered.
But as we went along, their son thought it was a grand adventure and took great pride in leading the way down the steep path!
Turned out the path lead to the road, so we headed back up and tried somewhere else they like to go – a beautiful garden.
They ran and climbed and explored…
And we got another nice family picture.
And I get it. I truly, truly do. Even as I lean more and more towards documentary photography, I understand that it is SO nice to have that family picture. The one where everyone is together and happy. I want those of my family also! It’s why I always promise a nice, whole-family-together picture at each family session. We usually try to get it done first, and then spend the rest of the time relaxing and playing and just being together. Your session does NOT have to be stuffy or uncomfortable or something you just want to get done. It can be SO MUCH FUN! It’s a busy world. So making time to just be together and do your thing for your photo session is a welcome retreat.
But I love this stuff the most. The little moments, the in-betweens.
The super fun thing about this particular session, is that I got to stay overnight the night before their session. And so I got all this fun time with the little man that morning, as mom and dad were getting ready. Love this guy.
Love to paint with him,
Play hide and seek with him,
Read with him,
And see that he still has his blanket and his Bear Bear.
Love you all. Thank you for sweating with me and exploring with me and then just being yourselves with me. I know that this session definitely did not go the way that you planned, but I hope it makes you happy to see your family the way I see your family: joyful, imperfect, real, brave, sometimes silly, sometimes wild, and so full of love. I am glad that we got a couple of all of you happy together, plus a little slice of your real everyday life, too!
For this guy’s first year session, head over here!
If you’d like that quick pic of your family all together, then a whole bunch of your real lives and your crazy/loving/quiet/wild/silly/sweet moments together, tell me about it over here!