Outdoor Family Sessions
I love documenting the connection between you: things and moments you do together. More than a regular 'look at me and try to smile' kind of picture. The more sessions I do, the more I feel that the 'perferct picture' is really overrated. Some kids are ok with strangers, and some are not. But the expectation of 'everyone is happy at the same moment' puts enormous pressure on all the participants. And our kids can sense that also. I have met very few kids, who love to stand and smile, especially between ages one and ten. It has to be interesting for them, or it has to be a game. But look at their faces and how they light up when you focus on interaction and playing together. The smiles are more genuine, and the experience is mentally easier for everyone. Yes, you have to get involved more. But you know, we want to repeat and recreate funny pictures in some years.
I don't dismiss the formal 'card' picture; I offer to do some of them. I know how important those are for the grandparents. But I'd love us to focus more on being present with each other at the moment and capturing those memories, then trying one way or the other to 'stand and smile'.
Let's have fun during the family photos and accept all the moods and feelings of our kids. It's us, adults, who need those pictures, not them. Let's put realistic expectations for 2-3-4 years old instead of practicing with them how to 'do cheese.' They are gorgeous in their movement, curiosity, and silliness.
Remember what you love doing with them. Think about your expectations for your family session. Ask all the questions from your photographer and be realistically ready for the location you've chosen. And if everything goes a bit differently from what you've imagined, take a deep breath and embrace the situation.