Watching the kids grow up – and some tips and tricks.

One of the greatest honors of photographing families year after year is that you get to see the kids grow up. This is awesome for a couple reasons. First, this is an honor reserved mainly for family. Second, the kids recognize me and and are more relaxed. More relaxed equals great photos!

I started photographing this lovely family when the oldest was less than a year old. We had such a great first session! Over the years they have entrusted me with remembering the small moments. You see, I’m a parent too. And when I look at my college aged child, I sometimes take a step back and wonder where the time went. Really, even if my kid, with a photographer as a mom, was very well documented, it still catches me off guard that she is all grown up.

This is one of the reasons I do what I do. To save the moments you think you will always remember.


What also makes for a great session – trust. Having worked with the family for years – they know what to expect from me. They trust me.


One of the things I love to do is have fun! And fun can be running around or making silly faces!


I work hard to get you great images. Here are a few tips I’ve come up with over the years.

1 – Remember really young kids have an undeveloped sense of time – so those bribes of going somewhere or a reward AFTER the session mean nothing to them. They will want them NOW or 3 minutes from now. AKA, they don’t work or don’t work well. Slip the photog a few small and non messy food/candy treat out of sight of the kids. Offer the treats when needed. COVID UPDATE: During the time of COVID, this won’t work as planned. Parents will need to hide the bribe and work with me on timing.

2 – Let me set the pace and tone. Stress over not smiling is infectious and your kids will become stressed and that makes for poor pix.

3 – Let me let you know when I need your help. Don’t tell your kids to smile. Please. You’ll be looking at them, telling them to smile and they will and there will be a great shot of them smiling and you with clenched teeth looking at them.

4- Manage expectations. Do they listen to you all the time? Someone of the time? None of the time? Why expect different in a situation they may never have been in. They are kids. Let them be kids and reveal in the craziness that is your life right at this moment. The days are long and the years are short. You will miss these days. you will laugh at these moments… probably not for years, but one day…

5 – Well fed and rested make for happy kids. This goes for adults too. Get coffee and some carbs before the shoot for yourself.

6 – Trust the photog. They have done this before. What you see as a hot mess, isn’t.

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