One of the biggest compliments for me to hear, is that a family had fun at their portrait session with me. I feel strongly that good memories need to be associated with the pretty pictures. I want kids to be themselves, and that means running, jumping, playing and exploring their surroundings.
It’s not just that I feel like I HAVE to let them do those things to get through the session. It’s that I believe doing those things actually makes the session better. Capturing a big genuine smile on a child’s face as he races down the slide, means more to me than a formal posed image.
I love photographing Hadley and Harper so much. They are so active and FULL of personality. I first met them at Harper’s newborn session, and love seeing them each year. How can you not smile when you look at those faces?
They also come to see me when I take Santa photos each year, and seeing Harper talk to Santa was one of my favorite moments from last year. If you haven’t signed up yet, spots are going quickly for my Santa photos at the Spring Station Middle School Holiday Marketplace on December 7. All the ticket sales from the Santa Pictures go directly to support the Spring Station Middle School Band. Book your slot today!
About 20 minutes into this outdoor family portrait session, my camera suddenly refused to take a photo. I looked down at my camera screen, and saw a warning that said I had a memory card error, and to remove the defective card. The card was somehow damaged, and could not be accessed at all. All of the photos I had taken of these beautiful girls so far, were not on the card.
That might have been a moment of panic. For an hour long session, 20 minutes of shooting is a significant number of photos. And the girls had done such an amazing job. We had sang and danced and giggled in the gorgeous light of the most beautiful yellow tree at Thompson Station Park.
But instead of panicking and mourning the loss of those pictures, I simply popped out that memory card and replaced it with another one. You see, I wasn’t worried about losing images, because my camera holds two memory cards. When I take photos, the images are copied to both cards, so that even during a session, I always have a backup. One card was damaged, but the other one was just fine, and had all the photos from the first part of the session. So I just continued shooting without issue, with a new card from my bag as a second backup.
In fact, I always have two copies of your portrait session images. Once I get home from a session, I immediately copy one of the memory cards onto my computer. The other memory card from the session is then stored in a case, not be erased until I have uploaded the session to my online gallery, at which point I’ll have a copy online and a copy on my hard drive.
And I am so glad there are, because I wouldn’t have wanted to miss one photo of these amazing girls. This is the third year now that I’ve been blessed to photograph this wonderful family. Last year, I wrote about how much I love to see repeat clients each year, and that’s still true today. Seeing how these young ladies grow and change each year is one of the best parts of my job. ❤️
A few years ago, my friend Stephanie from college hired me to do a portrait session for her oldest daughter Logan as she was about to start middle school. She wanted the session to focus on Logan as she made the transition from elementary to middle school, and I thought it was a great idea. We do milestones sessions all the time for babies, and then again when kids are seniors in high school, but those middle years often get left out. We need to document the lives of our tweens and younger teens too. I’d love to see more clients interested in photographing tweens
This year, Stephanie contacted me again, and this time it was a big year for both of her daughters. Logan is about to start high school, and her little sister Molly is about to start middle school. So she wanted a session for both of them to document this transitional time period in their lives, and I was super excited to get to hang out with both of them. They are really fantastic young women and we had the best time. They are both gorgeous and were so easy to photograph.
I couldn’t get over what fantastic weather we had for this late July session. I was a bit worried it would be insanely hot, like it typically is this time of year, but we got so lucky with a beautiful mild evening. Preservation park has definitely become one of my favorite places to photograph sessions. My only complaint is that it’s quite a bit of walking (and up a giant hill) to get to the spots I really like to shoot at.
Since we do’t often think of doing a special photo session for younger teens or tweens, so I wanted to outline a couple reasons why you might want to consider one.
Reasons for photographing tweens & Teens
They are changing so fast. We typically book lots of photo sessions for our babies and toddlers because “they are changing so fast” and we want to document all those seasons and changes. Well, that’s happening now too. It seems like you look a way for a moment, and when you look back, your baby is gone and somehow a young woman is standing in her place. #dontblink
Even if they don’t admit it, they enjoy the extra attention. I don’t actually know this for sure and it’s probably not true for every kid, but I think most of them welcome the opportunity to be made a fuss over just a little bit. Especially when they figure out that my sessions are pretty laid back and casual and we are just gonna hang out and chat.
They are really becoming amazing, unique human beings and a session is a chance to get to know them better. We joke a lot about how tough it is to parent teens, and believe me, it is. But also, it’s so freaking cool to be able to have these real, meaningful conversations with these amazing people that you MADE. A photo session is an opportunity to stand back, take a deep breath, and appreciate your beautiful creation.
Maybe the photos will help them to see what amazing humans they are, if they don’t already know it. As tough as it is to parent a teen, it’s probably even tougher to be one. Maybe the photos will help them see how beautifully made they are, if they don’t know it already.
Before you know it, it will be time for that Senior Portrait session. As my friend Michelle always says, “the days are long but the years are short.” Before you know it, this season will be over, and you’ll wish you had documented it.
So there you have it…5 reasons to either pick up the camera and get photos of your “big kids”, or hire a professional for either a family portrait session or a session of just your older kids. Did I miss any?
A few times, I’ve been approached by a mom who needs to book a senior session for her child (or in this case, children) for graduation announcements and all that fun stuff. But then she’ll also say that it’s been a long time since they’ve had family portraits done and that she’d like to get a few photos with everyone in them.
I’m sure that other photographers may disagree with my approach to this, but I am 100% OK with combining a senior session with a family session. I charge a set fee for a one-hour photo session for up to 6 people, so it is really up to the client on how they would like me to prioritize that hour. I always do individual shots of each child at a family portrait session, so it is pretty easy to combine the two types of photo sessions.
Combining sessions might not be the best option for you if your senior is very shy and maybe might take a while to relax at a session, allowing me to get natural images. But that wasn’t the case for Sarah and Jacob. It also might not be best if your other children are very young toddlers and may need extra time for getting family shots. But Eli was just old enough to be pretty easy to work with, so this was an excellent option for their family. I feel that we easily got enough photos for the twin’s senior portrait needs, and also the typical family sessions shots.
Beth had let me know that she had these adorable shirts that she wanted to get a photo of the kids in at the beginning of the session. So we planned to get these in first and then let them change for the family session. Aren’t these just so cute?
“Follow your passion, stay true to yourself, never follow someone else’s path unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path then by all means you should follow that.” – Ellen Degeneres
It’s so much fun to take a break from photographing little kids sometimes and instead photograph seniors. This beautiful young woman was a joy to meet, as was her mother. One of my most favorite parts of my job is getting to know new people. Bridget reminded me a little of my oldest daughter with her passion for writng and love of books.. She was so sweet to my younger daughter, Kayla, who accompanied me on the shoot as my “assistant.”
One of the great things about photographing seniors is that they will stand in whatever beautiful light that I want them to stand in….which is not always the case for toddlers. And Thompson Station Park was really showing off some gorgeous light last night. The autumn color isn’t really there yet, thought I think it’s coming soon (I hope). But the weather could not have been more perfect for Bridget’s senior portrait session.
I keep hitting the jackpot with these senior girls who are just naturals in front of the camera. Also, I loved her clothing choices. I am often asked if it is OK to change clothes during a photo session. My answer depends a little on the type of session and ages of the subjects. For senior or couples portrait sessions, you may absolutely bring a few different outfits. For family sessions, I don’t normally recommend it just because having to change clothes can sometimes upset little ones and disrupt the momentum of our session. Ultimately, I leave it up to parents but just caution you to consider the value of wardrobe changes verses timing and keeping little ones happy during a session. But for teens and adults, there is plenty of time during a session for a few wardrobe changes, and it adds some variety in a senior session gallery.
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