My session with the Erdahl family had me running back to my computer to upload and preview because I knew it was going to be amazing. Driving out to this location to shoot this family was nothing short of beautiful. The lush green pastures, fields full of wildflowers, cattle grazing and blue/grey skies, I knew it was a perfect afternoon for pictures in Menlo, Washington.
and then I pulled up the driveway
As a photographer I'm always looking around at my surroundings. Before I even got out of the car I had a plan A, B, C, and D! ;) But seriously, the options were endless on this family's property and I was in love. Then I saw the kids. OH the kids! Straight out of a magazine and I was the one who got to capture them...I knew it was going to be a blast. I walked up their front porch (which I knew was going to be my main spot for pictures because it was beyond charming, perfect lighting, etc) and I was greeted with warm smiles. And the KIDS! Did I mention how absolutely darling they were? Yeah, seriously. Right away the oldest Nolen was my little buddy. He showed me how he liked to be serious, and silly, and sat right next to me ready to get the party started. The twins, Max and Zayne were absolutely adorable. Zayne was all smiles to me but Max was a little unsure of the whole situation. He gave me a smile at first but once the camera came out he was definitely unsure about it all! More on that in a bit... :) Before I dive into the photos from this session I want to give you five tips that I have to prepare for a family session. The Erdahl family did all these things and even with one kiddo not into the pictures, because they did these things (and more!) our session was fabulous.
I arrived for the session knowing it was going to be great.
Mom was all over the outfits and gathering troops. Grandma and Grandpa were also around to be a lending hand which is always appreciated! Right away Nolen and Zayne were my buddies, but Max? Max was not in the mood for pictures. It was rather humorous actually, and sad. The minute my camera came out of the bag he was hysterical. He was so scared of me and the whole getting pictures taken! We tricked him a few times and I was able to get a few keepers, but Max was not feeling the photo session and it was just fine. We rolled with it and made it work! You can't reason with a fifteen month old so the only thing left to do is be patient. We bribed with cheerios. He smiled at me and loved when I gave him one but you better believe the minute that camera was back in sight all bets were off. At the end I truly felt so bad for the little guy because he was genuinely distressed with me so we called it a wrap. I don't normally throw in crying shots, but this photo session will be a lasting memory for the Erdahl family! They will forever remember how Max hated the idea of getting his picture taken. And you know what? I loved it! This is life. This is the reality of being a parent with young children. You badly want things to go smoothly, and sometimes they just don't. And I guess when talking about this session I can't say that it didn't go smoothly, because it went really well! I was THRILLED with the outcome and I know mom and dad are, too. No we didn't get a smiling picture of the twins together, or all three boys together, or Dad with his boys, but it's okay because we got some amazing shots that this family will cherish for a lifetime.
I just want to put you at ease when it comes time to plan those family pictures. Find a photographer who can relate to you, not get flustered, and just roll with it. Find someone who knows what they are doing behind the lens and even with an uncooperative child can capture them in all their essence at that moment in time. I have a family session coming up with my family that I have been anticipating for months. I am fully aware that my daughter could be a total disaster. I hope not, but you never know. She's pretty used to getting her picture taken as a photographer's kid, but it's going to be with new faces and you just never know. I'm hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.
So relax and have fun. Trust that whatever happens your photographer will capture memories to last a lifetime. When kids get older you can get more of those smiling at the camera pictures but like I've said before, my favorite images are candid moments that unfold before my eyes. They are the laughs when a mother tickles her son or the giggles when she sees something that she thinks is funny. They are the unplanned and spontaneous moments. So without further ado, please enjoy these images of the absolutely adorable and fun Erdahl family. Thank you for spending part of your holiday weekend with me and I cannot wait to work with you all again in the future!
This boy gives the definition to the phrase "baby blues".