Years ago, during the prep call of one of my very first pro portrait sessions, the mom asked if we could sneak in a few family shots during her son's 1 year portrait appointment. I said OK, but let her know that family work really wasn't my thing, but I would do my best.What did I know about family portraiture? I thought.
I naively hadn't considered that as something I would do or even be asked to do as a children's photographer. Wake up, right? Anyway, I saw that type of work as a mystery. I wasn't a fan of the staged shot where everyone is matchy-matchy pretending to be this perfect stereotype. There's nothing real about that. Nothing special.
I arrived as usual with no plan and while we were making introductions and exchanging pleasantries the family was playing around with their child and I got chills. Giant, life-inspiring, goosebumps. There was so much love, so much admiration. I started shooting that instant with the family completely unaware their session had started.
When I came home I told my husband that I found a family for us to adopt. This is no joke. But then the next day and the day after that and pretty much every session I've had since the same thing happens. I see this love, this wonderful captivating love that begs to be captured. A few family shots that snuck into yesterday's session...