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The Hutchison Family

Updated: May 24, 2022

Back in March, this sweet mom reached out to me to book a Mommy & Me Mini Session. While we were talking details on that, we ended up planning a family session too, so dad could be included as well.

We scheduled the session and planned for 7pm, as that is the perfect time for the golden hour glow that I love. But, a few days before our session when I confirmed our appointment, mom asked if it was possible to do it in the morning instead. I can't always make last minute adjustments, but in this case, it worked perfectly. So I offered to do it at sunrise so we could still get the golden hour (since there is one in the morning AND the evening), and she said it would be PERFECT. Yay!

Now mind you, I LOVE sunrise sessions, but very rarely do I think of offering them as an available time slot because many people do not want to be up that early, much less have the entire family "photo ready" and on location by or before 7am. But, when it works out, it is pure MAGIC.

When it comes to young kids, as a mama of two toddlers myself, I know just how quickly the mood can go from good to meltdown when bedtime approaches, and I know many parents are concerned about moods when sunset is so late in the evening (especially in the summer when its almost 9pm). Therefore, it is so important for me to try to be flexible when booking my appointments, but I still have to factor in the sun in order to create beautiful imagery, since I shoot almost exclusively in natural light. So, 7am it is!

The day of the session, I was up in time to watch the sunrise over my field, which is always a wonderous sight. When the Hutchison family arrived, everyone was bright-eyed and smiling. We started our short walk into the field, and something about the morning dew on the grass meant that the two year old just could NOT walk on her own--two year old's are so fun, aren't they?

But, that isn't going to stop me, y'all. Photography is all about working with what you've got and being flexible, especially when you are working with toddlers! So, I set up my blanket and we started the whole family sitting on the ground. As soon as we started, little man was ALL smiles. Clearly, morning session worked for him.

I like to start with more posed and traditional pictures. The one that Grandma wants for her wall. I guide the family where and how to sit, and then "CHEESE"! We get a handful of photos of everyone looking at the camera and smiling, and once I am confident that we have plenty to pick from... now the fun begins.

Once the traditional ones are out of the way, we get to the candid, memory-making, documenting of the real moments. The images that show the unique things about your family, and the relationships that you have with one another at this stage in your lives. This is when I usually will snap pictures of whatever naturally happens, but I will also encourage the family to look lovingly at one another, ask the parents to tickle the kids, or ask the kids to play around a little bit. Whatever gets everyone to relax and let go of the normal "stiffness" that can come with a photo session.

Then, its on to what I call "the breakdowns", because a family session is not just photos of the entire family as a whole. It is to document everything about your family. For this session, we started with the kids, since they were doing SO well! Of course, big sis had to give little man a kiss... because that's what big sisters do!

Then, onto the kids with dad. Lots of hugs and more kisses. Usually I try to get photos of each parent with both kids, but since big sis wouldn't stand in the grass, we had to improvise! It's all about going with the flow of the session and sensing what is going to work BEST for the family I am working with that day, which usually means planning a lot of great ideas, and then throwing it all out the window and just feeling it out.

Next, of course, was mom and the kids. Now, mama had just done her own Mommy & Me session with the kiddos a month prior, however I always strive to provide a full session with all the breakdowns so you have matching photos from the same day for the wall or photo album. Plus, with a newborn baby and even toddlers, they literally are changing by the day, so why NOT take more pictures?

Now, it is mom and dad's turn for some sweetheart pictures. When it comes to young families, once they set down the kids, I tell them to look at each other, and so often I swear it looks they haven't stopped to really look at one another in days, weeks, or even months. I can see the look of "oh, hey, nice to see you again!", and honestly those are the moments I live for. Creating a space and a moment for your family to slow down your fast paced lives and just ENJOY each others presence.

We wrapped it up with pictures of the two year old, who was busy picking flowers while mom and dad were reconnecting and loving on one another. So, I captured her in her natural environment and documented her just doing her thing, which is KEY when it comes to toddlers. Just let them be. And at the end of the day, that's what you really want anyways. It's not the fake, forced smiles. It's the REAL moments.

So, there it is! The Hutchison Family - May 2022. Thanks for coming along for the ride!



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