A Pasadena Family Session and What Made it a Success!

I’ve attempted this post a few times already, each time getting a little carried away with all the info I have and want to share on how to make your photography session a success. Clearly, I need to write a post where I dive into that in full detail. I’ll save that for a later date and time. But today, I want to keep things light and just share a Pasadena Family Session and what made it a success.

1) It was fully raining in my neighborhood when I left for our session. There was a chance of rain in the forecast for the day but we kept the session booked and took our chances. I don’t cancel or reschedule sessions for any other weather condition besides RAIN so having a family that is flexible with weather, who won’t mind an overcast or cloudy day and is just willing to go for it was so great. Lucky for us, pockets of clarity opened up letting beautiful rays of sun into our session.

2) Expectations were kept pretty low for our session, which is one of the biggest pieces of advice I give to my clients. What do I mean by low expectations? Literally, don’t expect any specific pose or moment or expression or lighting to be captured. ESPECIALLY when kids are involved. We take the child’s lead, period. And if you’ve got kids, you know just as well as I do that nobody (not you or me) can make them do anything or perform a certain way that they just don’t want to do. And I have ZERO problems with that. We can jump on a certain idea or attempt a specific vision, but having low to no expectations just means that when that idea or vision isn’t happening, you’re completely cool with going with the flow and changing things up according to what your kids actually want to do. Sometimes they want to play games, play with rocks or dirt, pick or smell flowers or run away from you. Having low expectations means being okay with allowing your session to unfold organically, naturally and easily in any direction and just being there to embrace and accept it. This family did exactly that. Their little girl wasn’t taking specific direction from the start, so we just followed her lead, engaged with her in anyway she found fun and playful and in doing so we captured real moments that spoke to her true energy and the fun, on-your-toes dynamic of this family. Behind the scenes, this looks like a lot of movement and me running around and interacting but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

3) Trust and control. These are two things that are tough to hand over to someone you don’t know very well. Yet I expect all my clients to give them up at the start of every session. I do try to establish some sort of trust and relationship with my clients, starting all the way from my social media accounts when a client isn’t even a client yet and just a prospective. And then I carry that into our direct emails and communication but I get that there can still be some hesitation and nerves on the day of the session. But I promise you, your session will benefit greatly if you just trust my judgment, my experience and my direction through the session. What this looks like is letting ME direct you and your children with little interference from you. There’s little to no room for discipline, stern voices or scolding during our session because that just adds stress and resistance in your kids. It’s hard for me to turn that energy around, but I can work with your kids’ natural energy in whatever form it takes (stubborn, sassy, shy, curious, playful, even defiant). This family kept their attitudes light, care-free, and fun which gave me so much room to direct and engage and control the flow the best I could.

4) I think the last key ingredient that made this session a success is that the parents kept their focus on each other, on their connection and on their daughter’s beautiful spirit. They were present. They weren’t distracted by their phone or other families being photographed around us or by any specific expectations of shots or images they were hoping to create or by the few times their daughter wasn’t taking specific direction (again, totally okay!!). They brought their best self to each moment that unfolded, they were in tune to each other and were just so patient. Any session where the clients can shut off the rest of the world and are truly present with each other will not only be a successful session but a beautiful and memorable one.

I hope this helps you to experience your own best session with me, or with anyone else for that matter! For more details on sessions I offer, CLICK HERE.
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