Two Family Photo Sessions, One Weekend

I'm a little behind on my blog here; this fantastic weekend I am about to write about took place a few weeks ago but only now am I catching up. It was a lovely line-up: My friends Tony, Jennifer and Bella on Saturday, my friend Melanie and her family on Sunday. How lucky was I?

We had only just emerged from the haze of the recent fires here in Santa Rosa. I had to take stock and figure out which locations were still a viable option. Luckily, the open space I like to use was still beautiful and untouched, so I was able to have Jennifer and her family meet me there.

Jennifer was no stranger to photo shoots, and had expertly assembled her family's wardrobe, knew how to look at the camera and help engage Bella. Tony, though perhaps not so keen on such an activity, was still very game. It was an hour long session, part family shoot, part Mommy and Me. An hour long session is always a challenge, the first half is when the littlest among us has the most interest and energy, which wanes over time (but still great for those candid moments), while the longer the session goes, the more comfortable everyone becomes and usually the best shots come at the very end. I think we managed to strike the balance. Little Bella has such a gaze, when she looks at the camera, it's magic. In fact, even when she doesn't, she's quite the model...just like mommy. I am very happy with the results, and you can judge for yourself below.

The next shoot was of my friend Melanie, her hubby and two girls. Melanie is herself a photographer and this year we decided to do "tradesies" on family photo sessions so we'd both have images for our holiday cards. Again, this was an hour long session. Melanie's girls are active! I knew this going in, and we were determined to get the shot. On my part, I just kept shooting. I must have left with about a 1000 shots to wittle down. Luckily, Melanie, being a photographer herself, knew how to stay the course, keep finding new positions and locations and help to engage the girls. Scott was an expert all himself, cracking warm smiles and knowing just where to position himself. We needed the hour because we really explored that location, finding numerous spots to 'stop, drop (the baby bag) and pose'. The girls were hilarious and cute. I enjoyed all their silly faces and antics; they certainly helped keep it dynamic! Again, I think some of the best shots came at the very end, when everyone was done and we were walking back to where we'd started: Melanie was holding Lily and Scott had Little MJ on his shoulders. Love those shots. Also happy to have caught some intimate shots of just the two adults- love their chemistry!

Both families were gorgeous. I felt so lucky to get to spend my weekend shooting and editing photos of two amazing families. Man, I love what I do!