The Norris Family at Lakeway City Park + Some Photographer Truth Talk
I'll be totally honest. Family sessions intimidate me sometimes. This is because as a mom of three, I know how stressful it can be to prepare for them! Sure, sure – I know there are many articles floating around out there that talk about how family shoots don't have to be stressful if you implement these five random, magical tips...but let's be honest! THEY CAN BE TOUGH! I don't care how great your photographer is, prepping behind the scenes with mini humans can be a challenge. There are wrinkly shirts, berry stains, protesting about their choice of shoes, and the random meltdowns. I see you, parents, taking a deep breath as you pull out of the driveway on your way to your session. Your kids are buckled in their seats, and there are prayers thrown up that nobody will wrinkle, throw up on, or spill anything along the way.
Tip: Pack up your kids' clothes, arrive several minutes early to your session, and just change them right there in the backseat/trunk. It might be a small scramble, but I swear that has greatly alleviated our stress level with photoshoots.
Fun little back story: I was absolutely set on having newborn photos of both my boys since I hadn't had one with my daughter. With Colin, I chose a lifestyle shoot in our then Philadelphia home. The photographer was lovely, but reality awaited me. He was an October baby, and I had pinned SO MANY PHOTOS of sweet, sleeping infants in pumpkins. The night prior to our session, I had gone on a sleep deprived rampage and actually hollowed out a large pumpkin (or maybe I had frantically asked my husband to do it during cluster feeds – the details are hazy) in preparation for our son to be photographed inside. The photographer looked at me like I was crazy when I told her my vision, and let's just say that he screamed almost the entire time. Our pumpkin pictures were a bust.
When Graham was born two years later, I was determined to get THE perfect photos. We ended up booking a studio photographer to mix it up. She was great, but driving almost forty minutes with all three kids was torture – especially when one of those children was prone to car sickness. Remember that tip I gave above? There's a reason for it. Before we had even stepped foot inside the studio, my stress level was through the roof. Not to mention that I ended up sweating, standing under bright studio lights and awkwardly cradling my infant while I secretly hoped nobody could tell how exhausted I was.
This is partially why I exclusively photograph babies either in their place of birth or in their home. I don't want any parents to go through the same stress I did! Which leads me to...family sessions. They are fantastic, and every family deserves incredible images, but sometimes the stress is just too much to handle. That's why I try really hard to make it as fun as possible for all family members. I know how much work it can be just to get there, so I always want to make it worth the effort for the family. I give guidelines on things like what to wear and what colors photograph best, but at the end of the day, this isn't about me – this is about the family feeling comfortable in what they love.
This leads me to the Norris Family, who are good friends of mine and always a pleasure to hang with. Annie is likely the most creative person you'll ever met. She runs two handmade businesses – a children's necklace shop called Shop November Oak, and a mini modern dollhouse shop called November Oak Minis. We are huge fans of both.
Annie and her family were just looking for some casual family photos. She was the first family session I'd ever done, back when I had just taught myself manual mode on my camera that very week. I am in love with these photos because they truly capture the spirit of her amazing family, including her daughter Violette. IS SHE NOT THE CUTEST?
Here are some of my favorites from our session. Reach out to book yours!