The Marley Family

I have known this beauty since our freshman year in high school. Your high school friends offer you a place to return to no matter how much time or distance separates you. With your high school friends you can always return back home to your roots, and I feel my job offers a unique opportunity to peek into the lives of the women I knew when we were teens. I adore being around children, but most of the time when there is a reunion the kids are left at home with a grandparent or a sitter. So, when Lauren reached out to me for family photos, I was beyond the moon excited to meet her little one.

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BUT! TA-DA! Enter Gretchen Bell. Mother. Photographer. Toddler whisperer, and occasional game master.

I find when photographing families with humans this little, a key element is to let the kiddo(s) have an element of control and do some of the guiding. The session tends to be more natural, and, YAKNOW, I am going to go out on a limb here and say that most of my clients don’t want upset littles in photos.

LIFE HACK FOR TAKING BETTER PHOTOS OF YOUR KIDS:

With kids a tad older (and many times, excited to meet a new adult that is full of energy and excited to meet them), I normally start the session with a deal: I will totally go there/let you jump/make a weird face/stand on that tree stump BUT! for every time you do thing “x”, you have to do one of MY ideas.

Anyways, can you tell I am just rambling to myself here? This session was so fun, really. It was great to meet Lauren’s new daughter and her husband. We had a lot of exploring, catching up, tickling, and follow-the-leader-ing. Isn’t that smile to die for?

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Parents! And other photographers…I want to hear from you. What are your best tips and tricks for making a family session run smoothly? I’d love to know your thoughts!

GB