Keepin it Real

For those of you who think it’s easy for photographers to photograph their own kids…you are wrong. Our poor children have been test subjects for lighting, posing, locations and other experiments since they were babies! Some days my kids will humor me and other days it’s “No more pictures, Mom!”

Fall is a very busy time for my business, so I try to knock out my own kids’ session for our Christmas cards early. The past two years we have been at the beach in September on vacation; so I’ve chosen to do it then, thinking it will be relaxed and fun. Every year I hope for it to be an easy task, but it usually ends up that everyone is in a hurry to get to dinner when my lighting is just perfect, and this year was no exception. So, I decided we would eat first in hopes that everyone would be happier with full tummies. We ate dinner at George’s in Alys Beach, so I decided we would shoot in Rosemary Beach, just a short drive down the road. Of course, dinner took longer than expected and I was running out of daylight fast, so I had to work quickly and promise lots of treats at the Sugar Shak when we were done.

So you see, I too have to juggle meals, moods, lighting and offer bribes occasionally; so don’t feel alone in your crazy efforts! However, I will say I think it’s much easier to photograph your kids than it is my own! Just keepin it real! Here’s some of the highlights from our session…

I told them to hold hands and dance around, not spin each other at warp speed!


HDP_6365_WEBI love these next two shots with all the wonderful architecture, colorful balconies and cobblestone street.HDP_6414_WEB


This series makes me laugh because it defines my kids’ personalities. Olivia was doing exactly as she was told, trying to hold Luke’s hand and waiting on him to cooperate. But, Luke decided to break into dance right there in the middle of the street. She just kept waiting patiently with her hand out.


Every year I do a shot looking down on my kids faces right into their eyes. Just want to remember the details (especially the freckles) of their sweet faces from year to year.


The dancing worked a little better here than it did earlier on the lawn.

I wasn’t sure that I had gotten all that I wanted in the short amount of time shooting that evening, so we went back the next afternoon to Watercolor, and of course, there were two weddings going on where I wanted to shoot! I had about 20 minutes left of that beautiful golden light before sunset so I quickly found another spot. The light was changing in each image as you will see. Yes, it was effort, but Mom and I got a few good laughs with the kids in the process.



This one cracked us up because Luke looked at me and said “Wait, Mom, this is gonna be cute”, then he did this little move.
My mom and I laughed so hard!

Again, Olivia doing what she’s told and waiting on Luke to quit clowning around…



And if you are interested in a session at the Beaches of South Walton, FL along Highway 30A, email me at
I can schedule one weekend and/or week of sessions spring break, in the summer or early fall.

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