Alex & Blake

Back in the fall, we were fortunate enough to have the chance to donate a family portrait session to the March of Dimes Annual Signature Chef's Auction. When a past client asked us if we would like to donate a session for the auction, we were honored and eagerly awaited a phone call from the winner.

When Cari contacted us, we were so excited that she wanted to do an in-home session. With a newly arrived son and a 2 year-old as well, we planned out a session that would focus on the family all together, but also some solo shots of newborn, Blake. Lindsey arrived at their home during a rainy and icy Saturday morning. Knowing that any outdoor shots by the lake were out, we focused on using the sunroom and Cari and Derek's bedroom.

When 2 year-old Alex arrived at the door, Lindsey could tell he was full of curiosity and especially interested in all of the bags she had brought along. One thing we love about working with younger kids is that they can be so curious and many won't be afraid to ask questions and get up close and personal with the camera gear. Not only are they able to explore something new, but it also makes them more comfortable during their session when we can show them what's in the camera bag or let them sneak a peek of a photo that we've just taken of them.

We began in the sunroom with the entire family. Alex was reluctant to take off his hat at first, but we made sure to get some of him in his baseball cap at the end. I've seen several parents embrace the reward philosophy and it works so well during portrait sessions. Letting them wear a favorite hat or shirt at the end or doing some funny faces with their parents. We had a family last fall who donned fake mustaches as a reward for their son at the end of their mini session. It hasn't failed yet and we've taken some of our favorite photos during these end-of-session reward times.

Alex was such an awesome big brother. Hugging, kissing, and looking over his little brother, Blake. So sweet!

We moved upstairs to Cari and Derek's room where they have a huge window overlooking the lake nearby. This created some beautiful photos of the entire family. Little Alex's smile is certainly contagious. And when Lindsey gets shots like these, she can't help but smile from behind the camera as well.

Since we were already in the bedroom, we decided to do some photos on the bed as well. The living room couch and mom and dad's bed are the ultimate comfort spots in the house, so it usually produces some of the most relaxed and close-knit photos of a session.

Blake enjoyed some one-on-one session time on our beanbag set-up. The simplicity and power of close-ups never fail to be some of our favorites from every session. Cari, Derek, Alex, and Blake gave us some of the most intimate in-home photos we've captured and they are nothing short of beautiful and simply natural.

After Lindsey showed Alex the contents of her camera bag and the big, shiny reflector, he gave us a few more photos with him and his brother. And finally, with his hat on.