So, this past weekend I had a fall family portrait session at Bess Walker park in Avondale Estates. I didn’t even know this park existed until Lauren, my client, told me about it. You see, I met Lauren a few weeks ago. I was on my way home, going the back way instead of via the interstate when I drove past her boutique, Baby Love Eco Chic Boutique. It was Sunday and I wasn’t in any hurry to get home, so I did a u-turn to stop at her shop. I was greeted by her ever-so-cute daughter, Allie. She was sitting in a chair behind the counter decorating a decoupage unicorn. We hit it off quite well. Then Lauren came over and we began chatting. Shortly thereafter, a couple came in and Lauren had to tend to them, so I kept little Allie busy while she worked. She gave me a tour of the toy section and even provided suggestions for gifts for my 5-year-old niece. Eventually, we ended up sitting on the floor playing a game she made up.
Once she finished with her customers we chatted some more and began discussing her need for fall portraits. Of course, I was more than happy to oblige. Since her store was going to close shortly and I actually needed to stop by Publix before I went home, I decided that was the time to leave. A few days later, I returned for a visit and for us to finish making plans for the session. We ended up confirming everything via email and met up at the park at the scheduled time. We lucked out because it was a beautiful day! Considering how cold it is now, yeah, we were darn lucky.
I had checked out the park earlier that week to make sure it would be a good place for us to photograph and it definitely was. As everyone got out of the car, the kids decided they wanted to run off and do kid stuff. That is to be expected. The only thing we asked was that they not get dirty. That was a challenge but I think they were able to pull it off, for the most part. During the session, I wanted to make sure I included images of Allie and her brother, Gabe’s relationship. I think these two images of them sum it up quite nicely. They enjoy laughing with or at each other and being zen together. They both seemed to like doing tree pose.
One thing that I have learned about children is that they will display the full range of their energy when the session is outside. I try to let the kids be themselves but I still want them to follow directions. So, I just keep it fun, make nice requests and keep the session moving. We started out on the walkway. We had to wait, every now and again because people were walking or jogging. I mean, it is a public park. Many people were quite nice by moving behind me, instead of walking right through. The thing that I noticed with Gabe was that he has this forced smile. He’s such a cute kid but that smile. In fact, I had his nana, Paula, tickle him so that he would give me a genuine smile. I wasn’t surprised by this since this is actually a rather common occurrence. All you can do is try to get them to laugh. We ended up having a debate about whether or not one can laugh on cue.
We walked all through the park, capturing different aspects of it. There were other photographers there (no surprise) as well as, fishers. The kids were fascinated by this one fisherman who they decided to find out how many fish he had caught. Throughout the session, there was constant chatter and questions and running. Just your regular session with children. I had scheduled the session for around 4:00/4:30 so that we could have some beautiful, soft light to work with. It actually worked out quite well. I was even able to capture this image under this gorgeous tree. The leaves were so magnificent that they had to stand under it.
I also had them walking toward me holding hands. Only the kids did the one where they were walking away. The funny thing is that Lauren told them to take a step only when she told them to. This made them walk very funny. As the whole family walked toward me, Lauren directed which way they would look. By the end of it, everyone was laughing because it just seemed so silly. I think it was rather ironic for us to expend that much energy for it to look natural and relaxed.
It really was a lovely session and below are a few of my favorite images from it. There’s still time for your fall session. It can be indoors or out. And remember, throughout the month of November, you automatically receive 25, flat, 5×7 greeting cards customized with your selected photos, with your session. Also, don’t forget to check out Lauren and Baby Love Eco Chic Boutique at 2244 Henderson Mill Road in Atlanta!