When Adam + Elle arrived for their session on the trails in beautiful Hay Creek, it was an early, unseasonably cool summer morning. Matching the morning’s rarity in temps was also the unseasonable mood of their son, three year-old Brooks.

Full disclosure, I adore this family.

Long time clients and even longer acquaintances, the family has literally had picture perfect sessions from the start. Elle’s style has always been spot on, locations have worked out and little Brooks has always been a dream to work with.

Back to today, after scouting the perfect shooting location then seeing Elle in her gorgeous maternity dress, my attention turned to my buddy Brooks.

Those big blue eyes normally eager to greet me were instead focused on kicking gravel. Elle laughed with honesty as she pointed toward her toddler, “We’ll take whatever we can get today with this one.”

Believe it or not, it’s not the first time I’ve heard that line at the start of a session with a toddler. But in all honesty, it’s why I am fond of family portraits.

In over 10 years of photographing people I’ve learned, no matter any age, the challenge to get someone comfortable in front of a camera is a constant one, but oh so rewarding.

Brooks was going to be no exception today, but lucky for him I know the way to a toddler’s heart. Toots.

The second I starting blowing raspberries, whistling my best “pffffts” and making the modified Pez dispenser on top my camera dispense toots … those baby blue eyes were ready for his close up and Brooks was back.

This is why I love toddlers.

We all shared a laugh watching Brooks’ mood warm alongside the rays of the morning sunshine.

Their session went great. Not to toot my own horn.

Elle + Adam may your blessings increase as you welcome your second ray of sweet sunshine. ☀️

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