This is a family where I have been fortunate to photograph for several years. The first time I photographed this family, someone wasn't super excited about having his pictures taken. He would see my camera and want to run the other way. I believe that photo sessions are supposed to be fun, and allow the child to be in control (or at least think they are in control). When kids do not feel as if they are being made to do something, they participate and you get genuine emotion. That first session we found ways to have fun, and their photos were a true representation of him at that stage. A lot has changed since that first year, he did not run away from me at all. In fact, we are old buddies now. Of course, he still got to play and have fun. He even got a little homework done by searching for huge leaves with dad. And he brought along his pal, Snoopy, for some mid-session snuggles!
After we were "done," I chatted with the family as their son played on the playground. A conversation with friends. That is what I love about my job. I get to make true connections and friendships with the families I photograph.