I hear a lot of concerns about in-home family photography. What if my children don't behave well that day? What if it's gloomy outside, will there be enough light? What if we don't get any good pictures?
I can't predict the future (sad, but true). Your kids might not be as happy on the day of the photoshoot because of a cold, a restless night, teething, or another mysterious set of circumstances that's making them grumpy. It could be wet and rainy outside with sheer gloom coming through the windows. But I always get good photos. Because I don't rely on the things I can't control.
The day of Colby and Brodie's family session was incredibly dark. It was raining the whole morning and there was no way we were going outside at all. So instead, we got cozy and warm indoors! Yes, it was dark. But I'm not a natural light photographer. I almost always use my Speedlight to provide the light I want, where I need it. I love the convenience and I've gotten pretty good at making this method work for me. I don't set up strobes or softboxes because by the time I'm done, that toddler will be across the room and the light will be nowhere near where I need it to be.
Colby is the older sister. She's 3, has a fun and funny personality, is usually very happy, and sometimes a "little crazy". Her baby sister, Brodie is such a sweetheart, and was definitely having a bit of an off day, because she is usually all smiles. She was totally giving us her serious side that day, but those deep meaningful looks are some of my favorite. Brodie's parents loved her just the same that day. They gave her cuddles and they read her books - and she looked at them with those loving eyes like any other day.
The thing is, I often photograph kids who aren't quite themselves that day. And I learned long ago that I cannot control the weather. So I focus on the things I can control. Things like my camera equipment, having the skills I need to capture a moment in a split second, and knowing how to encourage a natural interaction between family members. I know that as parents, we want everything to be perfect.. but for me, I just need things to be how they naturally are. Perfection doesn't exist. It's much better to just be real.