Today is all about family. This is Kirsten and Maria and their two super fun and energetic sons. We met up at one of their favorite parks and spent a little time exploring and playing one recent summer morning before the heat of the day set in. Making family photos is something a lot of families struggle with. It’s hard enough to get everyone ready and be somewhere on time on a regular day, but add in the stress of having to perform for a camera and procrastination takes hold and one day you realize it’s been years since a family photo was made. Most folks don’t know this, but making photos of our kids is how I ended up doing this photography thing for a living. I got so much photography practice trying to just get one ‘good’ photo of our three kids that before I knew it, I was at a supremely elevated level of camera skill. Of course, I still didn’t have one ‘good’ photo of the kids. These days with all our kids out in the world being adultish, we’ve developed a new perspective on all of those old photos. You know, all of those otherwise perfect photos where our son made a goofy face every single time. We laugh about them now. We eventually were able to get the kids (our son) to cooperate and make ‘good’ photos, but now that the kids are all gone, our favorites are the ones where they were being silly and horsing around, stuffing too much holiday candy in their faces, wearing all their underwear on their head (true story), or photobombing each other. So when I work with a family now, I always tell them that we’re going to try three times during their session to make a group photo where everyone is looking at the camera. But in between those three attempts, we’re also going to make lots of photos of the kids just having fun and playing because those are the photos they’re going to love the most later. Lots of times parents aren’t sure about letting the kids go, but afterward, I usually get an email telling me their favorite photos from their session are the ones where no one is looking at the camera or someone is being completely silly. Those are always my favorite photos from every session too, which is why I love to share them with you. And this summer’s family sessions have been so much fun with kids (and parents) making faces, playing, and just generally enjoying each other’s company. So I want to thank Kirsten and Maria (and all the other families too) for trusting me and relaxing and just enjoying the experience for a little while. You’re perfect just the way you are, especially when you make your best silly faces.