Two Toddlers & a Family Portrait

When Theresa asked me to write this blog post, I had no idea what I would say. I have to admit – most of the time when she asks me to write a blog post I totally avoid it and ignore it until she hopefully forgets. Sometimes she does… sometimes she doesn’t. We recently scheduled a family photo session over at the Northport Marina. When she asked me to write about the experience, I had no idea what I would say. Until, that is, I began to edit the photos from that day.

I was nervous about the shoot. Kristin and I had spoken weeks before and even in the days leading up to the shoot. Her and her husband wanted a family photo session with their toddler twins. I have to admit, my throat closed a bit as this as I said “Great! What days are good for you?” In as much excitement as I could muster. It wasn;t doing the shoot persay – It was that I had never had to photograph TWO toddlers at once – even more so photographing 2 toddlers and a set of parents where everyone will be looking at me??!

Impossible!! I had to take a breather and was grateful for the few weeks before our session to have time to sit on it and gather my thoughts. In the days before the shoot, I reminded Kristin that I was not “Sears,” that if she was looking for that type of posed thing, that it wasn’t me. She was great and laughed at my concerns – I think my reminding her of my shooting style was actually my reminding me. “I capture the moments.” I said “the interactions between family members. The smiles, the faces, the concerns, the questions… I capture memories. Artwork, that I hope you will hang on your walls for years to come.”

Carrie-Anne Gonzalez

We were to meet at Northport Park at 4pm – after nap and snack time, before dinner time. I solicited my 12 year old niece to be my assistant for the day. Not only does she have a really good eye, but I needed someone to hold reflectors and such, just in case. When we arrived we cased out the park looking for not the perfect “scenery,” but the perfect light. To my dismay the sun was still very high in the sky which meant harsh shadows everywhere. Still, that is the photographers plight – find the light, manipulate the light, know the light. The blessing was it WAS a beautiful warm day. As we walked around casing different areas of the park, taking into consideration both scenery AND light, I made mental notes of things I wanted to try – “kid sandwich here, tell me a secret pose, parents hold children’s hands and swing… etc”

All of my planning went out the window as soon as these two adorable, energetic, rambunctious children stepped out of their stroller. I know Kristin really wanted to get all 4 of them in a shot and for a while it was a struggle. One parent, one toddler, or Two parents, one toddler – no problem… but all 4? Finally, I reminded myself – capture the moments… let them play. And that is exactly what we did. I attempted some shots where the parents were behind the children a few feet, but these toddlers were exited to run about in the openness and so… we let them. It was an amazing experience. I have to admit I was not only exhausted, but nervous as to how this was going to come out. All the while Theresa’s voice in my head saying “What are you nervous about? You are a national award winning photographer.” Yes, yes I am…. Everything will be fine.

Carrie-Anne GonzalezAnd everything was. To experience a play date with this couple and their children, To capture the two very different personalities of these twins, was truly an amazing experience. The laughs, the running, the learning… seeing how children look to their parents and how parents adoringly and lovingly see their children. The ending result – art work for their walls.
Carrie-Anne Gonzalez