I felt like I was in the candy store of Willy Wonka during this photo-session. This family comes up with such a variety of photo locations. Last year they did pictures at their neighborhood playground. This year they did them at Sweet Pete’s Candy Store. A family friend had gotten their photos done at Sweet Pete’s as well. So their photos were our inspiration.
We did some of the same spots as their friend and then found some of our own places. We had to ask an employee for help to find one of the spots. All of the employees are so kind at Sweet Pete’s. You’ve heard me rave about Sweet Pete’s before from the three different candy classes I’ve taken there. We did this photo session on a Wednesday with the hope that we wouldn’t have any crowds. A tip an employee gave us was not to come during the first Wednesday of the month because of the crowds from the art walk. We were so lucky not to have a lot of people at the store the same time as us.
After we took photos, the parents had the kids fill up a container with candy to take home. They had so much fun picking out candy. Not only did this family get beautiful family photos they had a fun night together creating family memories. In fact, it was so fun I took my kids to take photos the next day.
Continue after the jump to see the rest of this fun candy store photo session.
Whenever I am asked for location ideas for family beach photos in Jacksonville, I always mention the rolling hills of Guana State Park. There is a small parking fee but the beach is generally less crowded and there are no homes on the beach. The lack of homes makes me think I’m on my own private beach. The park rangers close the parking lot right before the sun sets. Anyways, these photos were taken in the spring in Florida. It was right when everything was warm but not scalding hot in Florida.
So, after I get my own family photos I look at them time and time again. Well, here’s a little something about me. I look at the photos I take again and again. Every person I photograph leaves a little mark on my heart. I just love looking at the happy memories that were created in our short time together. I won’t even tell you how many time’s I’ve looked at these photos. If you want to talk about your photos after I would be happy to talk about them and to remember all the giggles that happened. It truly makes me happy to see the beauty of family.
On to this beautiful family, this mom does everything perfectly. I knew that she would be perfectly on time, and prepared with snacks, toys, and change of clothes for the kids. She chose perfect outfits for everyone. The kids clothes were from Carters. The eyelet dress adds great texture and detail. The hat for the little man was the perfect beach accessory. It’s too hot to layer so hats, jewelry, belts, and hair bows are great additions.
ADVICE FOR FAMILY PHOTOS
One final note, the one piece of advice I like to give parents at family pictures is to smile through everything. It’s hard to do- I know! It’s my job to work with the kids- parents just smile. We ran, we played and we got wet. The parents were the best and did smile through it all. I think these family photos have the perfect mix of the sweet quiet interactions along with the playful joyful images.
So, what would you like in the background of your beach photos homes, a pier, rolling hills, sand dunes, boardwalks or just water?
Only the swing shot was taken at Jack Russell Park. The vast majority of the photographs were taken at Howell Park. The goal was to photograph the mother and daughter’s relationship. How I love to photograph relationships! I love photographing them through a mix of portraits, lifestyle and details. This little girl is a miracle baby and oh so precious. I’ve learned so many things this mother has done for her daughter. The extra miles she goes and the way she cherishes her. She’s the type of mom I meet that makes me want to be a better mom.
I told her ahead of time I was going to ask her (in front of her daughter) what she loved about her daughter. When I asked the questions she looked at her daughter and said, “I love how compassionate you are, I love how you love animals……” Then the sweet little brunette looked up at her mama and said, “what about the way that I love you?” She of course replied in the affirmative.
Somehow one of our email conversations lead to me learning their bedtime routine. We decided we would mimic a piece of this routine. These images will help her always remember what it feels like to hold her baby. Down the road when this little girl is all grown up, she will know her mom held her so close to her heart.
She said she still rocks her daughter to sleep every night. She said they sing Jesus Loves Me, You are My Sunshine, I Love You, and Amazing Grace every night before bed. In the park they sang Jesus Loves Me. It was beautiful to hear their sweet voices. They were lost in the moment while I photographed them. I love learning these personal details of people’s lives because it helps me bring them to life so these photos are treasured.