Motherhood Photography at the Salt River in Mesa, Arizona

These boys love their mama and it SHOWS! The day of our session, I met Mackenzie and the boys up in the parking lot before heading down the short walk to the waterfront. Booker and Palmer were so amazingly kind, respectful, and cooperative from the moment I met them at the car to the moment we wrapped up photos! Mackenzie's cool-as-a-cucumber approach to our photos totally relaxed the boys and allowed us the opportunity to work with and capture their sweet personalities. I love how these photos encapsulate the boys loving relationship with their mama as they all await the arrival of the newest addition to the family.

We shot at one of my favorite locations down along the Salt River. One of the many reasons I love this location, beyond its beauty, is it's child-friendly giving the littles a ton of room to play, explore, and enjoy the elements. I find that this is so key, especially with energetic toddlers, for a smooth and enjoyable photo session. Allowing the kids to be themselves and enjoy their surroundings produces the genuine photos we aim for!

During the planning phase of our session prep, I make sure that my clients are best prepared in terms of prepping their kids, themselves, and setting the expectations for photo day. This allows each family to arrive on photo day comfortable and aware of what to expect. The kiddos will largely read off of our energy starting all the way back to getting ready for the photo session! Here are a couple of my best tips for relieving the stress of photo day:

  • Attend our planning sessions and review my guides so that you're best prepared for photo day
  • Plan outfits ahead of time!
  • Plan toys, snacks, drinks ahead of time to bring to the session.
  • Plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to get ready so that you have the time for yourself and the kids without stress or hurry. This is a once-a-year (or more) occurrence and memories you'll have forever -- it's worth investing more time into the prep.
  • Make sure kiddos are rested and fed prior to leaving for the photo session -- low blood sugar + kiddos = grouchy! (Which I know you already know, but it's worth reminding especially if they're not super keen on photos... this depends on the age!)
  • Have a fun outing planned like ice cream, dinner, movies, or something you can all look forward to together as a family after our photos. (This also acts as a great incentive during photos!)
  • Hype it up! Share with them how much these photos mean to you, invite them into the planning. Allowing them to feel like they're apart of it all will help in better attitudes towards the session.
  • Once y'all arrive on-session, relax and sit back... you've prepared the best you can and now your job is to enjoy your family and go with the flow!
  • I'll take care of the rest from here.. we'll play games, we'll laugh, and we'll work with the energy the kiddos give us. We will take breaks or step off into breakouts throughout the hour to give the littles a chance to reset and explore.

Kids will feed off of our energy - if we're tense, they'll be tense! If we're relaxed, they'll be more receptive and relaxed as well. There is so much beauty in the moments of letting kids be kids for family photos. Sure, we'll prioritize the all-smiling photos as well, but I also love giving my clients the memories to look back on of seeing their kiddos play alongside the water in their most genuine self.

As a mother myself, who has been through numerous sessions with my son, I just want you to know... I understand. I know how it feels to plan all of the outfits, to have to hype up the whole family for photos they're not particularly looking forward to, handling the wild kiddos mid-session. I get it! I am here to help and serve you in the best way I can, just know you have me by your side the entire way - you're not in this alone!