Always Have a Plan B...
Any fellow, type A control freaks out there? If so, God bless you. It's an everyday battle trying let go of the uncontrollable, and I feel that pain much too deeply. When I'm preparing for a shoot, it's a tough reminder that I have no control over the weather, traffic, my clients' mood (especially the littlest ones), if my favorite lens decides to just stop focusing for no reason, or what kind of critters may decide to crash the session. All of these things can contribute to whether or not we walk away with a successful session, but I try realllllllllllllly hard not to stress over them. I tell myself, "Danielle, you can only prepare so much. Try for what you want, work with what you get, and trust your vision."
The one thing that I can kind of control is the location. I scout out specific locations for each, individual session weeks in advance. I like to go out to them when the light is least ideal and see what I have to work with in the worst case scenario. I always look for great light, un-distracted backgrounds, variety, and easy accessibility. When I started prepping for the Vander Wert's family session, I was pretty excited about shooting in a new location. I walked the area, planned my shots, and sent some pics to Julie, who gave the green light on it.
Fast forward two weeks, 30 minutes before our start time, when I drive up to find this at our set spot.
First reaction...denial. "Siri took me to wrong spot. I know this looks like my location, but there's no way this is happening."
Second reaction...nervous laughing panic. "Take a picture, because, again, there's no way this is happening." (...which, by the way, was the same reaction I had a couple of years ago when I spilled an entire gallon of paint on our dining room floor...my husband did not think it was funny, nor did he want to take a picture.)
Third reaction...plan B. "Get it together, Griffin. Call your client; you have a plan B." Always have a plan B.
Luckily, Julie, Travis, and Parker were super flexible and took the last minute changes completely in stride.
Julie's family was in town from Iowa celebrating this little man's first birthday, so they got a nice little tour of Tomball in all of the craziness.
Parker was really into the grass and sticks, and his sweet little curiosity is so adorable.
Julie and Travis suspected that Parker's teeth were bugging him, but he couldn't hide those smiling eyes when momma swung him upside down or daddy bounced him on his shoulders.
Julie and Travis took advantage of having family in town and scheduled a date night dinner for after the session. I LOVE when clients do something special after the shoots...it makes all of that time spent getting ready worth it. It also made the shots of just the two of them that much more important for me to sneak in.
Once we have kids and become "Mom and Dad," it's hard to remember to celebrate the "Husband and Wife" part of us too. I fall victim to this way too often. Sometimes couples haven't had a nice shot together since their wedding, so these are my favorite to incorporate into the family sessions. When our kids get older, they'll want the picture of daddy looking at momma like that.
Next it was time for the cake smash!
Sweet little Parker was honestly more interested in the grass and leaves than he was the cake, but we managed to get some shots of him giving it a try. Then to make him a little more happy, we moved the whole thing into his wagon.
During this session, we didn't plan for the location, we didn't plan for the big "1" balloon to fly away, we didn't plan for Parker to have his cake in the wagon, and we didn't plan for there to be a gender reveal party right next to us that made Parker smile and clap at the very end of the session even though he was soooo over it. I don't know what our original plans would have looked like, but getting to spend the evening with this amazingly adorable and so very kind family in a location (that just might become my new favorite) was better than any plan A I could have come up with myself. Thank you Julie, Travis, and Parker for such a great shoot!!